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1. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 3
David Bevan, Kenneth E. Goodpaster The Business Ethics Pioneers Project: An Introduction and a First Sample
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2. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 3
Thomas Hemphill, Scott Johnson Premium-Priced, Branded Generic Pharmaceuticals in Emerging Economies: A Socially Responsible Consumer Pricing Strategy?
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Is it socially responsible to price at a premium, company branded generic pharmaceuticals in emerging economies? Building toward an answer to this question, the study first describes the role of the branded generic sector in the economic success of the global pharmaceutical industry. Second, the concept of “shared value,” i.e., the link between competitive advantage (and its theoretical antecedents found in corporate reputation and signaling theory) and corporate social responsibility (CSR), is introduced and applied to the global pharmaceutical industry’s position on marketing generic pharmaceuticals. Third, an empirical evaluation ascertains whether there is sufficient shared value for this company branded generics pricing strategy to be considered “socially responsible.” Fourth, after concluding there is sufficient shared value, a discussion section offers a public/private (corporate and industry self-regulation) framework that will help ensure that safe and effective pharmaceuticals are sold to consumers in developing economies. Lastly, a summary and conclusion section completes the article.
3. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 3
Wenling Lu, Benjamin Yeo Time-Varying Relations between Seven Dimensions of CSR and Firm Risk
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This study examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR), a central ethical concern, and firm total risk, a central business concern, using a large US dataset spanning 1991 to 2015. It includes considerations for the recent financial crisis to establish whether firm engagement in specific CSR dimensions decrease (i.e., the risk reduction hypothesis) or increase (i.e., the resource constraint hypothesis) firm risk. The findings demonstrate the impact of CSR engagement is different, depending on the specific CSR dimension in question, and the relationship between each of the seven CSR dimensions and total risk is time varying. Our empirical evidence suggests that firms should prioritize different CSR dimensions as an integral part of their CSR strategies and strategic management and change the priority in different market conditions.
4. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 3
Marianne Thejls Ziegler Moral Integrity: Challenges of Defining a Shapeless Concept
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This article outlines different attempts to define integrity, and argues, with reference to the theory of moral particularism, that definitions acquire universal applicability at the expense of their informative value. The article then proceeds to more delimitating definitions that emphasise the social aspect, and argues that their ideas of the concept, like courage, require certain situations in order to unfold. Since not every person is challenged to act with integrity, the delimitation requires a distinction between manifest integrity and dormant integrity, or dormant lack of integrity. Persons of influence, like politicians and managers, on the other hand, are challenged on a regular basis because their position requires communication of values in a public space, against which the public can evaluate their actions. A delimitating definition therefore ties the question of integrity to people in leading positions.
book review
5. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 3
Ashley Whitaker Professional Ethics: A Trust-Based Approach, by Terrence M. Kelly
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6. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 3
Notes on Contributors
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7. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Ryan Atkins, Cam Caldwell Supply Chain Responsibility and Sustainability: The Role of The Individual in Building a Business Case for Ethical Decisions
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Decisions made by supply chain managers have a far-reaching impact on the economic, environmental, and social performance of entire supply chains, even though many activities in the supply chain occur beyond the direct control of those managers. Some firms establish a line of moral disengagement, beyond which they distance themselves from the impact of the activities of the supply chain. This research addresses the question of why some managers choose to take responsibility for the sustainability of their supply chain, while others do not. We argue that the ethical predisposition and moral complexity of the individual employee moderates the interpretation of the drivers of sustainability, increasing or decreasing their ability to build a business case for supply chain responsibility. We also argue that ethical predisposition moderates the likelihood of a business case being enacted. We then discuss theoretical and managerial implications resulting from this finding.
8. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Lina Wei, Michael Davis China’s Unwritten Code of Engineering Ethics
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Since 2004, Nanyan Cao and some other scholars have implicitly or explicitly claimed that engineering ethics in China is importantly different from engineering ethics in the United States. The evidence for that claim relies on examination of official documents or certain large features of Chinese society (for example, millennia of Taoism, Confucianism, or Buddhism). Though neither is an uncommon approach to studying engineering ethics in China, neither actually studies engineering practice in China. This article does—or at least gets much closer. The authors have asked almost two hundred (Mainland) Chinese engineers about what they do and why they do it. The responses suggest that Chinese engineers, or at least those surveyed, think about engineering ethics much as American engineers do. The responses also suggest that much more empirical work needs to be done before we can claim to understand either the similarities or differences between engineering ethics in China and engineering ethics in “the West.”
9. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Gil Hersch You Can Bluff but You Should Not Spoof
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Spoofing is the act of placing orders to buy or sell a financial contract without the intention to have those orders fulfilled in order to create the impression that there is a large demand for that contract at that price. In this article, I deny the view that spoofing in financial markets should be viewed as morally permissible analogously to the way bluffing is permissible in poker. I argue for the pro tanto moral impermissibility of spoofing and make the case that spoofing is disanalogous from bluffing in at least one important regard—speculative trading serves an important economic role, whereas poker does not.
10. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Roberta Sferrazzo Towards an Agape-Based Organization: Does It Make Sense to Apply Civil Economy to Business Ethics?
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In the last decade, scholars have rediscovered the Italian tradition of Civil Economy and the different vision of the market it offers, one that is anchored on reciprocal assistance in market exchange relationships. So far, scholars are discussing Civil Economy especially in the fields of the history of economic though and in economics and philosophy. Nevertheless, this article proposes looking also at business ethics and organizational studies through the lens of Civil Economy, especially considering the notion of virtue provided by civil economists. In particular, it sets forth an organizational model that derives from Civil Economy, i.e. the agape-based organization.
11. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Spyridon Stelios Professional Engineers: Interconnecting Personal Virtues with Human Good
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Professional ethics refer to the rights and obligations of practitioners within any profession or sector. Engineering ethics can be discussed based on the nature of the engineer profession and its implications for professional morality. This paper takes the virtue ethics lens to discuss engineering ethics and argues that, since human and social good derives from professional virtues, protecting the public interest is a professional virtue of engineers. Further, since the protection of the public interest redounds to human and social good, then engineers are bound by the nature of their professional role to achieve these two interconnected aims, namely, protecting the public interest and promoting human good. The importance of virtues is eminent in the way an engineer improves her professional conduct and this has an impact on the social environment and on human good in general. Given an engineer’s concern with the broad public needs of people, the engineer’s function counts as a morally good role, and therefore can be described as one that can lead to human flourishing.
12. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Notes on Contributors
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13. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Simona Giorgi, Richard P. Nielsen Social Situational Business Ethics Framing for Engaging with Ethics Issues
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This article considers the problem of how employees and observers of business ethics behaviors often do not know how to safely and effectively engage with business ethics issues and cases. The ameliorative method of social situational business ethics framing was analyzed. Key parts of the related literature from philosophy, sociology, organizational studies, and business ethics are reviewed. A literature gap between general framing theory and business ethics was identified with respect to the need for social situational framing in business ethics at the micro individual, meso organizational, and macro institutional levels. Theoretical propositions for bridging the literature gap and a wide variety of business ethics engagement case examples are developed as illustrations of and support for the propositions. Practical social situational business ethics framing implications for safe and effective business ethics engagement are considered.
14. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Plamena Pehlivanova The Significance of Rationality in Reforming Ethics within Contemporary Professional Work: The Case Study of Audit
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In the wake of judgement failures currently characterising professional audit practice, the article will argue that this case illustrates a larger problem associated with the technocratic deformity of practices within modern institutions. I will refer to the case of ethics, where human judgement has been offloaded to the performative practice of complying with codes and reduced to executing procedures. Getting to grips with what the issue is requires us to recognise the distinctive ethical nature of human rationality that cannot be replaced by machines. However, this distinctiveness is not sufficiently brought out in the current climate of work, where the conditions have instead reduced the capacities to engage in ethical judgment and to cultivate morality. Instead, the cognitive capacity to evaluate the ends of actions and the dispositions to act in that light are central to fostering morality. By drawing on the Aristotelian and sociocultural traditions, I point to the complexity and significance of rationality, and offer a way to rethink professional education practices that could reorient individuals’ thinking and cultivate ethical responsivity.
15. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Brandon William Soltwisch, Daniel C. Brannon, Vish Iyer The Ethics of Maximizing or Satisficing: How Decision-Making Style and Ethical Ideology Impact Moral Judgement
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This study explores the relationship between decision-making styles and moral judgements to understand how maximizers and satisficers differ in their analysis of ethical dilemmas. It also explores the linkage between decision-making styles and the moral reasoning perspectives of absolutism and relativism, investigating if ethical ideologies play a mediating role in how maximizers and satisficers evaluate ethical situations. In order to test these relationships, data is collected from a sample of 187 upper level business students. Results indicate that maximizers are significantly more likely than satisficers to judge ethically ambiguous actions as immoral. Underlying this effect, maximizers (vs. satisficers) have a more idealistic ethical ideology.
16. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Joseph Spino Situationism and the Virtues of Business
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Many ethicists endorse a character-based approach to business ethics (CBE). This approach includes a focus on the development of particular traits of character amenable to virtuous business practices. Situationists claim, however, that traditional understandings of character are challenged by various findings in empirical psychology. While defenders of CBE have responded this claim, these responses are very similar to those made in defense of a more general virtue ethical theory against situationist arguments. I argue that whatever promise such responses to situationism have in defending a general virtue ethical theory, they are not up to the task of defending CBE. As a result, CBE is in need of novel responses to situationism or significant revision.
17. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Alonso Villarán Conflicts of Interest: A Moral Analysis
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What is a conflict of interest? What is morally problematic about one? Beginning with the definition, this paper organizes the core (philosophical) literature and creates two continuums—one devoted to the more specific definition of ‘interest,’ and the other to that of ‘duty’ (two elements that belong to the definition of conflicts of interest and over which the debate revolves). Each continuum places the authors according to the narrowness or broadness of their positions, which facilitates the understanding of the debate as well as what is at stake when defining conflicts of interest. The paper then develops a moral analysis that leads to the sought-for definition and to an explanation of why we should treat conflicts of interest carefully. While doing so, the paper discloses the criterion to judge whether a definition is right and presents the duties that makes conflicts of interest special as ‘tertiary’ duties of morality.
18. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Notes on Contributors
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19. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Frank C. Butler, Randy Evans, Nai H. Lamb Non-Required CEO Disclosures and Stock Price Volatility: An Ethical Dilemma
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Personal life events of a chief executive officer (CEO) can generate tensions between the CEO’s right to personal privacy and the desire of shareholders for information. Such circumstances can create information asymmetry between the executive management and the shareholders of a firm, a situation likely to produce unfavorable pressures on an organization’s stock price. Failure to fully disclose material personal life events can impact the decision-making actions of the CEO, causing the stock price of the firm to vacillate as a result of rumors and other informational uncertainties. These vacillations in stock price may impact a firm’s liquidity, increase the cost of capital, and affect long term returns to shareholders. We draw upon the ethical leadership and signaling theory literatures to demonstrate how a firm can reduce stock price volatility through a CEO making non-required disclosures that reduce information asymmetry.
20. Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Volume > 38 > Issue: 3
Sarah Fischbach, Jennifer Zarzosa Consumers' Perceptions of Native Advertisements: Exploring the Impact of Ethics and Ad Trust
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With the rapid growth of native advertising, there has been an increased interest to address ethical concerns and deception online. To address this concern, we look at the consumer's ethical efficacy toward native ads and we compare native ads (such as in-feed and advertorial) to banner ads. Results confirm that consumers trust native ads more than banner ads. Moreover, we uncover that consumers ethical efficacy (i.e., confidence in ethical decision making) affects their intention to share native ads through eWOM. However, consumer individual differences influence intention to share content online and trust in the native ads. We study the moderating effects of salience, using the fashion context, and its influence on ad trust and willingness to share through eWOM. Recommendations for business professionals and academics are discussed and future research guidelines are addressed.