The rational-agent frame of reference for the analysis of corporate strategic decision-making may be expanded to a moral-agent perspective where decision content is seen as comprising both commercial and ethical factors. Relevant factors may then be classified on the basis of the ethical decision principles to which they relate: rational-egoism, self-referential altruism or deontology. This approach is then applied to the problem of decision support for strategic divestment by MNCs.
Our study presents an overview of the issues that were brought forward by participants of a moral case deliberation (MCD) project in two elderly care organizations. The overview was inductively derived from all case descriptions (N = 202) provided by participants of seven mixed MCD groups, consisting of care providers from various professional backgrounds, from nursing assistant to physician. The MCD groups were part of a larger MCD project within two care institutions (residential homes and nursing homes). Care providers are (...) confronted with a wide variety of largely everyday ethical issues. We distinguished three main categories: ‘resident’s behavior’, ‘divergent perspectives on good care’ and ‘organizational context’. The overview can be used for agendasetting when institutions wish to stimulate reflection and deliberation. It is important that an agenda is constructed from the bottom-up and open to a variety of issues. In addition, organizing reflection and deliberation requires effort to identify moral questions in practice whilst at the same time maintaining the connection with the organizational context and existing communication structures. Once care providers are used to dealing with divergent perspectives, inviting different perspectives (e.g. family members) to take part in the deliberation, might help to identify and address ethical ‘blind spots’. (shrink)
Some observers regard South Africa as one of the most violent, lawless and morally depraved societies in the world. Several other countries around the world can be shown to be similarly afflicted. In South Africa's case, this condition might be because of political transformation, particularly the lingering effects of the struggle against past injustices inflicted on sections of the population. The social instability has been exacerbated by an influx of migrants and a resultant increase in diversity. One way of attempting (...) to assuage this situation is to harness the school subject known as 'citizenship education' for guiding the upcoming generations into committing to a new moral compass, that is, awareness or consciousness with a conscience, and to an accompanying new social contract. Finding a rationale for such a moral compass and social contract that all the citizens of South Africa and of other similarly stricken countries would be prepared to commit to is a daunting task because people tend to be subjective in reflecting about their personal and group views, particularly about their religious beliefs and convictions. Closer examination reveals, however, that despite all the diversity, differences and conflict prevalent in societies, people are potentially able to share a set of basic values that arguably could form the core of the sought-for moral compass. Citizenship education could be functional in bringing home to the next generation the notion of henceforth living in accordance with the precepts of such a moral compass and social contract. (shrink)
The objective of this study was to assess whether, and how, the attitudes towards business ethics of former South African business students have changed between the early 1990s and 2010. The study used the Attitudes Toward Business Ethics Questionnaire and applied a comparative analysis between leading business schools in South Africa. The findings of this study found a significant change in attitudes based on a set time frame, with a trend towards stronger opinions on business ethics and espoused values. Eleven (...) factors came out as fundamental, although they were less able to explain the variation in the attitudes than the previous study. A significant change in the rankings of variables was noted and indicated a shift in attitude toward a teleological moral philosophy as well as utilitarian motives. This shows a clear trend towards compliance-based ethics, which can be explained by the proliferation of business legislation and regulation in the wake of recent corporate governance failures and the subsequent global financial crisis. (shrink)
‘Homophobia’ is shorthand for stigmatising attitudes and practices towards people who demonstrate sexual diversity. In this article, we reflect on how African Christian faith may become redemptive rather than violent in the context of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex forms of sexuality.
In recent years, schools and education authorities world wide have been paying increasing attention to issues surrounding diversity and religious tolerance. The term 'tolerance' is, however, clouded by considerable confusion and vagueness. This article seeks to contribute to recent scholarly attempts at understanding tolerance and the term that denotes it. After a brief semantic analysis of the term 'tolerance', arguments concerning the onticity of tolerance as phenomenon or entity are discussed. By examining its onticity we explore and explain some of (...) the essential features of tolerance. The article ends with a brief discussion of some of the implications of our examination that we foresee for education. (shrink)
Why is a Reformational philosophy needed in Africa? It is necessary, because something is missing in African Christianity. Most Western missionaries taught Africans a “broken” or dualistic worldview. This caused a divorce between traditional culture and their new Christian religion. The Christian faith was perceived as something remote, only concerned with a distant past and a far-away future. It could not become a reality in their everyday lives. It could not develop into an all-encompassing worldview and lifestyle. Because Reformational philosophy (...) advocates the Biblical, holistic approach of a comprehensive worldview, it is welcomed on our continent. It contains a healing and liberating message to our bleeding and lost continent. What Africans, however, neither want nor can afford, is an ivory tower philosophy, playing intellectual games; a philosophy which does not do or change anything. They want a philosophy which is a “marriage” between abstract ideas and the facts on the ground. They need a Christian philosophy with compassion that may even contribute to the alleviation of their poverty! (shrink)
Why is a Reformational philosophy needed in Africa? It is necessary, because something is missing in African Christianity. Most Western missionaries taught Africans a “broken” or dualistic worldview. This caused a divorce between traditional culture and their new Christian religion. The Christian faith was perceived as something remote, only concerned with a distant past and a far-away future . It could not become a reality in their everyday lives. It could not develop into an all-encompassing worldview and lifestyle. Because Reformational (...) philosophy advocates the Biblical, holistic approach of a comprehensive worldview, it is welcomed on our continent. It contains a healing and liberating message to our bleeding and lost continent. What Africans, however, neither want nor can afford, is an ivory tower philosophy, playing intellectual games; a philosophy which does not do or change anything. They want a philosophy which is a “marriage” between abstract ideas and the facts on the ground. They need a Christian philosophy with compassion that may even contribute to the alleviation of their poverty! (shrink)
Academics and/or scholars increasingly feel that their academic voice (combined or individual) has been squelched by the demands of performativity in its various guises, and resultantly, that they have been caught up in a process of steady disempowerment. Rather, it should be their right to be free to use their positions in the pursuit of scholarship as their conscience and their expert knowledge of their subject dictate. Academics should be free to question for themselves the boundaries of their limitations, and (...) not have these i mposedon them by the state or government bureaucracy. In order to help empower academics to regain their academic voice and identity, this article transposes six of the philosophical ideas of Belgian philosopher Rudi Visker to the world of academia. It explores the possibilities of using these ideas as instruments for the promotion and maintenance of academic freedom. Key concepts: academic freedom, managerialism, institutions of higher learning, Rudi Visker. (shrink)
Since the Brexit-vote and the election of a far-right businessman as President of the United States, the social sciences have been struggling to explain the societal conditions that nourish the increasing appeal of far-right parties and leaders in the Western world. The article’s main thesis is that the currently leading sociological paradigm, the theory of globalization losers, is not sufficient to understand the social dynamics in question. Starting from a discussion of the recent work of German sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer, it (...) is argued that the best insight in far-right voter’s motivations and emotions can be found in the work of Margaret Canovan. The article shows further that a sociological investigation into the socio-psychological dynamics of the rise of the far-right should take into account broader cultural transformations that have been weakening the social world of Western democracies in the past 30 years, namely individualization, acceleration and demographic decline. In times of crisis, these transformations become manifest as a general crisis of advanced capitalism. (shrink)
This article is about developments that are on the rise in response to the global hegemony of the neoliberal approach to life in general and education in particular. After an outline of what neoliberalism entails and how it has impacted education, the discussion moves on to an outline of several of these new developments that are seemingly unrelated but at the deepest level seem to be critical of neoliberalism and its views about education. This is followed by a critical appraisal (...) of these new developments. The appraisal, executed along the guidelines of the social space and ethical function theory, shows that these new developments, although they suggest a number of important corrections regarding neoliberalism and its views on education, are in themselves one-sided and narrow. It is nevertheless important for educators and educationists to take account of such new developments that are in the process of changing our view of the world. (shrink)
Swords turning into ploughshares is not peace – Peace in Isaiah 40−44. ‘Swords being turned into ploughshares’ are often portrayed as being tantamount to peace. Peace though has got a more extensive meaning than only the absence of war. Whilst war and destruction is on the forefront in Isaiah 1–39, the opposite is true in Isaiah 40–66. The intention of this article is therefore to demonstrate the extensive meaning of peace as it unfolds as a motive in Isaiah 40–66. Because (...) of a lack of space, only the first three passages directly mentioning שָׁלֹום [peace] will be discussed. Even though this discussion will be incomplete, it will reveal that peace is not part of man’s normal state, that not everyone will experience peace and that there is a direct link between peace and the rule of God. (shrink)
Adopting a descriptive phenomenological approach, this study explores the experiences of discrimination of white women in committed interracial relationships with black men within the South African context. Three white females in committed interracial relationships with black males were recruited and interviewed. Open-ended interviews were conducted in order to elicit rich and in-depth first-person descriptions of the participants’ lived experiences of discrimination as a result of being in committed interracial relationships. The data analysis entailed a descriptive phenomenological content analysis and description. (...) The results of this study suggest that white women in committed interracial relationships with black men experience discrimination in various contexts, where discrimination manifests as either a negative or a positive encounter; in addition, discrimination evokes various emotional responses and is coped with in either maladaptive or adaptive ways. Finally, the experience of discrimination, although personal, necessarily impacts on the interracial relationship. The nature and impact of discrimination experienced by white women in committed interracial relationships with black men is thus multi-layered and both an intra-personal and an inter-personal phenomenon. (shrink)
Although generational differences have been studied in developed countires, not much information is available about generational cohorts and how they differ in terms of work ethics in developing countries. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 301 respondents from South Africa. Work ethics of three generational cohorts were measured, namely the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. The main finding of this research was that statistically significant differences and similarities were found between the various generational cohorts in (...) terms of work ethics facets. Statistically significant generational differences were indicated for hard work and delay of gratification. (shrink)