Family firm leaders acting as stewards of a close-knit enterprise may attempt to build a positive atmosphere of trust, clarity, and cohesiveness in the firm’s operation. Yet, conditions unique to family firms may lead some family members to develop a heightened sense of entitlement and weaker bonds to the organization. This creates conditions for a Fredo effect, where a family member’s incompetence, opportunistic behaviors, and/or ethically dubious actions can impede the firm’s success, potentially resulting in a scandal that could lead (...) to the firm’s demise and negative economic impact on employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Surveying 147 family-firm members, we examine the role that linkages among perceptions of family harmony norms, distributive fairness, role ambiguity, and relationship conflict play in the emergence of a family member who acts as an impediment to the firm, which can be manifested in damaging unethical behaviors. As hypothesized, family harmony norms and fairness perceptions are negatively related to family impediment, while role ambiguity is positively related to family impediment. However, relationship conflict mediates these connections, underscoring the potential damage this type of conflict can create in a family firm, even if leaders of the firm attempt to establish conditions that reflect a stewardship approach to firm governance. We discuss how these findings impact the development of an ethical climate in the family firm and the implications for family business survival or scandal. (shrink)
Considering the organization’s ethical context as a framework to investigate workplace phenomena, this field study of military reserve personnel examines the relationships among perceptions of psychosocial group variables, such as cohesiveness, helping behavior and peer leadership, employee job attitudes, and the likelihood of individuals’ withholding on-the-job effort, a form of organizational misbehavior. Hypotheses were tested with a sample of 290 individuals using structural equation modeling, and support for negative relationships between perceptions of positive group context and withholding effort by individual (...) employees was found. In addition, individual effort-performance expectancy and individual job satisfaction were negatively related to withholding effort. The findings provide evidence that individual perceptions of positive group context play a key role in the presence of misbehavior at work. The results indicate that positive group context might be an important element of ethical climate that should be managed to temper occurrence of such adverse work behavior. (shrink)
Lying and dysfunctional impression management have been identified as two serious forms of deviant behavior in organizations. One manifestation of such behavior is distortion of one's résumé. In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her résumé and her biographical record. Twenty years later, football coach George O'Leary resigned from one of the most (...) coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier. This paper summarizes the two cases - their similarities and differences - and places them in the context of organizational deviance. The case studies provide discussion points, practical advice and instructional material for students in business ethics and management classes. Lessons include the importance of preparing accurate, unvarnished résumés and the morally bankrupt nature of allegedly minor distortions that can later cause huge trouble for the individuals and the institutions involved. (shrink)
A survey of 830 faculty members at 89 AASCB-accredited business schools throughout the United States was conducted in Fall 2002 to develop a snapshot of perceptions of ethical and unethical conduct with regard to undergraduate business instruction across a wide range of business disciplines. These behaviors fell into such categories as course content, evaluation of students, educational environment, disrespectful behavior, research and publication issues, financial and material transactions, social relationships with students, and sexual relationships with students and other faculty. Of (...) the 55 behaviors, two were almost universally perceived to be unethical. Eight behaviors were controversial in that there was wide variance on whether the behavior was perceived to be unethical. In addition, females' ethical perceptions differed significantly from males on three behaviors; older participants differed from younger participants on seven behaviors; participants at research-oriented institutions differed from participants at teaching-oriented institutions on one behavior; and tenured, untenured tenure-track, and untenured non-tenure-track participants differed on three behaviors. The findings of this study and the detailed comments of the respondents provide a starting point for discussing more systematic means to consider ethical issues within collegiate schools of business. (shrink)
Two major management philosophies of the 20th Century, scientific management and quality management, are often contrasted. Scientific management is seen as a system that focuses on task efficiencies whereas quality management is described as a collaborative, people-centered process approach to continuous improvement. This paper examines the ethical implications of these diverse approaches, particularly in the way information is used to decide which employees to lay off in times of economic difficulty. The paper uses case examples of quality management as teaching (...) tools to place the conduct of managers within utilitarian, deontological and justice approaches to ethical decision making. Finally, it suggests that a third system, open-book management, may help deal with this ethical dilemma, though not without risk. (shrink)
Lying and dysfunctional impression management have been identified as two serious forms of deviant behavior in organizations. One manifestation of such behavior is distortion of one's résumé. In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her résumé and her biographical record. Twenty years later, football coach George O'Leary resigned from one of the most (...) coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier. This paper summarizes the two cases — their similarities and differences — and places them in the context of organizational deviance. The case studies provide discussion points, practical advice and instructional material for students in business ethics and management classes. Lessons include the importance of preparing accurate, unvarnished résumés and the morally bankrupt nature of allegedly minor distortions that can later cause huge trouble for the individuals and the institutions involved. (shrink)
This study used experimental and correlational techniques to examine perceptions that university faculty hold regarding the practice of professorial selling of examination textbooks to wholesalers. Faculty members (n = 236) from 14 universities and community colleges and a wide variety of academic disciplines responded to a web-based survey. We presented hypothetical selling situations to respondents with manipulated variables consisting of solicitation status (unsolicited versus solicited) and use of money (for faculty or for student activities). Both main effects and the interaction (...) effect were significant such that respondents perceived it to be more ethical to sell an examination book when the book was unsolicited and when the money was being used to fund student activities. The variable most correlated with faculty members' beliefs that book selling is ethical and the faculty members' self-reports of whether or not they have engaged in bookselling was how widespread the practice appeared to be on campus. About 30 percent of faculty members sold textbooks over the past year at a dollar value of about $80 per professor. About 38 percent of respondents reported they believed the practice to be generally ethical. Implications for business ethics theory, students' moral development, and advancement of on-campus codes of ethics policies are discussed along with avenues for future research. (shrink)
This study explores the ability of career satisfaction to mediate the relationship between corporate ethical values and altruism. Using a sample of individuals employed in a four-campus, regional health science center, it was determined that individual career satisfaction fully mediated the positive relationship between perceptions of corporate ethical values and self-reported altruism. The findings imply that companies dedicating attention to positive corporate ethical values can enhance employee attitudes and altruistic behaviors, especially when individuals experience a high degree of career satisfaction.
Faculty across a wide range of academic disciplines at 89 AASCB-accredited U.S. business schools were surveyed regarding their perceptions of the ethical nature of faculty behaviors related to undergraduate course content, student evaluation, educational environment, research issues, financial and material transactions, and social and sexual relationships. We analyzed responses based on whether instruction in the academic discipline focused mainly on quantitative topics or largely on qualitative issues. Faculty who represented quantitative disciplines such as accounting and finance (n = 383) were (...) more likely to view behaviors such as selling complimentary textbooks and grading on a strict curve as more ethical than faculty representing more qualitative disciplines such as management and marketing (n = 447). In contrast, faculty in quantitative disciplines were more likely to view behaviors such as showing controversial media and bringing up sexual or racial charged matters as less ethical than their counterparts. Whereas these differences may be attributed to the respondents’ academic backgrounds, the large level of agreement on ethical behaviors raises questions about the growing influence of business disciplines that operate within more unified research and teaching paradigms. (shrink)
Years of research clearly shows that relying on traditional organizational power bases is not effective when companies want to promote business ethics and performance. It is not only that the use of legitimate power to establish ethics codes and coercive power to punish employees who do not comply does not work; this study—based on a multi-method research approach in the retail industry—indicates that the classic iron fist leads to unethical business values and lower service performance. But there is a light (...) at the end of the tunnel for forward-looking managers. The ethical attitudes and behaviors of employees within international organizations is a dynamic variable that is possible to change by the use of values-based leadership. Our extensive study of a large grocery store chain owned by a multinational corporation indicates that managers who lead by example will boost team values and commitment. (shrink)
This study sought to identify whether or not differences exist between the ethical decisions of male and female managers; and, if they do exist, to identify the areas in which differences occurred. An additional evaluation was conducted to determine how each perceived their counterpart would respond to the same ethical decision making situations.Data were collected from 50 male managers and 50 female managers by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Distinctive demographic characteristics were noted among the segments.
A corporate culture strengthened by ethical values and other positive business practices likely yields more favorable employee work responses. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the degree to which perceived corporate ethical values work in concert with group creativity to influence both job satisfaction and turnover intention. Using a self-report questionnaire, information was collected from 781 healthcare and administrative employees working at a multi-campus education-based healthcare organization. Additional survey data was collected from a comparative convenience sample of (...) 127 sales and marketing employees working for a variety of firms operating in the south-central United States. The results indicated that group creativity and corporate ethical values were positively related, and that both variables were associated with increased job satisfaction. Conversely, corporate ethical values and job satisfaction were associated with decreased turnover intention. Sales managers should create work cultures that precipitate increased ethical values and group creativity, and suggestions about how they may institutionalize these factors are provided. (shrink)
“…we must move into theological anthropology if we are to do justice to the wisdom literature. In the Old Testament man can be defined in terms of his relationship to the Lord as his saviour, creator, sustainer. The working out of these ideas is not possible apart from the concern of Old Testament wisdom…”.
The role of Scripture as norm is growing significantly in Catholic theological work. But with that growth the problems of its relation to other norms become clearer and more urgent as the agenda for systematic theology.