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1. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Tim Loughrist Intolerable Ideologies and the Obligation to Discriminate
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In this paper, I argue that businesses bear a pro tanto, negative, moral obligation to refuse to engage in economic relationships with representatives of intolerable ideologies. For example, restaurants should refuse to serve those displaying Nazi symbols. The crux of this argument is the claim that normal economic activity is not a morally neutral activity but rather an exercise of political power. When a business refuses to engage with someone because of their membership in some group, e.g., Black Americans, this is a use of political power to signal that Black Americans are other. Conversely, when businesses engage with someone who is clearly representing an intolerable ideology, this is a use of political power that signals the acceptability of that ideology. Businesses should not do this.
2. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Ben Lupton, Atif Sarwar Blame at Work: Implications for Theory and Practice from an Empirical Study
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Existing work in the field of business ethics has explored how concepts in philosophy and other disciplines can be applied to blame at work, and considers blame’s potential impact on organisations and their employees. However, there is little empirical evidence of organisational blaming practices and their effects. This article presents an analysis of interviews with twenty-seven employees from a range of occupations, exploring their experience of blame, its rationale and impact. A diversity of blaming practices and perspectives is revealed, and in making sense of these the authors draw on recent theoretical developments—Skarlicki, Kay, Aquino, and Fushtey’s (2017) concept of ‘swift-blame,’ and Fricker’s (2016) notion of ‘communicative blame.’ The study also reveals a tension between a desire to avoid ‘blaming’ on the one hand, and a need for ‘accountability,’ on the other, and the authors explore the implications of the findings for organisations in seeking to ‘manage’ blame.
3. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Richard P. Nielsen Ethical and Political-Economic Dimensions and Potential Reforms of the Hybrid Leveraged, High Frequency, Artificial Intelligence Trading Model
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The average annual profits before fees of the $10 billion plus Renaissance Technologies’ hybrid Medallion “Leveraged, High Frequency, Artificial Intelligence (LHFAI)” trading hedge fund between 1988 and 2019 were about 66 percent. Total trading profits during this period were over $100 billion. The fund has never had a losing year. The fund is not open to the general public. First, distinctions among, in more or less historical order, the traditional market-maker trading model, the hedge fund trading model, the artificial intelligence trading model, and the hybrid LHFAI trading model are discussed. Second, the micro components of the LHFAI trading model are explained in the context of Renaissance Technologies’ Medallion Fund. Third, key positive contributions of the model with respect to profitability, low annual volatility, market liquidity, and intellectual property development; negative ethical issues concerning exclusive access, tax fairness, financial transparency, shared responsibility for losses and systemic risk, and short vs. long-term capital allocation are discussed. Potential reforms that retain the positives, reduce the negatives, and that could positively transform the model are discussed. Fourth, potential impacts that the potential reforms might have on the macro LHFAI form of finance capitalism and the larger finance capitalism political-economic system are considered. Fifth, conclusions are offered and discussed.
4. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Abraham P. Schwab Systemic versus Severable Conflicts of Interest
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This paper is split into two parts. The first half analyzes conflicts of interests’ effects on judgment, the harms these effects threaten, and our current policies and practices for handling conflicts of interest. This analysis relies on scholarship in several fields, most prominently psychology, all of which have reasons to worry about conflicts of interest. This analysis will show that our current classifications of conflicts of interest and our current strategies for handling conflicts of interest are confusing, of dubious benefit, or both. The second half provides some tools for helping us to limit or avoid the harms of conflicts of interest. These simple tools focus on how we think about and classify conflicts of interest. Specifically, I recommend beginning to classify conflicts of interest in a new way: as either severable or systemic. These new classifications are not intended to be heavy conceptual machinery, but simple and valuable tools. These new classifications, even though they are not meant to be exhaustive or comprehensive, help delineate tractable strategies and help determine the distribution of responsibilities for addressing specific conflicts of interest.
5. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Marc Steen, Martin Sand, Ibo Van de Poel Virtue Ethics for Responsible Innovation
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Governments and companies are increasingly promoting and organizing Responsible Innovation. It is, however, unclear how the seemingly incompatible demands for responsibility, which is associated with care and caution, can be harmonized with demands for innovation, which is associated with risk-taking and speed. We turn to the tradition of virtue ethics and argue that it can be a strong accomplice to Responsible Innovation by focussing on the agential side of innovation. Virtue ethics offers an adequate response to the epistemic and moral complexity in innovation and encourages moral behaviour. We enumerate a number of virtues that people involved in Responsible Innovation would need to cultivate both related to responsibility, such as justice, anticipation, civility and inclusion, and virtues related to innovation, such as courage, dedication, curiosity and creativity. We put forward practical wisdom (phronesis) as a key virtue to regulate relevant virtues and to deal with the tension between responsibility and innovation. Practical wisdom helps an agent to find an appropriate mean in exercising and expressing the other virtues—where the mean is relative to the specific context of action and the role and abilities of the agent.
6. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Notes on Contributors
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