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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Systemic Change towards Sustainable Business

Volume 31
EABIS Decennial Issue

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Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents


1. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Andrew C. Wicks, Adrian Keevil, Bobby Parmar Sustainable Business Development and Management Theories: A Mindset Approach
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There is growing appreciation of the challenges posed by our current economic activity in terms of the natural environment. Increasingly, people have come to appreciate that business must not only be more aware of its environmental impact, but also must be more environmentally sustainable in its core operations. Academic theories of management influence managerial practice. They clarify what is important to the corporation, and where managers and employees should direct their attention. The focus of this paper is to explore the extent to which three possible managerial mindsets—shareholder value maximization, stakeholder value maximization, and the triple bottom line—may either enhance or inhibit the ability of corporations to manage in an environmentally sustainable way. We discuss the implications of each of these mindsets and highlight their relative strengths and weaknesses, noting that all three hold promise, but each has limitations in enabling managers to operate sustainably.
2. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Semra F. Aşcıgil, Aslı B. Parlakgümüş Ethical Work Climate as an Antecedent of Trust in Co-Workers
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This study aims to enhance the understanding about the influence of perceived ethical work climate dimensions on employees’ trust in co-workers. The instrument used was Victor and Cullen’s (1988) questionnaire containing five empirically derived types of ethical climate (caring, law and code, rules, instrumentalism, and independence). As hypothesized, the study revealed that the instrumental ethical climate dimension was negatively related, and independent climate was positively related to co-worker trust. Thus, two ethical climate dimensions (independent and instrumental) account for the 22.7 percent variation taking place in co-worker trust while the remaining climate types had no significant impact. The findings may be of help particularly to human resource staff in developing policies to better off relations among employees acknowledging differing potential of ethical climate types.
3. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Bastiaan van der Linden Discursively Prioritizing Stakeholder Interests: An Inquiry into Habermas’s Distinction between Morality and Ethics
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Contributions to stakeholder theory often do not systematically deal with the prioritization of stakeholder interests. An exception to this is Reed’s Habermasianapproach to stakeholder management. Central to Reed’s discursive approach is Habermas’s distinction between morality and ethics. Many authors in business ethics argue that, because of its distinction between morality and ethics, discourse ethics is well suited for dealing with the pluralism that characterizes modern society, but also mention complications with the application of this distinction. This paper taps into the vivid debate in political philosophy on Habermas’s distinction between morality and ethics and, on this basis, further elaborates how stakeholder interests should be prioritized from the point of view of discourse ethics. It thus estimates the consequences of the objections against Habermas’s distinction for a discursive approach to the prioritization of stakeholder interests. The conclusion is that, although Habermas’s distinction is not as neat as it may seem, it is not fundamentally challenged and may be successfully applied in the prioritization of stakeholder interests.
4. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
John Dobson Who Are the Real Victims of Insider Trading?: Why Current Insider-Trading Law Is Unethical
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In this paper I argue that the real and only victims of insider trading are those being wrongfully prosecuted under the current broad interpretation of Rule 10(b)-5 of the Securities Exchange Act. The term ‘insider trading’ has no clear legal definition and thus lends itself to prosecutorial overreach. I argue that such overreach characterizes the numerous insider trading investigations and prosecutions currently being pursued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Rather than any valid application of securities law, these prosecutions reflect political opportunism and the influence of powerful special interests within the securities industry. I conclude by advocating that Rule 10(b)-5 be applied as originally intended, namely to deter active securities fraud and price manipulation only.
5. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Katherina Glac, Jason D. Skirry, David Vang What Is So Morbid about Viaticals? An Examination of the Ethics of Economic Ideas and Economic Reality
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A viatical settlement (or viatical) is a transaction in which an investor purchases the life insurance policy from a terminally ill person for a lump sum so that the investor can receive those benefits at the time of death. While there is an ongoing debate in the insurance and financial planning industry about viaticals, including the ethics of this practice, the focus has been predominantly on abuses in the course of buying and selling viaticals and less on the fundamental ethicality of the economic idea behind viaticals. This paper offers a systematic ethical analysis of viaticals that leverages the distinction between the ethicality of an economic idea and the ethicality of economic reality to isolate and discuss the fundamental ethical problems of viaticals. By unpacking the evaluative content of our negative emotional reactions to viaticals, we show that, even under ideal circumstances, the economic idea of viaticals is, at its core, unethical.
6. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Amber Wigmore-Álvarez, Mercedes Ruiz-Lozano University Social Responsibility (USR) in the Global Context: An Overview of Literature
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Higher education institutions worldwide have begun to embrace sustainability issues and engage their campuses and communities in such efforts, which have led to the development of integrity and ethical values in these organizations and their relationships with stakeholders. This study provides a literary review of the concept of University Social Responsibility (USR) and sustainability programs worldwide, grouped into eight research streams: conceptual framework, strategic planning and USR, educating on USR, spreading USR, reporting and USR, evaluation of USR, barriers and accelerators and case studies. The aforementioned research streams served as a context to explore best practices in sustainability on a global basis.
7. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Notes on Contributors
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8. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Volume 31 (2012) Index
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9. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Prof. Dr. Gilbert Lenssen Message from the President of EABIS—The Academy of Business in Society
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10. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
David Bevan, Geert Demuijnck Editorial Introduction: Special Issue EABIS Decennial
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11. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Simon Zadek Titans or Titanic: Towards a Public Fiduciary
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Sustainability as a narrative has mainstreamed, but practice is stuck in the ‘valley of death,’ with exemplary business action to internalize social and environmental externalities remaining ad hoc and small scale. Civil regulation has had significant impacts, but appears unable to act as a driver of systemic change. Addressing change at the system level requires the evolution of corporate governance away from intensive towards an extensive accountability, embedded within a ‘public fiduciary.’ Such a shift in fiduciary arrangements is needed to institutionalize and leverage the growing involvement of the state in economic and industrial practice through direct enterprise ownership, the increasing importance of sovereign wealth funds and national development banks, and the significance of public-private partnerships. This re-emergence of the role of the state in economic governance will underpin the next generation of corporate responsibility, framed largely by an international political economy led by major emerging economies.
12. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Mark Aakhus, Michael Bzdak Revisiting the Role of “Shared Value” in the Business-Society Relationship
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This article critically examines Porter and Kramer’s shared value concept to identify its boundaries and limits as a framework for understanding the role of philanthropy and CSR relative to the role of business in society. Cases of implementation and alternative perspectives on innovation reveal that, despite its appeal and uptake in corporate and philanthropic circles, shared value merely advances the conventional rhetoric that what is good for business is good for society. The shared value approach narrows what counts as social value and avoids the friction between business and society. The consequence is that the approach is problematic as a framework for addressing sustainability and development, and an insufficient basis for decision-making about philanthropy and CSR.
13. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Nick Lin-Hi, Igor Blumberg Managing the Social Acceptance of Business: Three Core Competencies in Business Ethics
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The public support of corporations is continuously declining. The view that the system of free enterprise and profit-making are at odds with societal interests isbecoming more and more prevalent. Business’s associated loss of social acceptance poses a serious threat to the future viability of the system of free enterprise. Thus, corporate leaders face the task of regaining and sustainably securing the social acceptance of business. This paper presents three interrelated business ethics competencies which corporate leaders require to be able to accomplish this task: (1) the ability to prove that business and profit-making do have a societal function, (2) the knowledge of what defines responsible business, and (3) the ability to organize responsible decisionmaking within their corporations.
14. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Kevin Jackson Cura Personalis and Business Education for Sustainability
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Sustainability has been gaining recognition as an innovative pathway for general learning from early childhood to higher education. This article advances acura personalis, or care for the entire person, approach for integrating sustainability into the domain of business management education. Such an approach centers on fostering higher-order dispositions including creativity, critical moral awareness, existential authenticity, excellence, relatedness, and overall well-being and thus constitutes a broader, deep ecological alternative to received scientistic and quantitatively controlled programs.
15. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Eric Cornuel, Ulrich Hommel Business Schools as a Positive Force for Fostering Societal Change: Meeting the Challenges of the Post-Crisis World
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The purpose of the article is to encourage (and in certain ways to initiate) an intellectual debate on how business schools can meet the intellectual challenge resulting from the financial crisis. We argue that this will involve questioning the traditional paradigms of management research, will require broadening the intellectual foundation of business school activities, and will trigger revision processes to incorporate the derived learning points into degree and non-degree programs. European business schools have to cope with these challenges during a phase of intense financial pressures, which may create the temptation of adopting myopic development strategies. The points made in this article may appear to be explicitly prescriptive, but they should be taken as an attempt to foster an open debate on the issues vital for the future development of the business school sector.
16. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Roger Murphy, Namrata Sharma, Jeremy Moon Empowering Students to Engage with Responsible Business Thinking and Practices
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The aim of this paper is to both consider what is meant by ‘responsible business’ and to explore pedagogical approaches which have been shown to lead toeffective student engagement with this important area of modern business thinking and practice. The goal of experiential learning is to encourage students to reflect upon the complexities of responsible business education in authentic business contexts. The range of pedagogies which enable this sort of reflection is thought to be quite wide, and can include internships, practical projects, case-studies, group-work, and observing and participating in artistic performances or cultural events.
17. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Harry Hummels Coming Out of the Investors’ Cave?: Making Sense of Responsible Investing in Europe in the New Millennium
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Responsible Investing is on the rise. In ten years time, what started as an ideologically motivated practice by often religiously inspired investors has become amainstream activity. Through the Principles for Responsible Investing a large group of institutional investors representing tens of trillions of dollars have become involved in and transformed the practice. A major change refers to a change in definition and the disappearance of ethics, which was replaced by a focus on governance. However, society is not taking unethical investments practices lightly. It increasingly confronts investors with potential (ethical) consequences of the investments and calls for impact measurement: what is the social, ethical and environmental impact of the investments?
18. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Richard Straub, Mollie Painter-Morland From CSR to Sustainable Business—Transformational Leadership in Action: With Academic Response by Mollie Painter-Morland
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This contribution to the Decennial volume brings together the insights of a seasoned business practitioner on the sustainability imperatives that corporations face, and a response from an academic who works in the field of sustainability and business ethics. Dr. Straub draws on Peter Drucker to reassert the importance of fulfilling the economic mission of the enterprise, but argues that it needs repositioning. Business must be responsive to customer and employee needs, and in order to do so, transformational leadership is required. In her response, Prof. Mollie Painter-Morland argues that in order to succeed in building sustainable enterprises, an urgent evaluation of what is meant by “need” is required. She also contends that in mainstreaming the sustainability agenda, systemic leadership is needed in addition to transformational leaders.
19. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Colin Crouch Sustainability, Neoliberalism, and the Moral Quality of Capitalism
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Paradoxically, the rise of neoliberal economic thinking and its rejection of concepts of both state intervention in the economy and the pursuit of purposes bybusiness that are not directly related to profit maximization, has been accompanied by intensified social criticism of business and concerns about sustainability. The article explores the implications of these paradoxes and relates them to active consumerism and to the issue of market externalities.
20. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Ghislain Deslandes Power, Profits, and Practical Wisdom: Ricœur's Perspectives on the Possibility of Ethics in Institutions
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The analysis of narrative processes and metaphorical language are the topics generally focused on by business ethics researchers interested in the work of Paul Ricœur. Yet his work on political questions also applies to the ethical issues associated with organizations. Ricœur’s ethical enterprise can be expressed as a triad composed of teleological, deontological, and sapiential levels, associating ostensibly opposing positions of Aristotelian and Kantian origin. In this study, I examine politics, economics, and ethics in their dialectic relation as established by Ricœur. Against a vertical, mechanistic, and axiologically neutral vision of management, he opposes the two conceptual pairs of conviction/imagination and ideology/utopia as well as a superior definition of justice associating reciprocal indebtedness and mutual disinterestedness. Through this analysis, it becomes clear that the vertical, hierarchical nature of politics tends to undermine the horizontal interactions necessary to procure just institutions in society. And any business ethic that does not acknowledge political tensions will be mute. What is needed instead is practical wisdom that is developed through interaction, and often through conflict, involving all the different players.