Individuals'' moral judgments of certain business practices and their decisions to engage in those practices are influenced by their personal moral philosophies: (a) situationists advocate striving for the best consequences possible irrespective of moral maxims; (b) subjectivists reject moral guidelines and base judgments on personal values and practical concerns; (c) absolutists assume that actions are moral, provided they yield positive consequences and conform to moral rules; (d) exceptionists prefer to follow moral dictates but allow for exceptions for practical reasons. These (...) variations, which are based on two fundamental dimensions (concern for principles and concern for promoting human welfare) influence a variety of moral processes and have implications for ethical debates over business practices. (shrink)
Ethics position theory (EPT) maintains that individuals’ personal moral philosophies influence their judgments, actions, and emotions in ethically intense situations. The theory, when describing these moral viewpoints, stresses two dimensions: idealism (concern for benign outcomes) and relativism (skepticism with regards to inviolate moral principles). Variations in idealism and relativism across countries were examined via a meta-analysis of studies that assessed these two aspects of moral thought using the ethics position questionnaire (EPQ; Forsyth, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology39, 175–184, 1980). (...) This review identified 139 samples drawn from 29 different countries, for a total sample of 30,230 respondents, and concluded that (a) levels of idealism and relativism vary across regions of the world in predictable ways; (b) an exceptionist ethic is more common in Western countries, subjectivism and situationism in Eastern countries, and absolutism and situationism in Middle Eastern countries; and (c) a nation’s ethics position predicted that country’s location on previously documented cultural dimensions, such as individualism and avoidance of uncertainty (Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, 1980). Limitations in these methods and concerns about the validity of these cross-cultural conclusions are noted, as are suggestions for further research using the EPQ. (shrink)
Does joining groups trigger a cascade of psychological processes that can result in a loss of individuality and lead to such outcomes as social loafing and poor decision-making? Rather than privileging the self comprising primarily individual qualities as the “true self,” a multilevel, multicomponent approach suggests that, in most cases, personal and collective identities are integrated and mutually sustaining.