Virtue ethics is generally recognized as one of the three major schools of ethics, but is
often waylaid by utilitarianism and deontology in business and management literature.
Focusing on publications in the Thomson-Reuters Journal of Citation Report between
1980 and 2011, we use EBSCO and ABI databases to look for articles containing the
keywords “virtue ethics”, “virtue theory” or “virtuousness” in the abstract together with
“business” or “management” in the text. We refined our search to draw lists of the most
prolific authors, the most cited authors, the most cited articles and the journals with the
most virtue ethics publications. This information allows us to chart how virtue ethics
articles have evolved through the decades and establish clusters of authors as well as
clusters of themes. These findings also provide a foundation for future study of the
meanings of virtue ethics and the achievement and potential of different persuasions
within virtue ethics research. We believe this will make a significant contribution to
business ethics scholarship and management education by supplying both with a solid
philosophical and anthropological mooring.