This article investigates corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an institution within UK multi-national corporations (MNCs). In the context of the literature on the institutionalization of CSR and on critical CSR, it presents two main findings. First, it contributes to the CSR mainstream literature by confirming that CSR has not only become institutionalized in society but that a form of this institution is also present within MNCs. Secondly, it contributes to the critical CSR literature by suggesting that unlike (...) broader notions of CSR shared between multiple stakeholders, MNCs practise a form of CSR that undermines the broader stakeholder concept. By increasingly focusing on strategic forms of CSR activity, MNCs are moving away from a societal understanding of CSR that focuses on redressing the impacts of their operations through stakeholder concerns, back to any activity that supports traditional business imperatives. The implications of this shift are considered using institutional theory to evaluate macro-institutional pressures for CSR activity and the agency of powerful incumbents in the contested field of CSR. (shrink)
Teaching business ethics and corporate social responsibility should neither be misconstrued as a plea for moral rectitude, nor as a limited utilitarian recipe for managing public interest issues or stakeholders — as it too often is. Rather, teaching CSR should allow students to recognize corporations as social institutions so that they can gauge their impact on a social scale and better weigh the values that inform them.However, this vision of CSR training has not found many supporters in (...) North American schools of management, even as the demand for ethics education continues to increase. Our paper endeavours to clarify the bipolar origins of the rising concern around ethics in the business world and how demand for more ethical corporate management is impacting demand for ethics education in management programs. We have noted that despite the intensity of demand, there is a great deal of skepticism and strong resistance to the integration of ethics and social responsibility into the education of management students. Therefore, while providing a preliminary assessment of ethical training in North American schools of management, we raise questions regarding current objectives and those that could be pursued. With these factors in mind, teaching choices that inspired the development of a new course in economic and social ethics can be presented and justified. (shrink)
As a policy instrument that is deeply rooted in technology assessment, the precautionary principle examines the effects of a given object on humans and the environment. In practice the principle is rarely used to analyze the effects of our safety measures on the object itself or the way it is produced. Yet it is exactly in the effect on the blood procurement system that blood safety regulations based on the precautionary principle have to be particularly careful, as the vast majority (...) of blood products in the Global North are obtained through donations. (shrink)
Philosophy of Social Science, that social scientific investigations do not and cannot meet the liberal requirement of "neutrality" most familiar to social scientists in the form of Max Weber's requirement of value-freedom. He argues, moreover, that this is for "institutional," not idiosyncratic, reasons: methodological demands (e.g., of validity) impel social scientists to pass along into their "objective" investigations the values of the people, groups, and cultures they are studying. In this paper, I consider the implications of (...) Root's claims for the use of social scientific results in the formation of policy in a democratic society. In particular, I argue that Root's results amplify familiar "post-modernist" conclusions: there is no "neutral" and "objective" basis for policy-making. (shrink)
Alison Gopnik and Andrew Meltzoff have argued for a view they call the ‘theory theory’: theory change in science and children are similar. While their version of the theory theory has been criticized for depending on a number of disputed claims, we argue that there is a fundamental problem which is much more basic: the theory theory is multiply ambiguous. We show that it might be claiming that a similarity holds between theory change in children and (i) individual scientists, (ii) (...) a rational reconstruction of a Superscientist, or (iii) the scientiﬁc community. We argue that (i) is false, (ii) is non-empirical (which is problematic since the theory theory is supposed to be a bold empirical hypothesis), and (iii) is either false or doesn’t make enough sense to have a truth-value. We conclude that the theory theory is an interesting failure. Its failure points the way to a full, empirical picture of scientiﬁc development, one that marries a concern with the social dynamics of science to a psychological theory of scientiﬁc cognition. 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Although computational models of cognitive agents that incorporate a wide range of cognitive functionalities have been developed in cognitive science, most of the work in social simulation still assumes rudimentary cognition on the part of the agents. In contrast, in this work, the interaction of cognition and social structures/processes is explored, through simulating survival strategies of tribal societies. The results of the simulation demonstrate interactions between cognitive and social factors. For example, we show that cognitive capabilities and (...) tendencies may be relevant to what social institutions may be adopted. This work points to a cognitively based approach towards social simulation, as well as a new area of researchâexploring the cognitiveâsocial interaction through cognitively based social simulation. (shrink)
Alison Gopnik and Andrew Meltzoff have argued for a view they call the 'theory theory': theory change in science and children are similar. While their version of the theory theory has been criticized for depending on a number of disputed claims, we argue that there is a fundamental problem which is much more basic: the theory theory is multiply ambiguous. We show that it might be claiming that a similarity holds between theory change in children and (i) individual scientists, (ii) (...) a rational reconstruction of a Superscientist, or (iii) the scientific community. We argue that (i) is false, (ii) is non-empirical (which is problematic since the theory theory is supposed to be a bold empirical hypothesis), and (iii) is either false or doesn't make enough sense to have a truth-value. We conclude that the theory theory is an interesting failure. Its failure points the way to a full, empirical picture of scientific development, one that marries a concern with the social dynamics of science to a psychological theory of scientific cognition. (shrink)
On the Importance of the Institution and Social Self in a Sociology of Conflicts of Interest Content Type Journal Article Category Case Studies Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9355-1 Authors Christopher Mayes, Rock Ethics Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802-1601, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529.
abstract Individuals tend to change their behaviour as a response to insurance. Such behavioural responses to insurance are commonly seen as ethically and morally problematic. This is especially true of effects on behaviour from social insurance. These effects have been seen as an ethical problem, associated with irresponsibility, fraud and an immoral character. This article discusses the relevance of four different types of reasons for claims that behavioural responses to social insurance are immoral. These reasons are independent reasons (...) con‐tract related reasons reasons related to fraud and reasons related to justice. I argue that reasons related to justice are most relevant, but that this type of reason does not render the individual morally blameworthy. Hence, insofar as behavioural responses to social insurance are an ethical problem it is a problem that concerns the institution, i.e. what incentives social insurance exhibits, rather than the individual, i.e. the morality of the individual responding to it. Insofar as behavioural responses to social insurance are an ethical problem it is a problem for political philosophy rather than individual ethics. (shrink)
The relationship between psychological research and the development of social policy is controversial, as is any discussion of the role of values and morals within science. Three particular instances of this controversy are evident in psychological research conducted on affirmative action, child abuse, and abortion. The American Psychological Association (APA) in fact takes a particular organizational stance on these issues. APA's Ethics Code provides some guidelines for dealing with issues of personal values as they impact psychological research and the (...) development of social policy. An important distinction can be made between the issues psychological research can reasonably address using empirical data and the issues about which psychologists should take a stand. Ethical guidelines can help psychologists make this distinction as well as inform their subsequent actions. One pertinent recommendation is that psychologists, when serving in their professional role, should be clear regarding whether empiricism or personal belief is guiding their public statements. (shrink)
The article analyzes social-philosophic aspects for development of the Intellectual Property Institution as a specific socialinstitution that exists and functions in a changing sociocultural conditions. There was particularly made an attempt to reconsider the meaning and character of those transformations in the field of intellectual property - taking into account also the Information Society context and realities of Postmodern cultural shift.
The question whether a scientist can be responsible for an outcome of her work which she does not foresee, and so is ignorant of, is addressed. It is argued that ignorance can be a ground for the attribution of responsibility, on condition that there are general principles, rules or norms, that the subject should be aware of. It is maintained that there are such rules which inform the practice of science as a socialinstitution.
This paper argues that there is a need to move yet further than has already been suggested by some from the individual to the collective as a base for public health. A communitarian approach is one way to achieve this. This has the advantage of allowing not only the community’s voice to have a say in setting the values for public health but also more formally the development of a constitution on which public health might then be built. It also (...) sees public health as a socialinstitution which can be valued in its own right. (shrink)
The present article aims to show the effects that the coalescence of liberal democracy and globalisation has on the law as a socialinstitution. The law as a socialinstitution is one of the key foundations for the social integration of modern society, which is why we may suggest a reasonable assumption that the role of the law in modern Western societies should be growing in significance. However, the coalescence of liberal democracy and globalisation is (...) a consequence of the evolution of modern Western civilisation and the main context of its further development that gives feedback to the very development process. The analysis of the crisis of the financial capital makes us question the previous assumption because the essence of the law as a socialinstitution lies not in its legal regulation but in its self-regulation that should increase the society’s trust in different institutions, including the financial capital. The present research makes an attempt to answer the following questions: 1) what is the traditional role of the relationship between society and the law as a socialinstitution? 2) what are the most important social consequences of the coalescence of liberal democracy and globalisation? 3) what is the significance of the legal culture under the circumstances of the coalescence of liberal democracy and globalisation? These questions have determined the structure of this paper. (shrink)
In this article are considered urgent organizational arrangements, which heads of secondary educational institutions should put in the basis of the mechanism for implementing the concept of the "New Ukrainian School". Conditions of formation and conditions for satisfying the acute social need in the transition of the country to a qualitatively new teaching and educational process at school are covered. Attention is paid to the priority solution of a number of problems of educational management, namely: 1) structural and organizational, (...) 2) structural-functional, 3) personnel, 4) support for the student's self-activity. The results of a comparative analysis between education as a socialinstitution and a social system are presented, the concepts of "evaluation" and "knowledge management" are "raised" as algorithms for direct and indirect management of education. (shrink)
With increasing complexity of the networks of social interaction new and more abstract forms of trust are in need. A conceptual analysis of different forms of trust, namely interpersonal trust, trust in groups and institutional trust is given. It is argued that institutional trust cannot totally replace interpersonal trust. Institutional trust rather builds on more personal forms of trust in that it is primarily formed in personal encounters with salient representatives of the institution and presupposes trust in others (...) trusting in the institution. Any form of trust is grounded in some normative foundation. A trusting person can make herself vulnerable to the action of other individuals because she perceives those others as acting from shared aims or values. Thus, some sort of virtue is a prerequisite of any form of genuine trust. While institutional trust may in some respect be more easily acquired than interpersonal trust in general it may bear a fundamental problem: institutional trust may be extraordinary robust with regard to a wide range of behavioral experiences; thus, it may be enduringly maintained although in fact unjustified. In a concluding section the general analysis is illustrated by some reflections on the problem of trust in government. (shrink)
Against the idea that market economy is something greedy and immoral, we will set out the idea that market economy based on firms has a very positive moral content: the possibility of excellence of human action. Firms based on people acting together, sharing the culture of the organization, toward virtue-based ethics, create and distribute most of the economy’s wealth, innovate, trade and raise living standards. We will present a criterion which states that social coordination improves if the process of (...) creation of individual possibilities of action, which is carried out in the social institutions—in our case, the firm—is extended. There is a retention of possibilities that is formed in the institutions and transmitted culturally. In that moment entrepreneurship emerges, the creative tension that expands, maintains, or diminishes the possibilities of action. Hence, the firm is the institution that carries out a very important practice: fostering new possibilities of individual action. In this paper, we will adopt the point of the view of the acting person. The reality we observe is personal action within its cultural and institutional dimensions. A theory of personal action in societal institutions bridges the way from virtue-based ethics toward ethics of institutions. (shrink)
The paper recalls my response to Berger’s and Luckmann’s book on reading it shortly after its initial publication. It seeks to convey why it was that I failed to make use of the book at that time, even though I recognised it as an outstanding contribution to my intended field of research, and how later I came to see that this may have been a lost opportunity. The story touches upon diverse important issues including the relationship between epistemology and the (...) sociology of knowledge; the epistemic authority of the natural sciences; the relevance of causal accounting as topic and resource in sociology; the importance of Durkheim in the sociology of knowledge; and the great value of Berger’s and Luckmann’s book as a corrective to the undue individualism that has long been a feature of the social sciences in the English-speaking world. Even so, the paper is more recollection than analysis, and unreliable recollection at that, after many decades in which there has been time to forget, or even to reconstruct, a very great deal. (shrink)
For any group there is a point beyond which the accumulation of acts of violence, cruelty, or even rudeness, implies disintegration. By a series of small and plausible transitions this putative empirical generalization may be transformed into a statement about the normative attitudes of persons in stable groups. The generalization may in the first place be more strongly construed as a statement of law governing any society. The weakening of bonds between persons implied by the prevalence of behavior of the (...) kinds in question means that societies not only do not but cannot survive a certain excess of it. Such a natural law may in turn be reflected internally by certain regulations--civil laws and customs--prohibiting such behavior, or by internalized rules with which most persons not only act in accordance but also accept as stipulating what one ought to do or avoid. The observable frailty of social constitutions is thus reflected from within as a family of obligations to refrain from violence, cruelty, rudeness, and similar acts. To pass from regulations to internalized rules in this way is to suggest that the essentially prudential considerations upon which reasonable regulations are based are reinforced by conceptual ones which make it impossible rationally to value violation of such regulations. That such reinforcement occurs is undeniable, but it is not well understood why, or universally believed that, resistance to it is irrational. (shrink)
The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not new. Many entrepreneurs created and developed companies along the time, with a strong sense of ethical and social responsibility. This article presents an example of how CSR was conceived and put into practice when Caja de Pensiones para la Vejez y de Ahorros was created in Barcelona in 1905, following the life and ideas of its founder, Francesc Moragas, a lawyer with a deep commitment for social action and (...) a successful conception of the technical and economic dimensions of a financial and socialinstitution. (shrink)
Among other interesting claims made in Robert Reich's 2007 treatise, Supercapitalism, it is asserted in various ways that proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) or what I would call 'business ethics' are engaged in relatively unproductive exercises. Their resources would be better used if they undertook the hard work of engagement in democratic political processes leading to legislation that would force corporations to pursue the public interest as well as their own. In this article, I summarize some of Reich's (...) central theses and arguments, show that they are fatally flawed and explain why the institution of morality is essential for business, law and democracy. (shrink)
In this chapter I distinguish between a) recognition of persons, b) normative acknowledgement and c) institution-creating acceptance. All of these go beyond a fourth, merely descriptive sense of the word “recognition,” namely identiﬁcation or re-identiﬁcation of something as something. I distinguish four aspects of "taking someone as a person": R1 A Belief that the other is a person, and can engage in agency-regarding relations.R2 Moral Opinion that the choice whether and when to engage with persons is ethically signiﬁcant.R3 Willingness (...) to refrain from wronging the other person, and to respond adequately to the normatively relevant features of the other (regardless of whether the willingness is ultimately selﬁsh or not).R4 Unselﬁsh Recognitive Attitudes explaining such willingness; such as genuine respect or genuine concern or solidarity. The second section asks: is mutual recognition between individuals necessary, sufﬁcient, paradigmatic or desirable for group agency? I also ask: is interaction or communication necessary for mutual recognition? I also ask what kinds of groups emerge from mutual recognition as persons? The third section studies more briefly acknowledgement and normativity (Reasons, Values, and Principles). The fourth section discusses the nature of acceptance necessary for the existence of institutions. -/- . (shrink)
The concept of âhumane healthcareâ cannot and may not be limited to a personal virtue. For elucidating its meaning and making it functional as a critical ethical criterion for healthcare as a socialinstitution, it is necessary to reflect on the social, cultural, and historical conditions in which modern healthcare finds its offspring and its further development. Doing this is the object and aim of social ethics. Social ethics in itself covers a broad area of (...) different approaches. A main division can be made between a liberal and a communitarian approach. This article focuses on the latter and concentrates on one of its representatives, Charles Taylor. The paper starts with two clarifying paragraphs: one about the terms humane and human, a second about the scope of social ethics. Next, because the term humane presupposes a certain view of man, attention will be paid to the lack of consensus in this respect within modernity, using some reflections of Taylor. In his view, resigning in this lack is a threat for one of the main motives behind modernity: the pursuit of a good and meaningful life. In the following section Taylor's analysis is applied to contemporary healthcare, by means of two examples. At the end the question is raised how to promote humane healthcare? In a short and conclusive sketch, three suggestions are offered for further research: scrutiny of goals and meanings within healthcare and culture, the broadening of the concept of autonomy and the upholding of human dignity as an intrinsic and imperative value. (shrink)
This article presents the results of an inductive, interpretive case study. We have adopted a narrative approach to the analysis of organizational processes in order to explore how individuals in a financial institution dealt with relatively novel issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The narratives that we reconstruct, which we label 'idealism and altruism', 'economics and expedience' and 'ignorance and cynicism' illustrate how people in the specific organizational context of a bank ('Credit Line') sought to cope with an (...) attempt at narrative imposition. In particular, our work exemplifies how people in organizations draw on shared discursive resources in order to make sense of themselves and their organizations. We illustrate how many people within the bank found it hard to integrate the normative case for CSR with their version of a narrative identity which had, and continued to be, centred on economic imperatives for new initiatives. Our article demonstrates both the value of the analysis of shared narratives, and represents an attempt to deal adequately with the polyphony of organizational voices, in case studies of CSR. (shrink)
On February 3, 2010, a group of John Carroll University students and alumni walked onto the basketball court during halftime at a “Jesuit Spotlight” basketball game and remained seated there, holding rainbow flags and singing together, in protest against the University’s failure to adequately protect LGBTQ students and faculty members from harm and discrimination. This moment marked the beginning of a student-led activist campaign lasting many months whose explicit goal was to have John Carroll University change its Equal Employment Opportunity (...) Policy to include sexual orientation under its list of protected categories. This chapter analyzes this concrete example of social justice activism in terms of the underlying metaphysical commitments of the activists and the institution that they were seeking to change. Specifically, it maintains that the student activists were operating with an intersectional model of oppression and identity categories and the institution was embracing an additive approach. This chapter also argues that only an intersectional metaphysics that acknowledges the mutual entailment of seemingly distinct oppressions can truly support an ideal of social justice. In addition, the metaphysics of social justice employed by the student activists laid a foundation for their coalitional activist strategies, which recognized a multiplicity of social perspectives and a diversity of tactics for resisting oppression. (shrink)
This article explains how the private equity-leveraged buyout type of financial institution (PE-LBO) operates as a form of finance capitalism. PE-LBO capitalism is described and compared with other types of capitalism such as family business capitalism, managerial capitalism, and other forms of finance capitalism such as shareholder value capitalism. Ethical and social issues structurally related to the PE-LBO form are analyzed. Potential reforms and/or solutions are considered.
Recent events have raised concerns about the ethical standards of public and private organisations, with some attention falling on business schools as providers of education and training to managers and senior executives. This paper investigates the nature of, motivation and commitment to, ethics tuition provided by the business schools. Using content analysis of their institutional and home websites, we appraise their corporate identity, level of engagement in socially responsible programmes, degree of social inclusion, and the relationship to their ethics (...) teaching. Based on published research, a schema is developed with corporate identity forming an integral part, to represent the macro-environment, parent institution, the business school and their relationships to ethics education provision. This is validated by our findings. (shrink)