Taking multidimensional ethics scale approach, this article describes an empirical survey of top managers’ moral decision-making patterns and their change from 1994 to 2004 during morally problematic situations in the Finnish context. The survey questionnaire consisted of four moral dilemmas and a multidimensional scale with six ethical dimensions: justice, deontology, relativism, utilitarianism, egoism and female ethics. The managers evaluated their decision-making in the problems using the multidimensional ethics scale. Altogether 880 questionnaires were analysed statistically. It is concluded that relying on (...) the utilitarian principles is a core ethical evaluation criterion amongst top business managers in Finland. This study proves that managers’ moral decision-making patterns change over time. According to the results of this research, managers’ moral decision-making became more multidimensional during the study period. The change is explained by (1) the inclusion of female ethics items in the scale which allows managers to show more diversity in their decision- making, (2) the change in the Finnish economic context from depression to economic prosperity and growth during the study period, which is conducive to the spread of post materialist values, such as the importance of social relations and (3) the increasing public discussion of the importance ethical issues in business. (shrink)
This article examines stakeholder relationships in a conflict situation. The focus of analysis is on how to understand stakeholder relationships as both ethical and strategic, and further, how the interests of different stakeholders become justified. To describe stakeholder relationships, we use media texts reporting on the case of a foreign investment project. The description shows how relationships evolve and how they constitute different episodes related to the conflict. We address the episodes by analysing stakeholder relationships and their salience. Furthermore, we (...) examine how different stakeholder interests are justified in relation to the conflict. By providing a rich detailed qualitative analysis, we elaborate on the strategic and ethical nature of stakeholder relationships. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the changes in Finnish managers' corporate responsibility perceptions from 1994 to 2004. Following earlier research, the concept of corporate responsibility is operationalised using the stakeholder approach. Empirically, we ask how managers' views on stakeholder issues have changed during the 10-year research period, and how managers' stakeholder orientation compares with their economic orientation. The data were collected using a survey research instrument in the years 1994, 1999 and 2004. The research results show a (...) positive change in managers' corporate responsibility perceptions during this time period. In addition, managers' stakeholder orientation seems to be in balance with their economic orientation. However, the economic context – in terms of both their own company's economic position and the general economic situation – has an effect on managers' stakeholder orientation. (shrink)
This article contributes to the body of stakeholder literature by providing an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of stakeholder relationships as a part of change in value creation. The article presents an argument that the stakeholder salience model as a tool for analyzing stakeholder relationships is not sufficient for understanding business value creation. In the recent stakeholder literature, understanding business value creation has become an important theme. Through an analysis of an empirical case, the article shows how the three stakeholder (...) relationship attributes, legitimacy, power and urgency help to reveal the definitive stakeholders and to capture dynamics of stakeholder relations. However, in the case of strategic change, where the value creation of a firm is in transition, a more profound understanding of stakeholder relationships is needed. As a result of our empirical analysis, six characteristics of stakeholder relationships were identified. To conclude, the question of who and what really counts should be replaced by the question of how value is created in stakeholder relationships. (shrink)
In this paper, we are interested in how a company can enhance stakeholder involvement in its information-sharing practices. We start by looking at the current information-sharing practices in a case where Europe’s second largest pulp producer Metsä-Botnia was caught in the middle of a heated debate between two countries when building a pulp mill in South America. We examine the content of the company’s press releases in terms of the degree of stakeholder involvement. On the basis of our analysis, we (...) discuss the problems and possibilities of enhancing stakeholder involvement through information sharing by introducing a discursive understanding to stakeholder dialogue. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the gap between the strategic and operational levels of corporate responsibility. The strategic level of corporateresponsibility refers to the strategic plans concerning corporate responsibility which are examined by looking at the corporate responsibility documents. The operational level stands for the everyday actions of retailers which are analysed through interviews of nine retailers. The gap between the strategic plans and operational actions is described and analysed to understand why and how the gap exists (...) and what could be done to overcome the gap in the future. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to develop the multidimensional ethics scale and moral scenarios that allow or even support diversity in managers’ reactions when measuring their moral decision-making. This means that we expand the multidimensional ethics scale with a female ethics dimension and take a critical look at the previously used scenarios in the light of diversity. Furthermore, we develop two new scenarios in order to better attain diversity in managers’ moral decision-making. Diversity is primarily looked at from a (...) gender perspective, meaning that we pay attention to the femininities and masculinities of the scale items and scenarios. In addition, we use the concept of social desirability to assess diversity as we presume that social desirability works against diversity. Our article builds on previous research using the multidimensional ethics scale. First, we present a summary of the theoretical dimensions of the original multidimensional ethics scale and extend the scale with female ethics principles to foster diversity. Second, we analyse and assess previously used moral scenarios in order to see how they permit the expression of diversity. Third, we develop two new scenarios based on the interviews conducted with female managers. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the changes in managers’ moral attitudes, stakeholder orientation and economic interests from 1994 to 2004. Dataare presented concerning 8-10 stakeholder groups and 50-58 moral issues.
Due to continual challenges in their external environment, corporations are facing an increased demand for public participation and stakeholder inclusion. As aresult, companies are seeking ways to improve communication with their stakeholders. The emergence of the Internet has provided new corporate channelsfor offering information to stakeholders. This paper suggests that the information contained in company web pages reflects strategic information about the company. In addition to offering information to the public, web pages signal which issues a company holds as strategically (...) important. The objective of this paper is to begin the process of examining how companies express their understanding of multiple stakeholder interests and their efforts to include stakeholders in their strategy documents. The theoretical premise of this paper draws from the strategic management and the stakeholder literatures. The empirical section examines the content of the web pages of two companies from the pulp and paper industry. Based on the results of meaning making analysis, we synthesize the content of the strategy documents with three dimensions: strategic actors, strategic activities, and strategic actions. (shrink)
An entrepreneurial firm was sold to a MNC, and then back to the original entrepreneur. The process will be examined through the lenses of the integration-responsiveness framework, moral and stakeholder approaches, as well as theory of entrepreneurship.
The increasing number and influence of women in society brings up several issues related to values and ethics. Looking at business ethics from the gender perspective made us ponder if it would be fruitful to analyse the feminine and masculine dimensions of decision-making style. The article follows the research tradition using the multidimensional ethics scale, and it aims at developing the scale to better include female decision-making. We came to the conclusion that, as the multidimensional ethics scale used in measuring (...) managers' moral decision-making is derived from modern ethical theories focusing on indications of masculinities more than femininities, the scale leaves feminine decision-making dimensions invisible. Our argument is that in seeking a deeper understanding of (female) managers' moral decision-making, we must find a broader basis for the analysis and develop the scale further so that it allows different voices to be heard and different dimensions to be seen. (shrink)
This paper analyses managers'' moral decision-making, and studies the role of ethical theories in it by following the research tradition using the multidimensional ethics scale. The research question is: what kinds of ethical dimensions do Finnish business managers reveal when they are making moral decisions, and how have these dimensions changed in the 1990s? This question is answered by examining what kinds of factors emerge when the multidimensional ethics scale is used to analyse Finnish managers'' attitudes toward moral dilemmas. The (...) results show that Finnish managers'' decision-making reflects a variety of ethical theories. Teleological thinking is strongly emphasised by Finnish managers, and relativist thinking is used as well, but often combined with either deontology or justice thinking. In addition, a strong moralistic dimension emerged in Finnish managers'' decision-making. The analysis was carried out in two different surveys in years 1994 and 1999, and the results show that the ways of decision-making were more complex at the end of the 1990s than almost six years earlier. (shrink)