In a field dominated by research on moral prescription and moral prediction, there is poor understanding of the place of moral perceptions in organizations alongside philosophical ethics and causal models of ethical outcomes. As leadership failures continue to plague organizational health and firms recognize the wide-ranging impact of subjective bias, scholars and practitioners need a renewed frame of reference from which to reconceptualize their current understanding of ethics as perceived in individuals. Based on an assessment and selection perspective from the (...) field of human resource management, an alternative to conventional deductive-prescriptive approaches is proposed based on a pluralistic concept referred to as moral goodness. An inductive-descriptive theory-building framework is constructed based on three interrelated streams of inquiry to yield insight concerning both formal and informal instances of assessment. Recommendations are proposed for the application of the framework to future research and practice. (shrink)
What explains followers’ attraction to tyrannical leaders? They systematically coerce, belittle, and manipulate, often at the expense of subordinates’ mental and physical well-being and their organization’s long-term interests. To help address the question, we examine the tendencies of people who view the tyrannical leader prototype as a component of effective leadership. Specifically, we apply moral and evolutionary psychology to propose and empirically test a mediation model in which belief in a dangerous world links positively with endorsement of the tyrannical leader (...) traits, as mediated through the binding components of moral foundations theory. Regarding gender, our model proposes that the link between the binding foundations and tyrannical leadership endorsement is stronger among males than females. Our overall model was supported across two independent samples of working adults; we also anticipated and found a direct negative association between the individualizing moral foundations and endorsement of the tyrannical prototype. These findings provide insights into the circumstances under which tyrannical traits are viewed as part of effective leadership. (shrink)
In the grand debate between the paternalist and the libertarian, VanDeVeer sides decidedly with the libertarian. Paternalistic intervention he regards as presumptively wrong, and so the question becomes whether there are countervailing, morally relevant considerations by which paternalistic intervention can be justified. In shifting the burden of justification to the paternalist, VanDeVeer is not being innovative. H. L. A. Hart broke that ground in his Law, Liberty, and Morality in 1963, and Ronald Dworkin used the technique effectively in his 1966 (...) Yale Law Journal essay "Lord Devlin and the Enforcement of Morals." VanDeVeer's contribution, however, is in the explanation he gives for laying the burden of justification on those who would defend paternalistic intervention. Whereas Hart's explanation spoke at the societal or governmental level, VanDeVeer's speaks at the level of the individual person. He rests his argument on the essence of the libertarian position: a principle of overarching individual human autonomy. Consistent with his individualistic focus, he avoids restricting his definitions of paternalistic intervention to activities at the societal or governmental level. VanDeVeer insists that there are moral bounds to paternalistic intervention on the part of private individuals, and it is, perhaps, both the strength and the weakness of the book that he by and large joins conceptually paternalistic intervention by the government and paternalistic intervention by private individuals. (shrink)
We tend to think of the French Revolution as a good idea gone awry--idealism consumed by its antithesis in an orgy of Freudian Oedipal violence. It's difficult for us to credit the theorists of the French Revolution with genius. And yet they did possess genius. They recognized the root tension that exists between the ideals of human liberty and human equality. Individual liberty, freely exercized results in social inequality. Enforced social equality of necessity curtails individual liberty. The genius of their (...) solution to this dilemma was, of course, proudly proclaimed in the battle cry of the Revolution: Libèrté! Ègalité! Fraternité! The two inconsistent ideals of liberty and equality are reconcilable and realizable, but only in the resolving agent of fraternity. The trouble was that, as emotively effective as the word 'fraternity' may be as part of a battle cry, it is not effective as the organizing principle for a state. A less emotive, more nuanced understanding of the complex and often conflicting natures of the components that go into the making of a state was needed. It was not there, and the Revolution itself betrayed its own ideals. (shrink)
Readers of fiction tend to have better abilities of empathy and theory of mind. We present a study designed to replicate this finding, rule out one possible explanation, and extend the assessment of social outcomes. In order to rule out the role of personality, we first identified Openness as the most consistent correlate. This trait was then statistically controlled for, along with two other important individual differences: the tendency to be drawn into stories and gender. Even after accounting for these (...) variables, fiction exposure still predicted performance on an empathy task. Extending these results, we also found that exposure to fiction was positively correlated with social support. Exposure to nonfiction, in contrast, was associated with loneliness, and negatively related to social support. (shrink)
We suggest that the hierarchical predictive processing account detailed by Clark can be usefully integrated with narrative psychology by situating personal narratives at the top of an individual's knowledge hierarchy. Narrative representations function as high-level generative models that direct our attention and structure our expectations about unfolding events. Implications for integrating scientific and humanistic views of human experience are discussed.
Transgenic animals—animals with genes added to their deoxyribonucleic acid —will no longer be limited by the gene pool of their parents. Such animals are slated to be created expressly to provide vital and novel benefits for human beings. These animals can have desirable characteristics or traits from virtually any gene pool and may also possess properties not present in nature or available through conventional breeding. They will be created for the production of new medical and pharmaceutical products and to enhance (...) meat, dairy, and fiber production efficiency. (shrink)