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1. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 1
R. Edward Freeman Introduction
2. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 1
Richard Rorty Can American Egalitarianism Survive a Globalized Economy?
3. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 1
Joanne B. Ciulla Imagination, Fantasy, Wishful Thinking and Truth
4. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 1
LaRue Tone Hosmer Lessons From The Wreck Of The Exxon Valdez: The Need For Imagination, Empathy, And Courage
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Investigations of large scale industrial accidents generally take one of two alternative approaches to identifying the cause or causes of those destructive events. The first is legal analysis, which focuses on the mechanical failure or human error that immediately preceded the accident. The second is socio-technical reasoning, which centers on the complexities of the interlocking technological and organizational systems that brought about the accident. Both are retrospective, and provide little insight into the means of avoiding industrial accidents in the future. This article looks at six levels of managerial responsibility within a firm, and suggests specific changes at all levels that should logically help in the prevention or mitigation of these high impactllow probability events. The most basicneed, however, is for imagination, empathy, and courage at the most senior level of the firm.
5. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 1
John Danley Beyond Managerialism: After the Death of the Corporate Statesperson
6. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 1
Deborah Vidaver-Cohen Moral Imagination in Organizational Problem-Solving: An Institutional Perspective
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This essay responds to Patricia Werhane's 1994 Ruffin Lecture address, "Moral Imagination and the Search for Ethical Decision-making in Management," using institutional theory as an analytical framework to explore conditions that either inhibit or promote moral imagination in organizational problem-solving. Implications of the analysis for managing organizational change and for business ethics theory development are proposed.
7. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Lisa H. Newton A Scaffold For Muir: A Logic for Environmental Protection
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Everyone knows that somehow we must protect the natural environment as part of the ethical imperatives of doing business, especially in the era of globalization of business. But where, actually, do we find the structure of ethical imperatives that will support that “must”? The drawbacks of several candidates, some of them discussed in papers elsewhere in this volume, are considered, then supplemented with the Japanese concept of kyosei as supplying a missing link between ethics and the land. In the end, some questions are raised about the possibility of success of the entire environmental enterprise in face of the provisions of global trade agreements.
8. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Vivian E. Thomson Getting the Lead Out: Grab-Bag Ethics in Environmental Policy Making
9. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Lee E. Preston Global Economy/Global Environment: Relationships and Regimes
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The purpose of this paper is to set the stage by presenting a sketch of the global economic setting within which the environmental issues, which are our main concerns here, have arisen. It is important to note that this is also the setting within which any human, social and technological responses to these issues and concerns win have to be developed and implemented. There is no use thinking about arrangements that will work only in some other world. This world-the Planet Earth, with all its demographic, physical and climatological characteristics—is the only one we have to work with.
10. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Edward Stead, Jean Garner Earth: A Spiritual Stakeholder
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Assigning the moniker stakeholder to the planet has stirred a rather interesting debate in recent years. Proponents have insisted that the Earth is both the ultimate source of economic resources and the ultimate sink for economic wastes, meaning that it “affects or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46). They have said that giving the Earth stakeholder status can effectively tie the ecological health of the planet to the economic survival of the firm, and they have demonstrated this by focusing primarily on the economic benefits which can accrue to firms that effectively respond to the ecological concerns of regulators, consumers, investors, lenders, insurers, and so forth. However, others have questioned assigning the Earth stakeholder status. They have said that doing so convolutes the definition of stakeholder too much by expanding it to something other than “person[s] and groups” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46), and they have said that referring to the planet as a stakeholder is an idealistic view which defies the realities of the relationship between economic activity and the Entropy Law. Regardless of the side, the arguments in this debate have focused primarily at the economic level. Does the Earth’s central place in humanity’s economic survival suffice to give it stakeholder status? Does the Earth have voices on boards of directors? Is the underlying assumption made by those who advocate giving the Earth stakeholder status—that economic activity is ecologically sustainable—truly reflective of the relationship between economics and entropy? However, for us this debate took an interesting turn away from the economic level at the 1997 Ruffin Lectures in Business Ethics when Ian Mitroff said, “The Earth is a stakeholder, but it is a spiritual stakeholder.”
11. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Laura Westra Integrating the Social Contract and the Ecological Approach: A Response to Paul Shrivastava
12. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Dr. Paul Shrivastava Ecocentering Strategic Management
13. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Kristin Shrader-Frechette Ethics and the Challenge of Low-Dose Exposures
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In a recent article in American Scientist, a Berkeley expert quips: “Chicken Little is alive and well in America.” Never in history have health and environment-related hazards been so low, he says, while “so much effort is put into removing the last few percent of pollution or the last little bit of risk.” He thinks we have monumental battles over negligible risks, battles that are extraordinarily expensive for the industries that must pay to control pollution or to reduce risk.
14. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Joel Reichart, Patricia H. Werhane, Patricia H. Werhane Introduction
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Michael E. Gorman Imaginative Design Challenges to “Do We Consume Too Much?”
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George G. Brenkert Partners, Business and the Environment: Comments on Merchant’s Partnership Ethics
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William McDonough A Boat for Thoreau: A Discourse on Ecology, Ethics, and the Making of Things
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R. Edward Freeman, Joel Reichart Toward a Life Centered Ethic for Business
19. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Bryan G. Norton Clearing the Way for a Life-Centered Ethic for Business: A Response to Freeman and Reichart
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I agree with much of Freeman and Reichart’s paper; so, by way of comment, I will simply supplement his argument in two ways. First, agreeing with their conclusion that we can, and should, re-direct business toward environmental protection without embracing a nonanthropocentric ethic, I will show that the pre-occupation of recent and contemporary environmental ethics with the anthropocentrism/non-anthropocentrism debate is avoidable. It rests on a misinterpretation of possible moral responses to the arrogance with which Western science, technology, and culture has treated nature. A better understanding of the history of the idea of nonanthropocentrism will, I believe, strengthen Freeman and Reichart’s case for pluralism in environmental ethics and values. Second, I will emphasize several points that seem to me to fit well with Freeman and Reichart’s approach, and which would provide important detailing for the type of approach he sketches, arguing that much hard intellectual work stands between us and a satisfactory, and useful, but pluralistic, and life-centered ethic for business and the environment.
20. The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics: Volume > 2
Sandra B. Rosenthal The Four Good Reasons for Limiting Consumption: A Pragmatic Perspective