This article develops and applies a knowledge-based framework for understanding and interpreting executive compensation under the rubric of ethical consideration. This framework classifies six major ethical considerations that reflect issues in compensation design. We emphasize that these six ethical considerations are influenced by liberty and equality concepts. This framework helps to highlight areas where executive compensation has not been well spelled out.
Financial and cost accounting information is processed by decision-makers guided by their particular need to support decisions. Recent technological advances impacting on information as well as organizations such as the European Community mandating financial reporting requirements for many countries is rapidly changing the landscape for decision making using accounting information. Hence, the importance of individuals'' decision making is more important than it was previously. These decisions are also influenced by individuals'' ethical beliefs. The Throughput Modeling approach to cultural and ethical (...) concerns provides a way of dealing with accounting information processed through various pathways by decision-makers. This modeling approach captures different philosophical perspectives from which to understand what is involved in "thinking scientifically." In the Throughput Modeling approach, pathways highlight the importance of how different philosophical perspectives may be used by individuals in arriving at a decision. This paper highlights key concepts involved in rethinking the basis of moral decision making in terms of an underlying process, rather than focusing on the application of principles or the development of a virtuous character. Examples are provided from both English and Spanish settings to help emphasize the importance of modeling ethical decision making globally. (shrink)
Previous empirical research has found mixed results for the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) investments on corporate financial performance (CFP). This paper contributes to the literature by exploring in a two stage investor decision-making model the relationship between a firm’s innovation effort, CSR, and financial performance. We simultaneously examine the impact of CSR on both accounting-based (financial health) and market-based (Tobin’s Q) financial performance measures. From a sample of top corporate citizens, we find that: (1) a firm’s social responsibility (...) commitment (CSR) contributes to its financial performance; (2) after controlling for investment in innovation activities, CSR continues to have a positive impact on a firm’s financial performance; (3) the customer dimension of CSR has a positive effect on both CFP measures, whereas the employee dimension indicates a significant impact only on financial heath; and (4) the community relation dimension of CSR only affects the market-based CFP measure of firms with high innovation intensity. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence has dramatically changed the way organizations communicate, understand, and interact with their potential consumers. In the context of this trend, the ethical considerations of advertising when applying AI should be the core question for marketers. This paper discusses six dominant algorithmic purchase decision pathways that align with ethical philosophies for online customers when buying a product/goods. The six ethical positions include: ethical egoism, deontology, relativist, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and ethics of care. Furthermore, this paper launches an “intelligent advertising” (...) AI theme by examining its present and future as well as identifying the key phases of intelligent advertising. Several research questions are offered to guide future research on intelligent advertising to benefit ethical AI decision-making. Finally, several areas that can be widely applied to ethical intelligent advertising are suggested for future research. (shrink)
The recent frauds in organizations have been a point for reflection among researchers and practitioners regarding the lack of morality in certain decision-making. We argue for a modification of decision-making models that has been accepted in organizations with stronger links with ethics and morality. With this aim we propose a return to the base value of Christianity, supported by Bible scriptures, underlying six dominant ethical approaches that drive practices in organizations.
The role of trust pathways in achieving a competitive advantage is becoming increasingly important for effective ethical consideration policies in all business and non-business sectors. This paper argues that there are three primary trust pathways of rational choice, rule-based trust, and category-based trust that underscore the basis of trust relationships. The implementation of these primary trust pathways is strongly influenced by expertise level, incomplete information, rapidly shifting environments, and/or time-pressure. The refinement of the interaction of information exchange and framing of (...) problems can produce three secondary higher-level trust pathways of third party-based trust, role-based trust, and knowledge-based trust. These six different trust pathways that guide ethical consideration issues are discussed with a Throughput Modeling theoretical approach. (shrink)
Moral Seduction Theory suggests that auditors are morally compromised by the perceived consequences of their opinions. The root of the auditing problem appears to result in an unintentional bias rather than in dishonesty. Although important accounting reforms have been taken to deal with auditors' trustworthiness, their lack of independence has not been adequately addressed. The new regulation (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) is a consequence of an incorrect understanding of the main true source of auditor's biases. We have developed a cognitive approach by (...) connecting the Throughput Model (TM) to the Moral Seduction Theory. This approach allows a better understanding of how conflicts of interest lead auditors to avoid the issuance of warning signals to stakeholders. We have tested our model by conducting a hypothetical scenario with eighty experienced auditors from international accounting firms. Our results confirm auditors' unintentional reluctance to issue qualified audit opinions alerting investors due to their fear of precipitating clients' final bankruptcy. The main implication is that, more than a regulation, effort should be made in monitoring those conflicts of interest to reduce unintentional bias. (shrink)
Several critics have reopened the continuing debate regarding the credibility of the auditing profession in part because of auditors' reluctance to issue warning signals to investors. At the root of auditors' lack of independence issues are conflicts of interest resulting from the structural features of auditor-client relationship. The Throughput Model is advanced to illustrate how ethical issues may be influenced by conflicts of interest. In the first stage, the TP provides an isolation of auditors' ethical positions from six ethical different (...) perspectives. In the second stage, previous TP theory is built upon by arguing a simultaneous analysis of how conflicts of interests may induce auditors' behavior. We conclude that in the current low litigation risk environment, auditors' ethical behavior is clearly ' unbalanced' favoring the reluctance to issue warning signals. Finally, we offer a discussion of potential solutions to improve ethical issues. (shrink)
All kinds of fraud are costly for the people engrossed both financially and often in terms of the time needed to clear their name when illegal use has been made of their personal details. The relationship among ethics, internal control, and fraud is important in the understanding of corporate social responsibility. This article uses an Ethical Process Throughput Model embedded in the Fraud triangle in order to better understand the interconnectedness of ethical positions and internal control systems that handle fraudulent (...) situations. Ethical positions are utilized to underscore how ethical behavioral control systems can be appropriately applied, which can provide unparalleled security, enhanced convenience, heightened accountability, better fraud detection and is very effective in depressing fraud, thereby improving CSR among organizations. (shrink)
We examined whether auditors' attitude to the evidence may be driven by their perception of the self-fulfilling prophecy effect. Following previous research on motivated reasoning, we assumed that the self-fulfilling prophecy effect could be interpreted as a potential motivational/incentive factor supporting auditor's reluctance to release going concern opinions. We contribute to the literature by demonstrating in a laboratory experiment that auditors' perceptions of the self-fulfilling prophecy effect can bias their professional judgment. To this extend, the Hogarth and Einhorn's belief-adjustment model (...) was employed in order to estimate auditors' attitudes in regards to both aggravating and mitigating evidence. Our results indicate that the fear of provoking the self-fulfilling prophecy creates a directional goal which leads auditors to process the audit evidence in a manner more likely to yield the desired conclusion. Auditors' motivated by the fear of causing the self-fulfilling prophecy effect offered a greater sensitivity to the positive evidence and, at the same time, a lower tendency to favor negative evidence. We also provide a discussion of the implications of our results for both regulators and the auditing profession. (shrink)