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In the lead article of this volume, Daryl Koehn relates the story of “The Fisherman and His Wife.” There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a ditch by the sea. One day the fisherman caught a magical, talking fish. Realizing that he couldn’t kill a fish that talked, the fisherman throws the fish back into the water. After hearing about his adventure, the fisherman’s wife insists that the fisherman return to the water and ask the fish to grant them a wish – perhaps a small cottage. When the fisherman returns home from his second encounter with the fish, his wife is sitting in front of their new cottage. “Inside there was a pretty little parlor, bedroom, kitchen, and a well-stocked pantry. The cottage contained the best furniture and fittings of shiny brass. A small yard was full of hens and ducks, and there was even a little garden with beautiful flowers and fruit.”
In order to consider fiction’s contribution to understanding organizations and their ethics, we need to examine the connection between creativity and morality. This…
In order to consider fiction’s contribution to understanding organizations and their ethics, we need to examine the connection between creativity and morality. This chapter explores six possible relations, drawing upon a variety of works (creations) from a poet, a playwright, and several philosophers. I argue that any relationship between fiction/creativity and morality is multi-dimensional and should be treated as such in future research in business ethics and organizational studies. In particular, we are not entitled simply to assume that fictive creativity will bolster existing norms or engender virtues. On the contrary, in some cases, fiction reveals just how difficult it is to apply norms or to identify the virtuous course of action, given that we often do not have an accurate understanding of what is going on in an organizational or business setting, much less a cogent grasp on whether the behavior is right and good.
Noting the recent wave of books on business and spirituality, the editor of a business journal recently sardonically observed that there must be more Zen in American…
Noting the recent wave of books on business and spirituality, the editor of a business journal recently sardonically observed that there must be more Zen in American boardrooms than in Buddhist monasteries. While the spirituality of business may be withering, the business of spirituality appears only too alive. Elmer Gantry has left the revivalist tents and entered the convention hall circuit of motivational speakers and corporate awards banquets.
Patrick Primeaux realized that the ethical story is far more complicated than the tale of individual responsibility we typically spin for our students. Pat brought pop…
Patrick Primeaux realized that the ethical story is far more complicated than the tale of individual responsibility we typically spin for our students. Pat brought pop culture (e.g. Bruce Springsteen) (Primeaux, 1996) into business ethics precisely because he knew that culture shapes each of us in myriad ways, creating habits, expectations and outlooks we then bring to the workplace. In his book Reinterpreting the American Dream: Persons and Ethics, Pat showed how American culture encourages us to concentrate all of our energy into work and the pursuit of wealth and distinction (Primeaux, 2000). Pat also realized that institutions knowingly or unwittingly shape the kind of experiences individuals have and that these experiences directly inform our consciousness and, hence, our behaviour within organizations (Primeaux, 1992).
A recent novel – A. D. Miller's Snowdrops – does a wonderful job of exploring psychic and cultural dynamics and in the process raises some troubling questions of where responsibility for wrongdoing lies. This essay uses Miller's book to explore from a psychological viewpoint how and why employees who are sent abroad by multinational corporations (MNCs) may get involved in local corruption; to show why personal integrity requires external support if agents are to be able to do the right thing; and to raise the issue of what sort of responsibilities MNCs have to the employees whom they send abroad.
This volume is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Primeaux. Of your editors, Michael knew him well, Howard knew his work. We both recognise his enormous contribution. Patrick was a very special individual who was unfortunately with us for far too short a time, but who in that time made a very unique contribution. The first three essays in this issue comprise a mini-festschrift issue to honour Patrick. They are by his American colleagues and good friends who knew Patrick well. A mini-festschrift seems particularly germane to Patrick. The festschrift or commemorative volume is deeply rooted in the culture of the Germanic universities, and Patrick, although having many attributes, could certainly not be construed as Germanic. We have no doubt that he would be as honoured by a mini-festschrift issue as he would be embarrassed by a full festschrift issue. The other essays are the result of the Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics 18th annual conference which was held in June 2011 at the University of Tasmania. The authors of these essays are academics in Australian universities who might not have known Patrick, but, as is discussed below, their essays reflect Patrick's contribution to applied ethics. There seems something very fitting about that conference being held at the University of Tasmania because their campus is in Hobart which is as far south as Australia goes. Patrick often spoke of visiting Australia but always ultimately dismissed it as too long a flight. It would, admittedly, have been a particularly long flight for Patrick who was a very heavy smoker. Nonetheless, we have no doubt that if Patrick had been able to embark upon the flight to Hobart and attended the conference, he would have enjoyed it. As it was his spirit was very much with us and pervaded many of our discussions about applied ethics.
This paper describes how Business and Society, a compulsory subject for all undergraduate students in an Australian business school, is used for a transformational…
This paper describes how Business and Society, a compulsory subject for all undergraduate students in an Australian business school, is used for a transformational approach. We explain how reflection is central in both the objectives and the pedagogy of the subject. Students conduct individual research projects and present that in a two-minute video presentation. The reflective activities are not only designed to develop a capability for reflection but also to show how reflection is an integral part of professional practice, grounded in the concept of reflection as “turning things over in the mind to a purpose,” after John Dewey. Developing these activities has required the teaching staff to reflect on the effectiveness and relevance of these aspects and to examine the various ways in which “reflection” is used in tertiary education. In the paper, we describe and explain some of the distinctive features of the course, and explain the practical, but conceptually sound, approach to ethics which underpins the design and teaching and show how it is possible to address the notions of the good life in a plural society. We also consider questions of assessment, including the assessment of reflective capacity and issues of moderation with large classes and multiple markers.
My approach comprises two main points. I begin by reiterating my proposed argument that corporate social responsibility develops within organisations, over time, in four…
My approach comprises two main points. I begin by reiterating my proposed argument that corporate social responsibility develops within organisations, over time, in four general phases and that practitioner attitudes are moving away from the dominant phase of social responsibility (SR) as public relations activity (Hemingway, 2013). The financial crash of 2008 was the catalyst for this marked gear shift in the awareness of organisational ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’ (SR) that was previously confined to the concerns of the business ethics scholars. Second, I contend that the legitimacy and credibility of SR in business schools is lagging behind that shift due to misunderstandings about its relevance, the obsession with performance metrics and a lack of political will in some cases. In the final part of this article, I suggest ways forward for research, teaching and practice.
Three aspects of teaching ethics are discussed. It deals with reflection, multicultural classrooms, and narrative. The first aspect acknowledges that trying to help people…
Three aspects of teaching ethics are discussed. It deals with reflection, multicultural classrooms, and narrative. The first aspect acknowledges that trying to help people recognise moral issues and have the courage and capacity to respond is harder than teaching and examining theoretical learning. The second, whether we seek to develop a ‘new’ ethical framework that fits all situations and recognises the differing traditions of global classrooms and marketplaces or we acknowledge that there are different underlying values which are hard to reconcile. The third aspect, somewhat provocatively, is whether we would be better off using novels or TV series rather than textbooks for the teaching of ethics.