Unethical decision-making behavior within organizations has received increasing attention over the past ten years. As a result, a plethora of studies have examined the relationship between gender and business ethics. However, these studies report conflicting results as to whether or not men and women differ with regards to business ethics. In this article, we propose that gender identity theory [Spence: 1993, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 64, 624–635], provides both the theory and empirical measures to explore the influence of (...) psychological gender traits and gender-role attitudes on ethical perceptions of workplace behaviors. Statistical analyses of the data reveal that based on sex alone, no differences occur between men and women in their ethical perceptions. Yet, when a multidimensional approach to gender is applied, results show that expressive traits and egalitarian gender-role attitudes contribute to both men’s and women’s propensity to perceive unethical workplace behaviors as unethical. The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are presented. (shrink)
Who controls what gets defined as skill or knowledge can be an indeterminate struggle in many organizations. Knights and McCabe attempt to understand conflicting interpretations of skills and knowledge around the introduction of a new automated production line in a manufacturing plant by making use of the concepts of distal and proximal organization. Employees and management often draw on a distal understanding of skill/knowledge, thereby treating it as a result or an outcome, a finished object, which one either possesses (...) or is dispossessed of: By contrast, a proximal understanding would focus on relations, processes and representations that are continuous, unfinished, partial and pecarious. Knights and McCabe argue that management adopts a distal perspective because it stresses that employees cannot lose skill/knowledge that they already possess, whereas employees also adopt a distal perspective in believing that they can. They then argue that a proximal understanding is capable of providing greater insight and of opening up new "patterns of possibility." The distinction between a fixed (distal) ontology and a fluid (proximal) one is thus suggested as having meaning for the potential actions of managers. (shrink)
This article reviews 1 decade of research on cheating in academic institutions. This research demonstrates that cheating is prevalent and that some forms of cheating have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. This research also suggests that although both individual and contextual factors influence cheating, contextual factors, such as students' perceptions of peers' behavior, are the most powerful influence. In addition, an institution's academic integrity programs and policies, such as honor codes, can have a significant influence on students' behavior. (...) Finally, we offer suggestions for managing cheating from students' and faculty members' perspectives. (shrink)
Neuroeconomics is the newest of the economic sciences with a focus on how the embodied human brain interacts with its institutional and social environment to make economic decisions. This paper presents an overview of neuroeconomics methods and reviews a number of results in this emerging field of study.
Substantial research efforts have been devoted to developing a cure for autism, but some advocates of people with autism claim that these efforts are misguided and even harmful. They claim that there is nothing wrong with people with autism, so there is nothing to cure. Others argue that autism is a serious and debilitating disorder and that a cure for autism would be a wonderful medical breakthrough. Our goal in this essay is to evaluate what assumptions underlie each of these (...) positions. We evaluate the arguments made on each side, reject those that are implausible and then highlight the key assumptions of those that remain. (shrink)
The Dalai Lama once wrote that the object of human existence was to be happy. This sounds extremely glib as happiness in the popular imagination is a feeling and in the words of the song 'the greatest gift that we possess'. On the other hand, von Hugel wrote 'Religion has never made me happy;it's no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself' This small masterpiece by the late Fr (...) Herbert McCabe of the Dominican order steers a steady courss between these two extremes. We feels instinctively that human beings are designed to enjoy themselves and to be happy and yet we are told that suffering is good for the soul. But in the Catholic tradition the true object of human existence is the vision of God and nothing less than this will ever make us truly happy. But Fr McCabe explores much deeper issues. Is Happiness a pleasure or a pain? You hardly know. Certainly it is not a comfort for comfort spells seciurity and hapiness can take you out of yourself to a degree where all secutiry is left behind. Behind a feeling of exultation, you can sense the flame of incandescent terror. This short book is entirely original and will further enhance McCabe's posthumous reputation. (shrink)
In healthcare, a tension sometimes arises between the injunction to do as much good as possible with scarce resources and the injunction to rescue identifiable individuals in immediate peril, regardless of cost (the “Rule of Rescue”). This tension can generate serious ethical and political difficulties for public policy makers faced with making explicit decisions about the public funding of controversial health technologies, such as costly new cancer drugs. In this paper we explore the appropriate role of the Rule of Rescue (...) in public resource allocation decisions by health technology funding advisory bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. We consider practical approaches to operationalising the Rule of Rescue from Australia and the UK before examining the relevance of individual moral imperatives to public policy making. We conclude that that whilst public policy makers in a humane society should facilitate exceptional departures from a cost effectiveness norm in clinical decisions about identified individuals, it is not so obvious that they should, as a matter of national public policy, exempt any one group of unidentified individuals within society from the rules of opportunity cost at the expense of all others. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the epistemology and metaphysics of universe creation on a computer. The paper begins with F.J.Tipler's argument that our experience is indistinguishable from the experience of someone embedded in a perfect computer simulation of our own universe, hence we cannot know whether or not we are part of such a computer program ourselves. Tipler's argument is treated as a special case of epistemological scepticism, in a similar vein to `brain-in-a-vat' arguments. (...) It is argued that the hypothesis that our universe is a program running on a digital computer in another universe generates empirical predictions, and is therefore a falsifiable hypothesis. The computer program hypothesis is also treated as a hypothesis about what exists beyond the physical world, and is compared with Kant's metaphysics of noumena. It is proposed that a theory about what exists beyond the physical world should be formulated with the precise concepts of mathematics, and should generate physical predictions. It is argued that if our universe is a program running on a digital computer, then our universe must have compact spatial topology, and the possibilities of observationally testing this prediction are considered. The possibility of testing the computer program hypothesis with the value of the density parameter Omega_0 is also analysed. The informational requirements for a computer to represent a universeexactly and completely are considered. Consequent doubt is thrown upon Tipler's claim that if a hierarchy of computer universes exists, we would not be able to know which `level of implementation' our universe exists at. It is then argued that a digital computer simulation of a universe cannot exist as a universe. However, the paper concludes with the acknowledgement that an analog computer simulation can be objectively related to the thing it represents, hence an analog computer simulation of a universe could, in principle, exist as a universe. (shrink)
A theory is presented which proposes that knowledge acquisition involves direct perception of schematic information in the form of structural and transformational invariances. Individual components with salient verbal descriptions are considered conscious place-holders for non-conscious invariant schemes. It is speculated that theories positing mental construction have three related causes: The first is a lack of consciousness of the schema processing capacities of the right hemisphere; the second is the paucity of adequate words to express schematic relationships; and the last involves (...) the dominance of verbal processes in consciousness. Philosophical theories are reviewed and schematic data relevant to biological survival is offered. Applications to education are suggested. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze from a strategic ethical perspective four selected shareholder resolutions reported by the Social Issues Service of the Investor Responsibility Research Center regarding international labor and workplace standards. Particular attention will be paid to specific employee relations issues at the operating and tactical level of individual multinational firms. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for proxy statements.
This paper provides a historical overview of the interrelationship between the use of nonunion employment arbitration and the ethics of employee organizational due process. Key research questions to be explored include the following, among others: Why are expectations about due process in organizations increasing? How are these expectations being exhibited? What is the nature of fair treatment of employees in relation to nonunion employment arbitration? Should arbitration in the nonunion employment relationship be nurtured? A final objective of this paper is (...) to study some of the current initiatives that neutral agencies have adopted to ensure that nonunion arbitration is fair, just, and equitable for a firm's employees. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the most recent public policy and ethical issues as they relate to the growing usage of nonunion employment arbitration particularly in relation to financial services firms and professional firms. In this era of increasing employment-related litigation, it is wise from an employer’s point of view to find alternative procedures that offer assurances of fairness yet provide expeditious means for resolving disputes. From an employee’s vantage point, however, it is essential (...) that the fundamental issue of procedural and substantive due process be maintained and guaranteed. Therefore, a number of strategic ethical issues arise: How should employment arbitration procedures be designed following the Due Process Protocol of the Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment? How should arbitration procedures follow the national rules for the resolution of employment disputes of the American Arbitration Association? Do recent court decisions shed light on these issues? What ethical principles can be gleaned from these public policy pronouncements? A final objective of this paper is to study some of the current initiatives on this topic. (shrink)
As prototypical incentive with biological meaning, food illustrates the distinction between money as tool and money as drug. However, consistent neuroscience results challenge this view of food as intrinsic value and opposite to drugs of abuse. The scarce availability over evolutionary time of both food and money may explain their similar drug-like non-satiability, suggesting an integrated mechanism for generalized reinforcers. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Recently there has been an outpouring of consumer frustration over rising food and energy prices. Many politicians railed against “speculators” who allegedly drove up the prices of key necessities. Is speculation unethical? This article reviews the traditional arguments against speculation. Many of the standard criticisms confuse speculation with gambling. In much the same way as ethicists now draw distinctions between usury and normal business interest, we draw a distinction between socially useful speculation and gambling. Gambling involves taking on risk with (...) no plausible expectation of making a profit. Gambling may provide entertainment value to some people, but like other addictive activities causes grave harm to a subset of users. Speculation involves taking on a business risk with a plausible expectation that a profit will result. Speculators provide an important risk bearing service by taking on risks that others do not want. They help markets to function better by helping to incorporate information into prices as well as providing liquidity. Speculators may actually reduce shortages by causing quicker price increases that motivate producers to increase production and consumers to conserve. But even socially useful speculation may have an ethical dark side. Does such speculation cause damage by adding excess volatility to prices? Speculators may contribute to price bubbles. At what point does legitimate speculation become odious “price gouging?” We also draw an ethical distinction between speculation, which seeks to benefit from changing prices, and manipulation, actions taken to push prices away from their economically appropriate levels. (shrink)
The controversy over short selling has continued unabated from the introduction of modern equity trading in Amsterdam in 1610 to the present day. Nevertheless, the business ethics literature has not really addressed short selling. Short sellers not only profit from the misery of others, they also create it through their selling activities. However, they also provide a socially useful service by making prices better reflect true values, protecting other investors from purchasing overpriced securities. Short sellers can also help to provide (...) liquidity in the markets. Recently, there has been a hue and cry against so called "naked" short selling, which involves not delivering the shares that have been sold. This gives manipulators a tool for depressing stock prices and deprives purchasers of voting rights and potential stock lending revenue. Naked short selling creates ethical issues for short sellers, buyers, brokers, market makers, and regulators. Is it ethical to exploit a legal loophole that permits sellers to sell stock and delay delivering shares indefinitely? (shrink)
This paper examines the ethics of contemporary managerial compensation in the context of executive stock options. Economic considerations would dictate that executive stock options should be adjusted to eliminate the effect of overall stock market movements which are beyond the control of the executive. However, in practice, most executive stock options are not adjusted to control for these outside factors. Agency considerations are the most likely culprit. Adjusting for the influence of outside factors, such as a generally rising stock market, (...) from executive stock options sets a higher bar for managers to reach. Furthermore, traditional accounting standards permitted firms that did not adjust options to avoid reporting options as expenses. This presents CEOs and boards of directors with a major ethical dilemma. On the one hand, their duty to their shareholders and stakeholders dictates that executive stock options should be adjusted to eliminate outside noise from unrelated movements in the overall stock market. However, financial statements are presented in the language of accounting. If the overwhelming majority of the users of a language define a particular item in one way, then to deviate from the norm implies that the recipient of such a deviant statement may not properly interpret the statement. Likewise, if the standard practice is for firms to use unadjusted options and thus under-report expenses, to deviate from this industry norm risks that users of financial statements would not properly interpret the financial statements, with perhaps negative consequences for the shareholders. In short, if "everyone else does it," then it could be wrong for an individual firm to deviate from the norm as that would harm the shareholders. (shrink)
How does Plato view his philosophical antecedents? Plato and his Predecessors considers how Plato represents his philosophical predecessors in a late quartet of dialogues: the Theaetetus, the Sophist, the Politicus and the Philebus. Why is it that the sophist Protagoras, or the monist Parmenides, or the advocate of flux, Heraclitus, are so important in these dialogues? And why are they represented as such shadowy figures, barely present at their own refutations? The explanation, the author argues, is a complex one involving (...) both the reflective relation between Plato's dramatic technique and his philosophical purposes, and the very nature of his late philosophical views. For in these encounters with his predecessors we see Plato develop a new account of the principles of reason, against those who would deny them, and forge a fresh view of the best life - the life of the philosopher. (shrink)
Why did Plato put his philosophical arguments into dialogues, rather than presenting them in a plain and readily understandable fashion? A group of distinguished scholars here offer answers to this question by studying the relation between form and argument in his late dialogues. These penetrating studies show that the literary structure of the dialogues is of vital importance in the ongoing interpretation of Plato.
The topic of cheating among college students has received considerable attention in the education and psychology literatures. But most of this research has been conducted with relatively small samples and individual projects have generally focused on students from a single campus. These studies have improved our understanding of cheating in college, but it is difficult to generalize their findings and it is also difficult to develop a good understanding of the differences that exist among different academic majors. Understanding such differences (...) may be important in developing improved strategies for combating college cheating. The objective of this paper is to examine the relation between cheating and the choice of academic major with a particular focus on natural science and engineering majors. The data source for this analysis is a study of over 4,000 students from 31 campuses which was conducted in the 1995–1996 academic year. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the ethical concept of organizational due process in relation to contemporary issues in the utilization of company grievance procedures in the rapidly growing nonunion arena. Another objective of this paper is to appraise the current practices that employers have evolved for resolving issues generated by grievances, particularly those of professional, white collar employees.
Much has been written about the ethics and values of today's business student, but this research has generally been characterized by a variety of methodological shortcomings — the use of convenience samples, a failure to establish the relevance of comparison groups employed, attempts to understand behavior in terms of unidimensional values preselected by the researcher, and the lack of well-designed longitudinal studies. The research reported here addresses many of these concerns by comparing the values and ethical decision making behavior of (...) a large cohort of students entering an M. B. A. program to students entering law school. Using the Rokeach value survey and several ethical decision making vignettes, significant differences were found between the two groups which have important implications for both the business and legal professions and the education of their future leaders. (shrink)
Recent concern over “high frequency trading” (HFT) has called into question the fairness of the practice. What does it mean for a financial market to be “fair”? We first examine how high frequency trading is actually used. High frequency traders often implement traditional beneficial strategies such as market making and arbitrage, although computers can also be used for manipulative strategies as well. We then examine different notions of fairness. Procedural fairness can be viewed from the perspective of equal opportunity, in (...) which all market participants are treated alike. The same rules apply to HFT as to other traders. Another approach to fairness is in the equality of outcomes. Many HFT strategies are beneficial to other market participants, so one cannot categorically denounce the practice as unfair. Other strategies, for both high and low frequency trading, are not. It is thus important to distinguish between the technology and the use of the technology to make judgments on fairness. (shrink)
This paper introduces the special issue of papers selected from those presented at the International Conference on Business Ethics in Transitional Economies, held March 20–22, 2002 in Celakovice and Prague, Czech Republic. A brief background on the conference is given, and a summary of the papers offered in this special issue is provided.
Quantitative research about academic cheating among Chinese college students is minimal. This paper discusses a large survey conducted in Chinese colleges and universities which examined the prevalence of different kinds of student cheating and explored factors that influence cheating behavior. A structural equation model was used to analyze the data. Results indicate that organizational deterrence and individual performance have a negative impact on cheating while individual perceived pressure, peers’ cheating, and extracurricular activities have a positive impact. Recommendations are proposed to (...) reduce the level of academic cheating in China. Many of these are universal in nature and applicable outside of China as well. (shrink)
M.B.A. programs in the United States continue to admit foreign students in record numbers, yet we know little about how this cultural diversity may impact the values and ethical decision making behavior of either American or foreign students. The research discussed here examined this issue within the context of a large M.B.A. program where non-U.S. citizens comprise over twenty percent of the student population. Comparisons of U.S. and Asian students supported existing notions about the independent vs. interdependent conceptions of the (...) role of the individual within each culture. However, these differences were not a major factor in explaining the significantly different choices made by U.S. and Asian students in selected decision making vignettes. The impIication of these findings for both the M.B.A. program and the profession is discussed. It is concluded that academicians and practitioners in both cultures must work together to develop some consensus on the core principles that should govern global competition. A failure to do so may lead to increasing distrust among practitioners from different cultural backgrounds. It is suggested that graduate business education has a role to play in this process. (shrink)
We propose extending business ethics education beyond the formal curriculum to the hidden curriculum where messages about ethics and values are implicitly sent and received. In this meta-learning approach, students learn by becoming active participants in an honorable business school community where real ethical issues are openly discussed and acted upon. When combined with formal ethics instruction, this meta-learning approach provides a framework for a proposed comprehensive program of business ethics education.
What are the ethical obligations of the sellers of financial products to their customers? Stockbrokers in the U.S. have a legal and ethical requirement to recommend only “suitable” investments to their customers. This is a fairly weak standard. Currently, there are proposals to raise the standard to a fiduciary one in which the recommendations would have to be in the best interests of the clients. Brokers sell solutions to financial problems. Similar to an auto mechanic or a doctor, the product (...) often consists of both the professional advice and its implementation. There are numerous conflicts of interest between brokerage firms and their customers in that the products that pay the highest commissions may not be the best ones for the customers. The societal perspective adds complications, however. Society depends on modern financial markets to raise capital for productive enterprises and to spread risk. Issuers of financial products need distribution channels for their products just like the producers of any other products. Commissions create powerful incentives for the distribution channels, but at the same time produce conflicts of interest—a type of ethical pollution. Just as our society tolerates some pollution as a byproduct of other useful activities, it may be useful to tolerate some of these financial conflicts of interest. The nature of the relationship should govern the ethical standard. Those selling advice, regardless of how they label themselves, should adhere to a best-interest fiduciary standard. More limited relationships should be limited to the mandate involved in the relationship. (shrink)
This article draws on the results of a qualitative, exploratory study of 20 Australian women business owners to demonstrate how using a ‹gender as social identity’ lens provides new insights into the influence of gender on exporting and entrepreneurial behaviour. Interview data reveal perceptions of gender identity and gender relations varied and influenced the interpretations which women business owners placed on their exporting activities. Women in the study used different terms to describe exporter and entrepreneurial characteristics to those found in (...) extant literature. A strong theme was exporting as a life-changing experience that allowed the women to grow personally as well as grow the business and succeed as exporters. (shrink)
Prior research on the impact of ethics education within the business curriculum has yielded mixed results. Although the impact is often found to be positive, it appears to be both small and short-lived. Interpretation of these results, however, is subject to important methodological limitations. The present research employed a longitudinal methodology to evaluate the impact of an M.B.A. program versus a law program on the values and ethical decision making behavior of (...) a cohort of students at two major universities in the northeast. The results suggest that the M.B.A. curriculum remains a value-neutral experience for most students. In contrast, the law school program had a significant impact on both values and ethical decision making. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to elucidate, by means of concepts and theorems drawn from mathematical logic, the conditions under which the existence of a multiverse is a logical necessity in mathematical physics, and the implications of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem for theories of everything.Three conclusions are obtained in the final section: (i) the theory of the structure of our universe might be an undecidable theory, and this constitutes a potential epistemological limit for mathematical physics, but because such a theory (...) must be complete, there is no ontological barrier to the existence of a final theory of everything; (ii) in terms of mathematical logic, there are two different types of multiverse: classes of non-isomorphic but elementarily equivalent models, and classes of model which are both non-isomorphic and elementarily inequivalent; (iii) for a hypothetical theory of everything to have only one possible model, and to thereby negate the possible existence of a multiverse, that theory must be such that it admits only a finite model. (shrink)
To extract quantitative and meaningful relationships between material microstructure and deformation twinning in magnesium, we conduct a statistical analysis on large data sets generated by electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD). The analyses show that not all grains of similar orientation and grain size form twins, and twinning does not occur exclusively in grains with high twin Schmid factors or in the relatively large grains of the sample. The number of twins per twinned grain increases with grain area, but twin thickness and (...) the fraction of grains with at least one visible twin are independent of grain area. On the other hand, an analysis of twin pairs joined at a boundary indicates that grain boundary misorientation angle strongly influences twin nucleation and growth. These results question the use of deterministic rules for twin nucleation and Hall?Petch laws for size effects on twinning. Instead, they encourage an examination of the defect structures of grain boundaries and their role in twin nucleation and growth. (shrink)
In this study meal sharing is used as a way of quantifying food transfers between households. Traditional food-sharing studies measure the flow of resources between households. Meal sharing, in contrast, measures food consumption acts according to whether one is a host or a guest in the household as well as the movement of people between households in the context of food consumption. Our goal is to test a number of evolutionary models of food transfers, but first we argue that before (...) one tests models of who should receive food one must understand the adaptiveness of food transfers. For the Ye’kwana, economies of scale in food processing and preparation appear to set the stage for the utility of meal sharing. Evolutionary models of meal sharing, such as kin selection and reciprocal altruism, are evaluated along with non-evolutionary models, such as egalitarian exchange and residential propinquity. In addition, a modified measure of exchange balance—proportional balance—is developed. Reciprocal altruism is shown to be the strongest predictor of exchange intensity and balance. (shrink)
Herbert McCabe, OP (d. 2001), was a significant theological figure in England in the last century. A scholar of Aquinas, he was also influenced by Wittgenstein and Marx, his reading of whom helped him articulate a distinctive Thomistic account of human embodiment that serves as a critique of other dominant approaches in ethics. This article shows McCabe's contribution to moral theology by placing his work in conversation with other important approaches, namely, situation ethics, proportionalism, and the New Natural (...) Law Theory. (shrink)
L’auteure se donne pour objectif d’étudier le fonctionnement syntaxique et plus encore, le rôle énonciatif et textuel de l’apostrophe nominale, encore peu explorée par la linguistique et pourtant tout à fait remarquable en ce qu’elle transforme un nom en une forme qui désigne directement la deuxième personne. Laissant volontairement de côté les pronoms en apostrophe, aux emplois plus limités que les noms, C. Détrie étudie l’apostrophe nominale à partir d’un corpus de textes écrits (littéraire..