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1. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
John Hooker In This Volume
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teaching and research articles
2. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Susanna Cahn, Victor Glas Teaching Business Ethics with Cases: The Effect of Personal Experience
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As a final project for a business and society course, students presented analyses of ethical dilemmas in business settings; each dilemma was different, chosen either from the student’s personal business experience or from a recent business news event. Students identified multiple decision criteria (financial, ethical, etc.) relevant to the dilemma and then recommended a decision, reflecting a prioritizing of the multiple decision criteria. The goal of this research was to learn whether personal experience led to different decision priorities. Analyses from 121 students taken from six semesters of the course were sorted by choice of topic, as well as by which decision criterion was given top priority. Results showed significant differences (Chi-square value of 38.50562, significance level of 5.45963E-10) between the personal examples and the news examples. Students typically put ethical concerns first when analyzing news events. However, whenit came to personal events, more self-serving concerns often took priority. These disparate results suggest that even when knowledge is gained from study of theory and cases, it may not be applied to dilemmas that arise in students’ own experiences.
3. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Suzy Jagger Ethical Sensitivity: A Foundation for Moral Judgment
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A key goal for a professional ethics teacher is to help students improve their moral reasoning within the context of their profession, with the ultimate aim of developing a commitment to the values of their future profession. Using Rest’s Four Component Model as a framework, this study examines the relationship between the first two components of moral sensitivity and moral judgment. The study utilises two scores from the same cohort of computing undergraduates: a score for ethical sensitivity using a devised dilemma analysis; and a score for change in moral judgment resulting from an educational intervention, using the Defining Issues Test (DIT). Although average DIT scores showed no significant improvement in moral judgment, this study found that levels of ethical sensitivity had a significant impact on the development of moral judgment. The paper provides evidence that ethical sensitivity appears to play a key role in the development of moral judgment. Therefore an initial key objective critical to any ethics course should be to raise student levels of ethical sensitivity as a necessary foundation for development of moral judgment. The paper also highlights the wide range of levels of ethical sensitivity measured within one cohort and suggests targeted learning support should be provided to students who score in the lower part of the scale to raise their levels of moral sensitivity early in the course.
4. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Wendy James, Lisa McManus An Empirical Study of the Influence of Mentors and Organisational Climate on the Ethical Attitudes and Decision-Making of National Female Business Graduates in the United Arab Emirates
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The ethical development of business graduates is a critical issue. Yet, little empirical evidence exists on the factors affecting business graduate ethical development and behaviour using an Islamic perspective. This study examines the effects of mentoring support, the perceived standard of ethical conduct of peers, and individual ethical attributes of National female (Emirati) business graduates from the United Arab Emirates. Research has shown that formal and informal mentoring relationships benefit new employees by enabling them to further learn and grow within an organisation. On the other hand, some employees have also shown that these relationships can have a negative impact on a new employee’s ethical orientation. The aim of this study is to investigatethe ethical orientations of Emirati female business graduates as they move from the relative sanctity of home and university into a new multicultural, westernised business environment. The results suggest that the ethical evaluations and behavioural intentions of Emirati graduates are affected by a multiplicity of sources including professional bodies and both mentors and peers in the workplace. It may be prudent at such a significant time in the UAE’s development that educators consider introducing ethical education into tertiary curriculum.
5. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Brian H. Kurbjeweit The Relationship of Ethics and Law in Governing the Game of Business
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A concept for teaching business ethics and its relationship with business law is developed. Legal regulations form the essential boundaries of the business game. Many students do not realize the degree to which law is dependent upon ethical actors to achieve its objectives. At least three examples are insightful in this regard: First, the interpretive requirements of legal rules often rely on the ethical character of the interpreting business actor to achieve their objectives. Second, law does not prohibit harms from occurring, it only associates costs with behaviors. Third, law cannot compensate society for non-fungible harms. Legal regulations do not sustain the orderly function of society without ethical business actors.
6. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Steven Dellaportas, Beverley Jackling, Philomena Leung, Barry J. Cooper Developing an Ethics Education Framework for Accounting
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The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework of ethics education that promotes the structured learning of ethics in the accounting discipline. The Ethics Education Framework (EEF) is based on three key inter-related components that includes: Rest’s (1986) Four-Component Model of ethical decision-making and behaviour; the key cognitive and behavioural objectives of ethics education; and the discrete and pervasive approaches to delivering content. The EEF providesuniversity students and professional accountants a structure to learn to identify, analyse, and resolve ethical issues to the point of action. The EEF is a four-stage learning continuum represented as a set of building blocks which introduces ethical concepts and then reinforces and develops new levels of understanding with progressive stages. This paper describes the EEF, and includes a discussion of how it compares with other ethics education models, and an analysis of the support through responses by professional organisations (based on an Exposure Draft issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as the initial International Education Practice Statement). The IFAC has now revised its International Education Standard (IES 4) in relation to ethics, with a commentary period till July 2011.
7. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Johannes Brinkmann Business Ethics Across the Curriculum?
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This article describes and discusses team teaching and particularly guest lectures as a way of integrating ethics into the business curriculum. After a brief discussion of business school responsibilities and the teaching of ethics, the article looks at efforts to integrate the teaching of ethics across the curriculum. Then, findings from a small pilot study among business ethics and business school colleagues are summarized and discussed, with a focus on guest lecturing and team teaching, both with regard to experience and to faculty’s willingness to try. A final section of the article formulates recommendations for how our theory could be translated into practice.
8. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Tracy Noga, Laurie W. Pant, Lewis Shaw Recalibrating Ethical Dilemmas Using the “Fixes That Fail” Archetype
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People frequently make ethical choices they later regret. Causal Loop Archetypes offer a basic systems framework for analyzing the unintended consequences of personal and professional ethical decisions. Pressure or enticement or defensiveness can stymie individuals’ rational sensemaking. Causal Loop Thinking, and in particular the “Fixes That Fail” Archetype, draw on the familiar decision model of identifying the problem, specifying the alternative courses of action andtheir consequences, to guide our final choice. As students grapple with their own conflicts and business school faculty look for tools to anticipate professional ethical dilemmas, Causal Loop Thinking can expand our awareness of the context of choices and actions, thus leading to a more fully assessed decision.
9. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Mario Fernando A Social Innovation Based Transformative Learning Approach to Teaching Business Ethics
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The paper explains the application of a Social Innovation Based Transformative Learning (SIBTL) pedagogical approach in an undergraduate, final year business ethics course taught at an Australian university. Using social innovation as an enabling process to extend students’ cognitive, behavioural and managerial competencies in an integrated manner, the paper describes how the SIBTL approach helps ethics teachers to promote students’ ethical action.
10. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Laura Lamb, Panagiotis Peter Tsigaris Public Good Provision and Fairness Issues for Climate Change Mitigation: A Classroom Experiment
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This article presents a new classroom experiment in order to illustrate and initiate discussion on the public good provision of prevention of dangerous anthropogenic climate change. The classroom game aids students’ understanding of the difficulty associated with funding public goods; the role of fairness in climate change negotiations; the risks associated with catastrophic climate change impact; and the free riding concept. The classroom game has been played in various business, economics and political science courses. Feedback received from students indicates a rewarding learning experience.
11. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Morris G. Danielson, Amy F. Lipton Excess Profits? A Cautionary Classroom Exercise
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This paper presents a short classroom exercise to stimulate student discussion about the rights of shareholders versus the rights of stakeholders. Students are challenged to identify and evaluate their preconceived notions of what constitutes excessive profits. The exercise illustrates why the realization of a large return on investment cannot be used as prima facie evidence that a firm exploited employees, customers, or other stakeholders. This concept is illustrated using datafrom the pharmaceutical industry.
12. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Michael Rainey An Ethics Exercise “Masquerading” as a Negotiation
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Spaulding vs. Zimmerman is a lawsuit that raised the issue of the extent of how much information a negotiator can withhold from the other side and still remain within the bounds of ethical propriety. The author took the case and fashioned it into an exercise an organization can use as a vehicle for members to analyze their personal ethical choices under difficult, real world circumstances. The exercise is powerful and may be administered at any level of management training. It is disguised as a negotiation, so the ethical issues are obscured by the parties’ negotiation goals and tactics. The debriefing will lead to productive discussions about personal ethics/values decisions. The exercise can be as simple or complex as the moderator chooses. The general fact sheet, the employee’s facts, and the employer’s facts are attached in the Appendix. The user is encouraged to copy them (or modify them) for their specific needs.
case studies
13. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Dennis Proffitt Balancing Ethics and Shareholder Returns: The Case of Google in China
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“Balancing Ethics and Shareholder Returns: The Case of Google in China” provides a timely example of a well-known firm who, in their attempt to act in an ethical manner, generated tremendous financial harm to their shareholders. It provides an interesting counterpoint to the assertion in the literature that shareholder wealth maximization provides an ethical basis for all business decisions. Google is a firm that many students know and admire, and this should spark interest in the case. It can be assigned in the early stages of a corporate finance class, where the topic of discussion is the goal of the firm, or in a business ethics class, where the goal of the firm is evaluated. The case provides an opportunity to evaluate the ethical basis for Google’s actions, as well as the resulting impact on shareholder returns. The case may also represent a real-life counterpoint to the oft-repeated maxim that “Good ethics is good business”. Information in the case was compiled from secondary sources.
14. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Laura P. Hartman, Jenny Mead, Patricia H. Werhane, Danielle Christmas “Connecting the World Through Games”: Creating Shared Value in the Case of Zynga’s Corporate Social Strategy
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When using cases to teach corporate strategy and ethical decision-making, the aim is to demonstrate to students that leadership decision-making is at its most effective when all affected stakeholders are considered, from shareholders and employees, to the local, national, and global societies in which the company operates. This paper challenges the obstructive perception of many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) advocates that the interests of private organizations in the alleviation of social problems should not be vested, but instead should originate from charitable purposes. We evaluate an alternative approach to the role of business in contributing to social progress - Creating Shared Value (CSV), and present a case study that illuminates key features of CSV. We share pedagogical strategies for a classroom discussion of the case that encourage students to investigate the merits and hurdles of CSV as a pathway to harmonize the twin goals of economic value creation and social change.
15. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Tom Morris, Tara L. Ceranic Vermilion Iron Mining Company
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The Board of Directors of Vermilion Iron Mining Company was faced with a difficult decision. Since the early 1900s Vermilion operated in the tiny town of Ely, Minnesota. In 1967 Vermilion abandoned its operations in Ely due to the increased cost to mine hematite (high grade iron ore) deep within the ore fields. Vermilion’s departure from Ely was economically devastating to the town. Recent research (2008) found that it was now possible to extract the remaining hematite in Ely’s ore fields and the option to return to the mines of Ely was on the table with the Board of Directors of Vermilion. However, the hematite supply would only last for three to four years. Should Vermilion return to Ely to mine the remaining hematite for the sake of the shareholders or should they consider the potential impacts on the town and other stakeholders?
16. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Marlene M. Reed, Mitchell J. Neubert General Electric: Ecomagination as a CSR Initiative
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General Electric (G.E.) has a rich history of being in the center of public discourse regarding the intersection of corporate strategy and environmental concerns. During Jeffrey Immelt’s tenure as Chief Executive Officer, G.E. has taken a proactive approach to coupling corporate social responsibility with organizational profitability in its Ecomagination initiatives. Critics abound with some investor groups questioning the utility of Immelt’s approach for shareholder returns while other stakeholder groups question G.E.’s motives and methods. This case study reviews G.E.’s past CSR efforts and the more recent Ecomagination program and its efficacy and sustainability. The case was developed from public sources.
17. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Andrei Duta, Thomas Setliff, Chris Boger Mind Matters: A Neurofeedback Business Ethics Case Study
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The “Mind Matters” case study presents an opportunity for students in a wide range of courses such as business ethics, organizational behavior, leadership, marketing, and strategy to recognize and contemplate the difficult planning, the ethical challenges, and the high level of creativity necessary in many business decisions when bringing a new product or service to market. Also, this case study encourages its readers to formulate solutions and provide answers for complexproblems fraught with ethical dilemmas.
18. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
James E. Fisher Posilac®: New Product Development and Approval (A)
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This case details the new product development and approval of Posilac®, an animal drug product pioneered by the Monsanto Company. The product is a genetically engineered hormone known as bovine somatotropin (BST) and was targeted for sale to dairy farmers to enhance the milk production of their herds. At the time of its development and subsequent introduction to the market, Posilac® represented one the first applications of genetic engineering in food production and as such, it became a lightning rod for controversy. As Monsanto sought approval for this product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it encountered vigorous opposition from a variety of consumer and trade interests. The (A) case recounts the arduous approval process and explains how industry and public policy debates largely focused on issues of product labeling.
19. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
James E. Fisher Posilac®: Product Introduction (B)
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The (B) case in the Posilac® series describes the marketing program developed by Monsanto to introduce its genetically engineered bovine growth hormone into the US market. The marketing plan included emphases on market education and trial-stimulating devices. In the face of resistance to the product’s introduction, Monsanto adopted an active posture with respect to monitoring and enforcing labeling guidelines set forth by the regulatory authority of the FDA. Inparticular, Monsanto sought to prevent what it interpreted as “a campaign of misinformation designed to frighten American consumers”. As Monsanto undertook litigation to stop what it believed were false and misleading claims, it prompted criticism that the company was using intimidation tactics to stop small companies from voluntary labeling.
20. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
James E. Fisher Posilac®: Into the 21st Century (C)
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The concluding case in the Posilac® series traces the market acceptance of and resistance to Monsanto’s new product. Over a span of approximately 15 years, the product achieved sales in excess of $300 million dollars. While this level of sales was significant, it was less than initially envisioned by Monsanto. The case considers the factors that potentially inhibited the product’s growth and invites a consideration of its future. Options are described at the case’s conclusion, andthese range from investing further in sales growth to exiting the business.