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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2019

Engineering and Business Ethics. Revisiting the Higher Aims of Professionalism


The distinction between professions and occupations has been a highly controversial statement in the academic literature since its emergence. Many scholars have taken it as a fact strengthened (reflected) by the common usage. Others, aware of the difficulties of this distinction have been defining and redefining its borders theoretically. Others, who have found this distinction irrelevant or biased, have considered it as the hallmark of US cultural imperialism or as a means to hide the protectionist attitude of some privileged occupational groups behind a virtuous project (the “higher aims” of “professionalism”). Many contemporary discussions in the U.S. about engineering and business ethics take the concept of profession as central to the debate. Michael Davis aims to found engineering ethics “everywhere”, by enlarging the concept of profession to engineers “everywhere”, i.e. beyond the cultural and linguistic specific US context. Rakesh Khurana in turn whose goal is to re-moralize business, wants to make business a true profession, as the founders of the first U.S. MBA aimed at. Between the obviousness surrounding the concept and idea of profession and the rejection of any kind of relevance, the author of this chapter looks for a third way. She invites to replace the (Anglo-American) distinction between profession and occupation in a larger context, through a socio-historical investigation into the construction of several professional models which have structured Western Europe since the Middle Age, thereby contributing
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hal-01667860 , version 1 (01-12-2022)


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Christelle Didier. Engineering and Business Ethics. Revisiting the Higher Aims of Professionalism. Steen Hyldgaard Christensen, Bernard Delahousse, Christelle Didier, Martin Meganck, Mike Murphy. The Engineering-Business Nexus Symbiosis, Tension, and Co-Evolution, 32, Springer, pp.103-123, 2019, Philosophy of Engineering and Technology (POET), 978-3-319-99635-6. ⟨hal-01667860⟩
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