This research illustrates dangers inherent in the gap created when organizations decouple ethics program adoption from implementation. Using a sample of 182 professionals in the pharmaceutical and financial services industries, we examine the relationship between structural decoupling of formal ethics programs and individual-level perceptions and behavior. Findings strongly support the hypothesized relationships between decoupling and organizational members’ legitimacy perceptions of the ethics program, psychological contract breach, organizational cynicism, and unethical behavior.
This study expands theoretical understanding of organizational misconduct through qualitative analysis of widespread deceptive sales practices at a large U.S. life insurance company. Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, this research describes how a set of taken-for-granted interpretive frames located in the organization’s culture created a worldview through which deceptive sales practices were seen as normal, acceptable, routine operating procedure. The findings from this study extend and modify the dominant theoretical ‘pressure/opportunity’ model of organizational misconduct by proposing that the process engine (...) driving misconduct is not amorally rational organization members, but rather is organizational members acting on socially constructed views of the organization that normalize misconduct. (shrink)
A common complaint by academics and practitioners is that the application of international accountability standards (IAS) does not lead to significant improvements in an organization’s social responsibility. When organizations espouse their commitment to IAS but do not put forth the effort necessary to operationally enact that commitment, a “credibility cover” is created that perpetuates business as usual. In other words, the legitimacy that organizations gain by formally adopting the standards may shield the organization from closer scrutiny, thus enabling rather than (...) constraining the types of activities the standards were designed to discourage.There is a lack of research on why certain types of IAS are more prone than others to being decoupled from organizational practices. Applying a neo-institutional perspective to IAS, we theorize that the structural dimensions of the types of standards themselves can increase the likelihood of organizations adopting IAS standards in form but not in function. (shrink)
Although a number of articles have addressed ethical perceptions and behaviors, few studies have examined ethics across cultures. This research focuses on measuring the job satisfaction, customer orientation, ethics, and ethical training of automotive salespersons in the U.S. and Taiwan. The relationships of these variables to salesperson performance were also investigated. Ethics training was found to be negatively related to perceived levels of ethicalness and performance. High performance U.S. salespeople reported high ethical behavior, while the opposite was true in Taiwan. (...) Customer orientation in both countries was influenced by ethics training. Managers should evaluate current ethics training programs to insure correct ethical behavior is taught and rewarded. (shrink)
The interrelationships among a number of variables and their effect on ethical decision making was explored. Teams of students and managers participated in a competitive management simulation. Based on prior research, the effects of performance, environmental change, team age, and type of team on the level of ethical behavior were hypothesized. The findings indicate that multiple variables may interact in such a fashion that significance is lost.
. This descriptive study discusses cognitive mapping as a technique for analyzing ethical sensitivity, examines whether the method allows comparisons between people, compares the ethical sensitivity levels of participants from three organizations, examines which indicators of ethical sensitivity are most salient to members of specific organizations, and examines whether education level or organizational membership is the best predictor of an individual’s ethical sensitivity level. Subjects from three organizations read background information, listened to two audiotaped scenarios containing multiple ethical issues related (...) to organizational communication, responded to focused interview questions, and completed questionnaires. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and analyzed using cognitive mapping techniques. Significant differences in levels of ethical sensitivity were found between the members of the three organizations. However, a hierarchical regression model demonstrated that the difference was likely due to the differences in level of education in each organization. Organizational membership seemed to affect the particular aspects of the scenarios that participants noticed. (shrink)
The present pair of studies investigated the assessment, correlates, and evaluation of ?moral rebels? who follow their own moral convictions despite social pressure to comply. In Study 1, self, peer, and teacher ratings of adolescents' tendencies to be a moral rebel were positively intercorrelated. In Study 2, young adults' tendencies to be a moral rebel were associated with relatively high self-esteem scores and relatively low willingness to engage in minor moral violations and need to belong scores. Both adolescents and young (...) adults reported relatively favorable attitudes toward a morally rebellious peer, especially when they themselves had heightened ratings on this characteristic. (shrink)
In this paper I present and defend a highly demanding principle of justice in education that has not been seriously discussed thus far. According to the suggested approach, “all the way equality”, justice in education requires nothing short of equal educational outcome between all individual students. This means not merely between equally able children, or between children from different groups and classes, but rather between all children, regardless of social background, race, sex and ability. This approach may seem implausible at (...) first, due to the far-reaching implications it entails, primarily its requirement to deny better-off children their advantage for the sake of equality. However the paper argues that all-the-way-equality, in fact, does a better job realizing the goals of justice in education than alternative conceptions of justice. It is further argued that at least some of the principle’s most radical consequences, those that make it seem counterintuitive, can be mitigated by balancing all-the-way-equality with competing interests. (shrink)
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim is to find places (...) where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
Nike. McDonald’s Apple. These companies and many others invest millions of dollars each year protecting that one thing that distinguishes them in the marketplace – a trademark. A company’s trademark is the symbol that allows consumers to know that they are dealing with a particular company. This article addresses the extent to which some companies will go to obtain and protect a trademark. Specifically, it will address the fight between Cisco and Apple over the iPhone trademark, as both companies took (...) questionable steps in the United States and abroad to obtain rights to the iPhone mark. In addition, the basics of trademark law and ethical theories relevant to trademark law will be addressed. (shrink)
The importance of education and its profound effect on people's life make it a central issue in discussions of distributive justice. However, promoting distributive justice in education comes at a price: prioritising the education of some, as is often entailed by the principles of justice, inevitably has negative effects on the education of others. As a result, all theories of distributive justice in education face the challenge of balancing their requirements with conflicting interests. This article aims to contribute to developing (...) an account of conflicting interests by identifying a category of conflicting interests—non-positional conflicting interests—the realisation of which does not necessarily disrupt distributive justice. Non-positional conflicting interests include, for example, the interest in realising one's full potential and parents’ interest in familial relations. The article argues that the core dimensions of non-positional conflicting interests can usually be realised without upsetting distributive justice, and that actions that do upset distributive justice tend to be peripheral to these interests. Either way, there is no severe friction between distributive justice and non-positional conflicting interests: in the former cases, both are realised simultaneously. In the latter, tension exists; however, because the infringement on the conflicting interest is of relatively little weight, it is often justified, all things considered, in order to promote distributive justice. The conclusion is that while there are indeed cases in which distributive justice must retreat in the face of other interests, the friction between distributive justice and other interests is actually weaker than meets the eye. (shrink)
This paper explores how policy-practice decoupling affects organizational insiders, synthesizing literatures on decoupling, organizational identity, behavioral integrity, and organizational cynicism to derive a theoretical model illustrating the effects of organization-level structural choices on individual perceptions and actions.
Successfully navigating the norms of a society is a complex task that involves recognizing diverse kinds of rules as well as the relative weight attached to them. In the United States, different kinds of rules—federal statutes and regulations, scientific norms, and professional ideals—guide the work of researchers. Penalties for violating these different kinds of rules and norms can range from the displeasure of peers to criminal sanctions. We proposed that it would be more difficult for researchers working in the U.S. (...) who were born in other nations to distinguish the seriousness of violating rules across diverse domains. We administered a new measure, the evaluating rules in science task, to National Institutes of Health-funded investigators. The ERST assessed perceptions of the seriousness of violating research regulations, norms, and ideals, and allowed us to calculate the degree to which researchers distinguished between the seriousness of each rule category. The ERST also assessed researchers’ predictions of the seriousness that research integrity officers would assign to the rules. We compared researchers’ predictions to the seriousness ratings of 112 RIOs working at U.S. research-intensive universities. U.S.-born researchers were significantly better at distinguishing between the seriousness of violating federal research regulations and violating ideals of science, and they were more accurate in their predictions of the views of RIOs. Acculturation to the U.S. moderated the effects of nationality on accuracy. We discuss the implications of these findings in terms of future research and education. (shrink)
There is a lack of research on why certain international accountability standards (IAS) are more prone than others to being decoupled from organizational practices. Applying a neo-institutional theory perspective to IAS we theorize that the structural dimensions of the standards themselves can increase the likelihood of organizations adopting IAS standards in form but not in function.
In this paper we describe the development and initial psychometric evaluation of a new measure, the values in scientific work. This scale assesses the level of importance that investigators attach to different VSW. It taps a broad range of intrinsic, extrinsic, and social values that motivate the work of scientists, including values specific to scientific work and more classic work values in the context of science. Notably, the values represented in this scale are relevant to scientists regardless of their career (...) stage and research focus. We administered the VSW and a measure of global values to 203 NIH-funded investigators. Exploratory factor analyses suggest the delineation of eight VSW, including autonomy, research ethics, social impact, income, collaboration, innovation and growth, conserving relationships, and job security. These VSW showed predictable and distinct associations with global values. Implications of these findings for work on research integrity and scientific misconduct are discussed. (shrink)
Engineers create airplanes, buildings, medical devices, and software, amongst many other things. Engineers abide by a professional code of ethics to uphold people’s safety and the reputation of the profession. Likewise, students abide by a code of academic integrity while learning the knowledge and necessary skills to prepare them for the engineering and computing professions. This paper reports on studies designed to improve the engineering student culture with respect to academic integrity and ethics. To understand the existing culture at a (...) university in the USA, a survey based on a national survey about cheating was administered to students. The incidences of self-reported cheating and incidences of not reporting others who cheat show the culture is similar to other institutions. Two interventions were designed and tested in an introduction to an engineering course: two case studies that students discussed in teams and the whole class, and a letter of recommendation assignment in which students wrote about themselves three years into the future. Students were surveyed after the two interventions. Results show that first-year engineering students appreciate having a code of academic integrity and they want to earn their degree without cheating, yet less than half of the students would report on another cheating student. The letter of recommendation assignment had some impact on getting students to think about ethics, their character, and their actions. Future work in changing the student culture will continue in both a top-down and bottom-up manner. (shrink)
This study presents and develops test methods for assessing sensitivity to conflict of interest (COIsen). We are aware of no study assessing COIsen, but note that some popular methods for assessing ethical sensitivity and related constructs (which include COIsen) are flawed in that their presentation of stimulus material to subjects actually guides subjects to attend to ethical (or related) issues. The method tested here was designed to avoid this flaw. Using adaptations of two existing cases, a quota sample of 12 (...) students was interviewed. Our method used funnel-sequenced, open-ended interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed, then subjected to a form of cognitive mapping. These maps revealed the presence of “indicators” of COIsen. We found that COIsen can be measured and that the global COIsen score generated by our method is able to reveal much variation across subjects, making it a worthwhile candidate for further consideration. (shrink)