Keep Others in mind: A way to proceed with ethical decisions under uncertainty

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

University of Oulu, Linnanmaa campus, TA105

Topic of the dissertation

Keep Others in mind: A way to proceed with ethical decisions under uncertainty

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science in Economics Akram Hatami

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Oulu Business School, Marketing, Management & International Business

Subject of study



Docent Anna Heikkinen, Tampere University


Professor Vesa Puhakka, University of Oulu

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Keep Others in mind: A way to proceed with ethical decisions under uncertainty

In the current global economy that is usually described as post-industrial, third wave and information-based, we should know how to explore on a sea of uncertainties. In such an environment, ethical decision-making due to ongoing dilemmas and difficulties is complex. So ethics should be understood as a learning process that constructs our identity. For this reason, this study is built on the idea of postmodern ethics.

Postmodern ethics calls for rethinking and reexamination of our ethical assumptions with the hope that we can construct a new way of thinking. Among the different approaches in postmodern ethics, I choose Other-oriented ethics. This approach does not provide a set of codes and instructions, rather it offers a theoretical perspective for reconsidering the complexities of ethical decision-making by seeing the Other. Others are important in their otherness. It signifies radical uniqueness that cannot be conceptualized or thematized.

This research aims to show how recognizing and understanding Others (through non-rational response to the presence of Others and infinite responsibility toward them) can be a strategy in hand for ethical decision-making. To achieving this aim, I focus on both the individual and the corporate level. Since the individual is produced as a subject in the social process, the role of corporations is very important to creating the venues of virtue or of vice for all the employees. By the Other-oriented ethical approach, researchers and practitioners may not receive a solution but they will be able to question everyday practices and accepted norms. It helps them to reconsider and reconceive the notion of ethics and responsibility in business ethical discourse on a continuous basis.

Theoretically, this study introduces an alternative tale for ethical decision-making. Hence, the main contribution of this study is applying Other- oriented ethical approaches in ethical decision-making. This happens through fostering moral impulse, bridging the moral laxity gap and extending a dynamic stakeholder model in which the Others play the pivotal role in ethical decision making.
Last updated: 13.2.2020