Michael Sandel on Business, Ethics and Morality

23 May 2016

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Michael Sandel is one of the leading thinkers in the world on the ideas of justice and morality. He applies philosophy and ethics to help understand complex problems. He is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he teaches political philosophy. He has written extensively on justice, ethics, democracy and markets, and his course on justice is the first Harvard course made available free online.

Sandel's books include What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets; Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?; and The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering. He has served on the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics.

Recently in Cambridge, MA, IHRB's Salil Tripathi talked to Dr Sandel about business and human rights. To what extent does morality guide markets? Is it enough for business to comply with existing laws, or should it strive to do more? What responsibility does business have towards its workers, communities, and society at large?

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 7.8MB - Duration: 6:36 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Latest IHRB Publications

Increasing Access to Business Practice is Key to Scaling Respect for Human Rights

Finding effective ways to talk about human rights with colleagues is a common challenge confronted by practitioners working in companies to drive implementation of respect for human rights. 

Whether these discussions happen within one’s immediate...

Do It Just: Has Nike Started a New Trend?

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” 

These words, embossed over a close-up photograph of Colin Kaepernick, have already created debate over what many consider a controversial choice by sports company Nike to feature the...

Children’s Rights and Business – Stuck in the “Too Difficult” Box?

Businesses impact on the lives of children in a variety of direct and indirect ways.

Children are consumers of products and services, they are dependents of workers, and they might be young workers themselves or, at least, will be future workers...