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1. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
David E. Desplaces, Laura Beauvais, Avi Kay, Susan Bosco Understanding Unprofessional Conduct of Faculty
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Although researchers have paid much attention to the widespread cheating by students during their college careers and the possible sources behind such unethical behaviors, there has been less attention given to the unethical behaviors of faculty. Research on the types of unethical behaviors of faculty has pointed out the unique nature of higher education and the particular pressures placed on faculty as potential drivers of such behavior. In this paper, we examine the factors and underlying cognitive processes that may drive faculty to engage in such behaviors. Specifically, we identify potential drivers of faculty unethical behavior, the cognitive processes activated by these drivers, and the types of behaviors that are considered most ethically questionable among faculty as they carry out their professional roles. We conclude with research considerations and implications of faculty misconduct on the profession.
2. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Anne I. Schaap, H. C. W. de Vet, Margreet M. Stolper, A. C. Molewijk Conceptualization and Operationalization of the Concept of Moral Craftsmanship: Developing a Questionnaire for the Dutch Prison Context
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Prison work creates ethical challenges for which a training program was initiated for Dutch prison staff to foster their Moral Craftsmanship (MCS). The concept of MCS is not yet defined and operationalized in literature. This explorative study aims to 1) define MCS, 2) identify conceptual elements of MCS, and 3) develop a measurement tool for MCS. A document and literature study provided input for the definition and selection of conceptual elements related within DCIA policy documents, identifying three conceptual levels of MCS: individual (cognition, attitude, and actions), team, and leadership. This first MCSQ consists of seventy-one items distributed across the domains: values and norms, judgment and reasoning, consultation, implementation, looking back, interactions, and leadership. We tested its usability via ‘think-aloud interviews.’ Validation of the current version of the MCS-Questionnaire and consensus among experts about what to include or exclude in the concept of MCS are needed for further development.
3. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Brian K. Steverson, Adriane Leithauser, Tyler Wasson Trading In Our Lederhosen for Kilts: The Ethics of Marketing Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Ancestry Testing
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The popularity of direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry services has exploded over the past five years, with as many as 250 direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry testing companies currently operating and estimates that 1 in 5 Americans are customers of one or more of those companies. Marketing of genetic ancestry testing has consistently linked the results of DNA testing to a consumer’s racial and ethnic identity, and, because of that, can help consumers find out “who they really are.” We argue that the “biologization” of race and ethnicity promoted in such marketing violates norms of marketing ethics. In particular, we show that this marketing technique violates a number of the core commitments and values of the American Marketing Association Statement of Ethics.
4. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Andrés Felipe López Latorre, Ulf Thoene Corporations as Imperfect Communities: Toward a Theory of Business and Human Rights
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This article presents an alternative understanding of corporations from the two problematic visions that see corporations as either the shareholders’ property or as nexuses of contracts. The alternative proposed here is based on the theories of pre-eighteenth-century philosophers, particularly Aristotle’s political philosophy, which Thomas Aquinas later refined. The article aims to advance a theory of corporate legal and moral responsibility for human rights based on the conception of corporations as imperfect communities whose purpose is to produce a good or service through participatory work that allows individuals to self-develop while contributing to the community by satisfying consumers’ needs through collaborative work. The critical account of corporations presented here provides a sound foundation upon which to build a justification of corporate responsibility for human rights violations, providing a more accurate description of the reality of a corporation than most mainstream contemporary accounts do.
5. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Notes on Contributors
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6. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 3
Aatif Abbas Businesses, Technological Innovations, and Responsibility
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This article argues that businesses are morally responsible for compensating the people harmed by their activities even if they were not negligent, i.e., the businesses took reasonable precautions. Critics of this position maintain that responsibility requires choice, and by taking precautions, businesses choose not to harm others. This article accepts their argument’s first premise but rejects the second premise. It contends that businesses often seek risky or innovative activities to increase profits, and the essence of innovative activities is that precautions cannot sufficiently reduce their foreseeable harmful consequences. The correct understanding of businesses’ decision-making enables us to appreciate that businesses choose to undertake risky activities while knowing that they can harm others despite preventive measures. It follows that preventive measures should not serve as an excuse against liability for harm.
7. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 3
Vivencio O. Ballano Catholic Social Teaching, Human Dignity, and the Common Good: Exploring the Major Factors Affecting Big Pharma’s Corporate Moral Responsibility During COVID-19
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This article explores the major factors that negatively affect the corporate moral responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry to promote human dignity and the common good during COVID-19 applying the ethical lens of Catholic social teaching and structural analysis of sociology. Utilizing textual data from published peer-reviewed articles, books, and media and church documents, it argues that the financialization of Big Pharma and the weakening of state regulation due to conflict of interests and unethical campaign contributions by the pharmaceutical industry to American legislators have resulted in corporate moral irresponsibility and the weakening of state regulation against profiteering in the sale of anti-COVID medicines and vaccines that can harm human dignity and the common good. It provides some recommendations on how to strengthen the state and non-state regulatory systems to protect human dignity and the common good during COVID-19.
8. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 3
Regina F. Bento, Lourdes F. White Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Professional Judgments in a Small Audit Firm Context
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The recent availability of affordable Artificial Intelligence (AI) for auditing has enabled small audit firms to experiment with this disruptive innovation. This paper goes beyond the literature’s traditional focus on the Big Four accounting firms, to present two studies that explored ethical professional judgments in the use of AI in this new organizational context, crucial for the global economy. Study 1 was a qualitative investigation of a small audit firm near Washington DC, one of the earliest adopters of MindBridge Ai Auditor, the world’s first off-the-self, affordable AI-powered auditing platform. Drawing from Study 1 insights, we developed a two-part scenario that was used for a survey in Study 2, a quantitative investigation involving sixty-eight accounting professionals and 176 students. The findings from both studies have relevant theoretical and practical implications for how AI may impact professionalism / commercialism tensions in small audit firms.
9. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 3
Saida Dammak, Manel Jmal Machiavellianism of Tunisian Professionals in the Face of Aggressive Tax Evasion Strategies
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The present research aimed to determine the Machiavellian orientations of tax administration auditors in Tunisia when faced with aggressive tax evasion strategies. To this end, we sent questionnaires to 119 executives of Tunisian tax authorities in charge of the tax auditing missions classified into three categories: central inspector, chief inspector and general inspector. The data were analysed using the structural equation method. Statistical results show that auditors from the tax administration, with weak Machiavellian orientations, ethically judge aggressive tax evasion strategies and strongly believe in the importance of CSR. Thus, the results show that engagement in CSR practices plays a central role between the Machiavellianism of the tax authorities’ auditors and the dubious practices of tax evasion. The current study is the first attempt to analyse the effect of Machiavellian orientations of professionals and CSR practices on tax evasion in the Tunisian context.
10. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 3
Richard P. Nielsen, Elizabeth A. Hood Through Aristotelian Lenses, Potential Reforms of the Leveraged Buyout Model: Preserving Wealth Expansion and Reducing Wealth Transfers and Destruction
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The overall objectives of this article are to help the reader see and understand through Aristotelian lenses: (1) positive and negative aspects of the Leveraged Buyout (LBO) business model; and, (2) how LBO practices can be reformed so as to retain positives and reduce negatives. Aristotelian lenses considered are: wealth acquisition through wealth expansion, wealth creation, and wealth transfers; distributive and corrective justice; and, a dialectic analytic process of retaining positives, reducing negatives, and reforming. Key net positive wealth expansion aspects of the model are discussed with respect to: profitability for the owners, managers, and investors of LBO firms; potential productivity improvements on the cost and revenue sides; and, potentially greater credit availability. Negative wealth transfer and destruction aspects with respect to: a relatively high rate of bankruptcies in some countries and in economic downturns; LBO firm gains without responsibility for losses; wealth transfers from employees, creditors, ordinary vs “carried interest” taxpayers; and, damaged wealth expansion and creation capabilities of acquired organizations are discussed. Potential reforms that could reduce negatives, retain positives, and reform the model are discussed.
11. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 3
Notes on Contributors
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12. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Alma Acevedo Ethical Leadership Insights from King Lear
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Because of its appeal to the imagination, the intellect, the affections, and the will, literature has an invaluable role in the applied ethics education of business professionals and college students. This essay reaps ethics and ethical leadership insights from King Lear, while relishing its aesthetic value. By its side, core concepts underlying a proper understanding of applied ethics and hence ethical leadership are emphasized; particularly, the elements of human nature, moral agency and responsibility, the difference between morality and ethics, and an overview of virtue ethics and key intellectual and moral virtues. Stressing the connection between literature and moral philosophy, this essay shows how poetry can engagingly and compellingly transmit ethical concepts and values in leadership education.
13. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Monika Ardelt, Bhavna Sharma The Benefits of Wise Organizations for Employee Well-Being
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Similar to personal wisdom, which is believed to be beneficial for individuals, others, and the larger community, wise organizations are likely to have a positive impact on employee well-being if their ultimate goal is to promote the common good. To test this hypothesis and create a wise organization index, the cognitive, reflective, and compassionate dimensions of the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Model were integrated with the psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness of Self-Determination Theory. The wise organization index consisted of the average ratings of ten scales by forty-seven to 1,930 employees in twenty-four organizations. Analyses of two-level hierarchical linear models showed that the positive association between the wisdom scores of twenty-four organizations and the well-being scores of 9130 employees was mediated by supervisor support and job fulfillment. The study suggests that employees who are treated well, feel well and fulfilled at work, which likely benefits the organization’s long-term success.
14. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Rafael Cejudo Corporate Responsibility for Arts and Culture: Addressing the Impact of Globalization through I. M. Young’s "Social Connection Model"
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Multinational companies (MNCs) in the creative and IT sectors play a decisive role in the production of cultural goods and in global cultural trends. Therefore, MNCs impinge on the right to take part in cultural life and must be held accountable for their impact on arts and culture on a global scale. As a dynamic and evolving process, open to alien influences, cultural life can be seen as a global social process, and as such is susceptible to structural injustices. I. M. Young’s social connection model is suggested to attribute a shared forward-looking responsibility to multinational companies and thus to assess corporate impacts on the quality of cultural life. The article highlights specific responsibilities for companies and proposes guidelines for judging their performance regarding arts and culture as a public good.
15. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Constanza Guajardo Exploitation: Profit Versus Prices
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This paper aims to offer a definition of excessive profit for cases of exploitation. Most of the literature that aims to identify cases of exploitation focus on determining a fixed price, and suggests that profit is excessive when individuals deviate from this price. More recently, Joe Horton has proposed an indifferent benchmark between transacting with a vulnerable party and not transacting with her. After arguing against the existing focus on prices, the paper proposes an alternative approach to exploitation which focuses on the profit made by the purported exploiter party. It suggests that profit is excessive when an agent makes more profit than the profit that a non-vulnerable purported exploiter would have made when transacting with a non-vulnerable second party. The focus on profit leads to the conclusion that different prices may be non-exploitative depending on the situation of the agents involved.
16. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Marc S. Mentzer Public Sector Corruption among the United States: Exploring the Impact of Cultural Values
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An adaptation of Hofstede’s classic model of culture was applied to the fifty US states, to examine the connection between states’ cultural values and the prevalence of public sector corruption. While the culture-corruption link has been widely studied at the country level, little research exists that examines this phenomenon at the level of the states. The ambivalence of the findings may be attributable to the challenge of disaggregating minor cultural differences among the states, in contrast to the enormous heterogeneity of the world’s countries.
17. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Notes on Contributors
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18. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Hussam Al Halbusi, Homoud Alhaidan, T. Ramayah, Salem AlAbri Ethical Leadership and Employees’ Ethical Behavior: Modeling the Contingent Role of Moral Identity
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Ethical scandals, as well as unethical behaviour, are becoming major concerns in recent times. Thus, this study focused on the role of ethical climate and employees’ moral identity. Specifically, this study examined the mediation effect of ethical climate on the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ ethical behaviour. Also, the study investigated the moderating role of employee moral identity on the relationship between ethical climate and employees’ ethical behaviour. Data were collected from 620 full-time employees working at thirty-three Iraqi organisations from five Iraqi provinces. These organisations were from various industry sectors such as manufacturing, retailing, medical, insurance, information technology, legal, finance, and telecommunication sectors. The study found that ethical leadership impacted on the ethical behaviour of employees and the ethical climate also significantly mediated the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ ethical behaviour. The moderating role of moral identity on the relationship between ethical climate and ethical behaviour was found to be insignificant in this context.
19. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Rockwell Clancy, Qin Zhu Why Should Ethical Behaviors Be the Ultimate Goal of Engineering Ethics Education?
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Ethics is crucial to engineering, although disagreement exists concerning the form engineering ethics education should take. In part, this results from disagreements about the goal of this education, which inhibit the development of and progress in cohesive research agendas and practices. In this regard, engineering ethics faces challenges like other professional ethics. To address these issues, this paper argues that the ultimate goal of engineering ethics education should be more long-term ethical behaviors, but that engineering ethics must more fully engage with the fields of empirical moral and cultural psychology to do so. It begins by considering reasons for adopting ethical behaviors as the ultimate goal of ethics education, and moves on to discuss why ethical behaviors have not been adopted as the goal of ethics education. The paper ends by considering responses to these problems, why ethical behaviors should still be adopted as the ultimate goal of ethics education.
20. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Thomas A. Hemphill A Case for Effective Business Association Membership Codes of Ethics and Conduct
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A business association is a collaborative organization founded and funded by businesses or business owners and usually represents companies operating in an industry or across industries. Business associations often institute a code of ethics, code of practice, and/or code of conduct that guide member company policy and behavior. Specifically, the paper will thoroughly define codes of ethics, conduct, and practice; their relationship to each other is delineated and explained; examples of three business associations’ codes of ethics and/or conduct are explored; and the U.S. legal environment—focusing on antitrust considerations that governs their organizational use—evaluated for business association compliance enforcement. Given this exploratory and explanatory research foundation, managerial recommendations are offered in the discussion section to assist business associations, and by extension, their member companies, in effectively utilizing such association governance codes in both association and company planning, policy development, and operational management activities in domestic and global commerce.