The research group Ethics, Virtues, and Moral Dilemmas in Administration – AdmEthics is linked to the Department of Public Administration and the line ‘Public Administration and Society’ of the Postgraduate Program in Administration of the ESAG / UDESC.
AdmEthics aims to improve the theoretical knowledge and practice of ethics in Administration through an interdisciplinary framework for the study of moral phenomena, as well as their implications for human actions and the development of public and professional life.
The guiding approaches of the group are virtue ethics and rationality in the field of organizations, having as subjects of interest: moral dilemmas, ethical deliberation, phronesis, theories of moral development, moral competence, character, common good, moral imagination, the dignity of human being, moral capital, substantive theory of organizations, parenthetic attitude, gift/gift theory, action theories, spirituality-religiosity, ethics and virtues and their interfaces with economics, finance, law, and administration.
AdmEthics’ empirical research context encompasses public sector organizations, civil society organizations, businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals in organizations.
1) Moral dilemmas and rationality in organizations
It aims to understand how the study of moral dilemmas can contribute to the debate about the rationality of organizations, whose reference author is the Brazilian sociologist Alberto Guerreiro Ramos. The moral dilemma is understood as the experience of tension between the possible paths of action in the search for the best decision in certain circumstances. To understand how these dilemmas are experienced, the classical conception of rationality is rescued in an attempt to demonstrate that administrative action is rational, in its singular sense, but with multiple faculties that compose it (different dimensions of rationality).
2) Virtue ethics in administrative action and the public sphere
It explores the perspective of virtue ethics in the public sphere. Taking an Aristotelian-Thomist root approach, we try to understand how virtues are possible in administrative action and the public sphere. This perspective considers as central elements the notion of human nature, eudaimonia as the ultimate goal (telos) of actions directed to the common good, and phronesis (prudence) as practical wisdom for circumstantial actions.
3) Innovative practices of research, teaching, and learning in Ethics in Administration
It covers the development of tools and experiences to address ethical issues in individuals and organizations, as well as the conduction of experimental interventions in this same area, using educational theories and methodologies that enable the development of moral competence and ethical virtues for the administrative practice. Its tool includes multidisciplinary contributions from areas such as pedagogy, psychology, physical education, design, gamification, practical experimental methodologies, and new information and communication technologies.
4) Interfaces between ethics, economics, and administration
It investigates how ethical action occurs in an economic-administrative context. Reaching this purpose requires not only the knowledge of recent developments in Business Ethics and economic theory, such as Behavioral Economics, but also the historical recovery of the ideas of economists, philosophers, political scientists, organizational theorists, and management scholars who, over the centuries, tried to understand human rationality and position it in the context of economic actions.
5) Interfaces between ethics and anthropological dimension in the Administration
It involves studies related to themes such as human nature, symbolic imagery, gift, spirituality, religiosity, culture, and social ties in the Administration, under the anthropological (philosophical and cultural) and sociological approach.