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21. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Daryl Koehn Kantian Virtue Ethics in the Context of Business: How Practically Useful Can It Be?
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Claus Dierksmeier admirably combats the misperception that Kant is a deontologist with no regard for virtue. Dierksmeier contends Kant offers a theory of virtue that can contribute in significant ways to advancing the analysis of, e.g., stakeholder theory and internal compliance programs. His plea that business ethicists should view Kant as a resource for thinking more widely and deeply about virtue seems eminently sensible. However, there are grounds for questioning whether a Kantian approach will be of much help in thinking through the ethics of real world business practices.
22. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Wayne Norman Is There ‘a Point’ to Markets? A Response to Martin
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Dominic Martin attributes to me and other adherents of the market-failures approach to business ethics a narrow account of justification, focused solely on economic efficiency. On the contrary, I argue the appeal to efficiency and market failure is best seen as a pragmatic, Rawlsian, strategy to find common ground and a shared vocabulary for business ethicists who have long been Balkanized by overly ideological “theories.” So understood, the market-failures approach is not the reductivist program Martin portrays it to be. Efficiency and the taming of market failures should be seen as one of many grounds (albeit usually the most important) for both regulatory and beyond-compliance norms for business in a capitalist democracy.
23. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 5
Gregory R. Beabout Once More On Re-Conceiving Management as a Domain-Relative Practice: A Response to Sinnicks
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Matthew Sinnicks has attempted to cast doubt on my efforts to extend MacIntyre’s virtue ethics with regard to re-conceiving management as a domain-relative practice. However, rather than weakening my argument, his objections provide an opportunity to clarify a key distinction, address several misunderstandings, respond to criticisms, rectify misrepresentations, and show again that MacIntyre’s virtue ethics provides a fertile framework for re-casting issues of management and business ethics, including a transformed understanding of management as a domainrelative practice.
24. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 6
Gregory Wolcott Business Ethics and Ideals
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John Hasnas (2013) argues for a “Principles Approach” to supplant normative theory and casuistry in business ethics pedagogy. This Commentary argues some normative theory ought still to have some place in business ethics education and that the problems Hasnas sees in business ethics pedagogy only tell half the story.
25. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 7
John Hasnas The Principles Approach is a Big Tent Approach
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In his Commentary on my Principles Approach, Gregory Wolcott (2014) worries that the approach leaves no room for ethical theory and decries the tendency of business school faculty to derive ethical conclusions from legal standards. However, the Principles Approach is, by design, open to supplementation by ethical theory and has the virtue of providing a basis for making ethical assessments of legal standards.
26. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Shazia Rehman Khan The Merits of Self-Leadership
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Steinbauer et al. (2014) examine how ethical leadership leads to improved moral judgment, and the role of followers’ perceived accountability and self-leadership. In this Commentary, I offer two critiques. First, I argue that the relationship that Steinbauer et al. propose between ethical leadership and self-leadership contains internal contradictions. Second, I argue that ethical leadership can have undesirable consequences for moral judgment and that self-leadership requires substantial freedom from an external authority. Thus, my arguments focus on Steinbauer et al.’s understanding of self-leadership and moral judgment in relation to ethical leadership.
27. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
David Ohreen, Jim Silovs The Science of Creating Organizational Connectedness
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Pavlovich and Krahnke’s inclusion of neurological and psychological evidence to support organizational connectedness should be lauded. Unfortunately, we suggest a more fine-grained reading of the literature does not support their claim that empathy is critical to dissolving boundaries between employees and increasing altruism.
28. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 3 > Issue: 3
Steven Lovett Evaluating a New Field of Research About the Influence of Business Ethics Education
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Douglas May, Matthew Luth, and Catherine Schwoerer, identify and study an area that lacks empirical research, namely the effectiveness of teaching, and learning, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. The authors assess whether courses that teach ethical decision-making in business settings positively influence students’ moral efficacy, moral meaningfulness, and moral courage. Their findings demonstrate increases in the ethics education treatment group’s outcomes for each of the three variables. This experimental data is encouraging, but the definitional subjectivity of each variable, and the unique effects of various methods of instruction, should provide motivation for further research efforts.
29. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 3 > Issue: 4
Matthias Hühn Adam Smith: 18th Century Sentimentalist or 20th Century Rationalist?
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David Bevan and Patricia Werhane try to enlist Adam Smith’s support in countering the neoclassical narrative in business ethics and CSR. While I applaud their goal and also completely agree with their argument that Smith has been radically misinterpreted by the economics mainstream, I am not completely in agreement with how they argue. In short, I believe they also have uprooted Adam Smith and transformed him in parts into a 20th century philosopher. The 18th century Adam Smith would be a much more powerful advocate for ethics in business if he were accepted as the very eclectic 18th century philosopher that he was.
30. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Daniel Layman Expressive Objections to Markets: Normative, Not Symbolic: A Commenatary on Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski (2015), “Markets without Symbolic Limits”
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Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski reject expressive objections to markets on the grounds that (1) market symbolism is culturally contingent, and (2) contingent cultural symbols are less important than the benefits markets offer. I grant (1) and (2), but I deny that these points suffice as grounds to dismiss expressive critiques of markets. For many plausible expressive critiques of markets are not symbolic critiques at all. Rather, they are critiques grounded in the idea that some market transactions embody morally inappropriate normative stances toward the goods or services on offer.
31. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 10
David Silver Competition, Value Creation and the Self-Understanding of Business
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In defense of his Market Failures Approach to business ethics Joseph Heath relies on an understanding of business as essentially oriented towards competition and profit maximization. In these remarks I defend an alternative understanding of business that is centered on the creation of valuable goods and services. It is preferable because it: (a) creates less pressure to take advantage of vulnerable stakeholders, (b) can readily recognize “beyond compliance” norms that do not relate to efficiency, (c) provides a more meaningful framework for people who work in and with corporations, (d) may mitigate negative moral impacts outside the market, and (e) better captures the range of what actually counts as business activity.
32. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Jason Brennan, Peter Jaworski Klotzes and Glotzes, Semiotics and Embodying Normative Stances
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Daniel Layman attempts to critique our recent paper debunking semiotic objections to commodification. Semiotic objections hold that commodifying certain goods and services is wrong because doing so expresses disrespect for the things in question. Layman claims instead that the problem is that such markets “embody” the “wrong norms” or the “wrong deliberative stance.” Given the length-requirements, we, at the moment, need to hear a lot more about the difference between “embodying” a norm, and expressing it. As far as we can tell at the moment, we’re suspicious that he might be begging the question, or just re-describing semiotic objections in a more obscure way.
33. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Hasko von Kriegstein Armchair versus Armchair: Let’s Not Try to Guess the Social Value of Corporate Objectives
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Jones and Felps claim that social welfare would be enhanced, if corporate managers adopted the goal of directly improving the happiness of their stakeholders instead of profit maximization. I argue that their argument doesn’t establish this. They show that a utilitarian case for profit orientation cannot be made from the armchair. But neither can the case for Jones and Felps’ preferred alternative. And their defense of it relies on empirically unsubstantiated assumptions.
34. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 4
Viktoria Ramona Schäfer, Matthias Philip Hühn How Much Aristotle Is in Levine and Boaks’s Leadership Theory?
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Levine and Boaks criticize the extant leadership literature for misrepresenting the connection between ethics and leadership. They propose a definition that they claim is novel and based on Aristotelian virtue ethics. This commentary argues that this approach, while it is an interesting idea, is essentially un-Aristotelian and that other approaches, for instance Alejo Sison’s and Joanne Ciulla’s are not only closer to Aristotle, but also do not have the problems that the authors identify in the mainstream of the leadership literature.
35. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 5
Christian R. Thauer The Choice for CSR: Strategic Rationale versus Values?
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In a recent Commentary, Hamish van der Ven criticizes my strategic rationale-based approach to why firms decide to adopt and implement CSR standards. He argues that my approach is analytically flawed; rather than strategic rationale, values motivate firms in favor of CSR. In this response, I explain why I disagree with his criticism and approach. I maintain that strategic rationale, not values, drive firms’ decision-making for CSR.
36. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 6
Aimee E. Barbeau Deliberative Democracy and Corporate Governance
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Jeffrey Moriarty argues for a return to a robust notion of stakeholder theory involving direct procedural voting by stakeholders. He asserts that such voting offers the best possible chance of restraining firm behavior and taking into account all stakeholder interests. I argue, however, that Moriarty proceeds with an overly narrow conception of democracy, ignoring problems that arise from procedural voting. Specifically, paradoxes in voting procedures, the tyranny of the majority, and the inefficacy of representation advantage well-organized and moneyed interests. A stakeholder democracy may in fact undermine the very interests that Moriarty seeks to promote.
37. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 7
James Stacey Taylor What Limits Should Markets be Without?
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In Markets Without Limits Brennan and Jaworski defend the view that there are “no legitimate worries about what we buy, trade, and sell.” But rather than being a unified defense of this position Brennan and Jaworski unwittingly offer three distinct pro-commodification views—two of which are subject to counterexamples. This Commentary will clarify what should be the thesis of their volume and identify the conditions that any counterexample to this must meet.
38. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 8
Jeffrey Moriarty The Demands of Stakeholder Theory for Corporate Governance
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Aimee Barbeau advances a thoughtful critique of my article, “The Connection Between Stakeholder Theory and Stakeholder Democracy: An Excavation and Defense.” Although Barbeau does much to push forward the debate about corporate governance, she does it without undermining my thesis. For what Barbeau has shown is not that stakeholder theorists should not endorse stakeholder boards of directors, but that they should also endorse other ways for stakeholders to participate in decision-making processes within firms.
39. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 4 > Issue: 9
Jason Brennan, Peter Jaworski I’ll Pay You Ten Bucks Not to Murder Me
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James Stacey Taylor offers three interpretations of our thesis, and argues that only one of them goes through. His point is to clarify our view rather than critique our position. In this brief response, we argue that, upon further clarification, we could endorse at least one of the other interpretations, though as Taylor notes, we don’t need to for our book’s thesis to go through.
40. Business Ethics Journal Review: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Abe J. Zakhem Kierkegaard and Leadership Theory, a Radical Reappraisal
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Storsletten and Jakobsen (2015) try to integrate the instrumental, responsible, and spiritual positions in leadership studies with Kierkegaard’s aesthetic, ethical, and religious modes of existence. Their combination of leadership theory and Kierkegaardian thought, however, seems deeply problematic. In particular, the instrumental-aesthetic and responsible-ethical connections appear weak or at least significantly underdeveloped, and the spiritual-religious connection seems logically inconsistent.