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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2018

Irene M. Gordon and Jamal A. Nazari

This paper aims to examine the impact of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) on the academic business ethics literature with the intent of making this research more…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) on the academic business ethics literature with the intent of making this research more accessible to those researchers and practitioners working in business ethics and other related fields. Specifically, the authors outline the types and scope of SOX-related research, examine the extent of reliance on SOX, identify which theoretical frameworks and research approaches are used and point out under-researched areas.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a descriptive approach, the authors examine the theoretical perspectives, classifying these perspectives into four groupings (economics, ethics/moral, psychological and sociological). Using counts, categorization and content analyses, the authors provide an overview of 115 articles with further analysis provided for articles relying heavily (n = 14) or moderately (n = 42) on SOX.

Findings

Whistleblowing and codes of ethics are well-researched topics. However, employment of some theories (e.g. signaling theory and stakeholder theory) and qualitative approaches are used less often. Other under-researched issues in the sample include CEO/CFO certifications, cost of compliance, auditor disclosures and empirical investigation of SOX and auditor independence (or corporate culture).

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ decision to use certain databases, search terms and research methods, and to focus on business ethics journals and English language articles are possible limitations.

Originality/value

The authors’ contributions comprise an examination of the scope of SOX topics and detailing how reliant the research is on SOX. The authors identify trends in this literature and provide evidence of the broad theoretical frameworks to better understand the breadth and depth of theories used.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Ilke Oruc and Muammer Sarikaya

This study aims at presenting a normative approach in adaptation of the ethics of care approach and stakeholder theory. Therefore, it seeks to present a point‐of‐view…

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4655

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at presenting a normative approach in adaptation of the ethics of care approach and stakeholder theory. Therefore, it seeks to present a point‐of‐view regarding the related issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on a theory‐based integration process, since it is designed on a normative basis and the current studies dealing with “ethic of care theory” still have some problems in practical terms.

Findings

It is observed that ethics of care and stakeholder theory are getting more and more interrelated due to established networks and available common points. As a subfield of feminist ethic, ethics of care can be used to clarify moral principles lying behind these relationships. From another point of view, the discussion regarding the feminization of business enterprises focuses on the idea that such discussions involving the principles lying behind feminist ethics can provide an advantage for the companies in terms of competition. In addition, ethics of care is expected to contribute to stakeholder theory to a great extent.

Research limitations/implications

The related literature includes a rather limited number of studies conducted on this research topic. The available research explains some relationships on a normative basis. Therefore, the current study is expected to contribute to the expansion of such research in the field.

Practical implications

Despite the presence of studies in the field, there is still a limitation in putting the findings of studies into practice. Since the country where the current study is conducted still suffers from ambiguities regarding the definitions of concepts and it is very difficult to find business enterprises appreciating feminist values, although they are taught to adopt philanthropy applications, the study is limited to a normative point‐of‐view regarding the issues.

Originality/value

The scope of the study is expected to contribute to a great extent to the integration of feminist ethic and stakeholder theory. Similarly, it will encourage further studies on the issue.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

Peter Bowden

This paper explores the question of whether the identification of many wrongdoings in an organisation requires knowledge of the technical and operating mechanisms of that…

Abstract

This paper explores the question of whether the identification of many wrongdoings in an organisation requires knowledge of the technical and operating mechanisms of that organisation. If such is the case, many ethical problems cannot be resolved by a generalist. They must be left to people with knowledge of that industry. In attempting to answer the question, the paper examines 11 different types of organisations. It then asks how the ethical issues in those organisations might be resolved. The organisations are veterinarians, pharmacies, media companies, engineering firms, doctors, general businesses, including two sub disciplines, marketing and accounting organisations, nursing institutions, political parties, scientific research organisations, legal firms and information technology companies. Each can be a small professional company, locally based, or a large organisation, possibly international. Each exhibits one or more ethical problems that are not easily resolved by accepted ethical theory. Accepted theory, as further defined in the text, is the mainline ethical theories that would be core components of most ethics texts or courses. The question arises then on how would ethics be taught if the ethical issues require specialised knowledge of that industry sector. After examining the 11 industries, the paper puts forth two views. One is that a number of wrongs can be identified in industries and organisations where the ethical problems are complex and difficult to resolve, and where the standard ethical theories are of little or no help. Resolving these issues requires action from the organisation, or from the industry association encompassing all companies within that sector. A further complication has developed in the near explosive growth in whistleblower protection systems. These systems, now introduced in close to 30 countries around the world, have their own lists of wrongdoings for which the whistleblower will receive administrative and legal support. These lists of wrongs are distinct from any moral theory One conclusion to be drawn is that new methods possibly need to be found for teaching the identification and resolution of ethical issues. A second is a consequence of the first – that the teacher of ethics in these courses has to be drawn from within the industry. Further questions then arise: One is whether this demand then requires that this industry specialist learn moral theory? A second is then how would generalist applied ethics causes be taught (in humanities departments for instance)? Alternate viewpoints on joint teaching by a moral specialist and an industry specialist have been put forward. The paper puts forward one possible approach for the industry courses – that the industry specialist has to present the course, with new methods and content, but that a theoretical content is taught by someone knowledgeable in ethical theory. For generalist courses, the moral theorist has to include a sufficiently wide sample of industry and organisational ethical issues to ensure that students are aware of the wide range of ethical concerns that can arise, as well as approaches to resolving them.

Details

The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-446-1

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Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Alan Tapper

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept and the content of courses on ‘social ethics’. It will present a dilemma that arises in the design of such courses. On

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept and the content of courses on ‘social ethics’. It will present a dilemma that arises in the design of such courses. On the one hand, they may present versions of ‘applied ethics’; that is, courses in which moral theories are applied to moral and social problems. On the other hand, they may present generalised forms of ‘occupational ethics’, usually professional ethics, with some business ethics added to expand the range of the course. Is there, then, not some middle ground that is distinctively designated by the term ‘social ethics’? The article will argue that there is such a ground. It will describe that ground as the ethics of ‘social practices’. It will then illustrate how this approach to the teaching of ethics may be carried out in five domains of social practice: professional ethics, commercial ethics, corporate ethics, governmental ethics, and ethics in the voluntary sector. The aim is to show that ‘social ethics’ courses can have a clear rationale and systematic content.

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2010

Steven E. Wallis

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal structure of Gandhi's ethics as a way to determine opportunities for improving that system's ability to influence…

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2560

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal structure of Gandhi's ethics as a way to determine opportunities for improving that system's ability to influence behavior. In this paper, the author aims to work under the idea that a system of ethics is a guide for social responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The data source is Gandhi's set of ethics as described by Naess. These simple (primarily quantitative) studies compare the concepts within the code of ethics, and their relationships to one another.

Findings

Gandhi's ethics are robust at the 0.25 level (the scale is zero to one – zero is lowest). This is consistent with theories of the social sciences (that do not work well in practice). Gandhi's success might be ascribed to his leadership ability.

Research limitations/implications

Some suggest this approach is reductionist because of its superficial similarity to approaches of physical science. The implications for research are profound. First, this approach provides an objective method for comparing (and so, advancing) systems of ethics. Second, this paper suggests the opportunity to compare the internal structure of ethics with “external” aspects – the implementation of ethical systems.

Practical implications

By itself, Gandhi's system of ethics cannot be reliably applied in practice ‐ it cannot be expected to change behavior more than any other system of ethics. This raises concerns about other ethical codes as well. The practical implications of the form of analysis presented in this paper are immense because it provides a way for practitioners to objectively compare two codes of ethics and determine which one will be more effective.

Originality/value

The approach documented in the paper has never been applied to the field of ethics. It is unique in that it addresses the “internal” structure of a system of ethics (compared to the “external”, or application, of ethical systems).

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Abe Zakhem and Daniel E. Palmer

Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the…

Abstract

Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the normative reasons for adopting a stakeholder theory of management and for rejecting the once, and perhaps still, “dominant” shareholder-centric approach. This chapter then surveys some of the prominent “normative cores” that are used to ground stakeholder theory, that is, Kantian, contractarian, feminist ethics, and ethical pragmatism, and the moral obligations that each normative approach generates. Some pressing questions are raised with respect to each normative approach. To what extent ought we to recognize imperfect obligations to shareholders? Are contractarian hypernorms morally substantive? How exactly should we care about stakeholders, and is care even an appropriate attitudinal response? Without some commitment to objective ethical standards, how can pragmatists resolve stakeholder conflict?

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Don Fallis

To provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.

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12948

Abstract

Purpose

To provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper argues for the importance of information ethics to twenty‐first century library professionals. It describes what various authors have said about how information ethics can be applied to the ethical dilemmas faced by library professionals.

Findings

In order to deal effectively with their ethical dilemmas, library professionals must have a good working knowledge of information ethics. Codes of professional ethics can help to provide such knowledge, but they are not sufficient. Courses on information ethics must be part of the education of information professionals. Such courses should provide library professionals with an understanding of ethical theories and how they apply to concrete practical cases. Such courses should also make explicit the connection between information ethics and the mission of the library professional.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of publications on the topic of information ethics and library professionals.

Originality/value

This paper provides library professionals with a concise introduction to information ethics.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2007

Mark Schwartz

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current gap between the subjects of business ethics and pre‐1960 management theory.

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23616

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current gap between the subjects of business ethics and pre‐1960 management theory.

Design/methodology/approach

In an attempt to achieve the objective of the paper, the business ethics content of three leading management theorists during the first half of the 1900s is examined: Frederick Taylor; Chester Barnard; and Peter Drucker.

Findings

The paper concludes that there are significant business ethics content as well as ethical implications in the writings of each of the three management theorists.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis focused on only three, albeit significant, management theorists. A more complete discussion would have included other important management theorists as well.

Practical implications

The analysis suggests that management theory should not be taught without discussing both the business ethics implications and the business ethics content inherent in the theory. In addition, failure on the part of business ethics academics to understand early management theory, the ethical ramifications of such theory, and the business ethics issues explicitly discussed by leading management theorists, may lead to teaching and research in a subject without a proper theoretical foundation.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to address a gap in management literature by demonstrating some of the linkages between business ethics and business management thought, and thereby be of value to management theorists as well as business ethicists in their teaching and research efforts.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Donald Lange and Jonathan Bundy

One way of looking at the association between ethics and stakeholder theory – of examining the idea that stakeholder theory has a strong moral foundation – is to consider…

Abstract

One way of looking at the association between ethics and stakeholder theory – of examining the idea that stakeholder theory has a strong moral foundation – is to consider how the stakeholder approach might in fact be directly driven by and guided by the moral obligations of business. An alternative perspective we offer is that stakeholder theory only indirectly derives from the moral obligations of business, with business purpose serving as a mediating factor. We work through the fairly straightforward logic behind that alternative perspective in this chapter. We argue that it is a better way to think about the association between ethics and stakeholder theory, particularly because it allows for a theoretical and practical distinction between corporate social responsibility and stakeholder theory. Stakeholder theory can thereby continue developing as a theory of strategic management, even as it brings morals to the fore in ways that other approaches to strategic management do not.

Details

Sustainability, Stakeholder Governance, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-316-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2018

FR. Oswald A. J. Mascarenhas, S.J.

This chapter covers basic concepts, ethical theories, and moral paradigms of corporate ethics for identifying, understanding, and responding to the turbulent market…

Abstract

Executive Summary

This chapter covers basic concepts, ethical theories, and moral paradigms of corporate ethics for identifying, understanding, and responding to the turbulent market challenges of today. The concept, nature, and domain of ethics, business ethics, managerial ethics, and corporate executive ethics are defined and differentiated for their significance. The domain, scope, and nature of related concepts such as legality, ethicality, morality, and executive spirituality are distinguished and developed. Among normative and descriptive ethical theories that we briefly review and critique here are teleology or utilitarianism, deontology or existentialism, distributive justice, corrective justice, and ethics of malfeasance and beneficence. Other moral theories of ethics such as ethics of human dignity, ethics of cardinal virtues, ethics of trusting relations, ethics of stakeholder rights and duties, ethics of moral reasoning and judgment calls, ethics of executive and moral leadership, and ethics of social and moral responsibility will be treated in a later book. The thrust of this book is positive: despite our not very commendable track record in managing this planet and its resources, our basic questions are: Where are we now? What are we now? Where should we as corporations go, and why? What are the specific positive mandates and metrics to corporate executives to reach that desired destiny? This chapter explores responses to these strategic corporate questions.

Details

Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-187-8

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