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Book part

Charles J. Coate and Mark C. Mitschow

There is significant debate regarding the necessity for and existence of moral exemplars in business. We believe it is both necessary and beneficial for free market

Abstract

There is significant debate regarding the necessity for and existence of moral exemplars in business. We believe it is both necessary and beneficial for free market economic systems to be viewed as a moral exemplar by business students, educators, practitioners, and ethicists. Since much of the world operates under some type of free market economic paradigm, it is important that there be a moral base for these operations.

Free market economic systems are usually defended on utilitarian grounds, that they produce better results than other systems. In this chapter we take a micro approach and show that free market economic systems support individual rights and dignity. This is important because business persons need moral exemplars based in their own discipline’s theory to recognize the vocational aspects of business. That is, business persons must understand why free market systems serve the greater good.

Free market systems are not a complete or perfect moral exemplar. Business persons need to know the limits of the economic system and find other moral exemplars for their role as citizens. We illustrate this with the discussion of monopoly and Option for the Poor.

Catholic Social Teaching (CST), the moral exemplar of the Roman Catholic Church, has been developed over many centuries. The purpose of this chapter is to show how free market economic outcomes are compatible with CST goals. Illustrating the consistency between CST and free market systems provides compelling evidence that such systems are indeed a moral exemplar for business persons.

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Moral Saints and Moral Exemplars
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-075-8

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Article

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article

Paul Haynes and Stepan Podobsky

Marketing products as guilt-free is not new, especially in the food industry, but what is new is the scope of ethical choice on offer and the variety and complexity of…

Abstract

Purpose

Marketing products as guilt-free is not new, especially in the food industry, but what is new is the scope of ethical choice on offer and the variety and complexity of guilt-free narratives sold as part of the consumption package. The purpose of this paper is to present – and test – an innovative framework with which to analyse the key strategies in the creation of guilt-free narratives within the food industry and examine how consumer habits, motivations and attitudes are afforded by these narratives. The trend towards interpassivity, in which a consumer “outsources” moral responsibility to manufacturers, suppliers or retailers, is critically examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection consisted of a non-probability quota sample of UK residents, administered online. There were three main areas of this study: consumers’ attitudes towards guilt-free products and marketing, consumers’ consumption habits and conscious-motivating factors and insights in unconscious-motivating factors. The questionnaire was designed to provide both qualitative and quantitative insights. It consisted of a variety of open-ended questions, as well as sets of given choices regarding habits and motivations, where the options were designed to encompass as many potential responses as necessary. The survey was shaped using a mini-focus group.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that consumers are in general willing to pay more for a guilt-free product but not for the reasons normally presented within the marketing literature. The paper shows that while self-accountability and anticipatory guilt are reasons for the effectiveness of guilt-free marketing, they are only minor factors. The paper shows that other motivating factors are more important as many participants buy products they do not entirely trust or have a particular preference for. One motive relates to interpassivity, that is, that guilt and guilt-alleviating actions can be transferred or delegated to the product itself.

Research limitations/implications

The concept of interpassivity and the idea of transference of actions or emotions to products has potential for new marketing frameworks. There are many different coping mechanisms for guilt or shame, and these could all be packaged into products to arouse a preference with the consumer. The entire area of guilt-free marketing is under-researched but because of the continued growth in consumer guilt-mitigation strategies, it is likely to see a lot of research activity in the near future. The main limitation is the limited statistical analysis afforded by the non-probability nature of the sample.

Practical Implications

The paper has developed a clearer definition of what constitutes a guilt-free product, that is, a guilt-free product is created when a regular product has any one or more of the three types of guilt (anticipatory, reactive and existential) packaged into it. Using this definition, the paper examined why guilt-free marketing has been effective, identifying that though consumers are willing to pay more for a guilt-free product, self-accountability and anticipatory guilt are only part of the explanation, with guilt and guilt-alleviating actions being transferred or delegated to the product itself a significant factor.

Social Implications

The paper has impacts for producers and consumers wishing to highlight the social good of a product. The study shows that consumers are sophisticated enough to examine social impact but often express a desire to delegate action to firms. Firms can more clearly frame their activity and contrast their action to the misleading marketing claims of rivals.

Originality/value

This paper is the first detailed analysis of guilt-free foods of its type. It seeks to create clearer definitions and frameworks with which to examine marketing practices and discourses of guilt in food consumption and marketing. The paper findings suggest that a relatively novel approach to consumption – interpassivity – is a useful explanation for otherwise puzzling consumer behaviour in a newly emerging area of guilt-free food marketing.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article

Necati Aydin

This paper aims to discuss the crises of free market capitalism in terms of its understanding of human nature. It reveals how recent market madness can be attributed to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the crises of free market capitalism in terms of its understanding of human nature. It reveals how recent market madness can be attributed to certain elements of human nature.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a conceptual and philosophical approach to analyze crises of free market capitalism. It links both success and failure of capitalism to its understanding of human nature. It compares and contrasts economic assumptions of human nature in conventional and Islamic economics. It attempts to explain the 2008 financial crisis through a comprehensive theory of human nature.

Findings

It sheds some light on the irrational aspect of human nature as the driving factor behind the 2008 financial crisis. It elaborates on the importance of knowing self for knowing human decisions in free market economy. It concludes with the need for a comprehensive theory of human nature to predict and prevent irrational and irresponsible behaviors of populist politicians, greedy capitalists and conspicuous consumers. The paper also reflects on the 2013 Nobel Prize in economics as a victory for the study of human nature.

Originality/value

The paper offers a new perspective to understand crises of free market capitalism.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Book part

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

The typical corporation is based on free capital markets, and in general, on the free market capital system for all its factors of production, distribution, and…

Abstract

Executive Summary

The typical corporation is based on free capital markets, and in general, on the free market capital system for all its factors of production, distribution, and consumption. Hence, this chapter studies the economic, legal, ethical, and moral goodness and promise of the Free Enterprise Capitalist System (FECS) as it exists and thrives in the open and free economies of the world. We will review several versions of FECS starting from Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) views on private property, Thomas Hobbes’ (1588–1679), The Leviathan (1651), Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations, 1776), Max Weber (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1904/1958) to modern defenses of capitalism by David Bollier (Aiming Higher, 1997), Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales (Saving Capitalism from Capitalists, 1998, 2004), C. K. Prahalad (2005) on Inclusive Capitalism, Nitesh Gor (The Dharma of Capitalism, 2012), and John Mackey and Raj Sisodia (Conscious Capitalism, 2014), to name a few. Based on these seminal authors and subsequent theoretical developments, this chapter seeks to defend, save, and uphold the goodness of the FECS along multiple viewpoints such as economics, management, law, ethics, morals, and executive spirituality.

Details

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

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Article

J. Cairns, N. Jennett and P.J. Sloane

Since the appearance of Simon Rottenberg's seminal paper on the baseball players' labour market in the Journal of Political Economy (1956), the literature on the economics…

Abstract

Since the appearance of Simon Rottenberg's seminal paper on the baseball players' labour market in the Journal of Political Economy (1956), the literature on the economics of professional team sports has increased rapidly, fuelled by major changes in the restrictive rules which had pervaded these sports, themselves a consequence of battles in the courts and the collective bargaining arena. These changes have not been limited to North America, to which most of the literature relates, but also apply to Western Europe and Australia in particular. This monograph surveys this literature covering those various parts of the world in order to draw out both theoretical and empirical aspects. However, to argue that the existence of what is now an extensive literature “justifies” such a survey on professional team sports clearly begs a number of questions. Justification can be found in at least two major aspects.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Abstract

Details

Documents from the History of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1423-2

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Article

Andrew D Pressey

The purpose of this paper is to review Advertising in a Free Society – a defence of the advertising industry – by Ralph Harris and Arthur Seldon, and to evaluate its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review Advertising in a Free Society – a defence of the advertising industry – by Ralph Harris and Arthur Seldon, and to evaluate its status as a justifiable forgotten classic of the marketing literature.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Advertising in a Free Society is placed in historical context (the Cold War), summarised and reviewed.

Findings

During the 1950s, as the UK experienced a period of affluence and growing consumerism, the advertising industry was again subject to the criticisms that had been levelled at it by influential scholars in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Against this context, Advertising in a Free Society deserves to be remembered as one of the earliest defences of advertising and remains highly relevant. Harris and Seldon were leading figures in the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), joining shortly after its inception, which became an influential group both in the UK and abroad, influencing policy on free markets.

Originality/Value

Although Advertising in a Free Society attracted few citations (going out of print between its publication in 1959 and 2014 when it was republished by the IEA), and largely forgotten by marketing scholars, it provides a significant source for marketing historians interested in advertising criticism, the growth of the British advertising industry and the role of advertising in democratic societies. A reanalysis of the text situated in its historical context – the height of the Cold War – reveals that the text can be viewed as an artefact of the conflict, deploying the rhetoric of the period in defending the advertising industry and highlighting the positive role that advertising could make in free societies.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article

Nick Potts

If we accept the logic of mainstream freemarket ideology‐based macroeconomic theory, the European Central Bank should, to maximise economic efficiency, be independent of…

Abstract

If we accept the logic of mainstream freemarket ideology‐based macroeconomic theory, the European Central Bank should, to maximise economic efficiency, be independent of political influence. It is easy to forget that such an understanding of the economy was discredited by the great 1930s slump and banished from government policy in the “Golden Age” of capitalism, between 1950 and 1973. Proposes to move beyond the freemarket/monetarist/new‐classical consensus to consider if the row over who should head the ECB is as trivial as it seems. First considers the work of Michal Kalecki, which typically represents the Golden Age’s prevailing ideology of positive state intervention. Next considers how Europe’s post‐war economic performance can be consistently explained by Kalecki’s work. Then moves on to consider the development of the Single European Currency project with the insight that an alternative economic ideology provides.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article

ML Wei

Markets for free from foods have undergone extensive growth as consumers attempt to manage their health in increasingly novel ways. This research explores the making of…

Abstract

Purpose

Markets for free from foods have undergone extensive growth as consumers attempt to manage their health in increasingly novel ways. This research explores the making of consumer perceptions about the health of gluten-free foods.

Design/methodology/approach

This research employs qualitative methods including in-depth interviews with consumers of gluten-free foods and content analysis of online consumer comments.

Findings

Findings illustrate how consumers leverage personal responsibility, social commentary and political criticism in ways that forge essential connections with traditional medical authority. In particular, consumers blend diverse views together by expressing reverence, positioning complementarity and framing temporality.

Research limitations/implications

This research highlights the productive role of consumers in shaping what constitutes health-related concerns and widens the scope of explanatory factors beyond product- and individual-level differences. This research is set in the context of gluten-free foods and draws on interview data from a single set of consumers. Future research could consider other free from markets including, for example, soy-free foods and corn-free foods, both of which implicate some of the most common ingredients in food products and potential regional differences both within and outside of North America.

Practical implications

This research offers insights into the marketing of gluten-free foods and free from foods in general, specifically the participation of consumers in legitimising the need for these foods on the basis of health.

Originality/value

I weave together multiple streams of work across disciplines including food marketing, contested illnesses and institutional logics to further our understanding of the dynamic nature of contemporary markets for free from foods.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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