War, Peace and Organizational Ethics: Volume 23

Cover of War, Peace and Organizational Ethics
Subject:

Table of contents

(9 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiii
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Abstract

This Chapter applies the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to business’ role in the ‘War on Terror’. Specifically, it uses Levinasian ethics to explain how organisations, often with an abundance of ethical resources, become associated with military drones strikes against civilians, and offers ideas that challenge this practice. The chapter comprises several sections beginning with a brief introduction to the ‘War on Terror’ and the use of military drones. A concise discussion about business ethics and just war theory follows after which, the chapter explains Levinas’ ethics and his views on war. These ideas are applied to transform business ethical practice in this controversial area. The Chapter concludes with a summary of its main points.

Abstract

Unlike the historical robots, the contemporary and futuristic ‘working’ robots within organisations are capable of taking decisions without human intervention. This chapter reviews the technical evolution of robots across history with the necessary evolution of operational procedures regarding laws and ethical standards. The objective of this review is to have a futuristic holistic insight into the new generation of robots that are invading our working environment within organisations. Out of the very wide perspective of robotics research field, this chapter only discusses the ‘working’ robots (excluding domestic, social, and warfare robots) in organisations along with its ethical and legal associated issues. To achieve this objective, the recent ‘working robot’ definition and associated expected ethics and laws, termed in this chapter as ‘Ten Commandments’ would be necessary for the utilisation of robotics before releasing ‘intelligent’ robots in the workplace environment. The proposed ‘Ten Commandments’ can be utilised by robot manufacturer to embed ‘machine testimony’ to their products. Providing that such ‘robot ethics’ built as part of the algorithmic structure of robots, a useful innovation like robot–manager is also identified in the organisational environment which can have multiple benefits as discussed in this chapter.

Abstract

This Chapter is written in an era in which the United Nations (UN) routinely deploys Missions to environments that satisfy the armed conflict threshold. Such Missions often require personnel to employ significant levels of force, whether to safeguard mission and humanitarian personnel, to protect civilians, to neutralise violent armed groups or, in pure self-defence. But use as well as non-use of force can readily frustrate the very objectives these troops are deployed to uphold, in turn creating gaps between the Promises they make and the Outcomes they actually secure. On the other hand, current Missions such as MINUSMA in Mali have proven to be amongst the deadliest for UN troops in the entire history of UN Peacekeeping. The thin line between use and non-use of force must therefore be trodden with utmost care. This Chapter tries to find answers to this dilemma from a moral perspective and considers how the peculiar nature of the morality of resort to force by the UN influences that of its use of force. It assesses why the latter should be calibrated or adjusted to comply with the former, and how this can consequently channel UN troop conduct towards the objectives pursued through deployment. It is only where these realities are understood and addressed, the Chapter submits, that the aforementioned Gaps between Promises and Outcomes can be redressed and closed.

Abstract

Alasdair MacIntyre’s path-breaking book After Virtue launched him into a place of prominence in social and moral philosophy. Two central, and still relevant, themes are identifiable in the corpus of MacIntyre’s work. First, advanced modernity is in a perilous state because of the philosophical creation of the emotivist self. Second, virtue must be reclaimed if the crisis in moral philosophy is to be addressed and an institutional world worthy of what we are as human beings is to be built. MacIntyre’s heroic effort in this regard is a new presentation of a Thomistic Aristotelianism but he was not naïve about the chances of his project’s success. Emotivism has made it extremely difficult for a virtue perspective to even gain a hearing. MacIntyre proposed a way forward different from abstract theorising. He felt that at this point we could, and had to, learn how to act from accounts of exemplary lives. This chapter presents the wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden as a contribution to aid in the recovery of virtue. The central claim being made is that it is long overdue that John Wooden should take his rightful place in the virtue tradition in ethics. This work gives John Wooden’s conception of leadership that flows from his understanding of virtue the attention it deserves. The examination of John Wooden’s life undertaken bridges virtue theory and leadership. Several other key elements of MacIntyre’s thought set the structure of the inquiry. The chapter begins with a biographical sketch of Wooden’s life because of the stress that MacIntyre places on tradition and narrative unity. The basis of Wooden’s reflection on virtue, the tradition informing his practical reasoning, is a selected canon of Western civilisation, its great literature and the Bible. The Midwestern values of hard work, honesty, faith, and caring for one’s family are also significant. MacIntyre places great emphasis on the need to understand the story of a life and, in particular, the need to understand how development was aided or hindered in childhood and what kind of apprenticeship into a practice was available. The singular influence John Wooden’s father had on his life is documented. The role that John Wooden’s teachers, coaches and mentors played in initiating him into the practice of coaching is reviewed. The experiential base for Wooden’s derivation of his emotionally healthy definition of success and his well thought out conception of the virtues is thus put in place. MacIntyre summarises the teleological structure of human life and the role of virtue in human flourishing by contrasting man-as-he-happens-to-be with man-as-he-should-be-if-he-realised-his-essential-nature. John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success identifies the combination of personal qualities and values, virtues, that fulfil MacIntyre’s second term, that are intrinsic to reaching one’s potential as a person. The 15 qualities Wooden gives – industriousness, enthusiasm, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, self-control, alertness, initiative, intentness, condition, skill, team spirit, poise, confidence, competitive greatness – are defined and illustrated. The rationale for the qualities and for their placement into a coherent whole is discussed. Basic elements of John Wooden’s leadership genius are then brought out. Leaders need to get the culture right, build cohesive teams, and be guided by a moral topline.

Abstract

Guidance on the many questions of life can be found in stories and tales. These are carriers of a collective wisdom gathered by our forebearers which resonates deep within our minds and souls. The chapter builds upon C. G. Jung’s work on archetypes to reflect upon the pitfalls and challenges facing organisations and individuals who wish to improve lives. Two tales are introduced and discussed with a view to highlighting how lessons can be drawn from tales with practical implications for organisational life and for the implementation of meaningful change in relation to well-being inside and outside of work. The tales notably bring attention to the learning and maturing process of a consciousness overly identified with certain aspects of the archetypal masculine and outline how generative solutions need not be sought out far from home; instead, the undervalued wisdom of a grounded, earthy archetypal feminine are ready to be engaged with if only we open our mind and heart to her.

Abstract

This research presents a comprehensive explanation of unethical pro-organisational behaviour (UPB), an emerging phenomenon in organisational behaviour and especially in moral behaviour research. The authors tested the fit of Culture-Identification-Ideology-UPB moral behaviour model. The results indicate that individuals having strong organisational identification and high relativism ethical ideology may indulge in the practice of UPB. Interestingly, our study also reveals that strong ethical organisational culture may not restrain, rather may facilitate UPB. The authors concluded with suggestions for the practitioners and future scope of research.

Abstract

Chris Provis (2017) has discussed Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean and its counterpart in Confucianism. The Doctrine of the Mean informs an agent that ‘acting as a virtuous person will often be constituted by avoidance of choosing excess or deficiency’ (Provis, 2017, p. 118). Indeed, Provis (2017) argues against any act ‘oriented towards maximisation’ (p. 127). Provis’s (2017) focus is the encounter ‘between European and East Asian ethical traditions’ (p. 116). Our chapter is a response to Provis (2017). We respond to Provis (2017) by exploring a debate amongst Jewish scholars which originated in North Africa. Some of these scholars advocated Aristotle’s Mean. But others advocated forsaking that Mean and pursuing the extreme.

Cover of War, Peace and Organizational Ethics
DOI
10.1108/S1529-2096202023
Publication date
2020-09-17
Book series
Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83982-777-8
eISBN
978-1-83982-776-1
Book series ISSN
1529-2096