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1. 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.
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2. 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.
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3. 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.
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4. 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.
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5. 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.
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6. 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.
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7. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 1
Notes on Contributors
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8. 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.
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9. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Semra F. Aşcıgil, Orcid-ID 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.
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10. 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.
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11. 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.
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12. 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.
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13. 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.
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14. 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.
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15. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Volume 31 (2012) Index
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16. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 31 > Issue: 3/4
Notes on Contributors
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17. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Michael Jay Polonsky, Patrick J. Ryan The Implications of Stakeholder Statutes for Socially Responsible Managers
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18. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Roger W. Bartlett, Suzanne M. Ogilby Business Versus Personal Values: Does a Double Standard Exist?
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19. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Notes on Contributors
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20. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Announcements
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