Ethics, Values and Civil Society: Volume 9


Table of contents

(18 chapters)
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Editorial Board

Pages vii-viii
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Susanne Bahn is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Innovative Practice, School of Management, Faculty of Business and Law, at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Her interests lie in Occupational Health & Safety practice and processes, risk management, middle management change processes, and vocational educational training in the construction and mining industries.

National and international ethics associations serve an important purpose in the development of resources which can lead to ethical behaviour in organisations. They bring practitioners and academics together, promote discussion and foster excellence through the presentation and subsequent publication of papers. One purpose of this journal is to publish selected papers from the annual conference of the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics. Our intention is that each year there will be one issue devoted to a theme and one to papers from the conference. Volume 8 was the first themed volume under our editorship, the festschrift in honour of Patrick Primeaux; Volume 10 will have the theme moral saints, moral exemplars and moral heroes.

The 19th annual Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics (AAPAE) conference was held at St. John's College at the University of Queensland, 28 June–1 July 2012, and was hosted by Rev. Professor John Morgan. This was the third time that John Morgan hosted an AAPAE conference. The Association is very grateful for his support.

The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the ways in which trust and reliance are alike and how they differ. Noting that they are alike in that their raison d’être is an epistemological shortfall, “a knowledge deficit,” attention is directed to the professions, a chief characteristic of which is that a professional possesses knowledge and expertise that her client/patient lacks. It’s that, indeed, that brings them together. It’s also a large part of the explanation of the importance and centrality of trust for the professions and the existence of professional codes of ethics, which serve to nurture and sustain trust. The chapter focuses on the idea that, in the interest of maintaining trust, obligations imposed by a professional code of ethics cannot be overridden (in particular, that ethical considerations from noninstitutional morality cannot be allowed to carry the day against them). It is argued that this idea should be rejected, because a professional’s commitment to a code does not (and morally may not) require abrogation of judgment and conscience and, more specifically, that this commitment must be such that it does not allow the core values of a profession to be sacrificed.

Purpose – This chapter presents a preliminary conceptualisation of the effects that unequal power relationships have on the integrity of social science research and the safety of researchers.Methodology/approach – We begin by presenting a review of the current literature on risk to research outputs and researcher safety. In this review, we offer a conceptual framework of the factors of safety and autonomy of researchers developed in conjunction with extent stakeholder theory scholarship.Findings – We argue that, in the event of a threat to researchers’ autonomy while complying with university ethics committee requirements, or when faced with uneven power differentials between the researcher and various stakeholders, one of two actions may occur: (1) the researcher may alter the project in order to comply or (2) the researcher may feel so compromised that the research project is abandoned. In both of these instances, research that addresses power/structural inequalities is avoided. In the event of a threat to the researcher’s physical and emotional safety, three actions can result if the researcher is harmed: (1) the incident may not be reported, which in turn may result in further harm to the researcher; (2) counselling may be undertaken to resolve and debrief emotional stress; or (3) a worker’s compensation claim may be lodged.Social implications – As academics, research is the core business of the organisations of which we are members. The issues introduced and discussed in this chapter are serious; however, our conceptualisation requires further research. We outline why this set of issues is significant and deserving of more study than it has previously received.Originality/value of  chapter – Previous research that links research in the area of protection for researchers and research autonomy is very limited in Australia, and therefore our conceptualisation provides value to the research agenda on this topic. We also propose that the issue of researcher safety and autonomy is common to most academic environments and merits further academic study.

Moral agents have moral choice. This chapter argues that moral choice denies historical inevitability when moral choice is informed by both moral imagination and historical imagination. I explore this by way of one specific historical example which should be used, as the philosopher Bernard Mayo argued, as a moral exemplar. In pursuing my arguments I utilise work by Sir Isaiah Berlin, amongst others. I do though take issue with Berlin, whom I argue has confused not the nature but the role of historical imagination, claiming dominance for it where it cannot dominate. I conclude with historical inevitability being refuted by moral choice, informed by both moral imagination and historical imagination.I argue that the refutation of historical inevitability has implications for Australian businesses in their current dealings with the People’s Republic of China. Australia escaped the Global Financial Crisis because of Chinese purchases of Australian commodities. But Australian business in trading with China is trading with an unjust regime. Hoffman and McNulty (2009) argue that regarding a regime such as China we can ‘learn from our past’. Regarding the past I argue that Australian business executives dealing with China would benefit by studying the historical example of Churchill’s May 1940 decision and should use that as a moral exemplar. Earlier generations of Australian managers contemptuously dismissed Chinese workers. The current generation of Australian managers, who fail to morally acknowledge China’s workers and citizens, risks being equally contemptuous, dismissive and racist.

This chapter examines the changes proposed to the current media ethics and regulation regime in Australia following a government inquiry by former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein. The inquiry was prompted by The News of the World phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom, which resulted in that publication being closed down by its publisher, News International, and principal shareholder Rupert Murdoch. While finding no evidence of similar misbehaviour by journalists and proprietors in Australia, Finkelstein recommended the establishment of a statutory News Media Council, and the inclusion of online media outlets in this new regulatory regime. This chapter argues that such a regime is unlikely to come into effect, given that it will be opposed by media proprietors and working journalists alike, as well the Federal Opposition, and the taxpayer funded ABC, and that a government with low levels of political capital is unlikely to risk much of that capital in a fight with the media industries in an election year.

Purpose – To examine the introduction of a practice known as Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD) into Australian hospitals notwithstanding that DCD constitutes a significant shift in medical practice. The shift is from holding off organ donation activities until after death has occurred (the Brain Death Scenario and Uncontrolled Cardiac Death Scenario) to progressing the injured patient to organ donor on the basis of an early prognostic call. The more precise term is ‘Controlled DCD’. What is controlled are the timing, location, mode and criteria of death.Findings – Controlled DCD first appears as an ‘inpatient trial’ in Pittsburgh, United States, in 1992, and has progressed, via various organisations and committees, to being used in a number of countries, including Australia and New Zealand, and being embodied in national, state and hospital protocols. Along the way, concerns that previously precluded such activity have been consistently raised and documented. Operational accounts reported in the medical literature do not acknowledge this history or the ethically problematic aspects of the practice. It is likely that these operational reports and related information sources, together with promotion of the positives of organ donation, have facilitated the practice’s progress through the relevant institutional committees.Social implications – Much is at stake when the quest for more organ donors starts changing what can be done to patients. How this practice has come to be tolerated in 2012, despite a number of irresolvable ethical issues, is a matter of vital community interest.Originality/value of chapter – This chapter is part of an ongoing study by the authors.

Ethics is an integral part of an organization's overall culture. Designing an ethical organization requires systematically analysing all aspects of the organization's culture and aligning them so that they support ethical behaviour and discourage unethical behaviour. This chapter considers issues related to establishing an ethical culture in an organization, through a case analysis of a major Australian private hospital and its approach to establishing and continuing to define an ethical culture. Key aims of the research were to identify the role of executive and senior management leadership in developing a values-based approach to ethical culture particularly regarding senior management’s own awareness, support and communication of the stated values. The chapter considers the theoretical approaches available to organizations in developing and sustaining ethical approaches in relation to organizational structures, systems and processes that inform cultural type. The paper also critically comments on the situation presented within the case analysis, providing conclusions and insights for further research initiatives related to such case-based field investigation.

The focus of this chapter is firstly, to introduce the theoretical framework of an expressive approach that is suitable to research workers’ lived experience and secondly, to demonstrate through a practical example how this approach can be used to uncover ethical/moral concerns. In hospitality and tourism, research on ethics is still evolving; hence explorations of workers’ lived experience in search of ethical/moral concerns are limited. Perspectives of all stakeholders’ in the production and consumption of hospitality and tourism are necessary to advance knowledge in the field and strengthen the practice and pedagogy; but whilst representations of customers’ and managers’ perspectives abound that of workers are limited. Also, research approaches suitable to study lived experience are under explored. The expressive approach introduced herein draws on the philosophical tenets of phenomenology to portray the lived quality of the experience and hermeneutics to uncover its meanings and significance. This approach can textually expresses and evoke the lived quality of an experience using stories, poetry and metaphor. Its ability to evoke empathy through these media can be a powerful tool to persuade policy makers to care and attend to prevailing ethical/moral issues. The chapter begins by reviewing research into ethics in the context of hospitality and tourism practice and discussing the paucity of research representing women receptionists’ lived experiences concerning moral issues. It introduces an expressive research approach and provides a practical application of this approach in hospitality receptionists’ work. The chapter concludes by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the expressive approach.

Purpose – To critically examine various ethical decision making models and use them to arrive at five hypotheses to understand the methods used by small and medium enterprise (SME) owner-managers in Australia when faced with ethical issues or dilemmas.Design/methodology/approach – This analysis involves literature reviews of rational decision making process, alternative methods of decision making and various ethical decision making models including Rest’s four-component model to arrive at the five hypotheses.Findings – The five hypotheses contend that SME owner-managers tend to resolve ethical issues using methods similar to Rest’s four-component model. Some may utilise all four components while others may skip one or more components of the model. Others may engage in intuition and heuristic methods of decision making. Ethical decisions by SME managers may be influenced by factors such as organisational factors, moral exemplars and reflection. The final hypothesis contends that SME managers could consider using the Balanced Scorecard as an instrument to monitor and manage business ethical issues.Research limitations – The literature reviews are not exhaustive but provide sufficient information for the purposes of this chapter.Practical implications – The significance of this study is that the hypotheses can be used to conduct interviews with SME managers and findings from the interviews could be developed into a practical tool for practising managers and a standard or guidelines for managing ethical issues in an SME.Originality/value – This chapter fulfils the need to understand the ethical decision making process and methods used by practicing SME managers in Australia.

The chapter argues that you can appease both the present and the past; and that whilst appeasement is viewed with distaste that might not necessarily be so. Many traditions within moral philosophy itself seemingly advocate some degree of appeasement. Admittedly this could not be said of ethical egoists but it has long been disputed whether ethical egoism constitutes a moral philosophy solely because they refuse to appease anyone else insisting that their happiness cannot be compromised. Beyond that moral philosophy always involves appeasing someone or something. However in this chapter I am predominantly interested in those attempts to appease the past. I am especially interested in that given current developments in several states. With regard to those developments I am interested in the arguments made by Avishai Margalit that there is an ethics of memory. Margalit’s insistence that there is an ethics of memory is not unrelated to the conservative project in that it is concerned with conserving the past and conveying it to subsequent generations. I contrast that with John Lukacs' explanation of populism and its propensity to create myths; and in doing so contemplate Bernard Lewis' arguments as to the tensions which will be created by denying history.

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Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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