The purpose of this paper is to draw out and make explicit the assumptions made in the treatment of technology within business ethics. Drawing on the work of Freeman (1994, 2000) on the assumed separation between business and ethics, we propose a similar separation exists in the current analysis of technology and ethics. After first identifying and describing the separation thesis assumed in the analysis of technology, we will explore how this assumption manifests itself in the current literature. A different (...) stream of analysis, that of science and technology studies (STS), provides a starting point in understanding the interconnectedness of technology and society. As we will demonstrate, business ethicists are uniquely positioned to analyze the relationship between business, technology, and society. The implications of a more complex and rich definition of lsquotechnologyrsquo ripple through the analysis of business ethics. Finally, we propose a pragmatic approach to understanding technology and explore the implications of such an approach to technology. This new approach captures the broader understanding of technology advocated by those in STS and allows business ethicists to analyze a broader array of dilemmas and decisions. (shrink)
A growing body of theory has focused on privacy as being contextually defined, where individuals have highly particularized judgments about the appropriateness of what, why, how, and to whom information flows within a specific context. Such a social contract understanding of privacy could produce more practical guidance for organizations and managers who have employees, users, and future customers all with possibly different conceptions of privacy across contexts. However, this theoretical suggestion, while intuitively appealing, has not been empirically examined. This study (...) validates a social contract approach to privacy by examining whether and how privacy norms vary across communities and contractors. The findings from this theoretical examination support the use of contractual business ethics to understand privacy in research and in practice. As predicted, insiders to a community had significantly different understandings of privacy norms as compared to outsiders. In addition, all respondents held different privacy norms across hypothetical contexts, thereby suggesting privacy norms are contextually understood within a particular community of individuals. The findings support two conclusions. First, individuals hold different privacy norms without necessarily having diminished expectations of privacy. Individuals differed on the factors they considered important in calculating privacy expectations, yet all groups had robust privacy expectations across contexts. Second, outsiders have difficulty in understanding the privacy norms of a particular community. For managers and scholars, this renders privacy expectations more difficult to identify at a distance or in deductive research. The findings speak directly to the needs of organizations to manage a diverse set of privacy issues across stakeholder groups. (shrink)
Within Science and Technology Studies, much work has been accomplished to identify the moral importance of technology in order to clarify the influence of scientists, technologists, and managers. However, similar studies within business ethics have not kept pace with the nuanced and contextualized study of technology within Science and Technology Studies. In this article, I analyze current arguments within business ethics as limiting both the moral importance of technology and the influence of managers. As I argue, such assumptions serve to (...) narrow the scope of business ethics in the examination of technology. To reinforce the practical implications of these assumptions and to further illustrated the current arguments, I leverage the recent dialog around U.S. Internet technologies in China. The goal of this article is to broaden that which is morally salient and relevant to business managers and business ethicists in the analysis of technology by highlighting key lessons from seminal STS scholars. This article should be viewed as part of a nascent yet burgeoning dialog between business ethics and Science and Technology Studies - a dialog that benefits both fields of study. (shrink)
Plagiarism is increasingly evident in business and academia. Though links between demographic, personality, and situational factors have been found, previous research has not used actual plagiarism behavior as a criterion variable. Previous research on academic dishonesty has consistently used self-report measures to establish prevalence of dishonest behavior. In this study we use actual plagiarism behavior to establish its prevalence, as well as relationships between integrity-related personal selection and workplace deviance measures. This research covers new ground in two respects: (a) That (...) the academic dishonesty literature is subject to revision using criterion variables to avoid self bias and social desirability issues and (b) we establish the relationship between actual academic dishonesty and potential workplace deviance/white-collar crime. (shrink)
Credibility is particularly important in organic food systems because there are only marginal visual and sensorial differences between organic and conventionally produced products, requiring consumers to trust in producers’ quality claims. In this article I explore what challenges the credibility of organic food systems and I explore how credibility of organic food systems can be maintained, using the Danish organic food system as a case study. The question is increasingly relevant as the sale of organic food is growing in Denmark (...) as well as globally, and consumers’ expectations of organics continuously evolve. The inquiry is threefold, first I outline a conceptual framework for understanding trust and credibility in the food system, secondly I explore the developments in Danish organic food systems and thirdly discuss the challenges and opportunities for maintaining trust in the Danish organic food system. In the analysis I indicate eight key challenges: unrealistic expectations, blind trust and little motivation for extending their knowledge, consumers assess the overall credibility of organic products, ambitious ethical principles, new consumer groups introduce new expectations, frozen requirements in a changing world, growing imports and labelling and multiple versions of organics and the diversity is growing, as well as four aspects which may maintain the credibility of organics if implemented: coordinate expectations, communicate requested information, institutional reform and open communication of pros and cons of organic production. (shrink)
_Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics and the Aims of Education_ reassesses British philosopher Richard Stanley Peters’ educational writings by examining them against the most recent developments in philosophy and practice. Critically reassesses R. S. Peters, a philosopher who had a profound influence on a generation of educationalists Brings clarity to a number of key educational questions Exposes mainstream, orthodox arguments to sympathetic critical scrutiny.
This introduction to this special issue offers an overview of R. S. Peters' seminal role in the development of modern philosophy of education, acknowledging the originality and range of his work, and indicating his continuing importance to the field. It explains the structure and organisation of the collection and provides a rationale for this body of work as a rereading of Peters in the light of current concerns.
Our species is misnamed. Though sapiens defines human beings as "wise" what humans do especially well is to prospect the future. We are homo prospectus. In this book, Martin E. P. Seligman, Peter Railton, Roy F. Baumeister, and Chandra Sripada argue it is anticipating and evaluating future possibilities for the guidance of thought and action that is the cornerstone of human success. Much of the history of psychology has been dominated by a framework in which people's behavior is driven (...) by past history and present circumstances. Homo Prospectus reassesses this idea, pushing focus to the future front and center and opening discussion of a new field of Psychology and Neuroscience.The authors delve into four modes in which prospection operates: the implicit mind, deliberate thought, mind-wandering, and collective imagination. They then explore prospection's role in some of life's most enduring questions: Why do people think about the future? Do we have free will? What is the nature of intuition, and how might it function in ethics? How does emotion function in human psychology? Is there a common causal process in different psychopathologies? Does our creativity change with age?In this remarkable convergence of research in philosophy, statistics, decision theory, psychology, and neuroscience, Homo Prospectus shows how human prospection fundamentally reshapes our understanding of key cognitive processes, thereby improving individual and social functioning. It aims to galvanize interest in this new science from scholars in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, as well as an educated public curious about what makes humanity what it is. (shrink)
Algorithms silently structure our lives. Algorithms can determine whether someone is hired, promoted, offered a loan, or provided housing as well as determine which political ads and news articles consumers see. Yet, the responsibility for algorithms in these important decisions is not clear. This article identifies whether developers have a responsibility for their algorithms later in use, what those firms are responsible for, and the normative grounding for that responsibility. I conceptualize algorithms as value-laden, rather than neutral, in that algorithms (...) create moral consequences, reinforce or undercut ethical principles, and enable or diminish stakeholder rights and dignity. In addition, algorithms are an important actor in ethical decisions and influence the delegation of roles and responsibilities within these decisions. As such, firms should be responsible not only for the value-laden-ness of an algorithm but also for designing who-does-what within the algorithmic decision. As such, firms developing algorithms are accountable for designing how large a role individual will be permitted to take in the subsequent algorithmic decision. Counter to current arguments, I find that if an algorithm is designed to preclude individuals from taking responsibility within a decision, then the designer of the algorithm should be held accountable for the ethical implications of the algorithm in use. (shrink)
Farmers are key actors in the transition towards sustainable agricultural practices. Therefore, it is important to understand farmers’ motivations to encourage lasting change. This study investigated how farmers from the two different social contexts of the northeast US and Denmark perceive sustainability. Twenty farmers constructed Fuzzy Cognitive Maps to model their practices and perceived outcomes. The maps were analyzed using social capital as an analytical framework. The results showed that sustainability perceptions differed between US and Danish farmers. Specifically, Danish farmers (...) focused mainly on environmental sustainability while US farmers distributed their focus more evenly across environmental, social, and economic factors. Further, US and Danish farmers had different notions of community engagement. US farmers emphasized the importance of interdependence with their non-farmer community members, where farmers contributed to the wellbeing and livelihoods of non-farmers and vice versa. For Danish farmers, the importance of community engagement lay mainly in localizing food systems, the public image of farming, and the cultural value of farms. Differences in the dominant types of social capital can explain this pattern. We argue that understanding social capital and primary level of influence can lead to more effective and efficient policies. (shrink)
A mainstay of stakeholder management is the belief that firms create value when they invest more time, money, and attention to stakeholders than is necessary for the immediate transaction. This tendency to repeat interactions with the same set of stakeholders fosters what we call stakeholder friction. Stakeholder friction is a term for the collection of social, legal, and economic forces leading firms to prioritize and reinvest in current stakeholders. For many stakeholder scholars, such friction is close to universally beneficial, but (...) the associated costs—to both the firm and legitimate stakeholders—have been underspecified. Failure to account for the effects of stakeholder friction can cause managers to under-allocate attention and value to some legitimate stakeholders and to over-allocate attention and value to current stakeholders. We examine the concept of stakeholder friction and elaborate on three exemplar sources of friction prominent in the stakeholder literature. This is followed by an analysis of investments in stakeholder relationships and a consideration of the implications of stakeholder friction on the ability of firms to prioritize stakeholders. The tendency to reinvest in current stakeholders has, in addition to the oft-discussed benefits, a predictable downside. (shrink)
ObjectiveIn this study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether motor imagery of handwriting and circle drawing activates a similar handwriting network as writing and drawing itself.MethodsEighteen healthy right-handed participants wrote the German word “Wellen” and drew continuously circles in a sitting and lying position to capture kinematic handwriting parameters such as velocity, pressure and regularity of hand movements. Afterward, they performed the same tasks during fMRI in a MI and an executed condition.ResultsThe kinematic analysis revealed a general (...) correlation of handwriting parameters during sitting and lying except of pen pressure during drawing. Writing compared to imagined writing was accompanied by an increased activity of the ipsilateral cerebellum and the contralateral sensorimotor cortex. Executed compared to imagined drawing revealed elevated activity of a fronto–parieto-temporal network. By contrasting writing and drawing directly, executed writing induced an enhanced activation of the left somatosensory and premotor area. The comparison of the MI of these tasks revealed a higher involvement of occipital activation during imagined writing.ConclusionThe kinematic results pointed to a high comparability of writing in a vertical and horizontal position. Overall, we observed highly overlapping cortical activity except of a higher involvement of motor control areas during motor execution. The sparse difference between writing and drawing can be explained by highly automatized writing in healthy individuals. (shrink)
This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
Recent scholarship in philosophy, law, and information systems suggests that respecting privacy entails understanding the implicit privacy norms about what, why, and to whom information is shared within specific relationships. These social contracts are important to understand if firms are to adequately manage the privacy expectations of stakeholders. This paper explores a social contract approach to developing, acknowledging, and protecting privacy norms within specific contexts. While privacy as a social contract—a mutually beneficial agreement within a community about sharing and using (...) information—has been introduced theoretically and empirically, the full impact on firms of an alternative framework to respecting the privacy expectations of stakeholders has not been examined. The goal of this paper is to examine how privacy norms develop through social contract’s narrative, to redescribe privacy violations given the social contract approach, and to critically examine the role of business as a contractor in developing privacy norms. A social contract narrative dealing specifically with issues of privacy is an important next step in exploring a social contract approach to privacy. Here, the narrative is used to explain to analyze the dynamic process of privacy norm generation within particular communities. Based on this narrative, individuals within a given community discriminately share information with a particular set of obligations in mind as to who has access to the information and how it will be used. Rather than giving away privacy, individuals discriminately share information within a particular community and with norms governing the use of their information. Similar to contractual business ethics’ impact on global commerce in explaining how and why norms vary across global contexts, the social contract approach to privacy explains how and why norms vary across communities of actors. Focusing on agreements around privacy expectations shifts the responsibility of firms from adequate notification to the responsibility of firms as contractors to maintain a mutually beneficial and sustainable solution. (shrink)
This study examined the role of reflection on personal cases for making ethical decisions with regard to new ethical problems. Participants assumed the position of a business manager in a hypothetical organization and solved ethical problems that might be encountered. Prior to making a decision for the business problems, participants reflected on a relevant ethical experience. The findings revealed that application of material garnered from reflection on a personal experience was associated with decisions of higher ethicality. However, whether the case (...) was viewed as positive or negative, and whether the outcomes, processes, or outcomes and processes embedded in the experience were examined, influenced the application of case material to the new problem. As expected, examining positive experiences and the processes involved in those positive experiences resulted in greater application of case material to new problems. Future directions and implications for understanding ethical decision making are discussed. (shrink)
Theories in the behavioral sciences are constrained so that stated relationships are empirically testable and explanations have predictive power. These constraints constitute the classical paradigm, and are trivial just when ?causal relationships? do not hold. It appears that such relationships do not hold for linguistic, and presumably other, behaviors, thus precluding study within the classical paradigm. This compels study of those behaviors in terms of the non?traditional approach to testability and explanation developed in Chomskyan linguistics. These constitute the grammatical paradigm. (...) The existence of two paradigms requires that any inquiry begin by determining which paradigm is appropriate. (shrink)
In this article, we will outline the principles of stakeholder capitalism and describe how this view rejects problematic assumptions in the current narratives of capitalism. Traditional narratives of capitalism rely upon the assumptions of competition, limited resources, and a winner-take-all mentality as fundamental to business and economic activity. These approaches leave little room for ethical analysis, have a simplistic view of human beings, and focus on value-capture rather than value-creation. We argue these assumptions about capitalism are inadequate and leave four (...) problems in their wake. We wish to reframe the narrative of capitalism around the reinforcing concepts of stakeholders coupled with value creation and trade. If we think about how a society can sustain a system of voluntary value creation and trade, then capitalism can once more become a useful concept. (shrink)
While the ethics of technology is analyzed across disciplines from science and technology studies, engineering, computer science, critical management studies, and law, less attention is paid to the role that firms and managers play in the design, development, and dissemination of technology across communities and within their firm. Although firms play an important role in the development of technology, and make associated value judgments around its use, it remains open how we should understand the contours of what firms owe society (...) as the rate of technological development accelerates. We focus here on digital technologies: devices that rely on rapidly accelerating digital sensing, storage, and transmission capabilities to intervene in human processes. This symposium focuses on how firms should engage ethical choices in developing and deploying these technologies. In this introduction, we, first, identify themes the symposium articles share and discuss how the set of articles illuminate diverse facets of the intersection of technology and business ethics. Second, we use these themes to explore what business ethics offers to the study of technology and, third, what technology studies offers to the field of business ethics. Each field brings expertise that, together, improves our understanding of the ethical implications of technology. Finally we introduce each of the five papers, suggest future research directions, and interpret their implications for business ethics. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:The oft-cited privacy paradox is the perceived disconnect between individuals’ stated privacy expectations, as captured in surveys, and consumer market behavior in going online: individuals purport to value privacy yet still disclose information to firms. The goal of this paper is to empirically examine the conceptualization of privacy postdisclosure assumed in the privacy paradox. Contrary to the privacy paradox, the results here suggest consumers retain strong privacy expectations even after disclosing information. Privacy violations are valued akin to security violations in (...) creating distrust in firms and in consumer willingness to engage with firms. This paper broadens the scope of corporate responsibility to suggest firms have a positive obligation to identify reasonable expectations of privacy of consumers. In addition, research perpetuating the privacy paradox, through the mistaken framing of disclosure as proof of anti-privacy behavior, gives license to firms to act contrary to the interests of consumers. (shrink)
Video ethics in educational research involving children is a recent topic that has arisen since the increase in the use of visual mediums in research especially with the development of new and ubiquitous internet technologies and social media. This paper emerged as an expressed concerned by a group of scholars associated with the new Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy that was established in 2016. The paper is the result of a collective writing process over a period of a few (...) months that discusses visual studies in education and visual ethics in relation to qualitative research in education, and as it applies to children. The article also uses the newly established convention of open review, publishing the results with the paper. (shrink)
Employee monitoring has raised concerns from all areas of society - business organizations, employee interest groups, privacy advocates, civil libertarians, lawyers, professional ethicists, and every combination possible. Each advocate has its own rationale for or against employee monitoring whether it be economic, legal, or ethical. However, no matter what the form of reasoning, seven key arguments emerge from the pool of analysis. These arguments have been used equally from all sides of the debate. The purpose of this paper is to (...) examine the seven key arguments that have been made with respect to employee monitoring. None of these arguments is conclusive and each calls for managerial and moral consideration. We conclude that a more comprehensive inquiry with ethical concern at the center is necessary to make further progress on understanding the complexity of employee monitoring. The final section of this paper sketches out how such an inquiry would proceed. (shrink)
Public trust in business, defined as the degree to which the public—meaning society at large—trusts business in general, is largely understudied. This article suggests four domains of existing trust research from which scholars of public trust in business can draw. The authors then propose four main hypotheses, which aim to predict the determinants of public trust, and test these hypotheses using a factorial vignette methodology. These results will provide scholars with more direction as this article is, to the authors’ knowledge, (...) one of the first empirical studies of public trust. Furthermore, the study will enable those companies interested in increasing public trust to understand better respective determinants of public trust. (shrink)