The Pioneers in Business Ethics Oral Video History Archive Project

Since the early 1970s, pioneers in the field of business ethics, both academic and corporate, have been stretching the mind and conscience with challenging questions and relentless self-examination. The founders of this discipline established teaching methodologies and produced a body of solid research. In addition, other pioneers initiated the now flourishing ethics and compliance professions that are integral to most U.S. corporations and government agencies.

The Pioneers in Business Ethics Oral Video History Archive Project was created to preserve the history and wisdom of these founders, as well as the founders of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. The project interviewed over fifty pioneers via video and placed these interviews and their transcripts in the archives at the University of Illinois.

The Pioneers in Business Ethics Oral Video History Archive Project includes videos and transcriptions of focused stories on the evolution of Business Ethics, its founding thinkers and practitioners, and the ideas, concepts, and best practices that have emerged. These materials are resources for teachers, students, and researchers at schools of business across the country and by corporate ethics officers who today populate most companies.


Featured Speakers

Included in the collection are many speakers, including the following:


The following is excerpted from “A Polyphony of Pioneers: Introduction to the Business Ethics Pioneers Project and to Eight Interviews” published in the Business and Professional Ethics Journal 40:3, which can be accessed in full here:

In July 2019, while preparing for the Society of Business Ethics annual conference in Boston, Pat Werhane—Emerita Professor at The Olsson Center for Applied Ethics at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and at the Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University—along with Gretchen Winter and Joan Dubinsky at the University of Illinois, developed a plan to record the voices of senior colleagues in the field of Business Ethics. Within a matter of days a unified research question was developed: “What can we learn about the discipline of Business Ethics from those individuals who originated the current business ethics movement?”

In the interests of a comprehensive consistency, an interview template of questions was devised. Pat and others envisaged interviews of approximately fifty minutes. Between August and December of 2019, some twenty Business Ethics Pioneer Professors were recorded.