A necessary ethics definition for conflicts of interest

Franklin Ibáñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The paper examines Villarán's definition of conflicts of interest to improve it. Some clarifications are necessary but also some amendments. The basic difference consists of first distinguishing between interest and moral grounds, and, second, by emphasizing the voluntary nature of the commitment of the person facing a conflict of interest. Such a commitment arises within a work-related or professional context. It must be explicit with regard to individuals, public institutions, private organizations, whether for profit or nonprofit, or professional associations. To support this concept, a method is used that is similar to the recent tradition of the English-speaking world expressed by Rawls, instead of the search for universal or essentialist concepts of the Platonic tradition. The result is not a true definition of conflicts of interest, but a necessary one given our historical-social context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalBusiness & professional ethics journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Business & Professional Ethics Journal.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Applied ethics
  • Conflict of interest
  • Interest


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