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This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…
This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.
The Franciscan Friar Luca Pacioli is considered the “father of accounting” because of his 1494 publication Summa de Arithmetrica, Geometrica, Proportioni et…
The Franciscan Friar Luca Pacioli is considered the “father of accounting” because of his 1494 publication Summa de Arithmetrica, Geometrica, Proportioni et Proportionalita (Summa) which included a section double entry accounting. While accounting systems existed before Pacioli, he introduced double entry accounting as a more efficient means of keeping business records because that would lead to better business operation and profits. Subsequently, double entry accounting systems have contributed significantly to the rise of capitalism in Europe and the developed world.
Pacioli also advocated a moral and social role for accounting, business, and the successful business person whose actions help serve the public interest. This clearly indicated that Pacioli understood business was about more than bookkeeping and profitability.
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) has played a significant role in business ethics for at least a century. Starting with Rerum Novarum, 1891 and continuing through numerous Papal Encyclicals (e.g., Caritas in Veritate, 2009; Centesimus Annus, 1991), CST has carefully examined how businesspeople, labor, and capital can cooperate to build a more just and peaceful society that fulfills the entire person. CST thus predates and contributes to contemporary business ethics efforts.
Pacioli’s contributions reflect and underlay much of contemporary CST, which is why we believe it is important to examine his social responsibility teaching in the context of contemporary CST principles. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss Pacioli’s view of the moral roles of accounting, business, and businesspeople in the context of CST principles, particularly (1) purpose of accounting profits, (2) purpose of business in society, (3) ethical and efficient business practices as they relate to accounting, and (4) the undivided life.
Economic activity is typically provided by three distinct sectors. For-profit entities seek to maximize owner profit by providing various goods and services. The…
Economic activity is typically provided by three distinct sectors. For-profit entities seek to maximize owner profit by providing various goods and services. The not-for-profit sector consists of private or quasi-public entities that provide goods and services without regard to making an explicit profit. Government entities extract resources from the economy and redistribute them to achieve certain public goods.
Recently a fourth or gray sector has developed that combines elements of the other three. As a corporate form that explicitly sacrifices profit maximization to advance some predetermined social good, benefit corporations are one example of this gray sector. Owners are aware of this dual mission but still invest as the social objectives are consistent with their personal goals. Thus, the benefit corporation can be viewed as a for-profit entity subject to an explicit social welfare constraint.
Since the late 1960s governments have spent trillions of dollars on a wide variety of social welfare programs. Nevertheless, poverty persists and government altruism may have made poverty more intractable in some respects. Economic logic suggests that providing social welfare transfer payments with few work or training requirements can make recipients dependent and enable dysfunctional behavior. Over time this may rob recipients of opportunities for labor and self-sufficiency.
Benefit corporations are typically viewed as a form of socially responsible investment that leverages the economic advantages of market-based systems. To date, however, little has been written about the benefit corporation’s potential ethical dimensions. The purpose of this paper is to provide a moral argument based in Catholic Social Teaching to support the use of benefit corporations as a substitute for some government service programs. Our arguments are centered on the primary principle of Human Dignity and will include, but not be limited to: Work, Solidarity and there role social and economic society as well as the Role of Government or Subsidiarity (including the Welfare State).
In the past decade, the effectiveness and efficiency foreign aid (Aid Industry) has generated considerable debate in both of the academic and popular press. Despite…
In the past decade, the effectiveness and efficiency foreign aid (Aid Industry) has generated considerable debate in both of the academic and popular press. Despite spending billions of dollars in foreign aid well over a billion people remain in extreme poverty. This paper did not intend to question the magnitude of the effort or the motives of donors or aid agencies, but rather why the aid programs have not been more effective.
Certain research in behavioral economics, pathological altruism, and emotional empathy may help provide answers. Common to these theories is the idea that well-intentioned actions or policies may cause unintended, harmful consequences to either the donors or the intended beneficiaries of these actions or policies. This paradoxical result is typically due to the altruist’s inability to properly analyze the situation for a variety of reasons. The Aid Industry may be particularly susceptible to these behavioral biases and thus is likely to suffer to some extent from unintended adverse consequences.
This paper focused on ethical considerations at the microlevel, that is, the paper considered the impact of aid on individual’s economic utility and human dignity as opposed to macromeasures such as gross domestic product. Our purpose was to examine how behavioral theories can improve foreign aid efficiency and effectiveness. Using specific examples and considering ethical arguments based on utility and rights theories, we illustrated how these behavioral theories help explain the Aid Industry’s suboptimal results.
Patrick Primeaux's life was one of exemplary service in a wide range of fields. The Marists can point to years of productive service in their order. Generations of…
Patrick Primeaux's life was one of exemplary service in a wide range of fields. The Marists can point to years of productive service in their order. Generations of students know the impact he had on their lives. The St. John's University community can testify regarding his contributions to their institution, and organizational ethics researchers can point to his influence on research and pedagogy.
Many academics have careers with achievements in research, teaching, and service. What made Father Primeaux truly remarkable, however, was that he also expanded the business ethics field itself. Business ethics has traditionally been a difficult area in which to establish a research niche. Pat's contributions to research and pedagogy, and particularly his efforts regarding the Vincentian Ethics Conferences opened doors for young business ethicists, which was enormously beneficial to those academics and increased the quality and quantity of business ethics research.
This chapter examines Patrick Premeaux's groundbreaking contributions to business ethics teaching and research, and to demonstrate the impact those contributions have had on his fellow academicians. The first section outlines the significance of Primeaux's efforts. The second section examines Pat's contributions to business ethics research and education. The third section discusses the role the Vincentian Ethics Conferences (VEC) have played in improving the quantity and quality of business ethics research, while the fourth section illustrates the impact Pat's efforts had on my own career. The fifth section summarizes and concludes the paper.
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…
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.
This volume is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Primeaux. Of your editors, Michael knew him well, Howard knew his work. We both recognise his enormous contribution. Patrick was a very special individual who was unfortunately with us for far too short a time, but who in that time made a very unique contribution. The first three essays in this issue comprise a mini-festschrift issue to honour Patrick. They are by his American colleagues and good friends who knew Patrick well. A mini-festschrift seems particularly germane to Patrick. The festschrift or commemorative volume is deeply rooted in the culture of the Germanic universities, and Patrick, although having many attributes, could certainly not be construed as Germanic. We have no doubt that he would be as honoured by a mini-festschrift issue as he would be embarrassed by a full festschrift issue. The other essays are the result of the Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics 18th annual conference which was held in June 2011 at the University of Tasmania. The authors of these essays are academics in Australian universities who might not have known Patrick, but, as is discussed below, their essays reflect Patrick's contribution to applied ethics. There seems something very fitting about that conference being held at the University of Tasmania because their campus is in Hobart which is as far south as Australia goes. Patrick often spoke of visiting Australia but always ultimately dismissed it as too long a flight. It would, admittedly, have been a particularly long flight for Patrick who was a very heavy smoker. Nonetheless, we have no doubt that if Patrick had been able to embark upon the flight to Hobart and attended the conference, he would have enjoyed it. As it was his spirit was very much with us and pervaded many of our discussions about applied ethics.