This article evaluates effectiveness and costs of external regulation, in particular the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) in restricting managerial malfeasance and safeguarding shareholder interests. It discusses the role of managerial ethics as an alternative corporate governance mechanism to protect shareholder value. This article builds a mathematical model to illustrate shareholders' choices of best corporate governance mechanisms, taking into account the influence of managerial ethics, effectiveness and costs of monitoring. We suggest that the best corporate governance design and the optimal (...) monitoring expenses are influenced by managerial types, monitoring efficiency, and effectiveness of ethics education. We conclude that stringent regulation and monitoring may not always enhance shareholder value. When managerial ethics could be improved by ethics education or social norms, ethics education may be a better alternative than stringent regulation. (shrink)
An entangled pair of photons (1 and 2) are emitted in opposite directions. A narrow slit is placed in the path of photon 1 to provide the precise knowledge of its position on the y-axis and this also determines the precise y-position of its twin, photon 2, due to quantum entanglement. Is photon 2 going to experience a greater uncertainty in momentum, that is, a greater Δpy because of the precise knowledge of its position y? The experimental data show Δy (...) Δ py < h for photon 2. Can this recent realization of the thought experiment of Karl Popper signal a violation of the uncertainty principle? (shrink)
This book examines the legal and moral theory behind the law of evidence and proof, arguing that only by exploring the nature of responsibility in fact-finding can the role and purpose of much of the law be fully understood. Ho argues that the court must not only find the truth to do justice, it must do justice in finding the truth.
A sustainable system has all the essential characteristics of an organism?an irreducible whole that develops, maintains and reproduces, or renews, itself by mobilizing material and energy captured from the environment. What is the nature of the material and energy mobilization that makes an organism? I begin with a brief description of a tentative theory of the organism?developed in detail elsewhere (Ho, 1993; 1994a; 1995a,b; 1996b,c)?as a dynamically and energetically closed domain of cyclic non?dissipative processes coupled to irreversible dissipative processes, which (...) effectively frees the organism from thermodynamic constraints so that it is poised for rapid, specific intercommunication, enabling it to function as a coherent whole. I shall then show how this novel theoretical framework may begin to provide normative criteria for sustainable economic systems, thereby also exposing some of the inadequacies of current models and assumptions. (shrink)
Since Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, the idea of descent with modification came to dominate systematics, and so the study of morphology became subgugated to the reconstruction of phylogenies. Reinstating the organism in the theory of evolution (Ho & Saunders, 1979; Webster & Goodwin, 1982) leads to a project inrational taxonomy (Ho, 1986, 1988a), which attempts to classify biological forms on the basis of transformations on a given dynamical structure.Does rational taxonomy correspond to thenatural system that Linnaeus and (...) his contemporaries as well as all pre-Darwinian morphologists had in mind? Here, we examine how rational taxonomy and the natural system can coincide in the dynamics of processes generating forms during development, which conferexclusivity, genericity androbustness to the forms that do exist. We use the example of segmentation, especially inDrosophila, as an illustration to explore the implications of rational taxonomy for evolution and systematics, and the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny. (shrink)
The therapeutic misconception has been seen as presenting an ethical problem because failure to distinguish the aims of research participation from those receiving ordinary treatment may seriously undermine the informed consent of research subjects. Hence, most theoretical and empirical work on the problems of the therapeutic misconception has been directed to evaluate whether, and to what degree, this confusion invalidates the consent of subjects. We argue here that this focus on the understanding component of informed consent, while important, might be (...) too narrow to capture the ethical complexity of the therapeutic misconception. We show that concerns about misplaced trust and exploitation of such trust are also relevant, and ought to be taken into account, when considering why the therapeutic misconception matters ethically. (shrink)
Japan has more robots than any other country with robots contributing to many areas of society, including manufacturing, healthcare, and entertainment. However, few studies have examined Japanese attitudes toward robots, and none has used implicit measures. This study compares attitudes among the faculty of a US and a Japanese university. Although the Japanese faculty reported many more experiences with robots, implicit measures indicated both faculties had more pleasant associations with humans. In addition, although the US faculty reported people were more (...) threatening than robots, implicit measures indicated both faculties associated weapons more strongly with robots than with humans. Despite the media’s hype about Japan’s robot ‘craze,’ response similarities suggest factors other than attitude better explain robot adoption. These include differences in history and religion, personal and human identity, economic structure, professional specialization, and government policy. Japanese robotics offers a unique reference from which other nations may learn. (shrink)
Since male CEOs dominate corporate leadership, the literature on top management decision making suffers from an implicit masculine bias. Although research indicates that males and females are biologically and psychologically different, the leadership characteristics of female CEOs are largely unexplored. Two of these characteristics, risk aversion and ethical sensitivity, are tied to key accounting issues, such as conservatism in financial reporting and steadfast opposition to fraud. In this study, we examine the relationship between CEO gender and accounting conservatism, and find (...) a positive association between the two. Consistent with conventional wisdom, this association appears to be stronger in firms with high rather than low litigation and takeover risks. This study contributes to the ethics literature by highlighting the benefits of gender diversity in upholding the integrity of financial reporting. (shrink)
In recent decades, the intertwining ideas of self-determination and well-being have received tremendous support in bioethics. Discussions regarding self-determination, or autonomy, often focus on two dimensions—the capacity of the patient and the freedom from external coercion. The practice of obtaining informed consent, for example, has become a standard procedure in therapeutic and research medicine. On the surface, it appears that patients now have more opportunities to exercise their self-determination than ever. Nonetheless, discussions of patient autonomy in the bioethics literature, which (...) focus on individual patients making particular decisions, neglect the social structure within which health-care decisions are made. Looking through the lens of disability and informed by the feminist conception of relational autonomy, this essay argues that the issue of autonomy is much more complex than the individualist model suggests. The social system and the ableist ideology impose various forms of pressure or oppressive power that can affect people’s ability to choose according to their value system. Even if such powers are not directly coercive, they influence potential parents’ decisions indirectly—they structure their alternatives in such a way that certain options are never considered as viable and other decisions must be made. This paper argues that, instead of only focusing on the individual act of decision-making, we need to pay attention to the social structure that frames people’s decision. (shrink)
As more and more multi-national companies expand their operations globally, their responsibilities extend beyond not only the economic motive of profitability but also other social and environmental factors. The objective of this article is to examine the impact of national culture and geographic environment on firms’ corporate social performance (CSP). Empirical tests are based on a global CSP database of companies from 49 countries. Results show that the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are significantly associated with CSP. In addition, European companies are (...) found to out-perform other regions and countries in CSP. (shrink)
When it comes to Chinese transformational leadership behavior, the focus seems to be Confucian work value; nonetheless, it represents only one of the Chinese traditions. In order to have a better understanding the relationship between Chinese traditional values and transformational leadership behavior, Taoist work value should also be taken into consideration. Thus, this study firstly develops Confucian and Taoist work value scale (study 1) and then applies this scale to examine its relationship with transformational leadership (study 2). The results show (...) that while Confucian work value is the most consistent predictor of core transformational leader behavior and high-performance expectations, Taoist work value is the most consistent predictor of intellectual stimulation. (shrink)
Studies of human resource and crosscultural management are gaining greater attention in international markets. In response to this trend, for multinational enterprises, understanding of the culture and values of other countries as well as their organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), which focuses on members' positive interactions for better achievements in organization, has gained importance. This study aims to explore the effects of national culture and guanxi on the OCB in Chinese society including mainland China and Taiwan. The results reveal that national (...) culture and guanxi have significant impacts on the OCB, and people in mainland China and Taiwan have different cultures and OCB of their own. (shrink)
Leaders and managers of today''s multinational corporations face a plethora of problems and issues directly attributable to the fact that they are operating in an international context. With work-sites, plants and/or customers based in another country, or even several countries, representing a vast spectrum of cultural differences, international trade and offshore operations, coupled with increased globalisation in respect to political, social and economic realities, contribute to new dilemmas that these leaders must deal with. Not the least of these being a (...) Code of Ethics and ethical decision making.This paper examines the differences in culture between a group of managers from the United States and similar group from Croatia using Hofstede''s theory of International Cultures. The study explores how these cultural dimensions may help in our understanding of the differences in reported whistleblowing. The authors then postulate four hypotheses regarding various aspects of whistleblowing. These Hypotheses were than tested using a survey administered to a sample of U.S.A. and Croatian managers. Finally, the paper discusses the findings and practical implications for contemporary managers in the international arena. (shrink)
Prescription opioid abuse (POA) is an escalating clinical and public health problem. Physician worries about iatrogenic addiction and whether patients are ‘drug seeking’, ‘abusing’ and ‘diverting’ prescription opioids exist against a backdrop of professional and legal consequences of prescribing that have created a climate of distrust in chronic pain management. One attempt to circumvent these worries is the use of opioid contracts that outline conditions patients must agree to in order to receive opioids. Opioid contracts have received some scholarly attention, (...) with trust and trustworthiness identified as key values and virtues. However, few articles have provided a critical account of trust and trustworthiness in this context, particularly when there exists disagreement about their role in terms of enhancing or detracting from the patient–physician relationship. This paper argues that opioid contracts represent a misleading appeal to patient–physician trust. Assuming the patient is untrustworthy may wrongfully undermine the credibility of the patient's testimony, which may exacerbate certain vulnerabilities of the person in pain. However, misplaced trust in certain patients may render the physician vulnerable to the potential harms of POA. If patients distrust their physician, or feel distrusted by them, this may destabilise the therapeutic relationship and compromise care. A process of epistemic humility may help cultivate mutual patient–physician trust. Epistemic humility is a collaborative effort between physicians and patients that recognises the role of patients’ subjective knowledge in enhancing physicians’ self-understanding of their theoretical and practice frameworks, values and assumptions about the motivations of certain patients who report chronic pain. (shrink)
The importance of personal connections and relationships, or guanxi when doing business with the Chinese is widely acknowledged amongst Western academics and business managers alike. However, aspects of guanxi-rehted behaviours in the workplace are often misunderstood by Westerners with some going so far as to equate guanxi with forms of corruption. This study extends earlier study of Tan and Snell: 2002, Journal of Business Ethics 41 (December), 361-384) in its investigation of the underlying modes of moral reasoning in ethical decisions (...) relating to aspects of guanxi, amongst Hong Kong managers. Managers' ethical judgements and underlying moral reasoning relating to a series of guanxi related behaviours were recorded. Content analysis yielded categories that correspond with categories of moral reasoning described in Kohlberg's (1969, Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research, Rand McNally, Chicago, pp. 347-480) model. As hypothesised, it was found that harsher ethical evaluations of guanxi-vehted behaviours were positively correlated with the stage of moral reasoning. The most common types of reasoning were those corresponding to Kohlberg's stages four and five which relate to moral reasoning based on law and order, and on reason rather than emotion. Stage 6, concerned with more universalistic approaches to moral reasoning, was utilised considerably less, consistent with popularly held beliefs of the relativistic nature of Chinese ethics. (shrink)
This article introduces and summarizes selected papers from the first World Business Ethics Forum held in Hong Kong and Macau in November 2006, co-hosted by the Hong Kong Baptist University and by the University of Macau. Business Ethics in the East remain distinct from those in the West, but the distinctions are becoming less pronounced and the ethical traffic flows both ways.
The authors present a comprehensive synthesis and evaluation of the published scales measuring the components of the decision making process in ethical situations using the Hunt-Vitell (1993) theory of ethics as a framework to guide the research. Suggestions for future scale development are also provided.
This study examines the influence of three components of corporate social responsibility on team performance. In the proposed model of this study, team performance is indirectly affected by three dimensions of perceived corporate citizenship (i.e., economic, legal, and ethical citizenship) via the mediation of team efficacy and team self-esteem. Surveying members of 172 teams confirms most of our hypothesized effects. Our results show that economic citizenship influences team performance via the mediation of both team efficacy and team self-esteem. However, legal (...) citizenship influences team performance via team efficacy alone, whereas ethical citizenship influences team performance only via team self-esteem. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of our findings. (shrink)
The notions of “expert” and “expertise” imply that some people have more credibility than others on certain matters. While expert authority is often taken for granted, there are questions as to whether expert power in some cases can be a form of epistemic oppression. Informed by bedside disagreements between family and clinicians as well as feminist discussions of epistemic oppression, this paper argues for a commitment to epistemic humility and the adoption of a two-way collaborative approach between clinicians and families (...) that can help to enhance professionals’ own understanding of their theoretical framework and also promote responsive patient care. (shrink)
While disability has emerged as a major theme in academic and political discourses, a perusal of many bioethics textbooks reveals that most editors and philosophers still do not consider disability to be central to developing either critical perspective or social conscience in addressing the core questions in bioethics. This essay explores how disability issues are typically portrayed in bioethics textbooks by looking at the examples of genetic testing and medically assisted death. It explains how incorporation of disability perspectives helps to (...) provide students with opportunities for a fuller understanding of many concepts that are central to moral and political philosophy, such as equality, justice, the good life, moral agency, and autonomy. (shrink)
This paper aims to show that many criticisms of McDowell’s naturalism of second nature are based on what I call ‘the orthodox interpretation’ of McDowell’s naturalism. The orthodox interpretation is, however, a misinterpretation, which results from the fact that the phrase ‘the space of reasons’ is used equivocally by McDowell in Mind and World. Failing to distinguish two senses of ‘the space of reasons’, I argue that the orthodox interpretation renders McDowell’s naturalism inconsistent with McDowell’s Hegelian thesis that the conceptual (...) is unbounded. My interpretation saves McDowell from being inconsistent. However, the upshot of my interpretation is that what is really at work in McDowell’s diagnosis of the dualism between nature and reason is the Hegelian thesis, not the naturalism of second nature. (shrink)
For Jizang (549−623), a prominent philosophical exponent of Chinese Madhyamaka, all things are empty of determinate form or nature. Given anything X, no linguistic item can truly and conclusively be applied to X in the sense of positing a determinate form or nature therein. This philosophy of ontic indeterminacy is connected closely with his notion of the Way (dao), which seems to indicate a kind of ineffable principle of reality. However, Jizang also equates the Way with nonacquisition as a conscious (...) state of freedom from any attachment and definite understanding whatsoever. The issue then becomes pressing as to how we are to understand Jizang's notion of the Way. Does it indicate some metaphysical principle or reality? Is it actually a skilful expedient to lead one to the consummate state of complete spiritual freedom? How is this issue related to Jizang's conception of ontic indeterminacy? In this book chapter, I examine Jizang's key writings in an attempt to clarify his ontological position. (shrink)
The rule of rescue describes the powerful human proclivity to rescue identified endangered lives, regardless of cost or risk. Deciding whether or not to perform a decompressive craniectomy as a life-saving or ‘rescue’ procedure for a young person with a severe traumatic brain injury provides a good example of the ethical tensions that occur in these situations. Unfortunately, there comes a point when the primary brain injury is so severe that if the patient survives they are likely to remain severely (...) disabled and fully dependent. The health resource implications of this outcome are significant. By using a web-based outcome prediction model this study compares the long-term outcome and designation of two groups of patients. One group had a very severe injury as adjudged by the model and the other group a less severe injury. At 18 month follow-up there were significant differences in outcome and healthcare requirements. This raises important ethical issues when considering life-saving but non-restorative surgical intervention. The discussion about realistic outcome cannot be dichotomised into simply life or death so that the outcome for the patient must enter the equation. As in other ‘rescue situations’, the utility of the procedure cannot be rationalised on a mere cost–benefit analysis. A compromise has to be reached to determine at what point either the likely outcome would be unacceptable to the person on whom the procedure is being performed or the social utility gained from the rule of rescue intervention fails to justify the utilitarian value and justice of equitable resource allocation. (shrink)
Moral education is always closely associated with politics in China, and the term ?moral education? is often interchangeable with such other terms as ideological and political education. Officially, moral education is seen as an important tool in upholding the socialist nature of the school and society. This paper examines the changing political and ideological orientations in China, and their implications for policy change in moral education since 1978. The paper reports on a case study on The new three character classic (...) movement in Guangdong province, a focal point of opening up. This demonstrates some changes in the orientations of the moral education curriculum, including the growing concern about individual well?being and the moral quality of citizens that would fit with a society that is fast changing under the reform and opening?up policy, and being integrated into the world. It is argued that there is a clear reorientation for moral education to be disassociated from politics, and replaced by an emphasis on personal moral quality, as well as individual well?being, such as psychological health. (shrink)
A number of traditional philosophers and religious thinkers advocated an ineffability thesis to the effect that the ultimate reality cannot be expressed as it truly is by human concepts and words. However, if X is ineffable, the question arises as to how words can be used to gesture toward it. We can't even say that X is unsayable, because in doing so, we would have made it sayable. In this article, I examine the solution offered by the fifth-century Indian grammarian-philosopher (...) Bhartrhari and develop it into a linguistic strategy based on the imposition-cum-negation method. The purpose is to show how we can non-contradictorily say, or rather indicate, the unsayable. (shrink)
For Sengzhao (374−414 CE), a leading Sanlun philosopher of Chinese Buddhism, things in the world are ontologically indeterminate in that they are devoid of any determinate form or nature. In his view, we should understand and use words provisionally, so that they are not taken to connote the determinacy of their referents. To echo the notion of ontic indeterminacy and indicate the provisionality of language, his main work, the Zhaolun, abounds in paradoxical expressions. In this essay, I offer a philosophical (...) analysis and rational reconstruction of Sengzhao’s linguistic thought, with a view to exploring the rationale for and purpose of his use of paradoxical language. (shrink)
This essay attempts to provide a systematic reconstruction of Nāgārjuna's philosophical thought by understanding it as a critique of the attachment to linguistic expressions and their referents. We first present an outline of Nāgārjuna's philosophy, centering on such notions as 'dependent origination', 'emptiness' and 'self-nature'. Then we discuss Nāgārjuna's dismissal of a metaphysical use of language, particularly his contention that language can function well without assuming the reality of its referents. We also consider his statement that he has no assertion (...) and explain his provisional use of language. Towards the end of the essay, we direct our attention to a paradoxical formula in a Buddhist sutra that should help in evaluating the contemporary significance of Nāgārjuna's linguistic critique. (shrink)
We grant that anthropic reasoning yields the result that we should not expect to be in a small civilization. However, regardless of what civilization one finds oneself in, one can use anthropic reasoning to get the result that one should not expect to be in that sort of civilization. Hence, contra Ken Olum, anthropic reasoning does not conflict with observation.
Based on the data of the normative study of the Hong Kong test of specific learning difficulties in reading and writing, and the Test of visual‐perceptual skills —Revised, 99 children aged between 6 and 10½ years were identified as children with dyslexia out of the normative sample of 690 children. By excluding 12 children known to score below average in IQ, 87 children, including 20 children not tested for IQ, could be regarded as children with dyslexia, yielding a prevalence rate (...) of 12.6% and a boy:girl gender ratio of 1.6 to 1. The figures would become 9.7% and 2.0 to 1 if the 20 children were omitted from computation. However, gender imbalance could not be readily explained by gender differences in reading‐related cognitive abilities, as there were only minor and subtle differences. Regression analyses to evaluate the relative contribution of different cognitive abilities to reading and writing suggested that orthographic knowledge and naming speed were most important among children with dyslexia. Implications of the findings and the need for early intervention are discussed. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt a philosophical analysis of the Chinese Buddhist thought of linguistic reference to shed light on how the Buddhist understands the way language refers to an ineffable reality. For this purpose, the essay proceeds in two directions: an enquiry into the linguistic thoughts of Sengzhao (374-414 CE) and Jizang (549-623 CE), two leading Chinese Madhyamika thinkers, and an analysis of the Buddhist simile of a moon-pointing finger. The two approaches respectively constitute the horizontal and vertical axes (...) of this essay. The simile of a moon-pointing finger originated in Indian Buddhism and later received much attention in Chinese Buddhism. In light of the Chinese Buddhist interpretations of the simile, I set forth six theses to make explicit the philosophic implications there involved. They are: (1) words in no way correspond with the ineffable Real and cannot say or properly express the Real; (2) words can point toward the Real by means of the forms meant or properly expressed by them; (3) the forms are plainly different from the Real and so are to be negated; (4) one who takes the forms for the Real not only misunderstands the Real but is also ignorant of the function of language; (5) the forgetting of words and their forms can dissolve the entanglement of language and thought and even lead to the intuition of the Real; (6) the intuition of the Real depends upon extra-linguistic factors as well as language. In elaborating the theses, I resort to passages in Sengzhao’s and Jizang’s works to disclose their linguistic thoughts in relation to the theses. A main concern here is to show how one can speak the unspeakable, how one can refer to an ineffable reality without committing self-contradiction. This is done in relation to their views, the theses as well as a free interpretive analysis. I construe the notion of indication as involving the imposition-cum-negation method and argue that one can use words to indicate the ineffable without at the same time describing it. The ineffable is indescribable, but it can be intimated through indication. Meanwhile, I also discuss Zhuangzi’s notion of word-forgetting as it plays a role in the simile and in Jizang’s philosophy of language. One of the purposes of this essay is to show that while valuing the therapeutic and evocative functions of religious language, Chinese Buddhist thinkers also understand the language indicatively. Without taking note of the indicative function of religious language, one cannot form an adequate picture of the Chinese Buddhist -- especially, the Chinese Madhyamaka -- philosophy of language. (shrink)
In all fields of clinical medicine, there is an increasing awareness that outcome must be assessed in terms of quality of life and cost effectiveness, rather than merely length of survival. This is especially the case when considering decompressive craniectomy for severe traumatic brain injury. The procedure itself is technically straightforward and involves temporarily removing a large section of the skull vault in order to provide extra space into which the injured brain can expand. A number of studies have demonstrated (...) many patients going on to make a good long-term functional recovery, however, this is not always the case and a significant number survive but are left with severe neurocognitive impairment. Unfortunately, many of these patients are young adults who were previously fit and well and are, therefore, likely to spend many years in a condition that they may feel to be unacceptable, and this raises a number of ethical issues regarding consent and resource allocation. In an attempt to address these issues, we have used the analytical framework proposed by Jonsen, that requires systematic consideration of medical indications, patient preferences, quality of life and contextual features. (shrink)