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1. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
David Bevan, In Memoriam Nigel John Roome, PhD (1953–2016)
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2. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Vincent Blok, Bart Gremmen, Renate Wesselink, Dealing with the Wicked Problem of Sustainability: The Role of Individual Virtuous Competence
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Over the past few years, individual competencies for sustainability have received a lot of attention in the educational, sustainability and business administration literature. In this article, we explore the meaning of two rather new and unfamiliar moral competencies in the field of corporate sustainability: normative competence and action competence. Because sustainability can be seen as a highly complex or ‘wicked’ problem, it is unclear what ‘normativity’ in the normative competence and ‘responsible action’ in the action competence actually mean. In this article, we raise the question how both these moral competencies have to be understood and how they are related to each other. We argue for a virtue ethics perspective on both moral competencies, because this perspective is able to take the wickedness of sustainability into account. It turns out that virtue ethics enables us to conceptualize normative competence and action competence as two aspects of one virtuous competence for sustainability.
3. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Jennifer Kiefer Fenton, "Anyone Can Be Angry, That’s Easy": A Normative Account of Anti-Corporate Anger
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Literature in feminist ethics and care ethics has emphasized the value of the emotions for resisting injustice, particularly anger, on the basis of their motivational force, epistemic insight, and normative content. I point to flaws in this approach and introduce an Aristotelian account of anti-corporate anger that establishes normative conditions for which to (1) evaluate the justifiability of the target of negative emotions and (2) evaluate the justifiability of the expression of negative emotions. I look to this account as the basis for defending a corporate culture account of corporate moral personhood. In closing I consider the Occupy Wall Street movement for further insights into the complex nature of anti-corporate anger and corporate moral personhood.
4. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Christopher Pariso, Bhopal and Engineering Ethics: Who is Responsible for Preventing Disasters?
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In this paper, I will provide a picture of the Bhopal disaster from an engineering ethics perspective. I find that the individual engineers involved in Bhopal acted ethically, for the most part, but that these actions failed to prevent the disaster for structural reasons. Nonetheless, there is no single level of analysis at which the problems that caused the Bhopal incident can be solved. Rather, a coordinated attempt must be made to change how individual engineers conceive of their work, how the professional community conceives of its role in supporting ethical conduct, and how societies use regulatory and judicial systems to provide the right incentives to the organizations that engineers work for.
5. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Marc-Charles Ingerson, Normative Stakeholder Capitalism: Getting from Here to There
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6. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Notes on Contributors
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7. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Charles D. Oden, Monika Ardelt, Cynthia P. Ruppel, Wisdom and Its Relation to Ethical Attitude in Organizations
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Wisdom includes the practical application of knowledge, experience, reason, introspection, and intuition, but does its presence impact the ethical attitudes of individuals within organizations? Using Ardelt’s three-dimensional wisdom scale (2003) and a revised version of the ethical attitude measures developed by Wood, Longenecker, McKinney, and Moore (1988), empirical analysis was conducted using 329 responses from non-instructional staff at three colleges located in the southeast. This study is among the first to empirically test the impact of wisdom in a business setting, and also to empirically test the relation between wisdom and ethical attitudes. Correlation and regression analysis results indicated that greater wisdom was positively related to ethical attitudes and the rejection of questionable business practices that are harmful to others and the environment. Also, age was found to be positively related to an individual’s rejection of ethically questionable activities. These findings suggest that developing and encouraging higher levels of wisdom among employees within an organization will likely result in more ethical business practices.
8. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Manfred Max Bergman, Klaus M. Leisinger, Zinette Bergman, Lena Berger, An Analysis of the Conceptual Landscape of Corporate Responsibility in Academia
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Most corporate stakeholders agree that Corporate Responsibility (CR) ought to be part of modern business management and practice. Academic work has been seminal to a fruitful and collaborative relationship between business and society. A closer examination of the contemporary academic narratives on CR, however, reveals a plethora of positions orbiting this complex construct, rendering it and its applications opaque, amorphous, and contested. The bewildering array of conceptualizations and applications leads not only to unintended consequences but also to concrete negative outcomes for most stakeholders. In this study, we map the conceptual landscape of CR in academia by systematically analyzing 120 audio and video recordings of university sponsored or endorsed CR-focused workshops, business meetings, interviews, lectures, conference presentations, roundtable events, and debates deposited at the media repository iTunesU and held between 2010 and 2014. The recordings were analyzed using Content Configuration Analysis, a qualitative analysis method related to content and thematic analyses. Our results show how business ethics in academia are often debated in opposition to or independent from business and economic concerns. We highlight seven major shortcomings within this conceptual space, relating to conceptual disunion, Eurocentrism, lack of specificity with regard to domains, stakeholder bias, areas of application, and normativity. Recommendations to overcome some of these shortcomings are presented to develop policy-relevant and change-oriented approaches to CR, which would make academic work on business ethics more applicable to globalized business and business practices, as well as to further develop collaborative partnerships between academia, business, and society.
9. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Kimberly S. Engels, A Sartrean Analysis of Conscience-based Refusals in Healthcare: Workplace Decisions in Light of Group Praxis
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This paper provides an analysis of conscience-based refusals in healthcare from a Sartrean view, with an emphasis on the tension between individual responsibility and professional role morality. Conscience-based refusals in healthcare involve healthcare workers refusing to perform actions based on core moral beliefs. Initially this appears in line with Sartrean authenticity, which requires acknowledgment that one is not identical with professional role. However, by appealing to Sartre’s later social thought, I show that professional role morality is authentic when one considers common group practices, which Sartre refers to as pledged group praxis. I demonstrate that for healthcare providers, authenticity mandates putting the goals and generally accepted praxis of healthcare front and center in the workplace decision process. I conclude by strengthening Andrew West’s existentialist decision-making model with Sartre’s later social thought. With the updated model, I show that for healthcare workers most often the authentic decision is to perform generally accepted healthcare procedures in spite of individual moral qualms. This is because working in healthcare necessitates viewing one’s professional tasks in their broader social context—as unified, communal group praxis.
10. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Julian Friedland, Sustainability, Public Health, and the Corporate Duty to Assist
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Several European and North American states encourage or even require, via good Samaritan and duty to rescue laws, that persons assist others in distress. This paper offers a utilitarian and contractualist defense of this view as applied to corporations. It is argued that just as we should sometimes frown on bad Samaritans who fail to aid persons in distress, we should also frown on bad corporate Samaritans who neglect to use their considerable multinational power to undertake disaster relief or to confront widespread social ills such as those currently befalling public health (obesity) and the environment (climate change). As such, the corporate duty to assist approach provides a novel justification for sustainable business practices in such cases. The paper concludes by arguing that traditional stakeholder approaches have not articulated this duty of assistance obligation, though a new utilitarian stakeholder theory by Thomas Jones and Will Felps may be coextensive.