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Business Ethics

Edited by Joakim Sandberg (Göteborgs Universitet)
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Summary Business ethics is the application of ethical theories and concepts to activity within and between commercial enterprises, and between commercial enterprises and their broader environment. It is a wide range of activity, and no brief list can be made of the issues it raises. The safety of working practices; the fairness of recruitment; the transparency of financial accounting; the promptness of payments to suppliers; the degree of permissible aggression between competitors: all come within the range of the subject. So do relations between businesses and consumers, local communities, national governments, and ecosystems. Many, but not all, of these issues can be understood to bear on distinct, recognized groups with their own stakes in a business: employees, shareholders, consumers, and so on. A central question concerns how businesses ought to weigh the interests of different stakeholders against each other; particularly what moral import to give to profit-making (presumably in the interest of shareholders in large corporations).
Key works Much of business ethics starts from Milton Friedman's provocative article "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits" (reprinted in Snoeyenbos et al 2001, Jennings 2002, ...). Some well-cited expressions of alternative views are Freeman 1994...
Introductions Some introductions by Snoeyenbos et al 2001, Shaw 2003.
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  1. [author unknown] (2011). The Sub-Sahara African Survey of Business Ethics as Field of Teaching, Training and Research. African Journal of Business Ethics 5 (2):61.
    This article introduces the Global Survey of Business Ethics as field of Teaching, Training and Research. For the purpose of the survey the world was divided into nine regions that cover all countries of the world. This special edition of the African Journal of Business Ethics only focuses on the findings of the Global Survey in one of the nine world regions, viz., Sub-Saharan Africa. This introductory article provides an overview of the Sub-Sahara African region and the four sub-regions in (...)
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  2. Drug Testing in Employment 100 (2003). Joseph R. Des Jardins and Ronald Duska. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  3. The Ethics of Sales 112 (2003). Thomas L. Carson. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  4. The Inconclusive Ethical Case Against Manipulative Advertising 129 (2003). Michael J. Phillips. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  5. The Responsibilities of A. Businessman 15 (2003). J. R. Lucas. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  6. The Ethics of Corporate Downsizing 31 (2003). John Orlando. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  7. The Great Non-Debate Over International Sweatshops 49 (2003). Ian Maitland. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  8. When Is "Everyone'S. Doing It" A. Moral Justification? 67 (2003). Ronald M. Green. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  9. Some Paradoxes ofWhistleblowing 85 (2003). Michael Davis. In William H. Shaw (ed.), Ethics at Work: Basic Readings in Business Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  10. Einar Aadland (2010). Values in Professional Practice: Towards a Critical Reflective Methodology. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 97 (3):461-472.
    A prevailing conceptualization of values in organizations regards values as preferable modes of conduct or end-states of existence. Accordingly, values are pursued through prescriptions, actions of implementation and evaluation, based on the presumption that values inform actions. Thus, holding the ‘right’ values leads to desired practice. However, this is a problematic stance, suppressing the fact that correlation between value and action is highly questioned. The article claims that proliferation of values in organizations is more plausible and influential turning the process (...)
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  11. Mark Aakhus & Michael Bzdak (2012). Revisiting the Role of “Shared Value” in the Business-Society Relationship. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 31 (2):231-246.
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  12. Dag G. Aasland (2007). The Exteriority of Ethics in Management and its Transition Into Justice: A Levinasian Approach to Ethics in Business. Business Ethics 16 (3):220–226.
    Levinas did not present any new ethical theories; he did not even give any normative recommendations. But his phenomenological investigations help us to understand how the idea of ethics emerges and how we try to cope with it. The purpose of this paper is to suggest some implications from a reading of Levinas on how ethical challenges are handled within a management perspective. The paper claims that management, both in theory and in practice, is necessarily egocentric and thus ethically biased. (...)
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  13. Sami M. Abbasi & Kenneth W. Hollman (1987). An Exploratory Study of the Personal Value Systems of City Managers. Journal of Business Ethics 6 (1):45 - 53.
    Little attention has been given by researchers in organizational behavior to the study of public managers' values and how these values affect their managerial behavior. Therefore, the major objective of this study was to identify the personal value systems and value profiles of public managers, and to systematically examine and discuss the relationship between personal values and related organizational behavior including decision making. The significance of the findings for public policy is briefly discussed, and the need for future research is (...)
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  14. Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi, William J. Read & D. Paul Scarbrough (2003). Does Selection-Socialization Help to Explain Accountants' Weak Ethical Reasoning? Journal of Business Ethics 42 (1):71-81.
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  15. Andrew V. Abela (2001). Catholic Social Teaching and the Purpose of the Firm1 Andrew I/. Abela. Journal of Business Ethics 31:2.
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  16. John D. Abell (1990). A Note on the Teaching of Ethics in the MBA Macroeconomics Course. Journal of Business Ethics 9 (1):21 - 29.
    While there is general agreement on the need to teach ethics in the MBA classroom, there are great difficulties in completely integrating such material within the confines of an actual MBA program. This paper attempts to address these difficulties by focusing on the teaching of such issues in one particular class — MBA macroeconomics.Ethical dilemmas often arise due to failures of the market place or due to inappropriate assumptions regarding the market model. Thus, specific suggestions are offered in regard to (...)
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  17. Tanri Abeng (forthcoming). Business Ethics in Islamic Context: Perspectives of a Muslim Business Leader. Business Ethics Quarterly.
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  18. Tanri Abeng (1997). Business Ethics in Islamic Context. Business Ethics Quarterly 7 (3):47-54.
    The role of the business leader is key to develop the culture of an enterprise. To exemplify its importance in the national and globalcontext, the Muslim author from Indonesia points with admiration to Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electric Corporation, who already in the 1930s set up the seven ethical principles for healthy business growth, which also are commended by the Islamic imperative. Due to the current dynamic business environment, Muslims find themselves confronted with serious dilemmas and need guidance from (...)
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  19. Kola Abimbola & Temi Abimbola (2010). Virtue-Based Leadership in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. In Carla Millar & Eve Poole (eds.), Ethical Leadership: Global Challenges and Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  20. John Abrams (2004). Conscious Growth. Business Ethics 18 (2):9-11.
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  21. Neil Remington Abramson (2007). The Leadership Archetype: A Jungian Analysis of Similarities Between Modern Leadership Theory and the Abraham Myth in the Judaic–Christian Tradition. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 72 (2):115 - 129.
    Archetypal psychology suggests the possibility of a leadership archetype representing the unconscious preferences of human beings as a species about the appropriate relationships between leaders and followers. Mythological analysis compared God’s leadership in the Abraham myth with modern visionary, ethical and situational leadership to find similarities reflecting continuities in human thinking about leadership over as long as 3600 years. God’s leadership behavior is very modern except that God is generally more relationship oriented. The leadership archetype that emerges is of a (...)
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  22. R. Abratt, D. L. Nel & N. S. Higgs (1993). An Examination of the Ethical Beliefs of Managers. Journal of Business Ethics 11:29-35.
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  23. Russell Abratt, Deon Nel & Nicola Susan Higgs (1992). An Examination of the Ethical Beliefs of Managers Using Selected Scenarios in a Cross-Cultural Environment. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (1):29 - 35.
    Academic literature addressing the topic of business ethics has paid little attention to cross-cultural studies of business ethics. Uncertainty exists concerning the effect of culture on ethical beliefs. The purpose of this research is to compare the ethical beliefs of managers operating in South Africa and Australia. Responses of 52 managers to a series of ethical scenarios were sought. Results indicate that despite differences in socio-cultural and political factors there are no statistically significant differences between the two groups regarding their (...)
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  24. Russell Abratt & Neale Penman (2002). Understanding Factors Affecting Salespeople's Perceptions of Ethical Behavior in South Africa. Journal of Business Ethics 35 (4):269 - 280.
    Sales professionals have been frequent targets of ethical criticism. This paper reports on a survey on ethics of sales professionals in South Africa. The results revealed salespeoples views on controversial sales practices that involve direct monetary consequences; on practices that adversely affect customers, employers and competitors; and on sales peoples sensitization of ethical issues. Stealing from a competitor at a trade show was viewed as the most unethical of the scenarios, while phone sabotage and lying to a customer were held (...)
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  25. Russell Abratt & Diane Sacks (1988). The Marketing Challenge: Towards Being Profitable and Socially Responsible. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 7 (7):497 - 507.
    This article reviews the history of marketing thought in relation to social responsibility and business ethics. The main objective of the article is to show that business can be profitable and socially responsible at the same time by practising the societal marketing concept. More specifically, it presents the development of a marketing philosophy, discusses the influence of consumerism on the marketing concept and deals with ethics and social responsibility in marketing. It is argued that organisations who adopt the societal marketing (...)
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  26. Cost Accounting (forthcoming). Worizing Ideas. Business Ethics.
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  27. M. Ackermann & J. Britz (2005). The Use of E-Mail in the South African Workplace. A Legal Overview. Journal of Information Ethics 14 (2):20-31.
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  28. H. B. Acton (1971). The Morals of Markets: An Ethical Exploration. Harlow,Longmans.
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  29. Avshalom M. Adam & Dalia Rachman-moore (2004). The Methods Used to Implement an Ethical Code of Conduct and Employee Attitudes. Journal of Business Ethics 54 (3):225 - 244.
    In the process of implementing an ethical code of conduct, a business organization uses formal methods. Of these, training, courses and means of enforcement are common and are also suitable for self-regulation. The USA is encouraging business corporations to self regulate with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG). The Guidelines prescribe similar formal methods and specify that, unless such methods are used, the process of implementation will be considered ineffective, and the business will therefore not be considered to have complied with (...)
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  30. Barbara L. Adams, Fannie L. Malone & Woodrow James (1995). Confidentiality Decisions: The Reasoning Process of CPAS in Resolving Ethical Dilemmas. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 14 (12):1015 - 1020.
    As in other professions, such as law and medicine, accounting has a Code of Professional Conduct (Code) that members are expected to abide by. In today''s legalistic society, however, the question of what is the right thing to do, is often confused with what is legal? In many instances, this may present a conflict between adhering to the Code and doing what some may perceive as proper ethical behavior. This paper examines (1) the reasoning process that CPAs use in resolving (...)
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  31. Doug Adams (1990). I Am a Convicted Felon. Business Ethics 4 (3):25-26.
    My name is Doug Adam. I am a convicted felon. I turned myself in, in mid-1987, to a U.S. attorney in New York, pleading guilty to felony charges of tax fraud and fraud on a mutual fund. It leftme scared to death, millions of dollars in debt, with no job, and at the age of37 back living with my parents while I awaited sentencing. What began then was a painful process of self discovery. After thriving on competition and perfection all (...)
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  32. Janet S. Adams, Armen Tashchian & Ted H. Shore (2001). Codes of Ethics as Signals for Ethical Behavior. Journal of Business Ethics 29 (3):199 - 211.
    This study investigated effects of codes of ethics on perceptions of ethical behavior. Respondents from companies with codes of ethics (n = 465) rated role set members (top management, supervisors, peers, subordinates, self) as more ethical and felt more encouraged and supported for ethical behavior than respondents from companies without codes (n = 301). Key aspects of the organizational climate, such as supportiveness for ethical behavior, freedom to act ethically, and satisfaction with the outcome of ethical problems were impacted by (...)
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  33. Janet S. Adams, Armen Tashchian & Ted H. Shore (2001). Social Costs of Environmental Justice Associated with the Practice of Green Marketing. Journal of Business Ethics 29 (3):199-211.
    This study investigated effects of codes of ethics on perceptions of ethical behavior. Respondents from companies with codes of ethics (n = 465) rated role set members (top management, supervisors, peers, subordinates, self) as more ethical and felt more encouraged and supported for ethical behavior than respondents from companies without codes (n = 301). Key aspects of the organizational climate, such as supportiveness for ethical behavior, freedom to act ethically, and satisfaction with the outcome of ethical problems were impacted by (...)
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  34. Kenneth Adams (1992). Book Reviews. Christian Approaches to Wealth. [REVIEW] Business Ethics 1 (4):266–269.
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  35. Rae B. Adams (1985). Wayward Capitalists. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 4 (2):81-85.
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  36. Stephen Adams (2009). Follow the Money: Engineering at Stanford and UC Berkeley During the Rise of Silicon Valley. Minerva 47 (4):367-390.
    A comparison of the engineering schools at UC Berkeley and Stanford during the 1940s and 1950s shows that having an excellent academic program is necessary but not sufficient to make a university entrepreneurial (an engine of economic development). Key factors that made Stanford more entrepreneurial than Cal during this period were superior leadership and a focused strategy. The broader institutional context mattered as well. Stanford did not have the same access to state funding as public universities (such (...)
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  37. Michael Adas (1990). Bookend. Business Ethics 4 (5):30-30.
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  38. Emmanuel Adegbite (2012). Corporate Governance in the Nigerian Banking Industry: Towards Governmental Engagement. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 7 (3):209-231.
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  39. Christopher P. Adkins (2011). Once More with Feeling : Integrating Emotion in Teaching Business Ethics' Educational Implications From Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Psychology. In Ronald R. Sims & William I. Sauser (eds.), Experiences in Teaching Business Ethics. Information Age Pub..
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  40. Nell Adkins & Robin R. Radtke (2004). Students' and Faculty Members' Perceptions of the Importance of Business Ethics and Accounting Ethics Education: Is There an Expectations Gap? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 51 (3):279-300.
    Despite a wealth of prior research (e.g., Wynd and Mager, 1989; Weber, 1990; Harris, 1991; Harris and Guffey, 1991; McCabe et al., 1991; Murphy and Boatright, 1994; Gautschi and Jones, 1998), little consensus has arisen about the goals and effectiveness of business ethics education. Additionally, accounting academics have recently been questioned as to their commitment to accounting ethics education (Gunz and McCutcheon, 1998). The current study examines whether accounting students' perceptions of business ethics and the goals of accounting (...)
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  41. Donald L. Adolphson (2004). A New Perspective on Ethics, Ecology, and Economics. Journal of Business Ethics 54 (3):203 - 216.
    This paper introduces the important concept of a biophysical perspective on economics into the business ethics literature. The biophysical perspective recognizes that ecological processes determine what can be done in an economy and how best to do it. A biophysical perspective places the economic system into a larger context of the ecologic system. This changes the perception of ethical issues by identifying a larger scope of management decisions. The paper examines the changing ethical landscape in such issues as biotechnology, planned (...)
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  42. Donald L. Adolphson & Eldon H. Franz (2005). From Fiduciary to Vivantary Responsibility. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 24 (1/2):79-102.
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  43. Europe Africa & Special Sessions (2000). The Second World Congress of Business, Economics, and Ethics July 19–23, 2000 São Paulo, Brazil. Journal of Business Ethics 23:427-428.
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  44. Alejandro Agafonow (2013). Toward A Positive Theory of Social Entrepreneurship. On Maximizing Versus Satisficing Value Capture. Journal of Business Ethics:1-5.
    In a recent issue of the Journal of Business Ethics, Filipe M. Santos posits that social entrepreneurs maximize not on value capture, but on value creation, only satisficing on value capture to fuel operations, reinvesting in growth, whatever the specific combination of institutional means is deemed appropriate. No doubt the analytical framework of value creation and value capture casts new light on the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship, but we think Santos is asking too much by advocating a shift in focus (...)
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  45. James Agarwal & David Cruise Malloy (2000). The Role of Existentialism in Ethical Business Decision‐Making. Business Ethics 9 (3):143–154.
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  46. James Agarwal & David Cruise Malloy (1999). Ethical Work Climate Dimensions in a Not-for-Profit Organization: An Empirical Study. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 20 (1):1 - 14.
    This paper is an attempt to address the limited amount of research in the realm of organizational ethical climate in the not-for-profit sector. The paper draws from Victor and Cullen's (1988) theoretical framework which, combines the constructs of cognitive moral development, ethical theory, and locus of analysis. However, as a point of departure from Victor and Cullen's work, the authors propose an alternative methodology to extract ethical climate dimensions based on theoretical considerations. Using the Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ), an exploratory (...)
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  47. James Agarwal, David Cruise Malloy & Ken Rasmussen (2010). Erratum To: Ethical Climate in Government and Nonprofit Sectors: Public Policy Implications for Service Delivery. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 94 (1):3 - 2.
    An important factor that leads governments to engage in public service contracts with nonprofit organizations is the belief that they share similar ethical and value orientations that will allow governments to reduce monitoring costs. However the notion of the existence of similarities in ethical climate has not been systematically examined. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ethical climate in government and nonprofit sectors and to determine the extent to which similarities (and differences) exist in ethical climate dimensions. (...)
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  48. James Agarwal, Oleksiy Osiyevskyy & Percy M. Feldman (forthcoming). Corporate Reputation Measurement: Alternative Factor Structures, Nomological Validity, and Organizational Outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics.
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  49. Judith Buber Agassi (1986). Dignity in the Workplace Can Work Be Dealienated? Journal of Business Ethics 5 (4):271 - 284.
    Many jobs today are alienating: they damage the working person in psychological, mental, intellectual or psychosomatic ways; the psychosomatic damage may be permanent. This ill is due to a disregard for the basic psychological needs not gratified in a large number of workroles. It can be remedied without revolutionizing either the political or the economic-legal systems of pluralist democratic societies. Rather, we should revolutionize the image of the rank-and-file working person and attempt radical experiments in implementing new and democratic structures (...)
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  50. Daniel Egiegba Agbiboa (2012). Between Corruption and Development: The Political Economy of State Robbery in Nigeria. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 108 (3):325-345.
    The study is based on the hypothesis that there is a link between corruption and underdevelopment and that corruption is responsible for the shortcomings and poor performance of the Nigerian political economy. In addition to examining the historical trajectory of corruption in Nigeria, this paper delves into the underlying causes of corruption as well as its cumulative impact on national development in the country. Lastly, the paper assesses some public and private sector initiatives that have been taken and that might (...)
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