Abstract

In many Business Schools today, accounting academics have been introduced to the concept of sustainability that challenges the dominant 20th century way of doing business. In these schools, it is now reasoned that the purpose of business may be better achieved if it involves taking decisions that recognize the holistic economic, social and environmental consequences of those decisions. Simply justifying decisions on the basis that shareholders’ wealth will be maximized is now thought by many to be inadequate. We argue that this new perspective should not be taught to accounting students. Rather we argue that (following Aristotle) students should be exposed to arguments that encourage them to develop the virtue of “unfettered vigor”, coming from intelligent personal choice, which will help them recognize that “good living”, by themselves and their descendants, is dependent on the sustainable business perspective being adopted in society.

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