This study investigated whether employee perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) were associated with the presence of Corporate Psychopaths in corporations. The article states that, as psychopaths are 1% of the population, it is logical to assume that every large corporation has psychopaths working within it. To differentiate these people from the common perception of psychopaths as being criminals, they have been called “Corporate Psychopaths” in this research. The article presents quantitative empirical research into the influence of Corporate Psychopaths on (...) four perceptual measures of CSR and three further measures of organizational commitment to employees. The article explains who Corporate Psychopaths are and delineates the measures of CSR and organizational commitment to employees that were used. It then outlines the research conducted among 346 corporate employees in Australia in 2008. The reliability of the instrument used is commented on favorably in terms of its statistical reliability and its face and external validity. Results of the research are described showing the highly significant and negative influence of Corporate Psychopaths on all of the measures of CSR and of organizational commitment to employees used in the research. When Corporate Psychopaths are present in leadership positions within organizations, employees are less likely to agree with views that: the organization does business in a socially desirable manner; does business in an environmentally friendly manner and that the organization does business in a way that benefits the local community. Also, when Corporate Psychopaths are present in leadership positions within organizations, employees are significantly less likely to agree that the corporation does business in a way that shows commitment to employees, significantly less likely to feel that they receive due recognition for doing a good job, to feel that their work was appreciated and to feel that their efforts were properly rewarded. The article argues that academics and researchers in the area of CSR cannot ignore the influence of individual managers. This is particularly the case when those managers have dysfunctional personalities, or are actually psychopaths. The article further argues that the existence of Corporate Psychopaths should be of interest to those involved in corporate management and corporate governance because their presence influences the way corporations are run and how corporations affect society and the environment. (shrink)
This paper examines the four counterexamples offered by Lehrer and Richard in 'Remembering Without Knowing'. The analysis which Lehrer and Richard's purported counterexamples attempt to discredit is that remembering p requires knowing that p and believing that p. The counterexamples are considered individually and all are rejected as counterexamples to knowing as a necessary condition of remembering.
K. Lehrer and J. Richard’s analysis of remembering that p is shown to be deficient, particularly because it fails to treat factual memory as an epistemic concept. Adding a requirement concerning the subject’s past justification accommodates instances of factual memory without factual knowledge, helps explain the role of justification in remembering that p, and strengthens the analysis against certain counterexamples. The paper includes an assessment of A. Cusmariu;s definition of impure memory.
External auditors owe a professional duty to the company''s stockholders and to society in general. However their remuneration is determined by management. The resulting conflicts of interest are particularly acute in distressed companies where the auditors are required to disclose uncertainties regarding future survival. We focus on the consequentialist self-fulfilling prophecy argument whereby auditors may fail to disclose such uncertainties due to the belief that the disclosure itself would precipitate the company''s bankruptcy. We find no empirical support for such beliefs (...) for a sample of distressed U.K. companies with audit reports published between 1986 and 1993. Companies whose auditors disclose going concern uncertainties are no more likely to fail than those without such disclosures; indeed three out of four reports containing going concern uncertaintiesare not followed by failure before publication of a subsequent set of accounts. Instead we find that it is the degree of financial distress that drives both bankruptcy and the auditor''s going concern disclosure rather than that the disclosure itself causes failure. Belief in the self-fulfilling prophecy effect nevertheless persists, and this despite the profession''s clear ethical guidelines that audit opinions should provide an objectively true and fair view, paying no regard to possible consequences. It may be that the continued attractiveness of the self-fulfilling prophecy belief is due to its providing a means of resolving intense auditor/management conflict in what is a particularly complex decision situation. We argue that, if the profession''s clear ethical guidelines are to play a greater role in this area, issues such as enforcement will need to be addressed. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of the existence of corporate philanthropy. It proposes a framework for analysing corporate philanthropy along the dimensions of business/society interest and primary/secondary stakeholder focus. The framework is then applied in order to understand business involvement with the arts in the U.K. A unique dataset of 60 texts which describe different firms' involvement with the Arts is analysed using formal content analysis to uncover the motivations for business involvement. Cluster analysis is then used in order to (...) identify motivational groupings. Two broad types of involvement are identified – advertisers and legitimators. Only in one case of the 60 is there the potential to observe pure altruism. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it provides a clear framework to understand the motivations for corporate giving and applies this using empirical data. Secondly, this research finds little evidence, if at all, of corporate philanthropy in the context of firms giving to the Arts in the U.K. (shrink)
This paper develops a set of 16 criteria, divided into four groupings, for responsible business practice (RBP) in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) drawn from the existing SME/RBP literature. The current lack of a general set of criteria against which such activity can be judged is noted and this deficit is redressed. In order to make an initial assessment in support of the criteria so derived, an exploratory feasibility study of RBP in U.K. Fair Trade organisations was conducted. The findings (...) from this study show that most but not all of the RBP criteria seem to be applicable to U.K. Fair Trade organisations but it is recommended that the complete set of criteria continues to be used in further research until such time as there is a general consensus as to which criteria are appropriate. Implications for RBP in small businesses in general, and for Fair Trade organisations in particular, are drawn out and suggestions for further research are identified. (shrink)
This infamous book has enjoyed a lively underground reputation since its first publication in 1970. Richard Meltzer (a.k.a. R. Meltzer) took his training as a young philosopher and applied it with unalloyed enthusiasm to the lyrics, sound, and culture of rock and roll. Never before had anyone noticed the relationship between the philosophy of Heidegger and a tune by Little Anthony and the Imperials, heard the cries of agony in the Shangri Las' “Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)”, or transcribed (...) every "papa-ooma-mow-mow" in the Trashmen's “Surfin' Bird.”From Dionne Warwick to Plato, Jim Morrison to Bert Brecht, Conway Twitty to Miguel de Unamuno, Meltzer subverts high and low culture in his search for meaning, emotion, and codes in popular music. At once an earnest investigation and a crypto put-on, the book can be read for its nuggets of information and insights or for its humor. Here with Greil Marcus's new introduction, yet another generation of readers can be outraged and inspired. (shrink)
Are all moral truths relative or do certain moral truths hold for all cultures and people? In Moral Relativism: A Reader, this and related questions are addressed by twenty-one contemporary moral philosophers and thinkers. This engaging and nontechnical anthology, the only up-to-date collection devoted solely to the topic of moral relativism, is accessible to a wide range of readers including undergraduate students from various disciplines. The selections are organized under six main topics: (1) General Issues; (2) Relativism and Moral Diversity; (...) (3) On the Coherence of Moral Relativism; (4) Defense and Criticism; (5) Relativism, Realism, and Rationality; and (6) Case Study on Relativism. Contributors include Ruth Benedict, Richard Brandt, Thomas L. Carson, Philippa Foot, Gordon Graham, Gilbert Harman, Loretta M. Kopelman, David Lyons, J. L. Mackie, Michele Moody-Adams, Paul K. Moser, Thomas Nagel, Martha Nussbaum, Karl Popper, Betsy Postow, James Rachels, W. D. Ross, T. M. Scanlon, William Graham Sumner, and Carl Wellman. The volume concludes with a case study on female circumcision/genital mutilation that vividly brings into focus the practical aspects and implications of moral relativism. An ideal primary text for courses in moral relativism, Moral Relativism: A Reader can also be used as a supplementary text for introductory courses in ethics and for courses in various disciplines--anthropology, sociology, theology, political science, and cultural studies--that discuss relativism. The volume's pedagogical and research value is enhanced by a topical bibliography on moral relativism and a substantial general introduction that includes explanatory summaries of the twenty selections. (shrink)
The cognitive deterioration associated with aging is accompanied by structural alterations and loss of functionality of the frontostriatal dopamine system. The question arises how such deleterious cognitive effects could be countered. Brain training, currently highly popular among young and old alike, promises that users will improve on certain neurocognitive skills, and this has indeed been confirmed in a number of studies. Based on these results, it seems reasonable to expect beneficial effects of brain training in the elderly as well. A (...) selective review of the existing literature suggests, however, that the results are neither robust nor consistent, and that transfer and sustained effects thus far appear limited. Based on this review, we argue for a series of elements that hold potential for progress in successful types of brain training: (i) including flexibility and novelty as features of the training, (ii) focusing on a number of promising, yet largely unexplored domains, such as decision-making and memory strategy training, and (iii) tailoring the training adaptively to the level and progress of the individual. We also emphasize the need for covariance-based MRI methods in linking structural and functional changes in the aging brain to individual differences in neurocognitive efficiency and trainability in order to further uncover the underlying mechanisms. (shrink)
Reward-based decision-learning refers to the process of learning to select those actions that lead to rewards while avoiding actions that lead to punishments. This process, known to rely on dopaminergic activity in striatal brain regions, is compromised in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We hypothesized that such decision-learning deficits are alleviated by induced positive affect, which is thought to incur transient boosts in midbrain and striatal dopaminergic activity. Computational measures of probabilistic reward-based decision-learning were determined for 51 patients diagnosed with PD. Previous (...) work has shown these measures to rely on the nucleus caudatus (outcome evaluation during the early phases of learning) and the putamen (reward prediction during later phases of learning). We observed that induced positive affect facilitated learning, through its effects on reward prediction rather than outcome evaluation. Viewing a few minutes of comedy clips served to remedy dopamine-related problems in putamen-based frontostriatal circuitry and, consequently, in learning to predict which actions will yield reward. (shrink)
Salient visual stimuli capture attention and trigger an eye-movement towards its location reflexively, regardless of an observer’s intentions. Here we investigate the effect of aging 1) on the extent to which salient yet task-irrelevant stimuli capture saccades, and 2) on the ability to selectively suppress such oculomotor responses. Young and older adults were asked to direct their eyes to a target appearing in a stimulus array. Analysis of overall performance shows that saccades to the target object were disrupted by the (...) appearance of a task-irrelevant abrupt-onset distractor when the location of this distractor did not coincide with that of the target object. Conditional Capture Function analyses revealed that, compared to young adults, older adults were more susceptible to oculomotor capture, and exhibited deficient selective suppression of the responses captured by task-irrelevant distractors. These effects were uncorrelated, suggesting two independent sources off age-related decline. The fact that these process-specific age effects remained concealed in overall oculomotor performance analyses emphasizes the utility of looking beyond the surface; indeed, there may be more than meets the eye. (shrink)
To head rather than heed to temptations is easier said than done. Since tempting actions are often contextually inappropriate, selective suppression is invoked to inhibit such actions. Thus far, laboratory tasks have not been very successful in highlighting these processes. We suggest that this is for three reasons. First, it is important to dissociate between an early susceptibility to making stimulus-driven impulsive but erroneous actions, and the subsequent selective suppression of these impulses that facilitates the selection of the correct action. (...) Second, studies have focused on mean or median reaction times (RT), which conceals the temporal dynamics of action control. Third, studies have focused on group means, while considering individual differences as a source of error variance. Here, we present an overview of recent behavioral and imaging studies that overcame these limitations by analyzing RT distributions. As will become clear, this approach has revealed variations in inhibitory control over impulsive actions as a function of task instructions, conflict probability, and between-trial adjustments (following conflict or following an error trial) that are hidden if mean RTs are analyzed. Next, we discuss a selection of behavioral as well as imaging studies to illustrate that individual differences are meaningful and help understand selective suppression during action selection within samples of young and healthy individuals, but also within clinical samples of patients diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) or Parkinson’s disease. (shrink)