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The Giving Voice to Values (GVV) program takes a unique approach to ethics education by shifting the focus away from a philosophical analysis of why actions are unethical…
The Giving Voice to Values (GVV) program takes a unique approach to ethics education by shifting the focus away from a philosophical analysis of why actions are unethical to a focus on how individuals can effectively voice their values to resolve ethical conflict. The authors explore how peer feedback and peer assessment, when implemented within a GVV module, can increase students’ understanding of ways to resolve ethical dilemmas, increase student engagement, and increase confidence in confronting unethical actions. The findings indicate that the use of peer feedback and assessment increases students’ understanding of ways to resolve ethical dilemmas, increases confidence in confronting unethical actions, and student attitudes suggest that assessing peers is a way to learn from each other and enhances interaction/engagement of students in the course. The teaching methods described in this study can easily be implemented in any specific discipline or accounting ethics course.
We present a peer-to-peer teaching approach designed to prepare introductory accounting students to address ethical challenges they will face in the workplace. We describe…
We present a peer-to-peer teaching approach designed to prepare introductory accounting students to address ethical challenges they will face in the workplace. We describe the motivation, processes, and resources used, introduce an effectiveness measure and discuss refinements so that other universities may adopt the innovation.
Upper division Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) accounting honor society members, with faculty guidance, create and deliver workshops in the 200-level introductory accounting sequence using the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum. GVV provides tools to move from recognition to action when confronted with a values conflict. The BAP members had completed the GVV exercises and casework in their upper division accounting courses. Now as peer coaches, they guide sophomore-level business students through the GVV curriculum to prepare them to act on their values when challenged.
Post-training perceptions express consistent beliefs that the introductory accounting students’ skills and abilities had improved with the training. Additionally, introductory accounting students’ descriptions of how they would address values conflicts based on what they learned in the training reflects development of personalized specific approaches.
GVV provides students with an action-based ethics toolkit to build upon as they move forward academically and professionally. The peer-to-peer innovation builds stronger mentor and mentee ties and introduces the business program’s ethical culture to sophomore-level business students.
The innovation won the 2014 Beta Alpha Psi Ethics Award sponsored by Grant Thornton and reflects the first use of a peer-to-peer approach with GVV in a university setting.
This paper examines the linkages between the ethics and management control literatures and suggests some potentially fruitful areas for future research and for integration…
This paper examines the linkages between the ethics and management control literatures and suggests some potentially fruitful areas for future research and for integration in the classroom.
We review topics in the ethics and management control literatures organizing them around the six modules used in the accounting ethics course taught at the University of Southern California: (a) professional standards, (b) distinguishing right from wrong, (c) understanding why (good) people do bad things, (d) getting employees to behave ethically (corporate ethics programs), (e) getting people to speak up when they see something wrong taking place (Giving Voice to Values), and (f) whistleblowing (the last resort).
While we find many topics where ethics and management control are concerned with similar issues, there are very few papers that approach these topics from the two perspectives.
We provide an overview of topics where ethics and management control overlap, and highlight the need for greater convergence between the two literatures. By linking MCS and ethics, organizations can provide a framework to promote behavior that both contributes to the achievement of the organization’s objectives and also follows ethical principles. We comment on what may happen when ethics and management control diverge, and discuss controls that can promote a strong ethical climate.
As organizational misconduct, fraud and abuse increasingly make news headlines, public opinion is hardening against organizations that engage in illegal or unethical…
As organizational misconduct, fraud and abuse increasingly make news headlines, public opinion is hardening against organizations that engage in illegal or unethical practices. Regulators are now acknowledging whistleblowers as frontline watchdogs, while governments are legislating to protect employees who report illegitimate conduct. However, many organizations are out of step: punishing or ignoring employees who speak up. These organizations run the risk that bad behaviour goes unchecked and that internal whistleblowers take their concerns outside the organization, creating reputational damage and potential legal ramifications. We argue that companies need to get back in step with society by encouraging employee voice as an early internal warning system to detect organizational misconduct. A five-step action plan is presented to enable management to create an ethical environment that encourages, trains and rewards employees to speak up openly about ethical concerns.
The case is set in the Fall of 2008 as Susan Schor, Chief Culture Officer, at EILEEN FISHER Inc. is meeting with the other two members of the Facilitating Leader Team, Jim…
The case is set in the Fall of 2008 as Susan Schor, Chief Culture Officer, at EILEEN FISHER Inc. is meeting with the other two members of the Facilitating Leader Team, Jim Gundell, Vice President of Retail and e-Commerce and Jonci Coukier, Vice President of Design and Merchandising Processes, as well as founder, Eileen Fisher. Faced with significant projected financial loss in 2009, Susan reflected on the evolution of the company as influenced by her perspective with her organizational behavior expertise and collaborative leadership that embraced a values-based culture. Stories, voices and structures are examined in this retrospective view as Dr Schor sets the stage for how this example of best practice leadership will tackle the challenge at hand.
The research for this case was conducted over an 18-month period with over 40 interviews, extensive observation of the various teams at EILEEN FISHER Inc., and review of corporate communications, publications and other secondary sources. This case focuses on stories and voices that explain the unique leadership of EILEEN FISHER. The use of extensive quotes allows for an authentic “hearing” of the experiences and values as well as allowing the students to better understand the nature of qualitative data. Some of the discussion questions are posed as experiential exercises as this method allows the students to better relate to understand and apply values concepts.
Relevant courses and levels
Graduate and undergraduate organizational behavior, leadership, retail management and ethics.
A proposed typology of moral exemplars in business highlights instances selected to illustrate standards for inclusion. The typology distinguishes among champions, heroes…
A proposed typology of moral exemplars in business highlights instances selected to illustrate standards for inclusion. The typology distinguishes among champions, heroes, and saints as different kinds of business exemplars. The typology reflects variations in both specific decision conditions and moral value emphases of business actors. The typology also differentiates moral exemplars from moral neutrals (i.e., amoral actors) and moral sinners (i.e., moral value scofflaws). The objective is to advance understanding of moral character and moral courage in business settings.
The methodology combines original conceptual argument and brief case summaries taken from available literature. The chapter is not a systematic survey of literature but cites key works. Construction of the typology involved iteration between conceptual development and case interpretation.
The chapter separates business cases into private business and public business, and applies Adam Smith’s distinction between citizenship and good citizenship. An additional distinction is made between extreme conditions and normal conditions. Moral heroism in business is restricted to life-and-death or strongly analogous situations in extreme conditions such as hazardous whistleblowing. Moral sainthood in business involves extreme maximization of a single value going far beyond simple compliance with legal requirements and typical ethical norms – Smith’s definition of citizenship. Moral championing in business concerns some degree of lesser self-sacrifice in defense of important values reflecting Smith’s definition of good citizenship.
Research Limitations and Implications
The chapter is a selection of literature undertaken in iteration with the conceptual development effort. The original research aspect of the chapter is thus quite limited. The author is not positioned to judge the accuracy of published information, for or against a particular instance. The classifications thus depend on whether the instance would, if the generally reported facts are basically accurate, serve as a reasonable illustration of standards for inclusion. Criticisms have been made concerning some of the instances discussed here.
The emphasis is on providing standards for defining moral exemplars for business to suggest how much can be accomplished in business through moral influence.
The conceptual contribution is original, although drawing on the philosophical literature debate about saints and heroes. The chapter treats exemplar as the overarching construct, separated into three kinds: heroes, saints, and champions. Sinner is implicit in the notion of saint. The chapter adds moral champions and moral neutrals to isolate moral heroism. The cases exist in the literature, but have been combined together here for the first time.
One defining characteristic of service-learning as a pedagogical tool is its focus on reflection. Within service-learning programmes, students engage collaboratively with…
One defining characteristic of service-learning as a pedagogical tool is its focus on reflection. Within service-learning programmes, students engage collaboratively with one another and community members, and are encouraged to reflect on the various aspects of their experience. The author argues that reflection is crucial for its contribution to service-learning, as a teaching methodology, and to service-learning’s cognitive, affective and social impact. Part of service-learning’s impact is its contribution to the development of inclusive attitudes and predispositions towards inclusiveness among school students and tertiary students, particularly pre-service teachers. The chapter recognises inclusivity as an element of quality teaching that helps students make connections with contexts outside the classroom, engage with different perspectives and ways of knowing and to accommodate all their peers and all those being offered service. The chapter recommends a particular approach to the expansion of thinking and practice that inclusivity requires, one based on the methodology of the Philosophy in Schools movement, which has its genesis in the work of John Dewey. That approach uses the mechanism of the Community of Inquiry to structure reflective activities in a way that facilitates the development of students’ critical and creative thinking and their capacity for substantive dialogue. Within the Community of Inquiry students are encouraged to engage with differing and perhaps novel perspectives as they respond to real-life service-learning experiences. Well-facilitated reflection gives students the opportunity to develop skills and dispositions conducive to deep understanding of concepts and issues that arise in discussion. It also helps to raise awareness of preconceptions and attitudes that can undermine inclusiveness in education. The chapter draws the conclusion that rigorous reflection serves as a stimulus to act to implement inclusive practices within service-learning projects on the basis of well-justified reasoning.
The content of ethics education courses is still generally shaped around the presentation of the traditional ethical theories of Western moral philosophy, complemented by…
The content of ethics education courses is still generally shaped around the presentation of the traditional ethical theories of Western moral philosophy, complemented by case studies and discussion of ethical decision-making models. The purpose of courses is still largely geared towards the development of skills in ethical reasoning. Yet developments in surrounding fields, from psychology to learning and leadership development, raise numerous questions about the traditional curriculum. Ethics courses need to be more responsive to psychological factors and to the social realities of workplace contexts, and cognisant of a wider spectrum of ethical concepts. The perspective of virtue ethics remains pertinent, as the broader agenda of ethics courses is to enable students to develop a personal ethical outlook. But ethics courses should also be exploring and incorporating concepts from non-Western philosophies, and incorporating developments in fields such as leadership development.
The purpose of this research was threefold, including to provide a four-point rationale for teaching corporate crisis management as a module within a course on ethical…
The purpose of this research was threefold, including to provide a four-point rationale for teaching corporate crisis management as a module within a course on ethical decision-making in business and organizations; to provide evaluative data supporting this approach; and to highlight the implications of this approach for human resource development and training.
Thirty-four undergraduates in a required course on ethical decision-making in business and organizations completed pre- and post-course assignments assessing their knowledge about crisis/management, as well as their skills in crisis recognition, evaluation and action planning. Participants also completed a survey on their perceptions of the crisis management module and its placement within the ethics course.
Statistical analyses demonstrated significant knowledge acquisition on crisis/management; significant skill development on crisis recognition, evaluation and action planning; and significantly greater “true positives” and significantly fewer “false negatives” in post-course identification of crisis warning signs. Perceptions of the crisis management module and its placement within the course on ethical decision-making were positive.
Although the sample size was relatively small, small samples are associated with a greater risk of failing to detect an effect that is present, rather than the greater predicament of erroneously concluding that an absent effect is actually present. This information, coupled with the fact that the results demonstrated not only statistical significance but also large effect sizes using Cohen’s d, inspires confidence. Nonetheless, additional assessment with larger samples would allow for the possibility of convergent evidence. Similarly, additional assessment within different organizational contexts, including applications in human resource training and development is warranted. Future research should also include assessment of specific underlying teaching strategies and evaluation of whether certain models are associated with greater learning on a broader range of crisis management skills.
Programs in business ethics education and training comprise one useful context in which to teach corporate crisis management. The program specified here addresses two training needs previously specified in the human resource development (HRD) literature on crisis management, including identifying specific methods of enhancing recognition or detection of crisis warning signs and also of providing tools and enhancing skills for assessing and containing crisis.
Despite the centrality of both ethics and HRD to crisis management, there has been a dearth of research on whether ethics education is a useful context through which to teach this topic. This research addresses this dearth and suggests new avenues for HRD in this respect.
Being a director, regardless of the size or nature of the enterprise, is different to being an employee, manager, shareholder or customer. It is not size or dollar value that makes the responsibilities of a board member different from those of an executive. Some, for instance ethical responsibilities, are common regardless of size. One key issue is to do with personal integrity and another to do with the integrity of decision making by the board. The chapter looks at who should be responsible for training the board, and provides a conceptual framework on which training could be based. Practice and example are the key ways in which ethics is learnt, and examples are provided of the way in which case studies can be used to enhance personal integrity and moral courage, and to develop and entrench decision processes in the board which enhance the integrity of its decision making.