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Article

Carole Tansley, Susan Kirk and Colin Fisher

The purpose of this study is to identify how ethical stances can be used to develop a frame set in the design of a web-based decision support system (DSS) for ethical

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify how ethical stances can be used to develop a frame set in the design of a web-based decision support system (DSS) for ethical decision-making and to test both the efficacy of these frames and the potential of such a tool for individuals and groups in both leadership development situations and organisational practice. Unethical behaviour by executives is a frequently cited reason for erosion of trust with other stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising action research, by choosing ethics frames such as heuristics, a web-based ethics DSS designed to enable users to explore ethical issues from multiple perspectives was constructed and this was beta-tested with a major UK bank and a global oil company.

Findings

In orchestrating constant revisions of the ethics frames in the tool, learning from each research cycle was identified, a new form of action research, a design action research, which emphasises the importance of collaboration in the design of such decision-making tools, was offered and the tool for management development and other applications was successfully beta-tested.

Originality/value

It was demonstrated to management developers how web-based systems might be designed by non-information technology professionals; the framing literature was added by demonstrating the value of engaging in dialogue about ethical issues of concern to managers and their organisations and thus improving decision-making; and additions were made to the literature on ethics and Information systems (IS) and contribution toward action research in the fields of IS and ethics was done.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Marketing Management in Turkey
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-558-0

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Book part

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

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Georg von Krogh, Nina Geilinger and Lise Rechsteiner

This chapter seeks to advance the neglected debate on the ethical issues between formal organization and practice arising from innovation in an organization. To that end…

Abstract

This chapter seeks to advance the neglected debate on the ethical issues between formal organization and practice arising from innovation in an organization. To that end, the chapter discusses the sources of possible moral dilemmas for practitioners who belong to a practice with a shared identity, values, and standards of excellence, and who need to conform to new rules of formal organization. While formal organization ideally strives for generalized fairness principles for all organizational members when introducing an innovation, the contextualized nature of practices may lead to particular needs and goals of the practice which can only be recognized as such by practitioners and not by formal management, and to which procedural justice cannot respond. The chapter proposes how practitioners may interpret moral dilemmas, aligned with their practice-based identity and ethical values, and what options for action they may seek. The discussion is illustrated with examples of innovation in the field of information systems design.

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Article

K.H. Spencer Pickett

Using the backdrop of an (apparently) extended visit to the West Indies, analogies with key concerns of internal audit are drawn. An unusual and refreshing way of…

Abstract

Using the backdrop of an (apparently) extended visit to the West Indies, analogies with key concerns of internal audit are drawn. An unusual and refreshing way of exploring the main themes ‐ a discussion between Bill and Jack on tour in the islands ‐ forms the debate. Explores the concepts of control, necessary procedures, fraud and corruption, supporting systems, creativity and chaos, and building a corporate control facility.

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Management Decision, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

K.H. Spencer Pickett

Using the backdrop of an (apparently) extended visit to the West Indies, analogies with key concerns of internal audit are drawn. An unusual and refreshing way of…

Abstract

Using the backdrop of an (apparently) extended visit to the West Indies, analogies with key concerns of internal audit are drawn. An unusual and refreshing way of exploring the main themes ‐ a discussion between Bill and Jack on tour in the islands ‐ forms the debate. Explores the concepts of control, necessary procedures, fraud and corruption, supporting systems, creativity and chaos, and building a corporate control facility.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 13 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Book part

Michael Segon and Chris Booth

Ethics is an integral part of an organization's overall culture. Designing an ethical organization requires systematically analysing all aspects of the organization's…

Abstract

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.

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Ethics, Values and Civil Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-768-9

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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.

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

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Book part

Dean Bartlett

This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of ethical decision making by managers employed in two major companies in the U.K. Forty managers from these large…

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of ethical decision making by managers employed in two major companies in the U.K. Forty managers from these large commercial organizations were interviewed about how ethical issues arise and are dealt with at work. This interview data was transcribed and a thematic content analysis was conducted in order to explore the various influences upon managerial ethical decision making. The analysis framework includes analysis at both an individual level, in terms of the role of individual characteristics such as personal value systems, and at an organizational level, in terms of the influence of organizational characteristics such as organizational culture. The paper then goes on to examine the extent to which this empirically-based account of ethical decision making is congruent with, or runs contrary to, some of the main theoretical propositions contained in the ethical decision-making literature. This provided only limited empirical support for the theoretical propositions described in the literature. In particular, the findings of the empirical work reported here suggest that while personal values may play a part in organizational ethics, the ethical decision-making process itself is subject to a much greater influence from the everyday demands and commercial pressures which managers perceived as being placed upon them in the types of organizations examined in this study. Thus, while supportive of the notion that values may be important in some respects, the study suggests that they are not necessarily that closely involved with the actual decision-making process. Rather the evidence gathered in this study indicates that they can exert an affectively-mediated retrospective effect. This possibility would suggest a reformulation of the role of values in the ethical decision-making process, while also calling for a greater emphasis upon the role of emotions. These are, however, only tentative findings and must therefore be subject to further empirical work before the precise way in which ethical issues arise, unfold and are dealt with in the workplace can be understood.

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Spiritual Intelligence at Work: Meaning, Metaphor, and Morals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-067-8

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Article

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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