Sustainability reporting and assurance of sustainability reports have been used by organizations in an attempt to provide accountability to their stakeholders. A better understanding of current practices is important to provide a base for comparative and trend analyses. This paper aims to consolidate and provide information on sustainability reporting, assurance of sustainability reports and types of assurance providers. Another aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive analysis of these practices for a global sample, comparing results with previous studies, (...) and suggesting opportunities for future research. To accomplish these objectives, a literature review was performed, an analysis of the organizations included in the Fortune Global 500 2010 was completed, and results were presented and consolidated by country. These results demonstrate that all organizations analysed provided some type of information in relation to their social or environmental performance in their official website. The percentage of organizations issuing a sustainability report has been increasing in the last few years. However, the percentage of organizations assuring their sustainability report has stagnated. Types of assurance engagements include those performed by accountants and non-accountants, and new practices have emerged, namely the “mixed approach” and the “stakeholder or specialist review”. The analysis also shows that the practices of issuing sustainability reports and having them assured have become a world-wide phenomenon, occurring in developed, and emerging economies around the world. (shrink)
At the International Legal Ethics Conference IV held at Stanford Law School between 15 and 17 July 2010, one of the two opening plenary sessions consisted of a panel who debated the proposition that legal ethics should be mandatory in legal education. The panel included leading legal ethics academics from jurisdictions around the world—both those where legal ethics is a compulsory part of the law degree and those where it is not. It comprised Professors Andrew Boon, Brent Cotter, Christine (...) Parker, Stephen L Pepper and Richard Wu, and was organised and chaired by Professor Kim Economides. This is an edited version of the panel's discussion. It provides a useful summary of the state of legal ethics teaching in the jurisdictions represented as well as a marshalling of the arguments for and against legal ethics as a required course in the university law degree. (shrink)
Let me make it clear from the outset that my main point is not either of the following: one, that there should be more women economists and research on “women's issues”, or two, that women as a class do, or should do, economics in a manner different from men. My argument is different and has to do with trying to gain an understanding of how a certain way of thinking about gender and a certain way of thinking about economics have (...) become intertwined through metaphor – with detrimental results – and how a richer conception of human understanding and human identity could broaden and improve the field of economics for both female and male practitioners. (shrink)
Major terrorist events, such as the recent attacks in Ankara, Sinai, and Paris, can have profound effects on a nation’s values, attitudes, and prejudices. Yet psychological evidence testing the impact of such events via data collected immediately before and after an attack is understandably rare. In the present research, we tested the independent and joint effects of threat and political ideology on endorsement of moral foundations and prejudices among two nationally representative samples about 6 weeks before and 1 month after (...) the London bombings. After the bombings, there was greater endorsement of the in-group foundation, lower endorsement of the fairness-reciprocity foundation, and stronger prejudices toward Muslims and immigrants. The differences in both the endorsement of the foundations and the prejudices were larger among people with a liberal orientation than among those with a conservative orientation. Furthermore, the changes in endorsement of moral foundations among liberals explained their increases in prejudice. The results highlight the value of psychological theory and research for understanding societal changes in attitudes and prejudices after major terrorist events. (shrink)
An article by Luigino Bruni and Robert Sugden published in this journal argues that market relations contain elements of what they call ‘fraternity’. This Response demonstrates that my own views on interpersonal relations and markets – which originated in the feminist analysis of caring labour – are far closer to Bruni and Sugden's than they acknowledge in their article, and goes on to discuss additional important dimensions of sociality that they neglect.
This article discusses what is involved in having full moral status, as opposed to a lesser degree of moral status and surveys different views of the grounds of moral status as well as the arguments for attributing a particular degree of moral status on the basis of those grounds.
Recent debates about inequality have focused almost exclusively on the distribution of wealth and disparities in income, but little notice has been paid to the distribution of free time. Free time is commonly assumed to be a matter of personal preference, a good that one chooses to have more or less of. Even if there is unequal access to free time, the cause and solution are presumed to lie with the resources of income and wealth. In Free Time, Julie (...) Rose argues that these views are fundamentally mistaken. First, Rose contends that free time is a resource, like money, that one needs in order to pursue chosen ends. Further, realizing a just distribution of income and wealth is not sufficient to ensure a fair distribution of free time. Because of this, anyone concerned with distributive justice must attend to the distribution of free time. On the basis of widely held liberal principles, Rose explains why citizens are entitled to free time—time not committed to meeting life's necessities and instead available for chosen pursuits. The novel argument that the just society must guarantee all citizens their fair share of free time provides principled grounds to address critical policy choices, including work hours regulations, Sunday closing laws, public support for caregiving, and the pursuit of economic growth. Delving into an original topic that touches everyone, Free Time demonstrates why all citizens have, in the words of early labor reformers, a right to "hours for what we will.". (shrink)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are increasingly popular corporate marketing strategies. This paper argues that CSR programs can fall along a continuum between two endpoints: Institutionalized programs and Promotional programs. This classification is based on an exploratory study examining the variance of four responses from the consumer stakeholder group toward these two categories of CSR. Institutionalized CSR programs are argued to be most effective at increasing customer loyalty, enhancing attitude toward the company, and decreasing consumer skepticism. Promotional CSR programs are (...) argued to be more effective at generating purchase intent. Ethical and managerial implications of these preliminary findings are discussed. (shrink)
This book undermines privacy scepticism, proving a strong theoretical foundation for many of our everyday and legal privacy claims. Inness argues that intimacy is the core of privacy, including privacy appeals in tort and constitutional law. She explores the myriad of debates and puts forth an intimacy and control-based account of privacy which escapes these criticisms.
Mathematical models are often expected to provide not only predictions about the phenomenon that they represent, but also explanations. These explanations are answers to why-questions and particularly answers to why the predicted phenomenon should occur. For instance, models can be used to calculate when the next total solar eclipse will happen, and then to explain why it will take place on July 2, 2019. In this regard we can obtain explanations from a model if we can solve the model equations (...) which govern the phenomenon under study. But some equations have no explicit solution or are too complicated to solve. In these cases it is difficult for a... (shrink)
Must a society aim indefinitely for continued economic growth? Proponents of economic growth advance three central challenges to the idea that a society, having attained high levels of income and wealth, may justly cease to pursue further economic growth: if environmentally sustainable and the gains fairly distributed, first, continued economic growth could make everyone within a society and globally, and especially the worst off, progressively better off; second, the pursuit of economic growth spurs ongoing innovation, which enhances people’s opportunities and (...) protects a society against future risks; and third, continued economic growth fosters attitudes of openness, tolerance, and generosity, which are essential to the functioning of a liberal democratic society. This article grants these challenges’ normative foundations, to show that, even if one accepts their underlying premises as requirements of justice, a society may still justly cease to aim for economic growth, so long as it continues to aim for and realize gains on other dimensions. I argue that, while continued economic growth might instrumentally serve valuable ends, it is not necessary for their realization, as a society can achieve these ends through other means. (shrink)
The argument from multiple realization is currently considered the argument against intertheoretic reduction. Both Little and Kincaid have applied the argument to the individualism-holism debate in support of the antireductionist holist position. The author shows that the tenability of the argument, as applied to the individualism-holism debate, hinges on the descriptive constraints imposed on the individualist position. On a plausible formulation of the individualist position, the argument does not establish that the intertheoretic reduction of social theories is highly unlikely. Nonetheless, (...) the reductive project may run into other potential obstacles. For this reason, it is concluded that the prospect of intertheoretic reduction is uncertain rather than unlikely. Key Words: argument from multiple realization intertheoretic reduction reductionism individualism holism. (shrink)
The National Institutes of Health and other federal health agencies are considering establishing a national biobank to study the roles of genes and environment in human health. A preliminary public engagement study was conducted to assess public attitudes and concerns about the proposed biobank, including the expectations for return of individual research results. A total of 141 adults of different ages, incomes, genders, ethnicities, and races participated in 16 focus groups in six locations across the country. Focus group participants voiced (...) a strong desire to be able to access individual research results. Recognizing the wide range of possible research results from a large cohort study, they repeatedly and spontaneously suggested that cohort study participants be given ongoing choices as to which results they received. (shrink)
This collection of papers investigates the most recent debates about individualism and holism in the philosophy of social science. The debates revolve mainly around two issues: firstly, whether social phenomena exist sui generis and how they relate to individuals. This is the focus of discussions between ontological individualists and ontological holists. Secondly, to what extent social scientific explanations may and should, focus on individuals and social phenomena respectively. This issue is debated amongst methodological holists and methodological individualists. -/- In social (...) science and philosophy, both issues have been intensively discussed and new versions of the dispute have appeared just as new arguments have been advanced. At present, the individualism/holism debate is extremely lively and this book reflects the major positions and perspectives within the debate. This volume is also relevant to debates about two closely related issues in social science: the micro-macro debate and the agency-structure debate. -/- This book presents contributions from key figures in both social science and philosophy, in the first such collection on this topic to be published since the 1970s. -/- . (shrink)
When, in spite of our good intentions, we fail to meet our obligations to others, it is important that we have the correct theoretical description of what has happened so that mutual understanding and the right sort of social repair can occur. Consider an agent who promises to help pick a friend up from the airport. She takes the freeway, forgetting that it is under construction. After a long wait, the friend takes an expensive taxi ride home. Most theorists and (...) non-theorists react to such cases by either judging the agent's action as a violation of her obligation to help or as having satisfied the only obligation she really had, namely to try to help. However, as I show, there are serious difficulties that arise from categorizing this agent's action as satisfying or violating her obligation – difficulties that are avoided if we instead add “mere moral failures” to the basic categories for moral evaluation. An agent merely fails when she neither satisfies nor violates her obligation. She is responsible fo.. (shrink)
We consider VC-minimal theories admitting unpackable generating families, and show that in such theories, forking of formulae over a model M is equivalent to containment in global types definable over M, generalizing a result of Dolich on o-minimal theories in .
In the recent methodological individualism-holism debate on explanation, there has been considerable focus on what reasons methodological holists may advance in support of their position. We believe it is useful to approach the other direction and ask what considerations methodological individualists may in fact offer in favor of their view about explanation. This is the background for the question we pursue in this paper: Why be a methodological individualist? We start out by introducing the methodological individualism-holism debate while distinguishing two (...) forms of methodological individualism: a form that says that individualist explanations are always better than holist accounts and a form that says that providing intervening individualist mechanisms always makes for better explanations than purely holist ones. Next, we consider four lines of reasoning in support of methodological individualism: arguments from causation, from explanatory depth, from agency, and from normativity. We argue that none of them offer convincing reasons in support of the two explanatory versions of individualism we consider. While there may well be occasions in which individualists’ favorite explanations are superior, we find no reason to think this always must be the case. (shrink)
Ethics instructors often use cases to help students understand ethics within a corporate context, but we need to know more about the impact a case-based pedagogy has on students’ ability to make ethical decisions. We used a pre- and post-test methodology to assess the effect of using cases to teach ethics in a finance course. We also wanted to determine whether recent corporate ethics scandals might have impacted students’ perceptions of the importance and prevalence of ethics in business, so we (...) used in-depth case studies of several of the major scandals (e.g., Enron, Tyco, Adelphia). Our results are somewhat surprising since studying ethics scandals positively impacts students’ ethical decision making and their perceptions of the ethics of businesspeople. (shrink)
A 2011 National Academies of Sciences report called for an “Information Commons” and a “Knowledge Network” to revolutionize biomedical research and clinical care. We interviewed 41 expert stakeholders to examine governance, access, data collection, and privacy in the context of a medical information commons. Stakeholders' attitudes about MICs align with the NAS vision of an Information Commons; however, differences of opinion regarding clinical use and access warrant further research to explore policy and technological solutions.
Wider diversity in board member characteristics has been advocated as a means of improving organizational performance by providing boards with new insights and perspectives. With data from 240 YMCA organizations, a board diversity index was constructed and compared to multiple measures of board member diversity. Results revealed higher levels of social performance and fundraising results when board members had greater occupational diversity. Gender diversity compared favorably to the organization's level of social performance but a negative association surfaced for level of (...) funds raised. The diversity in board member age groupings was linked to higher levels of donations. (shrink)
: Can work be done for pay, and still be loving? While many feminists believe that marketization inevitably leads to a degradation of social connections, we suggest that markets are themselves forms of social organization, and that even relationships of unequal power can sometimes include mutual respect. We call for increased attention to specific causes of suffering, such as greed, poverty, and subordination. We conclude with a summary of contributions to this Special Issue.
A central element of Richard Peters? philosophy of education has been his analysis of ?education as initiation?. Understanding initiation is internally related to concepts of community and what it may mean to be a member. The concept of initiation assumes a mutually interdependent, dynamic relationship between the individual and community that claims to be justified on cognitive, moral and practical grounds. Although Peters? analysis is embedded in a different discourse, his insights are relevant to current discourse on the individual in (...) community. A fruitful conversation can be developed between Peters? account of the learner?s ?initiation? into ?bodies of knowledge and awareness? and Alasdair MacIntyre?s concept of ?practices?; and how both assume a notion of ?tradition? within partly overlapping accounts of ?community?. Secondly, I will consider how ?initiation? touches the concept of ?social justice as membership? developed by current philosophers, Michael Sandel and Michael Walzer, and what import Peters? analysis has for different degrees of active and passive membership and participation. Thirdly, I will consider Charles Taylor?s ?social imaginary? as a contextual framework for processes surrounding ?education as initiation?. This article does not argue that Peters? concept of initiation cannot be contested at some points but rather that it can inform, and be informed by, the conversation with those who contend that community is itself a good essential for human flourishing. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Brian Alters argued that, given the many ways in which the nature of science is described and poor student responses to NOS instruments such as Nature of Scientific Knowledge Scale, Nature of Science Scale, Test on Understanding Science, and others, it is time for science educators to reconsider the standard lists of tenets for the NOS. Alters suggested that philosophers of science are authorities on the NOS and that consequently, it would be wise (...) to investigate their views of current NOS tenets. To that end, he conducted a survey of members of the Philosophy of Science Association, and, via various statistical techniques, made claims about the nature and extent of variation among philosophers of science regarding basic beliefs about the NOS. As three philosophers of science, we laud Alters’ attempt to understand philosophers of science’ view on the NOS. We believe, however, that his techniques for investigating this question are inappropriate and that consequently, several of his conclusions are unwarranted. In this comment, we will substantiate these criticisms. In addition, we will address some of the important questions that motivate Alters’ research and attempt to unravel the “byzantine complexity” of philosophical views about the NOS. We begin with our concerns regarding Alters’ research. We then provide a taxonomy of philosophic issues; and finally, we suggest some roles for philosophy of science in science teaching and the education of science teachers. (shrink)
In this article, I offer a partial analysis of the role of values in qualitative data collection in social research. The partial analysis shows that nonepistemic values have both required and permissible roles to play during this phase of research. By appeal to the analysis, I reject the ideal of value-free science as applied to qualitative data collection, and I demonstrate why two alternative ideals should likewise be dismissed as standards for values in qualitative data collection. Also, I briefly discuss (...) the extent to which the partial analysis carries over to quantitative data collection in social research. (shrink)
This is a response to Dr Charlotte Rosalind Blease's paper ‘Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), the Placebo Effect and Informed Consent’, written by Julie K. Hersh who has had ECT. Hersh argues that placebo effect is impossible to prove without endangering the lives of participants in the study. In addition, informing potential ECT patients of unproven placebo effect could discourage patients from using a procedure that from experience has proven highly effective.
A central project of Enlightenment thought is to ground claims to natural freedom and equality. This project is the foundation of Suchon’s view of freedom. But it is not the whole story. For, Suchon’s focus is not just natural freedom, but also the necessary and sufficient conditions for oppressed members of society, women, to avail themselves of this freedom. In this paper I, first, treat Suchon’s normative argument for women’s right to develop their rational minds. In Section 2, I consider (...) Suchon’s three necessary and sufficient conditions for freedom, and the manners in which women are blocked from meeting them. The normative argument together with the obstacles to women meeting the conditions for freedom raises the question of how to get women into a position where they can enjoy the freedom to which they are entitled. In Section 3, I outline Suchon’s answer: women must live a life without attachment. I argue this answer situates Suchon both chronologically and theoretically between the Béguines, a medieval women’s spiritual movement, and 20th century feminist separatism. I conclude that Suchon’s view of freedom is radical, both for its time and ours, and deserves greater attention from historians of philosophy and of feminist thought. (shrink)
In “Moral Luck” Bernard Williams describes a lorry driver who, through no fault of his own, runs over a child, and feels “agent-regret.” I believe that the driver’s feeling is moral since the thought associated with this feeling is a negative moral evaluation of his action. I demonstrate that his action is not morally inadequate with respect his moral obligations. However, I show that his negative evaluation is nevertheless justified since he acted in way that does not live up to (...) his moral values. I then use this distinctive negative moral evaluation to distinguish agent-regret from guilt and mere regret. (shrink)
This comprehensive and important volume includes contributions by activists, journalists, lawyers and scholars from twenty-one countries. The essays map the directions the movement for women's rights is taking--and will take in the coming decades--and the concomittant transformation of prevailing notions of rights and issues. They address topics such as the rapes in former Yugoslavia and efforts to see that a War Crimes Tribunal responds; domestic violence; trafficking of women into the sex trade; the persecution of lesbians; female genital mutilation; and (...) reproductive rights. (shrink)
Conflicts of interest affect recommendations in clinical guidelines and disclosure of such conflicts is important. However, not all conflicts of interest are disclosed. Using a public available disclosure list we determined the prevalence and underreporting of conflicts of interest among authors of clinical guidelines on drug treatments.
This paper explores the vulnerability of Latin American human subjects, and how their vulnerability is ignored due to the complexities and inconsistencies of oversight committees and institutional policies. Secondly, the concept of apology is examined and its meaning to victims of past research abuses.
As much as we can be squeamish and angry over what was being done in these studies, they force us to consider how we tell these stories and the policy we make now, as so much of our research is global and the risks and benefits of experimentation always in need of recalibration.Susan M. ReverbyA growing distrust exists among Latin American populations as past abuses in medical research have rightly been publicized, and as researchers continue to intentionally and unintentionally circumvent (...) the systems of regulation and oversight. Beyond the cultural gaps between researcher and subject, the Latin American people have their own perspectives about responsible conduct of research formed by sociopolitical thought and familial and community identity, which may be overlooked or ignored by the U.S. and other foreign nations. Just as the Havasupai Tribe in Arizona have challenged us to think about the role of culture and the need for improved regulations and practices in conducting research within the United States, through past abuses in human experimentation and the emergence of discourse between our Latin American neighbors, similar challenges confront us. (shrink)