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Fair or care?

Research paper co-authored by Shaz Ansari of Cambridge Judge looks at feminist “ethics of care” issues in examining the standardisation of ethical practices.


As part of a series of research papers on the pricing policies of Fairtrade International, Shaz Ansari, Reader in Strategy at Cambridge Judge Business School, drew on arguments from feminist “ethics of care” scholars in examining the standardisation of ethical practices.

Such scholars consider care and compassion as the basis of ethical practices, arguing that these considerations should be emphasised in order to uncover injustices that may not be articulated in rational deliberations, says a paper co-authored by Ansari – entitled “Be Fair or Care? Fairtrade and the standardization of ethical practices” – which was published in the Academy of Management Proceedings journal.

“From a feminist approach, setting social standards albeit democratically derived, shifts attention from care and responsive relations to rational deliberations for standardising ethical practices,” the paper says.

A series of papers co-authored by Ansari and Juliane Reinecke of Warwick Business School look at the ethical issues of setting a “fair” price for Fairtrade products, which may put small farmers at a disadvantage due to their higher cost of production.