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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: 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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?
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
David Lea Professionalism in an Age of Financialization and Managerialism
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Historically the professions have maintained a commitment to what MacIntyre calls the “internal goods of practice” as opposed to the external goods of practice associated with monetary compensation and activities directly related to monetary compensation. This paper argues that the growing financialization of the economy has fostered a climate of managerial control exemplified in the proliferation of auditing and procedures associated with auditing. Accordingly professionals, whose organizational function includes responsibility for the internal goods, are thereby frustrated in so far as they have been forced to become preoccupied with performance indicators and the goals of financial efficiency imposed by hierarchies founded on managerial expertise rather than professional achievement and competence. A reaffirmation of professional commitment to the internal goods may well require a communitarian approach that entails a reorganization of society around the common good rather than the efficiency ethos that has displaced it.
12. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Brian K. Steverson Vulnerable Values Argument for the Professionalization of Business Management
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Market events of the past few years have resurrected long unheeded calls for the professionalization of the occupation of business manager, not in terms of increased technical proficiency, but in terms of a renewed vigor to shape the practice of management and the education of those who will fill its ranks along the lines of the “ideal of service” which characterizes socially established professions like law and medicine. In this paper I argue that the push to professionalize business management can be grounded in an ISCT (Integrative Social Contracts Theory) treatment of the “vulnerable values” argument which itself has served as a source for the professionalization of medicine and law. Additionally, I offer a sketch of an argument that once business managers are considered to be members of a profession, we can begin to develop an account of “business malpractice” which would, when it occurs, represent an ethical violation of the “publicpledge” that members of all professions make to serve the broader good of society.
13. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Carol Cirka, Carla Messikomer Behind the Facade: Aligning Artifacts, Values, and Assumptions in Assisted Living
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The market-based innovation known as assisted living (AL) has changed the landscape of long-term care in the US. Using Edgar Schein’s three-level conceptual framework of organizational culture and data from a two-year qualitative study of five AL facilities located in suburban Philadelphia, we argue that misalignments among publicly stated values, material artifacts, and underlying assumptions can create a climate that fosters ethical tension. Drawing on forty-five in-depth interviews with staff at all levels, we derive five operational assumptions that guide behavior in the facilities included in our study, and we describe how facility artifacts and espoused values give rise to ethical tensions and, at times, ethical violations. The findings highlight the imperative for providers and managers in all industries to look beyond the façade of artifacts and espoused values to underlying assumptions, and to recognize that these three levels must be aligned in order to create and sustain a culture in which ethics is a visible and enduring element and where ethical conduct is encouraged on an everyday basis.
14. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Homer B. Warren, David J. Burns, James Tackett The Likelihood of Deception in Marketing: A Crminological Contextualization
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Deception has been practiced by sellers since the beginning of the marketplace. Research in marketing ethics has established benchmarks and parameters forethical behavior that include honesty, full disclosure, equity, and fairness. Deception in marketing, however, has not received the same level of attention. This paper proposes to treat deception in marketing within the context of criminology. By examining deception in marketing within the context of criminology, additional insight can be gained into identifying its antecendents and the likelihood of its occurrence. To this end, deception in marketing is interpreted under the empathy/harm matrix, Cressey’s fraud triangle, and the transparency/time-lag matrix. These frameworks are then combined into a diagram detailing antecedents affecting the likelihood of marketing agents participating in deceptive marketing actions. A number of propositions are presented.
15. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Klaus M. Leisinger Poverty, Disease, and Medicines in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The Roles and Responsibilities of Pharmaceutical Corporations
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Providing access to medicines and health care is one of the most challenging issues facing society today. In this paper the author highlights some of the complexities of the health value chain as well as the problems that the world’s poor have in terms of access to medical care and medicines. He then attempts to delineate the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in order to define the specific corporate responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies in the context of the entire responsibility system—the strength of which is determined by its weakest link. Finally, he looks forward to a transformational change being wrought for pro-poor health development by forging new coalitions that cut across both the health and traditional development stakeholders.
16. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Sybille Sachs Reply to Leisinger
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The paper of Klaus Leisinger is a comprehensive description and reflection on the role and responsibilities of key stakeholders to complex and urgent issues, and suggests novel approaches such as stakeholder collaborations for Global Health. Most corporations have, until recently, focused on a small set of stakeholders in regard to creating corporate value. Increasingly, however, corporations are facing broad ranging and complex issues. To deal with them, they realize that their present business model might be too narrow. To improve the quality of life of poor patients in low-income countries, a broader set of stakeholders needs to be included in new and innovative ways.
17. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Notes on Contributors
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