Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel Idowu, René Schmidpeter, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Mara Del Baldo, Rute Abreu

Ethics and Ethical Theories

  • Borna JalsenjakEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02006-4_115-1


Ethics is one of the philosophical disciplines concerned with understanding human behavior in the context of morality. Sometimes ethics is also called moral philosophy. Concerning method, ethics can have a descriptive method in which “that what is” is described in the context of human moral behavior and a normative method in which “that what should be” is at the center. Ethics as a philosophical discipline has various goals, but they can be listed as follows: understanding human action in the moral context and providing guidelines on human morally right action. Ethics meets its goals in several ways: (1) by providing a description of human action, (2) by helping to understand the essence of human action in regard to moral qualities, (3) by providing guidance for decision-making in order to act in a morally correct way, and (4) by providing insight in what is considered to be specifically humane way of acting. In the course of history, three most influential...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bentham, J. (1789). Introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. In J. Bowring (Ed.), The works of Jeremy Bentham (pp. 1838–1843). New York: Russel & Russel.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Luxembourg School of BusinessLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Zagreb School of Economics and ManagementZagrebCroatia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ivana Mijatovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Quality Management and StandardizationUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Organizational SciencesBelgradeSerbia