This essay provides practical tips for effective teaching in science-and-religion courses. It offers suggestions for dealing with difficult questions and creating a climate of shared learning. Along with pedagogical advice, it covers fundamental principles for teaching broadly integrative religion-and-science courses. Instructors are encouraged to reflect on their purpose(s) in offering their course and to formulate specific objectives using the techniques and resources outlined here.
Ethical decision-making descriptive theoretical models often conflict with each other and typically lack comprehensiveness. To address this deficiency, a revised EDM model is proposed that consolidates and attempts to bridge together the varying and sometimes directly conflicting propositions and perspectives that have been advanced. To do so, the paper is organized as follows. First, a review of the various theoretical models of EDM is provided. These models can generally be divided into rationalist-based ; and non-rationalist-based. Second, the proposed model, called (...) ‘Integrated Ethical Decision Making,’ is introduced in order to fill the gaps and bridge the current divide in EDM theory. The individual and situational factors as well as the process of the proposed model are then described. Third, the academic and managerial implications of the proposed model are discussed. Finally, the limitations of the proposed model are presented. (shrink)
How can one establish if a corporate code of ethics is ethical in terms of its content? One important first step might be the establishment of core universal moral values by which corporate codes of ethics can be ethically constructed and evaluated. Following a review of normative research on corporate codes of ethics, a set of universal moral values is generated by considering three sources: (1) corporate codes of ethics; (2) global codes of ethics; and (3) the business ethics literature. (...) Based on the convergence of the three sources of standards, six universal moral values for corporate codes of ethics are proposed including: (1) trustworthiness; (2) respect; (3) responsibility; (4) fairness; (5) caring; and (6) citizenship. Relying on the proposed set of universal moral values, implications are discussed as to what the content of corporate codes of ethics should consist of. The paper concludes with its limitations. (shrink)
The study examines employee, managerial, and ethics officer perceptions regarding their companies codes of ethics. The study moves beyond examining the mere existence of a code of ethics to consider the role that code content and code process (i.e. creation, implementation, and administration) might play with respect to the effectiveness of codes in influencing behavior. Fifty-seven in-depth, semi-structured interviews of employees, managers, and ethics officers were conducted at four large Canadian companies. The factors viewed by respondents to be important with (...) respect to code effectiveness include: provisions of examples; readability; tone; relevance; realism; senior management support; training; reinforcement; living up to standards; reporting requirement; anonymous phone line; communicating violations; and enforcement. The factors found to be potentially important include: justification for provisions; employee involvement; and sign-off requirements. Factors found not to be important include: objectives for the code; prior distribution; testing; and relating ones performance review to compliance with the code. (shrink)
Are corporate codes of ethics necessarily ethical? To challenge this notion, an initial set of universal moral standards is proposed by which all corporate codes of ethics can be ethically evaluated. The set of universal moral standards includes: (1) trustworthiness; (2) respect; (3) responsibility; (4) fairness; (5) caring; and (6) citizenship. By applying the six moral standards to four different stages of code development (i.e., content, creation, implementation, administration), a code of ethics for corporate codes of ethics is constructed by (...) which companies can be ethically audited for compliance. The newly proposed code of ethics for corporate codes of ethics was then applied to four large Canadian companies representing a variety of industries: telecommunications; banking, manufacturing, and high technology. The ethical audit of the four companies' ethics programs based on the proposed code indicates that all four companies have room to improve the ethical nature of their codes of ethics (i.e., content, creation, implementation, administration). (shrink)
. Recent corporate scandals have focused the attention of a broad set of constituencies on reforming corporate governance. Boards of directors play a leading role in corporate governance and any significant reforms must encompass their role. To date, most reform proposals have targeted the legal, rather than the ethical obligations of directors. Legal reforms without proper attention to ethical obligations will likely prove ineffectual. The ethical role of directors is critical. Directors have overall responsibility for the ethics and compliance programs (...) of the corporation. The tone at the top that they set by example and action is central to the overall ethical environment of their firms. This role is reinforced by their legal responsibilities to provide oversight of the financial performance of the firm. Underlying this analysis is the critical assumption that ethical behavior, especially on the part of corporate leaders, leads to the best long-term interests of the corporation. We describe key components of a framework for a code of ethics for corporate boards and individual directors. The proposed code framework is based on six universal core ethical values: (1) honesty; (2) integrity; (3) loyalty; (4) responsibility; (5) fairness; and (6) citizenship. The paper concludes by suggesting critical issues that need to be dealt with in firm-based codes of ethics for directors. (shrink)
There appears to be an implicit assumption by those connected with the ethical investment movement (e.g., ethical investment firms, individual investors, social investment organizations, academia, and the media), that ethical investment is in fact ethical. This paper will attempt to challenge the notion that the ethical mutual fund industry, as currently taking place, is acting in an ethical manner. Ethical issues such as the transparency of the funds and advertising are discussed. Ethical mutual fund screens such as tobacco, alcohol, gambling, (...) and the military are preliminarily examined to better determine whether they can actually be defined as "ethical" screens as opposed to merely social, political, or religious screens. A code of ethics for ethical investment is constructed by which ethical mutual fund firms can be audited for ethical compliance. (shrink)
A basic thrust behind Alvin Plantinga's position that belief in God is properly basic is an analogy between certain non-religious beliefs such as ‘I see a tree’ and theistic beliefs such as ‘God made this flower’. Each kind of belief is justified for a believer, argues Plantinga, when she finds herself in a certain set of conditions. Richard Grigg challenges this claim by arguing that while the non-religious beliefs are confirmed, beliefs about God are not. I wish to explore this (...) challenge, clarify it and suggest that on one understanding it is irrelevant and on another it is false. (shrink)
A tension between the professions' pursuit of autonomy and the public's demand for accountability has led to the development of codes of ethics as both a foundation and guide for professional conduct in the face of morally ambiguous situations. The profession as an institution serves as a normative reference group for individual practitioners and through a code of ethics clarifies, for both its members and outsiders, the norms that ought to govern professional behavior. Three types of codes can be identified (...) — aspirational, educational and regulatory. All codes serve multiple interests and, as a consequence, perform many functions, eight of which are discussed. The process of developing a code of ethics is assessed because of the role it plays in gaining consensus on professional values and ethical norms. After discussing some of the weaknesses in current approaches to professional self-regulation, several new private and public initiatives are proposed. (shrink)
Although family business comprises the majority of global business, it is significantly under-researched. Yet it is considered to have unique ethical values compared to non-family corporations. This is attributable to its family orientation. Therefore, it is worthwhile to identify and define dominant family business ethics values. The authors compare a sample of the U.S. family business, U.S. corporate entities, and international family business mission statements for frequency of ethics values. The data reveals three primary findings: (1) generally, the U.S. family (...) business expressed a higher frequency of ethical values than its non-family corporate and international counterpart, (2) U.S. family business has a strong lead in “integrity” and “honesty” whereas international family business leads in “environmentalism,” “globalism,” and “social responsibility,” and (3) generally, the frequency of ethics values for all family business globally has increased over time. The family business mission statement continues to provide ethical direction for the majority of global business. The emerging family business values identified in our sample will further impact global business success and promote ethical sustainability world-wide. (shrink)
Can or should God be considered a managerial stakeholder? While at first glance such a proposition might seem beyond the norms of stakeholder management theory or traditional management practice, further investigation suggests that there might be both theoretical and practical support for such a notion. This paper will make the argument that God both is and should be considered a managerial stakeholder for those businesspeople and business firms that accept that God exists and can affect the world. In doing so, (...) part one of the paper first discusses the growth of religion and spirituality within the business and academic communities. Part two raises several arguments based on stakeholder theory and business reality to support the notion of God as a managerial stakeholder. Part three addresses the arguments against God as a managerial stakeholder. Part four discusses the managerial implications of considering God as a managerial stakeholder. The paper concludes with its limitations. (shrink)
The paper explores the ongoing debate between the narrow version of CSR proposed by Milton Friedman and the broader version of CSR, which includes additional ethical and/or philanthropic obligations. Implications are then discussed.
Rumelhart and McClelland's chapter about learning the past tense created a degree of controversy extraordinary even in the adversarial culture of modern science. It also stimulated a vast amount of research that advanced the understanding of the past tense, inflectional morphology in English and other languages, the nature of linguistic representations, relations between language and other phenomena such as reading and object recognition, the properties of artificial neural networks, and other topics. We examine the impact of the Rumelhart and McClelland (...) model with the benefit of 25 years of hindsight. It is not clear who “won” the debate. It is clear, however, that the core ideas that the model instantiated have been assimilated into many areas in the study of language, changing the focus of research from abstract characterizations of linguistic competence to an emphasis on the role of the statistical structure of language in acquisition and processing. (shrink)
Thomas W. Dunfee, in addition to his many other contributions to business ethics literature, has (along with several co-authors) generated a stream of research that attempts to tackle the issue of corruption. Dunfee's research on corruption includes three primary contributions: (1) the introduction of "Integrative Social Contract Theory" which provides a normative theoretical framework by which to judge the morality of global business activity including corruption; (2) the "C2 Principles" (Combating Corruption), which outline specific content and implementation measures that corporations (...) can voluntarily adopt to combat corruption; and (3) a normative evaluation of "guanxi," a concept which can lead to questionable corruption practices in China. The article will highlight Dunfee's contribution to the literature and suggest future research directions based on his academic work. (shrink)
Thomas W. Dunfee, in addition to his many other contributions to business ethics literature, has generated a stream of research that attempts to tackle the issue of corruption. Dunfee's research on corruption includes three primary contributions: the introduction of "Integrative Social Contract Theory" which provides a normative theoretical framework by which to judge the morality of global business activity including corruption; the "C2 Principles", which outline specific content and implementation measures that corporations can voluntarily adopt to combat corruption; and a (...) normative evaluation of "guanxi," a concept which can lead to questionable corruption practices in China. The article will highlight Dunfee's contribution to the literature and suggest future research directions based on his academic work. (shrink)
There has been relatively little empirical research into the causes of research misconduct. To begin to address this void, the authors collected data from closed case files of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). These data were in the form of statements extracted from ORI file documents including transcripts, investigative reports, witness statements, and correspondence. Researchers assigned these statements to 44 different concepts. These concepts were then analyzed using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. The authors chose a solution consisting of (...) seven clusters: (1) personal and professional stressors, (2) organizational climate, (3) job insecurities, (4) rationalizations A, (5) personal inhibitions, (6) rationalizations B and, (7) personality factors. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for policy and for future research. (shrink)
I offer an appreciation and critique of Ernst Fehrs altruism research in experimental economics that challenges the "selfishness axiom" as an account of human behavior. I describe examples of Fehrs experiments and their results and consider his conceptual terminology, particularly his "biological" definition of altruism and its counterintuitive implications. I also look at Fehrs experiments from a methodological perspective and examine his explanations of subjects behavior. In closing, I look at Fehrs neuroscientific work in experimental economics and question his adherence (...) to a subjective expected utility interpretation of subjects behavior. Key Words: altruism Ernst Fehr strong reciprocity neuroeconomics experimental economics. (shrink)
Current precursors in the development of lethal, autonomous systems point to the use of biometric devices for assessing, identifying, and verifying targets. The inclusion of biometric devices entails the use of a probabilistic matching program that requires the deliberate targeting of noncombatants as a statistically necessary function of the system. While the tactical employment of the LAS may be justified on the grounds that the deliberate killing of a smaller number of noncombatants is better than the accidental killing of a (...) larger number, it may nonetheless contravene a reemerging conception of right intention. Originally framed by Augustine of Hippo, this lesser-known formulation has served as the foundation for chivalric code, canon law, jus in bello criteria, and the law of armed conflict. Thus it serves as a viable measure to determine whether the use of lethal autonomy would accord with these other laws and principles. Specifically, examinations of the LAS through the lenses of collateral damage, the principle of double effect, and the principle of proportionality, reveal the need for more attention to be paid to the moral issues now, so that the promise of this emerging technology—that it will perform better than human beings—might actually come to pass. (shrink)
Whether the nation of Israel has become a “light unto the nations” in terms of ethical behavior among its business community remains in doubt. To examine the current state of business ethics in Israel, the study examines the following: (1) the extent of business ethics education in Israel; (2) the existence of formal corporate ethics program elements based on an annual survey of over 50 large Israeli corporations conducted over 5 years (2006–2010); and (3) perceptions of the state of business (...) ethics based on interviews conducted with 22 senior Israeli corporate executives. In general, and particularly as a young country, Israel might be considered to have made great improvements in the state of business ethics over the years. In terms of business ethics education, the vast majority of universities and colleges offer at least an elective course in business ethics. In terms of formal business ethics program elements, many large companies now have a code of ethics, and over time continue to add additional elements. Most respondents believed they worked in ethical firms. Despite these developments, however, there appears to be significant room for improvement, particularly in terms of issues like: nepotism/favoritism; discrimination; confidentiality; treatment of customers; advertising; competitive intelligence; whistle-blowing; worker health and safety; and the protection of the environment. When compared with the U.S. or Europe, most believed that Israeli firms and their agents were not as ethical in business. A number of reasons were suggested that might be affecting the state of business ethics in Israel. A series of recommendations were also provided on how firms can better encourage an ethical corporate culture. The paper concludes with its limitations. (shrink)
In this essay, I offer a utilitarian perspective on humanitarian intervention. There is no generally accepted precise definition of the term ‘humanitarian intervention’. I will provisionally, and roughly, define humanitarian intervention as the use of force by a state, beyond its own borders, that has as a purpose or an effect the protection of the human rights of noncitizens or the reduction of the suffering of noncitizens.
The term corporate social responsibility is often used in the boardroom, classroom, and political platform, but what does it really mean? Do corporations have ethical or philanthropic duties beyond their obligations to comply with the law? How does CSR relate to business ethics, stakeholder management, sustainability, and corporate citizenship? Mark Schwartz provides a concise, cutting-edge introduction to the topic, analyzing many case studies with the help of his innovative “Three Domain Approach” to CSR. _Corporate Social Responsibility_ also provides a (...) chronology of landmark contributions to the concept of CSR and includes CSR resources on organizations, global codes and criteria, corporate CSR reports, and websites and blogs. It is an invaluable resource for students, instructors, and business leaders looking to master the basics of CSR. (shrink)
In this essay, I survey egalitarian and utilitarian approaches to the distribution of scarce life-saving medical resources. In my view, the major criterion for the distribution of scarce life-saving medical resources should be life expectancy: we should distribute life so as to maximize life-years. In Section II, I discuss the life-year maximization approach and situate it within utilitarian theory.
Business codes are a widely used management instrument. Research into the effectiveness of business codes has, however, produced conflicting results. The main reasons for the divergent findings are: varying definitions of key terms; deficiencies in the empirical data and methodologies used; and a lack of theory. In this paper, we propose an integrated research model and suggest directions for future research.
Contrary to Constantin Fasolt, I argue that it is no longer useful to think of religion as an anomaly in the modern age. Here is Fasolt’s main argument: humankind suffers from a radical rift between the self and the world. The chief function of religion is to mitigate or cope with this fracture by means of dogmas and rituals that reconcile the self to the world. In the past, religion successfully fulfilled this job. But in modernity, it fails to, and (...) it fails because religion is no longer plausible. Historical, confessional religions, then, are no longer doing what they are supposed to do; yet the need for religion is still very much with us. Fasolt’s account would be a tragic tale, if not for his claim that there is a new religion for the modern age, a religion that fulfills the true reconciling function of religion. That new religion is the reading and writing of history. Indeed, for Fasolt, reading history is religiously redemptive, and writing history is a sacred act. The historian, it turns out, is the priest in modernity. In my response, I challenge both Fasolt’s remedy and its justification . Indeed, I reject both his romantic view of past religion as the peaceful reconciler, as well as his pessimistic view of present religion as the maker of “enemies” among modern people. In the end, I argue that the way Fasolt employs his categories—“alienation,” “salvation,” “religion,” “history”—is too vague to do much useful work. They are significant categories and they deserve our attention. But in my view, the story Fasolt tells is both too grim and too cheerful. (shrink)
With the great increase in litigation, insurance costs, and consumer prices, both managers and businesses should take a proactive position in avoiding liability. Legal liability may attach when a duty has been breached; many actions falling into this category are also considered unethical. Since much of business liability is caused by a breach of a duty by a business to either an individual, another business, or to society, this article asserts that the practice of liability prevention is a practical business (...) application of ethics. In today's highly litigious environment, it is appropriate for the concept of general liability prevention to be included in corporate codes of ethics. (shrink)
Languages and writing systems result from satisfying multiple constraints related to learning, comprehension, production, and their biological bases. Orthographies are not optimal because these constraints often conflict, with further deviations due to accidents of history and geography. Things tend to even out because writing systems and the languages they represent exhibit systematic trade-offs between orthographic depth and morphological complexity.