The morality of an economic system characterized as an Adam Smith type system is compared with one characterized by central planning. A prima facie case is made that, while the latter has attributes that satisfy a necessary condition for having moral attributes, the former does not and, as a result, has no moral attributes. But then a deeper look at the situation reveals that the directed systems really do not satisfy the necessary condition either. Both the directed and (...) undirected systems end up in the same boat. Neither have any moral attributes. (shrink)
This paper deals with the way metaphors carried over from physical or biological systems condition the analysis of economicsystems. The metaphors drawn from Newtonian mechanics, or from conservative fields of force, by neoclassical economists are discussed. Alternative metaphors which involve non-homeostasis and time irreversible processes are then outlined. Particular attention is paid to thermodynamics, evolutionary biology, and non-conservative or hysteretic force fields as sources of such metaphors. It is argued that these metaphors provide illumination to aspects (...) of economicsystems which are not consistent with the homeostatic, time reversible metaphors conventionally employed in economics. (shrink)
We propose an axiomatic approach to constructing the dynamics of systems, in which one the main elements 9e8 is the consciousness of a subject. The main axiom is the statements that the state of consciousness is completely determined by the results of measurements performed on it. In case of economicsystems we propose to consider an offer of transaction as a fundamental measurement. Transactions with delayed choice, discussed in this paper, represent a logical generalization of incomplete transactions (...) and allow for a more rigorous approach to studying the properties of the algebra of economic measurements. Considering the behavior of an object as a sequence of actions and choices allows extending the obtained results to random systems, which include the subject's consciousness as one of its elements. The specifics, on which the description of fundamental measurements is based, allows easily transferring the formalism of Schwinger's theory of selective measurements (and the consequent quantum-mechanical formalism) to the economic and social systems. (shrink)
A sustainable system has all the essential characteristics of an organism?an irreducible whole that develops, maintains and reproduces, or renews, itself by mobilizing material and energy captured from the environment. What is the nature of the material and energy mobilization that makes an organism? I begin with a brief description of a tentative theory of the organism?developed in detail elsewhere (Ho, 1993; 1994a; 1995a,b; 1996b,c)?as a dynamically and energetically closed domain of cyclic non?dissipative processes coupled to irreversible dissipative processes, which (...) effectively frees the organism from thermodynamic constraints so that it is poised for rapid, specific intercommunication, enabling it to function as a coherent whole. I shall then show how this novel theoretical framework may begin to provide normative criteria for sustainable economicsystems, thereby also exposing some of the inadequacies of current models and assumptions. (shrink)
Ecologic-economicsystems tend to exhibit greater complexity than systems that are purely ecological or economic. The interactions between the two types often generates nonlinear relations that lead to various kinds of complex dynamics that complicate management and decisionmaking regarding them. Of these, forests have characteristics that lead them to have special problems not usually encountered in the management of such systems. A central one is the long time periods involved managing forests compared to most other (...) such systems. This means that the issues regarding determination of discount rates for valuing future outcomes are more important for forestry management than for many other systems. Also, forests generate a wider range of externalities than do most other ecologic-economicsystems, with implications for various hierarchical levels of management. This paper considers the array of these problems as they appear for a variety of forestry management issues. (shrink)
The metrology literature neglects a strong empirical measurement tradition in economics, which is different from the traditions as accounted for by the formalist representational theory of measurement. This empirical tradition comes closest to Mari's characterization of measurement in which he describes measurement results as informationally adequate to given goals. In economics, one has to deal with soft systems, which induces problems of invariance and of self-awareness. It will be shown that in the empirical economic measurement tradition both problems (...) have been on the agenda for a long while, and that the proposed solutions to these problems provide clues for the directions in which one could develop a measurement theory that takes account of soft systems. (shrink)
Neoclassical economic theory assurnes that people pursue utility maximization within an obiective framework, evident to all, that serves as the basis for the interaction. Agents are assumed to be detached observers who see the situation as it is in obiective reality. It is argued in this article that there is no obiective ground for interaction that exists apart from the understanding of economic agents. Agents have orientations that change over time depending on the way that the situation is (...) currently understood. Depth of understanding and the extent of common ground depend on the quality of attention and the will to openness and honesty. Efforts to maintain connections with others make possible mutual understanding and visions of the common good that enable the coordinated pursuit of desired states of the world. (shrink)
This paper leads to apply some recent developments in the economic literature dealing with the concept of innovation systems to the problem of economic cohesion in Europe. Starting from a definition of innovation systems, it allows to consider firms and sets of intstitutions as two main but different types of innovation systems. This distinction is the source of a discussion about the nature of the coordination problems which appear when considering the European diversity of innovation (...)systems. The different combinations between innovation systems developed in the paper are a useful means of discussing European policy intervention and its ability to favour (or not) economic cohesion. (shrink)
This study focused on the indirect influences of defective higher education, especially management education, on the corruption of Japanese business communities since 1997. Most arrested or penalized Japanese executives and bureaucrats since 1997 were the alumni of prestigious Japanese universities. Their levels of academic achievements are, consequently, conceived to be the highest of Japanese standards. They were, however, found guilty. Why did these highly intelligent Japanese adults make such fatal mistakes? In this article, the author argued that the event of (...) the continuous exposure of scandals and corruptions in Japan since 1997 was an unintended consequence of Japan's educational systems through Habermasian and Foucaultian positions. (shrink)
In this paper I describe and analyze an economic situation involving two competitive organizations. I put forth the argument that because of the systemic nature of decision making relative to managing the requirements of utilizing a descriptive equation that determines how many people an economic system can support, that even if all the players in the situation act ethically, the results will still be harmful, and necessarily so, to the system and to many innocent people. I will demonstrate (...) that harming innocent people is required and morally defensible given the choices available. The best one can do is slow down the increase in disutilities and possibly operate the system within a range of acceptable behavior that minimizes the resulting harm to innocent people, even if we cannot entirely remove this harm. In this context ethics becomes the study of the acceptable as opposed to the preferable. (shrink)
“A Public Domain, once a velvet carpet of rich buffalo-grass and grama, now an illimitable waste of rattlesnake-bush and tumbleweed, too impoverished to be accepted as a gift by the states within which it lies. Why? Because the ecology of the Southwest happened to be set on a hair trigger.”.
Current economic ontology development has failed to confront two important errors associated with historicism. Embracing the linearity of economic value being directly attributed to the labor applied to natural resources taken together with efficiency arguments used to justify monetary policy on both the microlevel (transaction) and macrolevel (global trade), we know these legacies of the scientific method applied to economicsystems have left the G-20 paralyzed to deal with structural failings evidenced from banking to business to (...)economic policy. An exploration of the structural modalities that impair our current capacity for adaptation and alternative methods for accounting for value is the basis for this inquiry. Integral accounting is proposed as a more suitable method to transition from scarcity-based market models to abundance-based modes of sustainable engagement. (shrink)
Economic value additions to knowledge and demand provide practical, embedded and extensible meaning to philosophizing cognitive systems. Evaluation of a cognitive system is an empirical matter. Thinking of science in terms of distributed cognition (interactionism) enlarges the domain of cognition. Anything that actually contributes to the specific quality of output of a cognitive system is part of the system in time and/or space. Cognitive science studies behaviour and knowledge structures of experts and categorized structures based on underlying structures. (...) Knowledge representation through understanding of ‘epistemic cultures’ is an evolutionary stage. But cognition goes beyond knowledge representation. Notwithstanding the importance of epistemology of phenomena, the practicability cum philosophical aspects of machine learning needs to be seen in dynamic behaviour in socio-economic-technical value additions if human machine interaction processes that are context specific are incorporated into strong artificial intelligent systems. Cognitive Science is also studied from both computational and biological angles. Evolution of interactive forms of reasoning through understanding of meta-language of computations or biological learning processes is possible. But the limitation of historical cultures predefines the role of interactive processes in user-networks beyond technology networks. Despite this limitation, inclusive development notions of a heterogeneous national society such as India or Europe can be tested and incorporated. (shrink)
“A Public Domain, once a velvet carpet of rich buffalo-grass and grama, now an illimitable waste of rattlesnake-bush and tumbleweed, too impoverished to be accepted as a gift by the states within which it lies. Why? Because the ecology of the Southwest happened to be set on a hair trigger.”.
Economic logic impinges on contemporary political theory through both economic reductionism and economic methodology applied to political decision-making (through game theory). The authors argue that the sort of models used are based on mechanistic and linear methodologies that have now been found wanting in physics. They further argue that complexity based self-organization methods are better suited to model the complexities of economy and polity and their interactions with the overall social system.
This study examines the system-deciding principle of economic rationality for its logical soundness and effects in global practice. Analysis demonstrates the fallacious structure of the underlying assumptions of homo economicus across theories and institutions, and explains how cumulative destruction of global economic, social, and ecological life systems follows from its life-blind mechanism. Higher-order concepts of life-capital, life-value efficiency, and life-good supply and demand are then defined to bring economic rationality into coherence with terrestrial and human life (...) requirements. (shrink)
Does the level of marketing activity in a country contribute to societal well-being or quality of life? Does economic efficiency also play a positive role in societal well-being? Does economic efficiency also moderate or mediate the marketing activity effect on societal well-being? Marketing activity refers to the pervasiveness of promotion expenditures and number of retail outlets per capita in a country. Economic efficiency refers to the extent to which the economy is unhampered by corruption, burdensome government regulation, (...) and a large informal economy. We used secondary data from the World Bank and other statistical sources to answer these questions. Our study findings suggest that both marketing activity and economic efficiency contribute positively to societal well-being, and that economic efficiency plays more of a mediator than moderator role between marketing activity and societal well-being. The public policy implication of this study is that increases in marketing activity and economic efficiency in countries characterized as low on both dimensions should significantly increase the quality of life in those countries. (shrink)
Focusing on the notion of competencies, the address explores important dimensions of human infrastructure for negotiating alternative agrifood systems. The analytical competencies emphasized are those of making connections and evaluating contradictions. Farm structure and food system connections with human health and consumer culture are chosen as examples. Examined in the context of social change strategies, relational competencies focus on new forms of food citizenship involving alternative organizational relationships between farmers, retailers, and customers. Ethical competencies are framed in relationship to (...) the entire food system, to the valuing of non-market goods, and to linkages between ethics and emotions. Finally, aesthetic and spiritual competencies are considered as human capacities to connect agriculture and food with beauty and with sacramental living. (shrink)
Here, for the first time, development studies encounters the set of ideas popularly known as 'Chaos Theory'. Samir Rihani applies to the processes of economic development, ideas from complex adaptive systems like uncertainty, complexity, and unpredictability. Rihani examines various aspects of the development process - including the World Bank, debt, and the struggle against poverty - and demonstrates the limitations of fundamentally linear thinking in an essentially non-linear world.
In this article, the authors attempt to build a bridge between economic theory and medical ethics to offer a new perspective to tackle ethical challenges in the physician–patient encounter. They apply elements of new institutional economics to the ethically relevant dimensions of the physician–patient relationship in a descriptive heuristic sense. The principal–agent theory can be used to analytically grasp existing action problems in the physician–patient relationship and as a basis for shaping recommendations at the institutional level. Furthermore, the patients’ (...) increased self-determination and modern opportunities for the medical laity to inform themselves lead to a less asymmetrical distribution of information between physician and patient and therefore require new interaction models. Based on the analysis presented here, the authors recommend that, apart from the physician’s necessary individual ethics, greater consideration should be given to approaches of institutional ethics and hence to incentive systems within medical ethics. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that calls for widespread implementation of ethics measurement systems would be better informed by institutional economic analysis. Specifically, we assert that proponents of such systems must first recognize and understand the institutions that potentially impede such efforts. We identify two potential institutional impediments to measuring ethics and social responsibility. First, we suggest that neoclassical economics, supported by traditional business education and legal precedent, serves to reinforce the notion that shareholders are the primary (...) corporate constituency group. Such an emphasis on the needs of shareholders severely hinders implementation of measurement systems that address the needs of multiple stakeholder groups. Second, we argue that the threat of litigation may constrain corporate managers from measuring and considering ethics and corporate social responsibility matters. In particular, managers may be reluctant to quantify various ethical concerns if the resulting measurements could be used as evidence against the corporation in a lawsuit. (shrink)
Introduction to complexity and complex systems -- Introduction to large linear systems -- Introduction to biochemical oscillators and nonlinear biochemical systems -- Modularity, redundancy, degeneracy, pleiotropy and robustness in complex biological systems -- The evolution of biological complexity; invertebrate immune systems -- Irreducible and specified complexity in living systems -- The complex adaptive and innate human immune systems -- Complexity in quasispecies : microRNAs -- Introduction to complexity in economicsystems -- (...) Complexity in quasispecies : micrornas -- Dealing with complexity. (shrink)
Currently, the mechanization of economic forecasting relies on econometric models with obvious limitations. Artificial Intelligence holds out several new possibilities. Will these innovations limit themselves to correcting existing defects, thereby improving the performance of established models, or will they bring about new approaches in modelling and in economic theory itself? Although this paper in no way pretends to answer this question, it will touch upon it as several avenues of research are outlined.
The globalization movement in recent decades has meant rapid growth in trade, financial transactions, and cross-country ownership of economic assets. In this article, we examine how the globalization of national business systems has influenced the framing of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is done using text analysis of CEO letters appearing in the annual reports of 15 major corporations in Sweden during a period of transformational change. The results show that the discourse about CSR in the annual reports (...) has changed from a national and communitarian view of social responsibility (cf. a negotiated view of CSR) toward an international and individualistic view of social responsibility (cf. a self-regulating view of CSR). The article contributes theoretically (1) by adding a national–global dimension to previous conceptualizations of CSR and (2) by showing that the rise of CSR discourse and activities in the last 10 years does not have to imply an increased commitment and interest in corporate responsibility per se, only that there are increased societal expectations that corporations should develop the capability to act more independently as moral agents. (shrink)
A majority of the countries in the world are still considered "developing," with a per capita income of less than U$1,000. Hahn (2008, Journal of Business Ethics 78, 711–721) recently proposed an ambitious business ethics research agenda for integrating the "bottom-of-the-pyramid" countries (Prahalad and Hart, 2002, Strategy and Competition 20, 22–14) through sustainable development and corporate citizenship. Hahn's work is among the growing field of research in comparative business ethics including the global business ethics index (Michalos, 2008, Journal of Business (...) Ethics 79(1), 9–19; Scholtens and Dam, 2008, Journal of Business Ethics 75(3), 273–284; Tsalikis and Seaton, 2008, Journal of Business Ethics 75(3), 229–238). This article is complementary to Hahn's work and it advocates an urgent need for business ethics researchers to globally integrate the bottom-of-thepyramid countries through a fundamental re-definition of the global economic triad, including the United States, Western Europe, and Japan [Ohmae, 1985, Triad Power: The Coming Shape of Global Competition (New York: Free Press)]. The definition that we propose is based on business systems and institutional perspectives that include the bottom-of-the-pyramid countries. We also propose to broaden the research in business ethics to enable comparisons across business systems indifferent income levels. (shrink)
(2013). The systemic failure of economic methodologists. Journal of Economic Methodology: Vol. 20, Methodology, Systemic Risk, and the Economics Profession, pp. 56-68. doi: 10.1080/1350178X.2013.774848.
The analysis of the impact of economic globalisation on health depends on how it is defined and should consider how it shapes both health and health policies. I first discuss the ways in which economic globalisation can and has been defined and then why it is important to analyse its impact both in terms of health and health policies. I then explore the ways in which economic globalisation influences health and health policies and how this relates to (...) equity, social justice, and the role of values and social rights in societies. Finally, I argue that the process of economic globalisation provides a common challenge for all health systems across the globe and requires a broader debate on values, accountability, and policy approaches. (shrink)
For several decades, business has operated according to the tenets of neoclassical economic theory, where the primary obligation of corporations is to maximize profit for shareholders. However, the larger social mandate for business has changed, represented by the rise of language such as "sustainable development", "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) and "stakeholder groups." Nevertheless, the theoretical shift implied by the use of such language has not occurred. Issues of sustainable development and CSR continue to be justified in the terms of (...) neoclassical economic theory through the rationalization of "doing well by doing good".Within this economic paradigm, CSR cannot move beyond enlightened self-interest (acting in socially responsible ways in order to further one''s own ends) because all behavior must be justified economically. This implies that corporate socially responsible behavior will simply cease when it becomes uneconomic, regardless of the impact on interrelated systems which in turn will re-impact the business realm. (shrink)
Continued concern for animal welfare may be alleviated when welfare would be monitored on farms. Monitoring can be characterized as an information system where various stakeholders periodically exchange relevant information. Stakeholders include producers, consumers, retailers, the government, scientists, and others. Valuating animal welfare in the animal-product market chain is regarded as a key challenge to further improve the welfare of farm animals and information on the welfare of animals must, therefore, be assessed objectively, for instance, through monitoring. Interviews with Dutch (...) stakeholder representatives were conducted to identify their perceptions about the monitoring of animal welfare. Stakeholder perceptions were characterized in relation to the specific perspectives of each stakeholder. While producers tend to perceive welfare from a production point of view, consumers will use visual images derived from traditional farming and from the animals natural environments. Scientists perceptions of animal welfare are affected by the need to measure welfare with quantifiable parameters. Retailers and governments (policy makers) have views of welfare that are derived from their relationships with producers, consumers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and scientists. All interviewed stakeholder representatives stated that animal welfare is important. They varied in the extent to which they weighted economic considerations relative to concern for the animals welfare. Many stakeholders emphasized the importance of communication in making a monitoring system work. Overall, the perspectives for the development of a sustainable monitoring system that substantially improves farm animal welfare were assessed as being poor in the short term. However, a reliable system could be initiated under certain conditions, such as integrated chains and with influential and motivated stakeholders. A scheme is described with attention points for the development of sustainable monitoring systems for farm animal welfare in the long term. (shrink)
On the background of the widely known and controversially discussed concept of sustainable development and the ever increasing influence of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on social, environmental and economic issues, this article focuses on how NGOs, specialised in environmental protection and conservation issues, reacted to the holistic societal concept of sustainable development which aims at finding solutions not only to environmental, but also to social and economic issues. For this purpose, the article investigates whether and to what extent the (...) sustainability concept has been adopted by three worldwide leading environmental conservation NGOs: Greenpeace International, WWF International and IUCN International. The research, conducted in early 2006, reveals that the three organisations integrated the sustainability concept to different degrees depending on the organisations' dominant value set. The more an organisation is bound to the idea of environmental protection, the less it is inclined to adopt strategies stemming from the sustainability concept whose implicit value system contradicts a strong bio- or eco-centric position. This finding adds evidence to the assumption that the holistic sustainability concept is most likely to be reduced and adapted when addressed by a specialised societal actor such as an NGO. Such insight into the influence of value systems on the actual actions of pressure groups might also be valuable in the light of the ever increasing number of strategic partnerships between NGOs and the private sector. To be familiar with each others' action-leading key assumptions can significantly contribute to establishing a sound basis for a fruitful and rewarding collaboration. (shrink)
Globalisation, repeated economic (financial) crisis and other contemporary social processes are changing the capability of the state to provide individual social security and guarantee human rights. There is therefore a need to review social policy guidelines and their implementation measures. The problem is how to develop the social security system of state, so that human rights are not violated. For the reformation of the social security system to be consistent, it is also necessary to determine the principles on which (...) the social security system should be based. This article examines the concept of the principle of subsidiarity and its impact on the implementation of socio-economic human rights. The goal of this research is to explore theoretical aspects of application of principle of subsidiarity for ensuring the protection of socio-economic human rights and development of the policy of social security in Lithuania. In order to achieve this goal, the research starts from the analysis of the concept and origin of the principle of subsidiarity and its impact on the implementation of human rights. Further the constitutional basis and levels of application of this principle for implementation of socio-economic human rights are studied. Lastly, according to the principle of subsidiarity, some relevant issues of Lithuanian social security system are evaluated. (shrink)
In response to growing trendsin the current food system toward globalintegration, economic consolidation, andenvironmental degradation, communities haveinitiated alternative, more sustainable foodand agricultural systems. Lessons may now belearned about the development and maintenanceof local, sustainable food systems projects –those that attempt to integrate theenvironmental, economic, and social health oftheir food systems in particular places. Fourkinds of space need to be created and protected– social space, political space, intellectualspace, and economic space. Three importantthemes emerge from these (...) community spaces:public participation, new partnerships, and acommitment to social, economic, andenvironmental justice principles. (shrink)
Food issues are generally regarded as agricultural and rural issues. The urban food system is less visible than such other systems as transportation, housing, employment, or even the environment. The reasons for its low visibility include the historic process by which issues and policies came to be defined as urban; the spread of processing, refrigeration, and transportation technology together with cheap, abundant energy that rendered invisible the loss of farmland around older cities; and the continuing institutional separation of urban (...) and rural policy. Despite its low visibility, the urban food system nonetheless contributes significantly to community health and welfare; to metropolitan economies; connects to other urban systems such as housing, transportation, land use, and economic development; and impacts the urban environment. We examine existing or potential city institutions that could offer a more comprehensive look at the urban food system. These include the city department of food, the food policy council, and the city-planning department. (shrink)