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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 33, Issue 2/3, Summer 2014

Manisha Singal, Richard E. Wokutch, Yaniv Poria, Michelle C. Hong
Pages 211-252
DOI: 10.5840/bpej201412115

Ethical Decision-making in Extreme Operating Environments
Kew Garden Principles and Strategic CSR in Three Service Industry Cases

The business landscape today is characterized by looming global challenges like natural disasters, war, and industrial accidents throughout the world. However, there is limited research on describing how businesses operate and cope in extreme environments and whether principles of ethical decision-making can be used as guidelines in such situations. To address this gap we describe and analyze organizational and business responses to three different extreme environments, namely the fall 2012 Gaza conflict, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the so-called triple disasters (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown) in Japan on March 11, 2011. We discuss moral issues surrounding helping one another with specific reference to criteria called the Kew Garden Principles (KGPs) and strategic corporate social responsibility (Strategic CSR). We conclude the paper with managerial and leadership implications for ethical decision-making in extreme situations.