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Article

Ana Cristina O Siqueira and Benson Honig

Ingenuity can be viewed as the use of creativity to develop innovation within constraints. The authors investigate how entrepreneurial ingenuity is enhanced by…

Abstract

Purpose

Ingenuity can be viewed as the use of creativity to develop innovation within constraints. The authors investigate how entrepreneurial ingenuity is enhanced by self-imposed ethical constraints, by using a case study of sustainability-driven technology enterprises in an emerging economy. The authors find that self-imposed ethical constraints can enhance entrepreneurial ingenuity because they encourage entrepreneurs to solve more complex problems as a result of considering the impact of the business on a more diverse set of stakeholders. The aim of this study is to show that while additional resources are normally considered an advantage, a dearth of resources can be a source of competitive advantage leading to ingenuity. By self-imposing ethical constraints, founders increase engagement of stakeholders who shape the firm’s industry toward greater sustainability knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used semi-structured interviews which are typically the most important data source in the Gioia methodology because they provide both retrospective and present accounts by individuals experiencing the phenomenon of theoretical interest (Gioia et al., 2012). The authors focused on founders at each enterprise who had sufficient knowledge to speak comprehensively and authoritatively about their organizations. The goals of the semi-structured interview protocol were to focus on the research question, avoid the use of terminology that could lead interviewees in their answers and maintain flexibility to explore spontaneous themes during the interviews.

Findings

The authors examined the influence of entrepreneurial ingenuity on the creation of knowledge in an organization's environment. They defined entrepreneurial ingenuity as a type of organizational ingenuity (Lampel et al., 2014a, 2014b) and by focusing on the role of ethical constraints, examined the conditions under which it is influenced. They emphasized that ethical constraints warrant consideration in the knowledge management process (Rechberg and Syed, 2013) because they can stimulate entrepreneurial ingenuity. The authors also investigated the relevance of ethical constraints for founders of social enterprises in Brazil, an emerging economy of growing interest to knowledge management scholars.

Research limitations/implications

This study brings the following three main contributions. First, by incorporating the scope of social entrepreneurship, the research contributes to the perspective that both ethics and innovation can positively coexist within an organization while contributing to knowledge management creation and success (Borghini, 2005; Schumacher and Wasieleski, 2013). Second, the authors establish ethics as an important type of constraint that can spark ingenuity and help break through the constraints of bounded awareness for knowledge management (Kumar and Chakrabarti, 2012). Third, by highlighting the role of self-imposed ethical constraints, this study helps answer a recent call for research on “entrepreneurial actions that benefit others” (Shepherd, 2015, p. 490) addressing “What are the constraints that disable or obstruct an organization’s normal routines from alleviating human suffering?..It could be less about whether it is good or bad to ignore constraints and more about which constraints are ignored and which are abided by” (Shepherd, 2015, pp. 499, 501, emphasis added).

Practical implications

In this study, the authors show that entrepreneurs facing ethical dilemmas experience a unique cycle of equilibration, essentially throwing customary norms of equilibrium into disequilibrium. Treating ethics as both a lever and a constraint allows a more unique set of problems to be solved through knowledge management and entrepreneurship, so solutions to these problems can themselves become new sustainability-driven businesses.

Social implications

This study opens up several opportunities for future research. The authors conducted a study with five sustainability-driven enterprises from Brazil. New research may benefit from examining a larger number of organizations in other countries to investigate potential environmental differences that affect ingenuity and knowledge management. This study highlights the notion of ethical constraints as enabling mechanisms, and thus self-imposed ethical constraints merit a more systematic consideration as a key additional factor that may inspire disruptive innovation (Christensen, 2013), blue-ocean strategy (Kim and Mauborgne, 2004), as well as value-creation for stakeholders (Tantalo and Priem, 2016).

Originality/value

Resources are critical to both knowledge management and entrepreneurial activity and have been examined from numerous perspectives (Alvarez & Busenitz, 2001; Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001; Moustaghfir and Schiuma, 2013). Entrepreneurs following a creation strategy depend less on accumulating existing knowledge and resources before beginning, and more on forming new knowledge or relationships that do not yet exist. They do this through a process of entrepreneurial trial and error (Alvarez & Barney, 2007, 2010). From a knowledge management perspective, individual knowledge sharing through both experimentation and learning by doing provide consistently high levels of knowledge sharing (Burns, Acar and Datta, 2011). This research emphasizes that constraints, such as limited resources and self-imposed ethical standards, can be a source of advantage leading to ingenuity and knowledge creation.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 23 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article

Christopher J. Cowton

Ethical investment funds are retail financial products which explicitly add social or ethical goals or constraints to normal financial criteria in selecting their…

Abstract

Ethical investment funds are retail financial products which explicitly add social or ethical goals or constraints to normal financial criteria in selecting their underlying share portfolio. By means of a case study of a UK fund, this paper explores how the relationship between ethical criteria and financial performance might be handled, which is one of the critical issues that arise in putting ethical investment into practice. The research confirms perceptions of a tension between the implementation of an ethical policy and the achievement of good financial performance, and it identifies some of the ways which fund managers might seek to cope with that tension. However, by studying the financial management of an ethical fund in practice, the paper also reveals the ways in which there might be a positive correlation between the financial performance and the ethical effectiveness of a fund, thus providing a complementary perspective to the earlier empirical studies and discussions which have focused on the possibility of ethical concerns undermining financial success.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Viviane M.J. Robinson

While in agreement with the broad coherentist approach of Evers and Lakomski, the position taken here is that coherentism, in itself, does not provide a sufficiently…

Abstract

While in agreement with the broad coherentist approach of Evers and Lakomski, the position taken here is that coherentism, in itself, does not provide a sufficiently developed normative framework to underpin an ethics of educational administration. The coherentist approach to ethics is that the requirements of survival and social problem solving ensure the development of neurally‐based moral prototypes. Following writers such as Clark and Flanagan, argues that the normative resources of coherentism should be enriched by sententially expressed normative standards, and that the approach to such standards taken by virtue ethicists is fruitful. Virtue ethicists reject a rule‐based approach to morality and embrace the idea of moral prototypes. This is consistent with a naturalised epistemology, including the learning of ethical administrative practice.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Robert Kreitner

Considering the highly publicised ethical crisis in public and private administration recently, the flurry of management‐oriented articles on ethics is an encouraging…

Abstract

Considering the highly publicised ethical crisis in public and private administration recently, the flurry of management‐oriented articles on ethics is an encouraging sign. But in their rush to recommend solutions, management theorists have gone off in many different directions. For example, while using the term business ethics, Owens has called for written codes of ethics enforced by appropriate sanctions. Boling, meanwhile, preferring the term management ethics, has suggested democratically developed codes of ethics to reduce emphasis on policing. Finally, Payne has deplored the lack of substantive behavioural research in the area he labels organisation ethics. This somewhat confusing array of terminology aside for a moment, an important remedial option has been ignored or overlook‐ed in these and related treatments. Namely, in the face of encouraging testimonial evidence that business ethics instruction works, the business management classroom affords an excellent opportunity to begin redressing the ethics crisis. Moreover, formal business ethics instruction can help reestablish the administrative importance of such ethically‐grounded values as idealism, compassion, and generosity that researchers have found to be seriously atrophied among business school seniors.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part

Ranney Ramsey

This article identifies the concept of market value as a standardizing concept that coordinates the actions of market participants in relatively inefficient real estate…

Abstract

This article identifies the concept of market value as a standardizing concept that coordinates the actions of market participants in relatively inefficient real estate markets. The paper also identifies different levels of discourse that reflect the organizational/institutional complexity of the real estate appraisal profession. The standardizing effect of market value includes a cognitive and fiduciary component. Using this framework, the paper traces the influence of Richard T. Ely’s institutional economics – and its legacy in the form of the research program of Urban Land Economics at the University of Wisconsin – on the formation and development of the standards of appraisal and ethical practice. This complexity is traced historically from the early part of the 19th century to the formation of the professional organizations and the establishment of their standards, and also through a series of reform efforts in the 1960s and 1980s that were articulated in the academic community. The paper illustrates the manner in which Institutional Economics has been influential in the continuing development of the real estate appraisal profession and suggests reasons for its continuing relevance.

Details

Wisconsin "Government and Business" and the History of Heterodox Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-090-6

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Article

Eamon Cahill, Hector Hernández and Felix Bellido

Materials and materials technologies are recognized to be key underpinning and critically enabling areas of R&D. Most industrial sectors and fields of technology…

Abstract

Materials and materials technologies are recognized to be key underpinning and critically enabling areas of R&D. Most industrial sectors and fields of technology application depend upon them. Materials research can provide new solutions capable of optimizing the application of current technologies, minimizing their negative side effects and reducing production costs. However, the long development time and slow return on materials research investments make industry reluctant to take on the associated risks. This alone suggests that policy initiatives to sustain long‐term research efforts are necessary. This article considers the policy findings of national foresight initiatives in the area of materials and material technologies.

Details

Foresight, vol. 1 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Book part

Alexandra E. MacDougall, Zhanna Bagdasarov, James F. Johnson and Michael D. Mumford

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless…

Abstract

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless, ethical breaches continue to permeate corporate life, suggesting that there is something missing from how we conceptualize and institutionalize organizational ethics. The current effort seeks to fill this void in two ways. First, we introduce an extended ethical framework premised on sensemaking in organizations. Within this framework, we suggest that multiple individual, organizational, and societal factors may differentially influence the ethical sensemaking process. Second, we contend that human resource management plays a central role in sustaining workplace ethics and explore the strategies through which human resource personnel can work to foster an ethical culture and spearhead ethics initiatives. Future research directions applicable to scholars in both the ethics and human resources domains are provided.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

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Article

Kjell Hausken

Lays out a framework for analysing ethics in organizations. Relying on methodological individualism, introduces five building blocks for the framework: self‐interest…

Abstract

Lays out a framework for analysing ethics in organizations. Relying on methodological individualism, introduces five building blocks for the framework: self‐interest, individual rationality, sequential rationality, incentive compatibility, and reputation. Uncritical use of the self‐interest model may induce framing effects, blinding less cautious users to important ethical dimensions. Illustrates the richness and “ethical flavour” of an appropriately considered self‐interest model through focusing one of the individual agent’s real interests in a broad sense, through the use of the time factor in the building blocks, and through suggesting how the individual agent can interpret the value systems in her surroundings.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 23 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article

Roman Konopka, Malcolm John Wright, Mark Avis and Pamela M. Feetham

There are substantive disagreements about whether encouraging deliberative thinking increases consumer preference in low-involvement product categories. The authors draw…

Abstract

Purpose

There are substantive disagreements about whether encouraging deliberative thinking increases consumer preference in low-involvement product categories. The authors draw on dual-process theory to add rare experimental evidence to this debate. They also investigate whether the effect of deliberative thinking increases with familiarity of the stimuli, as different theories of memory yield different predictions on this point. Finally, they provide evidence on whether the effectiveness of the Fairtrade logo arises more from mere exposure or attention to the ethical claim.

Design/methodology/approach

The context for the research is the use of ethical logos in packaged coffee, as this provides a realistic setting for the desired experimental manipulations. The fieldwork consists of two sets of trade-off experiments – rankings based conjoint analysis (n = 360) and best-worst scaling with a balanced incomplete block design (n = 1,628). Deliberative thinking is manipulated in three ways: by varying logos between visual (Type 1 processing) and lexical (Type 2 processing) treatments, by post hoc classification of time taken, and by imposing either time constraints (Type 1) or cognitive load (Type 2) on the completion of the task. Familiarity is manipulated by varying logos between the Fairtrade and a fictional Exchange Ethics logo.

Findings

Consumers do have higher preferences in the deliberative treatment conditions; thinking more results in an 18 per cent increase (Cohen’s d = 0.25) in the preference for choices that display an ethical cobranded logo. Surprisingly, the impact of deliberation is not greater for the more familiar Fairtrade logo than the fictional Exchange Ethics logo. This result is inconsistent with strength-based theories of memory, as these predict that deliberation will have a greater effect for more familiar stimuli. However, it is consistent with newer theories of memory that acknowledge familiarity can lead to activation confusion, reducing retrieval of pre-existing knowledge into working memory. The research also shows that the Fairtrade logo has substantial utility to consumers, and that this is approximately 59 per cent due to the ethical claim and 41 per cent due to the familiarity of the logo.

Research limitations/implications

In field conditions, attempts to manipulate deliberation may not be effective or may simply result in reduced attention. Also, the costs of increasing deliberation may outweigh the benefits obtained.

Practical implications

The research confirms the heuristic value of the Fairtrade logo and shows that the effectiveness of ethical logos may increase with additional deliberation by shoppers.

Originality/value

There is relatively little work in marketing that applies dual-process theories to investigate consumer behaviour. The present study extends the use of dual-process theories in marketing, demonstrates a new method to investigate the effect of deliberation on brand choice and shows how deliberation magnifies the effect of endorsing logos, including unfamiliar logos.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Mary Barnao, Peter Robertson and Tony Ward

This paper seeks to propose that approaching forensic practice from the vantage point of human dignity and its associated values can alert clinicians to a broader range of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to propose that approaching forensic practice from the vantage point of human dignity and its associated values can alert clinicians to a broader range of ethical issues than reliance on codes of ethics. The paper aims to present a practical framework for ethical reasoning based on this approach and to demonstrate its application using examples drawn from forensic practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case vignettes are used to demonstrate how the ethical framework can be used as a heuristic device to encourage practitioners to be alert to genuine, although often subtle, ethical problems and to think beyond the confines of ethical codes.

Findings

The ethical framework outlined in this paper can alert clinicians to a broader range of ethical issues than those flagged by codes of ethics and encourage them to think about the contribution of systemic, as well as individual variables, to ethical problems.

Practical implications

Enriching ethical codes with the concept of dignity and human rights can assist clinicians to detect ethical issues in their daily practice and improve their ethical reasoning and decision making.

Originality/value

Relatively few articles address ethical issues in a forensic mental health context and those that do focus on specific issues rather than the process of ethical decision making. This paper provides forensic clinicians with a practical framework that can assist them to recognize ethical problems and make considered decisions about them.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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