Business Ethics Quarterly

Business Ethics Quarterly: Twentieth Anniversary Forum, Part I: New Directions for Business Ethics Research

New Directions in Legal Scholarship: Implications for Business Ethics Research, Theory, and Practice

John Hasnas, Robert Prentice and Alan Strudler


Legal scholars and business ethicists are interested in many of the same core issues regarding human and firm behavior. The vast amount of legal research being generated by nearly 10,000 law school and business law scholars will inevitably influence business ethics research. This paper describes some of the recent trends in legal scholarship and explores its implications for three significant aspects of business ethics research—methodology, theory, and policy.

John Hasnas is an associate professor of business at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He received his J.D. and Ph.D. in Legal Philosophy from Duke University, and his LL.M. in legal education from Temple Law School. Between 1997 and 1999, he was assistant general counsel to Koch Industries, Inc., in Wichita, Kansas. His work has appeared in many law reviews as well as journals such as Business Ethics Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He is also the author of Trapped: When Acting Ethically Is Against the Law (2006). His scholarship concerns ethics and white collar crime, jurisprudence, bioethics, and legal history. E-mail:

Robert Prentice is a professor of business law in the Business, Government & Society Department at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. He is interim chair of the department and head of the Business Honors Program. Prentice’s current research focuses on securities regulation, accounting ethics, and ethical decisionmaking. His writing appears in Duke Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, Cornell Law Review, and other journals. E-mail:

Alan Strudler is a professor in the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is the coordinator for the department’s Ph.D. program. He serves as associate editor for Business Ethics Quarterly. Strudler’s current work focuses on corporate governance and professional responsibility. His writing appears in Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy & Public Affairs, UCLA Law Review, and other journals. E-mail: