This research focuses on the similarities and differences in the cognitive moral development of business professionals and graduate business students in two countries, India and the United States. Factors that potentially influence cognitive moral development, namely, culture, education, sex and gender are analyzed and discussed. Implications for ethics education in graduate business schools and professional associations are considered. Future research on the cognitive moral development of graduate business students and business professionals is recommended.
The speed and degree to which e- commerce is infiltrating the very fabric of our society, faster and more pervasively than any other entity in history, makes an examination of its ethical dimensions critical. Though ethical lag has heretofore hindered ourexplorations of e- commerce ethics, it is now time to identify and confront them. In this paper we define e- commerce and describe thecharacteristics that set it apart from traditional brick and-mortar business. We then examine the ethical foundation of e- (...) commerce, focusing on the question, “Is there a special e- commerce ethics?” Our answer is “no.” We support our answer by showing that the current issues in e- commerce ethics and brick-and-mortar business are fundamentally the same, but that e- commerce issues have different manifestations and scope. We then demonstrate that ethical principles and rules in e- commerce and brick-and-mortar business are fundamentally the same, but have different manifestations at the most specific level. We elucidate this point by discussing the use of personal information and the opt-in, opt-out debate. We conclude with a call for research on trust, a key value in the success of e- commerce. (shrink)
This study constitutes a contribution to the discussion about moral reasoning in business. Kohlberg’s (1971, in Cognitive Development and Epistemology (Academic Press, New York), 1976, in Moral Development and Behavior: Theory and Research and Social Issues (Holt, Rienhart and Winston, New York)) cognitive moral development (CMD) theory is one explanation of moral reasoning. One unresolved debate on the topic of CMD is the charge that Kohlbergian-type CMD theory is gender biased. This research puts forth the proposal that the issue may (...) be elucidated by exposing an ambiguity in “gender” (Borna and White: 2003, Journal of Business Ethics 47, 89–99; Gentile: 1993, Psychological Science 4(2), 120–122; Unger: 1979, American Psychologist 34(11), 1085–1094). We use the Sociomoral Reflective Objective Measure (SROM) to measure CMD and the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) to measure gender as a psychosocial concept, rather than as a biological classification. The results of our study indicate that high femininity, measured as a psychosocial attribute, is associated with significantly lower Kohlbergian-type CMD scores among business practitioners. Sex moderates the effect of gender on CMD, but only indirectly. Our research also reveals that education plays a significant moderating role in the relationship between gender and moral reasoning. In addition, age has a significant direct effect on CMD scores of business practitioners. (shrink)
In determining when sexual behavior in the workplace creates a hostile working environment, some courts have asked, Would a reasonableperson view this as a hostile environment? Two recent court decisions, recognizing male-female differences in the perception of social sexual behavior at work, modified this standard to ask, Would a reasonablevictim view this as a hostile environment? As yet, there is no consensus in the legal community regarding which of these standards is just.We propose that moral theory provides the framework from (...) which business people can construct just procedures regarding sexually hostile environments. We argue that the natural duty of mutual respect of persons and the natural duty not to harm the innocent compels business people to identify sexually hostile work environments from the perspective of the reasonable victim, usually from the woman's perspective. (shrink)
Trust is a key concept in business, particularly in electronic commerce. In order to understand online trust, one must first study trust research conducted in the offline world. The findings of such studies, dating from the 1950’s to the present, provide a foundation for online trust theory in e‐commerce. This paper provides an overview of the existing trust literature from the fields of philosophy, psychology, sociology, management, and marketing. Based on these bodies of work, online trust is briefly explored. The (...) range of topics for future research in online trust in e‐commerce is presented. (shrink)
The purpose of this panel is to engage an increasingly multidisciplinary audience in a developing conversation about the relationship between business and peace. Topics covered will include an overview of existing scholarship; an examination the connection between stakeholder thinking and a more robust understanding of the firm; an inquiry into workplaces, work, and workers; and an exploration of the multifaceted role of technology. Our goal is to provoke further discussion of these topics and others to become part of the ongoing (...) conversation and newly developing body of scholarship. (shrink)
The paper describes the development of a model for representing the ethical climate of a business community. It describes the steps followed in identifying the model’s components and in validating the model’s structure through use of expert panels. The expert panel validation methodology has yielded a weighting scheme for use in the model’s eventual operationalization, whose derivation, together with the analysis performed on qualitative discoveries of the process, is described. The model’s development is part of a larger research project that (...) is intended to result in a validated instrument for measuring and comparing ethical climates of different business communities and for assessing longitudinal progress of individual business communities. The project’s ultimate goal is to provide an index measure that can also serve as a “report card” assessment tool at a level of analysis, which has not yet been addressed in the literature – that of the business community. (shrink)
Prior stock repurchase studies have found evidence that the announcement of a repurchase program sends a positive signal to the market. Firms engaging in open-market repurchase programs do not have to report how, when, and if they actually repurchased any shares. Evidence following the stock market crash of 1987 indicates that many firms announcing repurchase plans did not actually repurchase any share and, by their own admission, had no intention of repurchasing shares. Companies announcing plans and not following through are (...) apparently within the letter of the law. However, we argue that companies announcing plans with no intention of repurchasing shares are guilty of either lying or sending false signals. These companies create distrust in the investment community and intentionally mislead the public in violation of the SEC's antifraud provisions. Changes in the reporting procedures concerning repurchase plans are ethically and legally warranted. (shrink)
A framework is given for the discussion of blogs as a form of online business protests against objectionable labor practices. Blogs are described and analyzed regarding responsibility and effectiveness. Future research on the morality and effectiveness of blogs and other types of online business protests is detailed.