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Dr. Jelle van Baardewijk

Professor in Business Ethics

Jelle van Baardewijk is a professor in Business Ethics at the Research Centre Business Innovation of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Jelle is a scholar in business ethics.

He has written much on the right way to teach business ethics in the context of business schools. He co-authored The Good Life and the Free Market, an ethics book which is used in Dutch secondary schools nationwide, and for which he received the Socrates Price for best philosophy book of 2018. In his current research Jelle continues to focus on the relation between ‘the moral good life’ in the context of consumption, production and trade. One of his current projects focusses on ‘good finance’ and dives deeper into the current ethical turn in the market of mortgages.

The ethical turn in finance is part of a larger development, which Jelle studies. It is an societal trend in the Netherlands that the population is increasingly demanding higher standards of behaviour and social norms. Examples of these higher requirements are increased intolerance for discrimination, ecological neglect and tax evasion. We set high demands in the work environment, as consumers and in the structure of the economy in general. We no longer trust that market systems of question and demand are always efficient, nor that the creation of wealth is value neutral. There is a growing demand for ‘integral reporting’ in firms, which enables them to label and communicate their societal profile. The trend to highlight only profits and shareholder value is changing into a trend in which firms integrate societal and ecological relevance.

Professor Jelle van Baardewijk will explore the current ethical turn, especially in SME’s and financial institutions. He will try to systematically identify moral dilemmas and policy choices. How can we tackle these dilemma’s and choices wisely? Consideration could be given to: the tension that exists between sustainability and growth in sales, permanent jobs and flexible contracts, individual and collective responsibility, local versus global manufacturing. These are the tensions facing the SME businesses, and therefore require our attention.

Professor Jelle van Baardewijk will help ‘translate’ these ethical issues of corporate life for educational purposes. In 2020 he will start a course ‘Business Ethics for Teachers’ in which he walks through all the key components of today’s ethics: case studies, the method ‘giving voice to values’, a thorough introduction to virtue ethics, duty ethics and ethics of recognition.

About him

Jelle van Baardewijk studied Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and of Berlin. He obtained his doctorate with research on the moral formation of business students. He frequently writes in the media and holds presentations on the economy, education, and society. He is currently writing articles and books on the functioning of ethics in SME’s and companies in general. In addition to his work here as Professor, Jelle van Baardewijk also works as philosopher at the VU Faculty of Social Sciences. He is a member of the Amsterdam Young Academy, a platform for young promising scientists. He is also a member of Centrum Èthos, a research and debate centre for applied philosophy and policy studies.


By Dr. Jelle van Baardewijk

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