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Kenneth Goodpaster

Professor Emeritus

  • Expertise
  • Normative business ethics, corporate responsibility, organizational self-assessment, business implications of catholic social teaching, reflections on business as an institution.

Kenneth Goodpaster earned his BA in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and his MA and PhD in philosophy at the University of Michigan.

Goodpaster taught graduate and undergraduate philosophy at the University of Notre Dame throughout the 1970s before joining the Harvard Business School faculty in 1980. At Harvard, he taught both MBA candidates and executives and developed the second-year elective course, Ethical Aspects of Corporate Policy, as well as the first-year required module, Managerial Decision Making and Ethical Values,1989. He also authored two textbooks, Ethics in Management, 1984 and Policies and Persons: A Casebook in Business Ethics (First Edition 1985, Second Edition 1991, Third Edition 1998).

In 1990, Goodpaster accepted the David and Barbara Koch endowed chair in business ethics at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. At St. Thomas, he taught in undergraduate, MBA and executive education programs including a Great Books Seminar for graduate students in business, law, education and engineering.

His book Conscience and Corporate Culture, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, received generous praise from reviewers and he contributed more recently to Vocation of the Business Leader, issued by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2012, and Respect in Action: Applying Subsidiarity in Business, published by Uniapac and the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Thomas.

With his business ethics colleagues at St. Thomas, Goodpaster co-edited the 3rd edition of the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management volume on business ethics, 2014. He served for many years as an associate editor of Business Ethics Quarterly and sits on the editorial boards of several other journals in the field of business ethics.

More recently Goodpaster served as executive editor of the much-anticipated history, Corporate Responsibility: The American Experience, Cambridge University Press, 2012, which received the 2014 Academy of Management Best Book Award.

In 2014, he was named to Ethisphere Magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics and in August of that year he was honored by the Society for Business Ethics at its Annual Meeting in Philadelphia for a “Career of Outstanding Scholarly Achievement in the Field of Business Ethics.” He is now professor emeritus in the Department of Ethics and Business at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.