Economistic Business Ethics Denial (BED) is the belief that contemporary business has features that make it systematically incompatible with ethics. Using over 1200 participants across seven separate samples we established the substantive validity of a BED Scale, confirmed its theorized structure, psychometric properties, convergent, and discriminant validity. The results suggest that the scale assesses four correlated factors of economistic BED. The scale can be used in future research on ethical decision making in business, and business ethics education.
In this paper, I defend what may seem a surprising view: that John Stuart Mill’s famous harm principle would, if taken to be what justifies government action, disallow the existence of corporations. My claim is not that harmful activities of currently existing corporations warrants their losing corporate status according to the harm principle. The claim, rather, is that taken strictly, the harm principle and the legal possibility of incorporation are mutually exclusive. This view may be surprising—and I do not at (...) all mean to attribute it to Mill—but if I am right, it should be obvious. It should also encourage us to think more about the nature of the markets within which business occurs. (shrink)
Since Uber’s founding in 2009, individuals associated with Uber have engaged in (or been accused of engaging in) numerous categories of corporate malfeasance: failure to protect data privacy, theft of trade secrets, sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment), lack of worker safety, lack of consumer safety, and racial discrimination. Thus, Uber is a good test case for the question of whether corporate behavior can provide moral justification for a boycott. More specifically, an examination of the 2017 #deleteUber controversy (...) will invite the reader to consider questions such as the following: When is a personal boycott morally justified, and when (if ever) is a personal boycott morally obligatory? How are personal boycotts related to larger-scale organized boycotts? What are the factors that make an organized boycott morally justified (or unjustified)? Is there a sound argument for the conclusion that we should #deleteUber? (shrink)
In August 2017, Google executives found themselves in a difficult position. An internal memo written by a disgruntled software engineer, James Damore, had just gone viral. In this memo, Damore claimed that the relatively small number of women in the tech industry was partly due to biological factors, and that many of Google’s diversity efforts were therefore counterproductive. The contents of this memo were offensive to many (and thus were having a negative impact on the overall workplace environment), but the (...) executives were aware that the wrong reaction to it would at least partially vindicate Damore’s claims about the lack of open discussion at Google. In the end, after two days of controversy, Google leadership decided to fire Damore on the grounds that he had violated the company’s code of conduct. This case gives students an opportunity to explore the numerous issues raised by Damore’s memo and the controversy surrounding it. Did Google handle this case properly? Was firing Damore the right thing to do? How could the situation have been handled more effectively? (shrink)
On the traditional view, moral distress arises only in cases where an individual believes she knows the morally right thing to do but fails to perform that action due to various constraints. We seek to motivate a broader understanding of moral distress. We begin by presenting six types of distress that fall outside the bounds of the traditional definition and explaining why they should be recognized as forms of moral distress. We then propose and defend a new and more expansive (...) definition of moral distress and examine how it can enable the development of a taxonomy of moral distress. (shrink)
Job satisfaction cannot be defined by a single measurement alone. In fact, there is substantial evidence to support a relationship between satisfaction and performance of a job. For such a relationship there has been tremendous interest among managers and economists as it helps in increasing the quality as well as quantity of the production. However, some argue contrarily, that rather it is the performance that leads to satisfaction. Whatever be the direction of relationship, one thing is clear that productivity and (...) satisfaction have some mutual relationship and each of them affects the other. This paper examines as to when generalizations are to be made it becomes imperative to see which of the factor differentiates the job satisfaction level of private from the public sector employees and if the satisfaction levels of any of the two sectors are different from the other then what are the implications of that on the performance, growth and effectiveness in the long run. The paper empirically measures employee satisfaction in key areas, organizations can gain the information needed to improve their satisfaction, motivation, retention and productivity. (shrink)
Today every organization is acting in a dynamic environment and in a world characterised by turbulent change and fierce competition due to technological advancement and the knowledge based economy, an organization must always ready to adapt and transform themselves so as to be able to confront the shifting needs of the new environment, more demanding customers, smarter workers, anticipating ability to changes, accelerating the development of new products, processes and services, changing technologies and customer expectations, businesses have realised the importance (...) of Customer Relationship Management in acquiring new customers, retain existing ones and maximize their lifetime value. The wide spread availability of the internet across the world has led airlines to use their corporate web-sites to bypass travel intermediaries and focus on online communication, information and transaction. The paper considers five dimensions of Web site quality-usability, web site design, service quality, information quality and enjoyment on a sample of 150 respondents from four airlines namely, Air India, Spicejet, Indigo and Jet Airways. Respondents consisted of 40 employed, 80 business men and 30 students. Overall, the majority of respondents are frequent, experienced Internet users and likely to be relatively good judges of Web quality. Analysis of results shows that customers’ priority about airlines website are changing. As the self-service, no-frills and low-cost trend for air travel has grown in recent years, so consumers have been driven less by service quality and more by easy access to good information packaged in an entertaining and fun "wrapper'. More over the airlines have pursued different strategies for their Web sites over the period of study .Air India rated badly for service quality and Jet Airways and Spice jet scored high on service and information quality. The paper suggests that careful management and selection of subjects to be placed on web site can retain the customers and reduce switching intentions. (shrink)
This study aims to explore the effects of organizational conflict, on role stressors namely role conflict and role ambiguity, among the employees of J&K public corporations. Based on the survey of 242 corporate employees of J&K State Forest Corporation, J&K State Road Transport Corporation, J&K Cement Limited and J&K State Industrial Development Corporation, the effective response received was 72.31%. The data was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis using the structural equation model to measure the relationship among (...) the constructs. The empirical results revalidate that role conflict and role ambiguity has positive association with employees stress. The mediating effects of organizational conflict positively impact employees stress. Implications, limitations, and future lines of research are also discussed in this paper. Keywords:. (shrink)
Gender greatly impacts access to opportunities, potential, and success in corporate leadership roles. We begin with a general presentation of why such discussion is necessary for basic considerations of justice and fairness in gender equality and how the issues we raise must impact any ethical perspective on gender in the corporate workplace. We continue with a breakdown of the central categories affecting the success of women in corporate leadership roles. The first of these includes gender-influenced behavioral factors, such as the (...) requirements and expectations of gendered verbal and nonverbal communication styles as well as appearance. We move on to address the impact of family on corporate leadership opportunities and success, discussing the asymmetrical evaluation of an individual’s potential, authority, and competence based on gender stereotypes of familial obligations and expectations. Finally, we address how gender impacts access to networking and sponsorship opportunities and the long-term effects of systematic limitations on women’s inclusion in the upper echelons of corporate leadership. We conclude with a summary of the questions and issues raised by our discussion and direct individuals to consider how different ethical systems and moral requirements might influence their interpretations of gender and leadership in the corporate workplace. (shrink)
This study focuses on comparison of perceptions of ethical business cultures in large business organizations from four largest emerging economies, commonly referred to as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and from the US. The data were collected from more than 13,000 managers and employees of business organizations in five countries. The study found significant differences among BRIC countries, with respondents from India and Brazil providing more favorable assessments of ethical cultures of their organizations than respondents from China and (...) Russia. Overall, highest mean scores were provided by respondents from India, the US, and Brazil. There were significant similarities in ratings between the US and Brazil. (shrink)
This study investigates and compares the impact of spiritual leadership on organizational citizenship behavior in finance and retail service industries to determine the possibility of generalizing and applying spiritual leadership to other industries. This study used multi-sample analysis of structural equation modeling. The results show that values, attitudes, and behaviors of leaders have positive effects on meaning/calling and membership of the employees, and further facilitate employees to perform excellent organizational citizenship behaviors, including the altruism of assisting colleagues and the responsible (...) conscientiousness toward organization. The effect of altruism toward colleagues is especially stronger. Finally, the effect of leaders’ values, attitudes, and behaviors on the spiritual survival of employees is stronger in retail than that in finance. (shrink)
This study examines factors impacting ethical behavior of 208 employees of a Chinese state-owned steel company. Only rules climate had a significant impact on ethical behavior of respondents. Other ethical climate types such as professional, caring, instrumental, independence, and efficiency did not impact ethical behavior of respondents. Ethical behavior of peers, ethical behavior of successful managers, and overclaiming had a significant impact on ethical behavior of subjects.
In this paper, we conceptually explore the role of empathy as a connectedness organising mechanism. We expand ideas underlying positive organisational scholarship and examine leading-edge studies from neuroscience and quantum physics that give support to our claims. The perspective we propose has profound implications regarding how we organise and how we manage. First, we argue that empathy enhances connectedness through the unconscious sharing of neuro-pathways that dissolves the barriers between self and other. This sharing encourages the integration of affective and (...) cognitive consciousness which facilitates the ability to find common ground for solution building. Second, empathy enhances connectedness through altruistic action. In giving to others, feelings of joy and harmony are activated. This in turn allows personal freedom to be enriched and transcendence from the rational ego-self is reduced to develop a more expansive, integrated and enlightened state underlying connectedness. Finally, empathy enhances connectedness which results in sharing the quantum field of coherence where there is little separation between self and other. This means living beyond self-interest in a coherent world based upon interdependent wholeness rather than atomization and separation. Empathy allows us to find that state of coherent connectedness. (shrink)
Research concerning the relationship between psychological ethical climate and job satisfaction is popular in the literature. However, to date, no study in the literature has simultaneously investigated both the effects of individual-level and organization-level ethical climates on employees’ job satisfaction. On the basis of a multilevel analysis, the present study used a sample of 472 full-time employees from 31 organizations in Taiwan to examine the above two effects. Results from the analyses showed that within the organizations, individual employees’ instrumental climate (...) perceptions were negatively related to job satisfaction, whereas their caring climate perceptions and rules climate perceptions were positively related to job satisfaction. Also, the results indicated that between organizations, organizational instrumental climate was negatively related to job satisfaction, whereas organizational caring, independence, and rules climates were positively related to job satisfaction. Implications for research and managerial practices were derived from these findings. (shrink)
Organizations constitute morally-complex environments, requiring organization members to possess levels of moral courage sufficient to promote their ethical action, while refraining from unethical actions when faced with temptations or pressures. Using a sample drawn from a military context, we explored the antecedents and consequences of moral courage. Results from this four-month field study demonstrated that authentic leadership was positively related to followers’ displays of moral courage. Further, followers’ moral courage fully mediated the effects of authentic leadership on followers’ ethical and (...) pro-social behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications for further integrating the work on moral courage, authentic leadership and ethics are discussed. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:Anomie is a condition in which normative guidelines for governing conduct are absent. Using survey data from a sample of U.S. manufacturing firms, we explore the impact of internal (cultural) and external (environmental) determinants of organizational anomie. We suggest that four internal organizational factors can generate or suppress organizational anomie, including strategic aggressiveness, long-term orientation, competitor orientation, and strategic flexibility. Similarly, we argue that external contextual factors, including competitive intensity and technological turbulence, can influence organizational anomie. We extend anomie and (...) ethics research by considering the impact of these firm cultural and environmental factors according to whether firms are publicly-traded or privately-held. Findings demonstrate that a number of firm cultural and environmental factors can generate or reduce anomie in firms. Moreover, strategic aggressiveness, long-term orientation, and strategic flexibility influence organizational anomie differently depending on whether the firm is publicly-traded or privately-held. Theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:Reports of widespread misconduct in organizations have become sadly commonplace. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, accounting fraud in large corporations, and physical and sexual harassment in the military implicate not only the individuals involved, but the organizations and fields in which they happened. In this paper we describe such situations as instances of “moral collapse” and develop a multi-level theory of moral collapse that draws on institutional theory as its central orienting lens. We draw on institutional theory because of (...) its explicit concern with the relationships among individual beliefs and actions, the organizations within which they occur, and the collective social structures in which norms, rules and beliefs are anchored. Our theory of moral collapse has two main elements. First, we argue that morality in organizations is embedded in nested systems of individuals, organizations and moral communities in which ideology and regulation flow “down” from moral communities through organizations to individuals, and moral ideas and influence flow “upward” from individuals through organizations to moral communities. Second, we argue that moral collapse is associated with breakdowns in these flows, and explore conditions under which such breakdowns are likely to occur. (shrink)
This article investigates conceptual and strategic relationships between corporate identity, organizational identity and ethics, utilizing the Benetton Corporation as an illustrative case study. Although much attention has been given to visual aspects of Benetton's renowned ethical brand building efforts, few studies have looked at how Benetton's employees, retail environments and trade events express ethical aspects of their well-known corporate identity. A multi-method case study, including interviews at retail outlets and trade events, sheds light on several important yet under-studied components of (...) corporate identity, including stakeholders such as retail managers and contract employees. Analysis of Benetton's operations revealed disconnection and inconsistency, as well as a failure to communicate ethical values and socially responsible attributes throughout organizational identity. Operational identity emerged as a useful complement to models of corporate identity. We demonstrate the way in which organizations may fail to capitalize on positive aspects of their organizational identity by neglecting their operational identity. (shrink)
An implicit goal of many interventions intended to enhance integrity is to minimize peoples' exposure to unethical events. The intent of the present effort was to examine if exposure to unethical practices in the course of one's work is related to ethical decision making. Accordingly, 248 doctoral students in the biological, health, and social sciences were asked to complete a field appropriate measure of ethical decision making. In addition, they were asked to complete measures examining the perceived acceptability of unethical (...) events and a measure examining perceptions of ethical climate. When these criterion measures were correlated with a measure examining the frequency with which they had been exposed to unethical events in their day-to-day work, it was found that event exposure was strongly related to ethical decision making but less strongly related to climate perceptions and perceptions of event acceptability. However, these relationships were moderated by level of experience. The implications of these findings for practices intended to improve ethics are discussed. (shrink)
Although arguments are a good way of exploring the limitations and complexities of a concept or a theory we may find ourselves faced with a real phenomenon that challenges the existing formulations of a concept or a theory so strongly and reveals its limitations to us so starkly that we are forced to break away from the current discussion and start anew. Such is the challenge posed by the phenomenon of farmer suicides on our existing theories of corporate social responsibility. (...) Contemporary discussions in corporate ethics are replete with many theories of corporate social responsibility which in one way or the other rely on the concept of the social contract. For the most part these theories have gone unchallenged and no fundamental limitations have been revealed. However, the phenomenon of farmer suicides in central India poses a serious challenge to them. This article attempts to show how the phenomenon of farmer suicides in central India starkly exposes some of the fundamental limitations of the contractarian formulations of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
Global society issues are putting increasing pressure on both small and large organizations to communicate ethically at all levels. Achieving this requires social skills beyond the choice of language or vocabulary and relies above all on individual social responsibility. Arguments from social contract philosophy and speech act theory lead to consider a communication contract that identifies the necessary individual skills for ethical communication on the basis of a limited number of explicit clauses. These latter are pragmatically binding for all partners (...) involved and help to ensure that the ground rules of cooperative communication are observed within a group or an organization. Beyond promoting ethical communication, the communication contract clarifies how individual discursive behaviour can be constructively and ethically monitored by group leaders in business meetings. A case study which shows what may happen when ground clauses of ethical communication are violated is presented. The conclusions of the study highlights why attempting to respect the communication contract is in the best interest of all partners at all levels within any group or organization. (shrink)
Bottom lines and codes provide a corporation with guidelines for dealing with the inside and outside world. Bottom lines have the oldest papers through Frederic Taylor's Scientific Management, dated beginning 20th century. Codes came into existence in its midst with the emerging sustainability agenda, referring both to technical detail and human judgement. Corporate codes present themselves as a policy document with collective rules handed down by way of a top-down approach. Since an effective code is dependent on the motivation of (...) individual employees, this article proposes the additional view of a bottom-up approach. By sharing values in concrete work employees become co-owners of the code. Top-down and bottom-up approaches thus emerge in a complementary relationship. A relevant organisational context would be a parallel structure of action and reflection, thus facilitating balanced thinking in the sustainability domain and contributing to an 'ethical calibre' or 'moral standard' of a corporation. (shrink)
There are two opposing views on the nature of corporations in contemporary debates on corporate social responsibility. Opponents of corporate personhood hold that a corporation is nothing but a group of individuals coming together to achieve certain goals. On the other hand, the advocates of corporate personhood believe that corporations are persons in their own right existing over and above the individuals who comprise them. They talk of corporate decision-making structures that help translate individual decisions and actions into corporate decisions (...) and actions. Importantly both the advocates and the opponents of corporate personhood rely on a contractual model of corporate–social interaction to explain corporate social responsibilty. However, this contractual model misses crucial aspects of the relationship between corporations and societies. Economic history reveals that the relationship between corporations and societies is essentially dynamic and heterogeneous and so extremely difficult to characterise in terms of a contract. The economic and the political aspects of this relationship are so finely intertwined with each other and it is impossible to extricate the one from the other. We need to be more conscious of the actual nature of corporate–social interaction in order to deal more comprehensively with issues of corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
Behaving in an ethical manner is part of the social responsibility of a business. How employees perceive the business operates often drives how they will treat customers. If employees think their organization is ethical they are more likely to behave in an ethical manner themselves. The study focuses on the ethics of banking organizations in Nigeria using a multidimensional framework developed from prior research. The data were analyzed to test the robustness of the dimensions and evaluate whether the framework applies (...) to an African business setting. The results support the dimensional structure and the hypothesized relationships between the dimensions. (shrink)
This paper describes and discusses the Enron Corporation debacle. The paper presents the business ethics background and leadership mechanisms affecting Enron''s collapse and eventual bankruptcy. Through a systematic analysis of the organizational culture at Enron (following Schein''s frame of reference) the paper demonstrates how the company''s culture had profound effects on the ethics of its employees.
Victor and Cullen (1987, 1988) developed a typology of ethical climates based upon the level of moral development of the work group (egoism, benevolence and principled a la Kohlberg, 1981) and the locus of analysis utilized in reaching decisions (individual, local, cosmopolitan). Building on this typology, data were obtained from a high technology company for the purpose of empirically extending the examination of the number of ethical climates that exist and portraying the relationship between ethical climates and the ethical dimension (...) of decisions.When faced with decisions posing various types of ethical dilemmas, most respondents indicated they would take the ethical path. The one exception involved bribery where respondents were about equally likely to make or withhold payment. One climate guided by laws/professional codes accounted for over half of the respondents. Several climates accounted for less than ten percent of the respondents. (shrink)
Empirical analyses of the ethics of corporations with the aim to improve the state of corporate ethics are rare. This paper develops an integrated, normative model of corporate ethics by conceptualizing the ethical quality of organizations and by relating this contextual quality to various expressions of immoral behavior. This so-called Ethics Qualities Model for organizations, which contains 21 ethical qualities, allows one to assess the ethical content of institutional groups of individuals. A proper conceptualization is highly relevant both for the (...) empirical corroboration of business ethics theories and for managerial purposes, such as judging individual and group performance or informing external stakeholders. The empirical applicability of the model is illustrated by an explorative case study of a large, globally operating financial institution. This case-study demonstrates that the corporate ethical qualities differ with respect to their perceived optimality as well as to their estimated impact on (un)ethical conduct. The various results provide managers with many clues to understand their organization and to take effective measures to improve the ethical content of their organization. (shrink)
As a response to Diane Vaughan’s controversial work on the NASA Challenger Disaster, this article opposes the conclusion that NASA’s decision to launch the space shuttle was an inevitable outcome of techno-bureaucratic culture and risky technology. Instead, the argument developed in this article is that NASA did not prioritize safety, both in their selection of shuttle-parts and their decision to launch under sub-optimal weather conditions. This article further suggests that the “mistake” language employed by Vaughan and others is inappropriate insofar (...) as it obscures the responsibility of individuals within the organization and trivializes the loss of life and severity of the disaster. Contra to the conclusions of Vaughan’s casework, this article reveals various ethical transgressions on the side of NASA and its affiliates; from its decision to use poorly designed O-rings, to withholding crucial engineering assessments from the shuttle-crew, this article points out that NASA did not succumb to a pre-destined fate, but, rather, created its own. (shrink)
The article is a detailed case study of theft and fraud by an employee in an organization. The analysis suggests that in the process of dealing with the employee, the issue was notprimarily one of ethics, but of two moral principles in conflict, compassion and concern for a fellow human being and the morality governing responses to betrayal. The latter governed the results because that morality was congruent with the predominant ethics of the organization concerned with preserving the authority structure (...) and integrity of the organization rather than the personal welfare of the individual in the organization. In sum, the paper argues that, based on this case, organizational behavior towards individual employees may be determined by individual morality that is reinforced by organizational ethical principles more concerned with the self interest of the organization than ethics per se. (shrink)
This paper presents an examination of communitarianism ethics and its emphasis on community and responsibility as an ethical base for public relations. It studies the importance businesses currently place on social responsibility, quality, and stewardship and how these core values fit within a communitarian approach. A communitarian foundation for public relations may enable organizations to respond to crises and other situations appropriately because of the sense of community public relations seeks to build.