This paper argues that the notion of value has been overly simplified and narrowed to focus on economic returns. Stakeholder theory provides an appropriate lens for considering a more complex perspective of the value that stakeholders seek as well as new ways to measure it. We develop a four-factor perspective for defining value that includes, but extends beyond, the economic value stakeholders seek. To highlight its distinctiveness, we compare this perspective to three other popular performance perspectives. Recommendations are made regarding (...) performance measurement for both academic researchers and practitioners. The stakeholder perspective on value offered in this paper draws attention to those factors that are most closely associated with building more value for stakeholders, and in so doing, allows academics to better measure it and enhances managerial ability to create it. (shrink)
Data science, and the related field of big data, is an emerging discipline involving the analysis of data to solve problems and develop insights. This rapidly growing domain promises many benefits to both consumers and businesses. However, the use of big data analytics can also introduce many ethical concerns, stemming from, for example, the possible loss of privacy or the harming of a sub-category of the population via a classification algorithm. To help address these potential ethical challenges, this paper maps (...) and describes the main ethical themes that were identified via systematic literature review. It then identifies a possible structure to integrate these themes within a data science project, thus helping to provide some structure in the on-going debate with respect to the possible ethical situations that can arise when using data science analytics. (shrink)
Richard Jeffrey's generalization of Bayes' rule of conditioning follows, within the theory of belief functions, from Dempster's rule of combination and the rule of minimal extension. Both Jeffrey's rule and the theory of belief functions can and should be construed constructively, rather than normatively or descriptively. The theory of belief functions gives a more thorough analysis of how beliefs might be constructed than Jeffrey's rule does. The inadequacy of Bayesian conditioning is much more general than Jeffrey's (...) examples of uncertain perception might suggest. The ``parameter α '' that Hartry Field has introduced into Jeffrey's rule corresponds to the "weight of evidence" of the theory of belief functions. (shrink)
A fundamental claim associated with parallel distributed processing theories of cognition is that knowledge is coded in a distributed manner in mind and brain. This approach rejects the claim that knowledge is coded in a localist fashion, with words, objects, and simple concepts, that is, coded with their own dedicated representations. One of the putative advantages of this approach is that the theories are biologically plausible. Indeed, advocates of the PDP approach often highlight the close parallels between distributed representations learned (...) in connectionist models and neural coding in brain and often dismiss localist theories as biologically implausible. The author reviews a range a data that strongly challenge this claim and shows that localist models provide a better account of single-cell recording studies. The author also contrast local and alternative distributed coding schemes and argues that common rejection of grandmother cell theories in neuroscience is due to a misunderstanding about how localist models behave. The author concludes that the localist representations embedded in theories of perception and cognition are consistent with neuroscience; biology only calls into question the distributed representations often learned in PDP models. (shrink)
Recent perspectives on community investments suggest that they are opportunities for firms to create value for shareholders and other stakeholders. However, many corporate managers are still influenced by a widely held belief that such investments erode profits and are therefore unjustifiable from an agency perspective. In this paper, we refine and test theory regarding countervailing forces that influence community-based firm performance. We hypothesize that high levels of available slack will be associated with higher community-based performance, but that this relationship will (...) be moderated by three important governance variables: board independence, investment fund ownership, and CEO ownership. We find support for our hypotheses in longitudinal study of a large sample of U.S. corporations. (shrink)
Stakeholder theory focuses on how more value is created if stakeholder relationships are governed by ethical principles such as integrity, respect, fairness, generosity and inclusiveness. However, it has not adequately addressed strategies that stakeholders perceive as harmful to their interests and how this perception can even lead some stakeholders to view the firm’s strategies as unethical. To fill the void, this paper directly addresses strategies that stakeholders perceive as harmful to their interests, or what we refer to as harmful stakeholder (...) strategies. Specifically, it identifies factors associated with stakeholder perceptions of harm that are likely to cause them to consider a strategy unethical, examines the negative implications for firms that pursue such strategies in terms of likely stakeholder responses and damage to stakeholder relationships, and provides theory to help explain how firms are likely to respond to stakeholder claims that a strategy is unethical, based on factors such as the strategic importance of the claim to the firm, how long the strategy has been in use, the costs of remediation, the risk of stakeholder mobilization or new regulation, and whether firms can reasonably rationalize their actions. Assessing harm allows a firm to make a more accurate estimate of the costs of a strategy and can assist managers in allocating resources intended to reduce or remediate harm. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of the Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000) mechanism approach to gaining an understanding of explanation in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that although the mechanism approach can capture many aspects of explanation in cognitive neuroscience, it cannot capture everything. In particular, it cannot completely capture all aspects of the content and significance of mental representations or the evaluative features constitutive of psychopathology.
This paper considers the problem of causal explanation in classical and statistical thermodynamics. It is argued that the irreversibility of macroscopic processes is explained in both formulations of thermodynamics in a teleological way that appeals to entropic or probabilistic consequences rather than to efficient-causal, antecedental conditions. This explanatory structure of thermodynamics is not taken to imply a teleological orientation to macroscopic processes themselves, but to reflect simply the epistemological limitations of this science, wherein consequences of heat-work asymmetries are either macroscopically (...) measurable (entropy) or calculable (probabilities), while efficient-causal relationships are obscure or indeterminable. (shrink)
The stakeholder perspective has provided a rich forum for a variety of debates at the intersection of business and society. Scholars gathered for two consecutive years, first in North America, and then in Europe, to discuss the major issues surrounding what has come to be known as stakeholder theory, to attempt to find common ground, and to uncover areas in need of further inquiry. Those meetings led to a list of “tensions” and a call for papers for this special issue (...) to help address them. In this article, we introduce the resulting articles and provide some brief commentary on their importance. We end with a few of our own observations about the stakeholder perspective and stakeholder research. (shrink)
Do firms respond to changes in economic growth by altering their corporate social responsibility programs? If they do respond, are their responses simply neglect of areas associated with corporate social performance or do they also cut back on positive programs such as profit sharing, public/private housing programs, or charitable contributions? In this paper, we argue that because CSP-related actions and programs tend to be discretionary, they are likely to receive less attention during tough economic times, a result of cost-cutting efforts. (...) However, the various CSP performance areas vary in terms of their resource requirements and their influence on financial performance, which suggests that firms may respond differently depending on area. Consequently, in addition to examining CSP concerns separately from positive actions and programs, we also examine the influence of economic growth across the five areas of diversity, employee relations, the environment, product quality/safety, and the community. Based on data from 837 firms over 15 years, our results suggest that firms neglect some areas associated with CSP during economic downturns, resulting in increased concerns about community and employee relations, product safety/quality, and the environment. However, this relationship does not apply to positive actions and programs. Instead, firms tend to increase their positive CSP programs in areas such as diversity, employee relations, and the environment during periods of slow economic growth and reduce them when the economy picks up. We offer potential explanations for our findings and discuss their importance to research on CSP. (shrink)
Entropy and information are both emerging as currencies of interdisciplinary dialogue, most recently in evolutionary theory. If this dialogue is to be fruitful, there must be general agreement about the meaning of these terms. That this is not presently the case owes principally to the supposition of many information theorists that information theory has succeeded in generalizing the entropy concept. The present paper will consider the merits of the generalization thesis, and make some suggestions for restricting both entropy and information (...) to specific arenas of discourse. (shrink)
Christine Korsgaard claims that an agent is less than fully rational if she allows some attitude to inform her deliberation even though she cannot justify doing so. I argue that there is a middle way, which Korsgaard misses, between the claim that our attitudes neither need nor admit of rational assessment, on the one hand, and Korsgaard's claim that the attitudes which inform our deliberation always require justification, on the other: an agent needs reasons to opt out of her concerns (...) – not reasons to opt into them or to stay in. As long as an agent has no good reason to abandon some concern of hers, she is reasonable to harbour it, and to allow it to inform her view of what reasons she has. A rational agent must therefore have the capacity to form higher-order attitudes toward her concerns; but rationality only requires that she exercise that capacity when she has some good reason to do so. (shrink)
John Dewey and Emile Durkheim are philosophical giants in the field of moral education. This paper compares and contrasts their respective visions for moral education and contextualizes the comparison in the profound intellectual and social changes modernity was casting throughout the world. They were transitional figures that attempted to make education responsive to those novel conditions and forces. Toward this end, Dewey and Durkheim, though they differed in key areas, articulated the moral sources and authority on which their respective visions (...) for education depended. In as much as the contemporary discourse on moral education lacks this articulation, there is much to be learned from examining their work. Though the current cultural context differs from that of Dewey and Durkheim, their approach to addressing these questions can inform our task in the present. (shrink)
The Securities and Exchange Commission requires publicly held US corporations to disclose all information, whether it is positive or negative, that might be relevant to an investor's decision to buy, sell, or hold a company's securities. The decisions made by corporate managers to disclose such information can significantly affect the judgments and decisions of investors. This paper examines academic accounting research on corporate managers' voluntary disclosures of earnings forecasts and non-GAAP earnings measures. Much of the evidence from this research indicates (...) that some managers engage in opportunistic disclosure behavior that often benefits one group (managers and shareholders) at the expense of other groups (often other investors). The paper concludes by discussing the ethical implications of this behavior. (shrink)
Short-term performance increases that are sometimes observed after CEO successions may be evidence of self-interested behavior. New CEOs may cut allocations to long-term investment areas such as research and development (R&D), capital equipment and pension funds in an effort to drive up short-term profits and secure their positions. However, such actions have unfavorable consequences for some stakeholders. This study provides evidence that both R&D and pension funding are reduced subsequent to a succession, even after accounting for industry trends. The expected (...) short-term profitability increases are also observed.A major implication of these results is that boards of directors and other interested parties should carefully monitor the actions of new CEOs with regard to their treatment of R&D and pension funding if they would like to prevent such actions from occurring. This study also highlights the need to investigate other potential self-interested behaviors of new CEOs. (shrink)
This study modelled associations between gender, ruminative cognitive style, alcohol use, and the time course of negative affect over the course of 43,111 random assessments in the natural environment. Participants completed 49 days of experience sampling over 1.3 years. The data indicated that rumination at baseline was positively associated with alcohol dependence symptoms at baseline as well as higher negative affect over the course of the study. Consistent with negative reinforcement models, drinking served to decrease the persistence of negative affect (...) from moment to moment. However, this ameliorative effect of drinking was evident only among women, suggesting an increased risk for negative reinforcement driven drinking behaviour. In addition, rumination appeared to counteract the desired effects of alcohol on mood among women. This suggests that women who ruminate more may be motivated to consume larger amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effects. Overall, the results indicate that ruminative cognitive style and the persistence of negative affect from moment to moment may reflect an individual vulnerability for the development of alcohol use disorder especially among women. (shrink)
Oaksford & Chater (O&C) begin in the halfway Bayesian house of assuming that minor premises in conditional inferences are certain. We demonstrate that this assumption is a serious limitation. They additionally suggest that appealing to Jeffrey's rule could make their approach more general. We present evidence that this rule is not limited enough to account for actual probability judgements.
How should the Bible be used in Christian ethics? Although this question has been addressed many times, little attention has gone to how the Bible actually has functioned in constructing theological ethics. In this book, Siker describes and analyzes the Bible's various uses in the theology and ethics of eight of the twentieth century's most important and influential Christian theologians: Reinhold Niebuhr, H. Richard Niebuhr, Bernhard Haring, Paul Ramsey, Stanley Hauerwas, Gustavo Gutierrez, James Cone, and Rosemary Radford Ruether. In approaching (...) each author, Siker organizes his study around five related questions. First, which biblical texts does each author in fact use, and, second, in what ways do they use these texts? How does each envision the authority of the Bible? What kind of hermeneutic does the author employ? Finally, what has each author's particular approach to the Bible yielded in terms of Christian Ethics, or, in other words, what are the practical results? Siker ends each chapter with a critical evaluation of the various problems and prospects for the author's use of Scripture, and concludes the study with a comparison and contrast of all the authors' respective appropriations of the Sermon on the Mount. (shrink)
Thucydides' and Herodotus' comments on a portentous (and unique) Delian earthquake contain the same phrase, but date the event almost 60 years apart and mutually rule out each other's datings. Two additional problems in these passages point to an explanation for the historians' treatment. They are based on the Delphic oracle quoted by Herodotus which promised to , a paradox based on the island's mythical transition from floating to fixed (Pindar), but liable to confusion with its equally well-known aseismicity. Normally (...) meant (1.1). (shrink)
CRS(fc) denotes the variety of commutative residuated semilattice-ordered monoids that satisfy (x ⋀ e)k ≤ (x ⋀ e)k+1. A structural characterization of the subdi-rectly irreducible members of CRS(k) is proved, and is then used to provide a constructive approach to the axiomatization of varieties generated by positive universal subclasses of CRS(k).
We present a general framework for representing belief-revision rules and use it to characterize Bayes's rule as a classical example and Jeffrey's rule as a non-classical one. In Jeffrey's rule, the input to a belief revision is not simply the information that some event has occurred, as in Bayes's rule, but a new assignment of probabilities to some events. Despite their differences, Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules can be characterized in terms of the same axioms: "responsiveness", which requires (...) that revised beliefs incorporate what has been learnt, and "conservativeness", which requires that beliefs on which the learnt input is "silent" do not change. To illustrate the use of non-Bayesian belief revision in economic theory, we sketch a simple decision-theoretic application. (shrink)