chapter  3
23 Pages

The Ethics of Shifting Ties: Moral Relativism in Melville Dalton’s Men Who Manage

WithSteven P. Feldman

This chapter analyzes Melville Dalton’s work using a non-modern or hierarchical understanding of morality. It suggests that Dalton created a powerful but false intellectual rationale for the historic decline in moral commitment found in modern culture. The chapter argues that the concept of moral tradition with Dalton’s contingent approach to moral analysis. In Dalton’s view, American society has become so “complex” that the old “morality of fixity” is no longer viable. Dalton’s reaction to promotions based on religious and political beliefs, ethnic make-up, and recreational activities is important. In Dalton’s view, the organization forces the individual to individualize. He drops the individual into the organizational machinery and “the system unwittingly coerces” him to pursue his/her self-interest. In Dalton’s theory of management ethics, there are two moralities, one implied in formal organization and one implied in informal organization. Dalton’s theory of management ethics is a reversal of traditional Western moral beliefs.