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Article

Elisa Maria Entschew

The purpose of this paper is to address the following question: In times of permanent connectivity, what forms of freedom need to be considered to prevent permanent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the following question: In times of permanent connectivity, what forms of freedom need to be considered to prevent permanent availability as an unintended consequence? By using the Hegelian perspective on freedom, the paper categorizes three forms of freedom to transfer them to a common, contemporary understanding of freedom relating it to freedom through human-to-human digital communication. The aim is to show that freedom is not only about independence and realizing choices but also about embedding and committing oneself.

Design/methodology/approach

This mainly conceptual paper derives implications based on the Hegelian theory. This is supplemented by an interdisciplinary approach, whereby categories of other philosophers, ethicists, economists and sociologists are applied. The analysis of the contemporary perspective on freedom is enriched by referencing empirical studies.

Findings

Digital communication offers new freedom such as working with fewer restrictions from time and space, especially for knowledge workers. It is theoretically possible to work 24 h per day from anywhere (independence), as well as to decide on the final location and timing of one’s work (realizing choices). When solely focusing on these – seemingly advantageous – forms of freedom in times of permanent connectivity, unintended consequences such as the expectation of permanent availability develop. The key message of the paper is that considering one’s temporal and social dependencies (embeddedness) is an indispensable part of actual freedom to avoid unintended consequences.

Practical implications

Organizations need to invest in moral discernment to understand unintended consequences, as well as to cope with them.

Originality/value

Applying the Hegelian theory on freedom based on digital communication to better understand social dynamics of digital communication is a largely unexplored avenue in the existing scientific literature. The decision to undertake this venture resulted from the identified necessity of understanding freedom better. It is often not clear what is meant by freedom through digital communication. Although freedom is a complex construct, it is often reduced to independence/having a choice and realizing choices. When solely focusing on independence and realizing choices, unintended consequences such as permanent availability often go unnoticed. It is exactly because of these issues that this paper endeavors to examine the (deep) meaning of the powerful, yet complex, term of freedom.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article

Prasad L. Kaipa

The purpose of this paper is to help leaders to reflect on how to make difficult decisions by developing practical wisdom based on Indian traditions. In complex scenarios…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to help leaders to reflect on how to make difficult decisions by developing practical wisdom based on Indian traditions. In complex scenarios, when leaders are is crisis, they often tend to rush into decisions without proper reflection, rely too heavily on data and analytics, and demonstrate an inability to decide based on subtle, intangible and often very important elements like emotion, intuition and spiritual discernment. In this paper, the author discusses what it means to make wise decisions based on the Hindu concept of discrimination (viveka) – that is, the ability to perceive and make fine distinctions and also to notice and value quality which is very important part of spiritual discernment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses four decision-making scenarios from an Indian epic Mahabharata to cast light on dilemmas that seem to trip up so many twenty-first century leaders. The author draws lessons from the four stories and highlight key challenges in decision making – developing spiritual discernment to support logic based and emotion-laden decision making.

Findings

Allowing crisis to drive decisions, failing to recognize and account for the biases and attachments, and not developing good role clarity keep leaders from making the decisions they need to, from a place of ethical clarity. The subtle but essential spirit of ethical decision making is discernment and quality of discernment increases when leaders develop “viveka” or discrimination capability and use it regularly.

Research limitations/implications

It is important to remember that developing skills in using viveka in discernment suggested in this paper requires “unlearning” some of the beliefs and practices that served leaders in the past. This framework might be thought provoking and rich conceptually but only action and practice using this framework with awareness makes managers wise leaders.

Practical implications

This paper proposes a framework for making difficult decisions and has implications for developing managers and leaders who can make decisions with discernment. Especially in these days of complexity and turbulence, we need to develop people to resolve dilemmas wisely and effectively. The framework for developing discernment by using intuition, instinct and emotions along with data effectively can help leader using this framework make wise decisions. The stories of leadership success and failure in the Mahabharata serve to remind us that reactive or unreflective decision making are not the answer to rapid change and uncertainty. Yet, leaders need to be able to make sound decisions rapidly in a complex and changeable context by paying attention to both explicit and tacit factors. Stories open up other paths to cultivating this ability of paying attention to viveka that is at the root of spiritual discernment. With clear engagement with the role of leader; the will to detach from desired outcomes; and a stance of courage, humility and ethical clarity, we have the tools we need to manage accelerating complexity, whatever its source.

Originality/value

Decision-making process is examined holistically – by bringing in recent developments in brain research along with stories and lessons from an ancient epic from India to recognize that making decisions is complex and important element that distinguishes wise leaders from smart leaders. This paper could help smart leaders gain ethical clarity by developing discernment integrating fine qualities of discrimination.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 33 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part

Daryl Koehn

In order to consider fiction’s contribution to understanding organizations and their ethics, we need to examine the connection between creativity and morality. This…

Abstract

In order to consider fiction’s contribution to understanding organizations and their ethics, we need to examine the connection between creativity and morality. This chapter explores six possible relations, drawing upon a variety of works (creations) from a poet, a playwright, and several philosophers. I argue that any relationship between fiction/creativity and morality is multi-dimensional and should be treated as such in future research in business ethics and organizational studies. In particular, we are not entitled simply to assume that fictive creativity will bolster existing norms or engender virtues. On the contrary, in some cases, fiction reveals just how difficult it is to apply norms or to identify the virtuous course of action, given that we often do not have an accurate understanding of what is going on in an organizational or business setting, much less a cogent grasp on whether the behavior is right and good.

Details

The Contribution of Fiction to Organizational Ethics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-949-2

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Book part

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

There is a rising interest in ethical, moral, and spiritual challenges and imperatives, accountabilities, and responsibilities in the corporation. Governance issues arise…

Abstract

Executive Summary

There is a rising interest in ethical, moral, and spiritual challenges and imperatives, accountabilities, and responsibilities in the corporation. Governance issues arise whenever a corporate entity assumes a life of its own, and the ownership of an enterprise is separated from its management. How could owners ensure that “professional managers” hired and delegated to run their companies would run the venture to protect owners’ interests? What is and should be the moral quality of the corporation that CEOs govern? What types of corporate governance, ownership, and control modes and models should CEOs adopt such that they ensure long-term objectives of all stakeholders of the corporation? These ethical questions are central issues in the world of corporations today battled as they are with various pressures from governments, Wall Street analysts, credit ratings agencies, banks and promoters, private equity and hedge funds, and hostile takeovers. Such questions will always be crucial when fiduciary rights and duties attached to investment and ownership cannot be applied directly. This is the context of today’s corporate governance that this Epilogue to Volume I explores.

Details

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

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Article

Sally Riad

In the last few years, signs of material excess by organizational and political leaders have often evoked public outcry. The paper aims to argue that there is insight to…

Abstract

Purpose

In the last few years, signs of material excess by organizational and political leaders have often evoked public outcry. The paper aims to argue that there is insight to be gleaned from drawing together strands from the leadership literature with the literatures on moral economy and conspicuous consumption. The premise is that views of leader conspicuous consumption are shaped by their moral economy, the interplay between moral attitudes and economic activities. The paper seeks to juxtapose tales of Cleopatra and Antony's display of wealth with current media accounts to contribute to the leadership literature on ethics, specifically its intersection with power and narrative representation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an analytic approach, with an international orientation and an interdisciplinary perspective. It acknowledges the role of narrative representation in shaping leadership and the psychological ambivalence with which societies approach their leaders' practices, focus here on desire-disdain and discipline-decadence. Cleopatra and Antony's conspicuous consumption generated a legacy of condemnation for millennia. Drawing from the retellings of their story, four moralizing representations – by Plutarch, Shakespeare, Sarah Fielding and Hollywood – are analyzed and juxtaposed with current media accounts. Altogether, the paper combines the interest in leadership across history with moralizing perspectives on the display of wealth by leaders.

Findings

The intersection of the literatures on leadership, moral economy and conspicuous consumption draws together several dynamics of relevance to leadership. First, evaluations of the display of wealth on the part of a leader are contextual: they change across time and place. Second, interpretations of conspicuous consumption involve aesthetic judgment and so sit at the nexus of morality and taste. Third, following tragedies, tales of leader conspicuous consumption offer critics another knife to dig into the fallen tragic hero. Fourth, views of conspicuous consumption are gendered. Last, conspicuous consumption by leaders attracts condemnation through support for social responsibility and sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper establishes a novel articulation between the literatures on leadership, moral economy and conspicuous consumption.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Book part

Juhani Lehtonen, Auli Toom and Jukka Husu

This chapter considers teacher learning in inclusive co-teaching contexts, specifically the moral dimensions embedded within it. The chapter draws data from a study…

Abstract

This chapter considers teacher learning in inclusive co-teaching contexts, specifically the moral dimensions embedded within it. The chapter draws data from a study focusing on teachers’ perceptions of their learning during co-teaching in inclusive classrooms, and salient moral features embedded in co-teaching situations. Data from joint stimulated recall interviews conducted with three co-teacher pairs illuminate that teachers perceived both possibilities and challenges in key learning situations during co-teaching in inclusive classrooms. In these situations, it is possible for teachers to articulate and extract their guiding beliefs toward salient moral aspects in inclusive teaching in order to extend their understanding and revise their inclusive teaching practices. This chapter suggests that co-teaching is a promising practice for promoting inclusive classroom communities where teachers and students can learn together.

Details

Ethics, Equity, and Inclusive Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-153-7

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Article

Joseph A. Petrick and John F. Quinn

The authors propose that international organizational leaders can and should be held accountable for enhancing the intangible strategic asset of integrity capacity in…

Abstract

The authors propose that international organizational leaders can and should be held accountable for enhancing the intangible strategic asset of integrity capacity in order to advance global organisational excellence. After defining integrity capacity and framing it as part of a strategic resource model of sustainable global competitive advantage, the stakeholder costs of integrity capacity neglect are delineated. To address this neglect issue, the authors link the four dimensions of integrity capacity (process, judgment, development and system dimensions) with leadership development challenges, and recommend four management practices to better prepare leaders to be accountable for enhancing integrity capacity as a strategic organizational asset.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article

Philmore Alleyne and Nadini Persaud

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there were differences in students' ethical perceptions based on gender, academic major and religiosity.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there were differences in students' ethical perceptions based on gender, academic major and religiosity.

Design/methodology/approach

A self‐administered survey was conducted of 132 students at a university in Barbados, to determine ethical perceptions on five moral constructs: justice, relativism, utilitarianism, deontology and egoism.

Findings

The study found that females displayed higher ethical values compared to males, non‐accounting students (majoring in management and economics) were more ethical than accounting students, and students who perceived themselves as being religious were more ethical than non‐religious students. Both female accounting and non‐accounting students, as well as religious and non‐religious females, held higher ethical perceptions than their male counterparts.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was small, thus limiting the generalisability of the results to the wider student population.

Practical implications

The results should be useful for educational institutions to implement more ethical courses into the curriculum.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that ethical perceptions are important among undergraduate students, and that there needs to be remedies to improve the low ethical perceptions among accounting students. The paper also contributes to the sparse literature on ethics in the Caribbean.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

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Book part

Sarah Banks

This chapter presents a virtue-based approach to research ethics which both complements and challenges dominant principle- and rule-based ethical codes and governance…

Abstract

This chapter presents a virtue-based approach to research ethics which both complements and challenges dominant principle- and rule-based ethical codes and governance frameworks. Virtues are qualities of character that contribute to human and ecological flourishing, focussing on the dispositions and motivations of moral agents (in this case, researchers) as opposed to simply their actions. The chapter argues for the usefulness of ‘researcher integrity’, in the context of increasing interest internationally in ‘research integrity’ frameworks for regulating research practice. ‘Researcher integrity’ is analysed, including weak and strong versions of the concept (conduct according to current standards, versus reflexive commitment to ideals of what research should be at its best). Researcher integrity in its stronger sense is depicted as an overarching complex virtue, holding together and balancing other virtues such as courage, care, trustworthiness, respectfulness and practical wisdom. Consideration is given to educating researchers and university students as virtuous researchers, rather than simply ensuring that rules are followed and risks minimised. Several approaches are outlined, including Socratic dialogue, to develop attentiveness and respectfulness and participatory theatre to rehearse different responses to ethical challenges in research. Some limitations of virtue ethics are noted, including dangers of reinforcing a culture of blaming researchers for institutional failings, and its potential to be co-opted by those who wish to indoctrinate rather than cultivate virtues. Nevertheless, it is an important counter-weight to current trends that see research ethics as entailing learning sets of rules and how to implement them (to satisfy institutional research governance requirements), rather than processes of critical and responsible reflection.

Details

Virtue Ethics in the Conduct and Governance of Social Science Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-608-2

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Book part

Nicole Palmer and Rachel Forrester-Jones

Training in research ethics in higher education institutions tends to be increasingly focussed on operational instruction and how to navigate review processes. This has…

Abstract

Training in research ethics in higher education institutions tends to be increasingly focussed on operational instruction and how to navigate review processes. This has largely come about as a result of the gradual extension of the ‘medical model’ of prospective ethics review to all research involving human participants over the last few decades. Often devolved to an administrator, the purpose of instruction in research ethics is sometimes reduced to form-filling techniques. While this may serve to facilitate researchers’ compliance with ‘auditable’ regulatory requirements, and to reassure risk-averse universities that they can demonstrate rigorous oversight, it does nothing to skill researchers in assessing the ethical implications of their own research. Mastering the skills to address and mitigate the moral dilemmas that can emerge during a research project involves more than having a pre-determined set of options for research practice. Changing their perception means enabling researchers to view themselves as ethical practitioners within a broader community of researchers. In this chapter we discuss the implementation of a university training programme that has been designed to improve both the moral character, and thus the moral competence of researchers. Using a virtue ethics approach, we employed case studies and discussion, backed up by provision of individualised advice, to help researchers to consider the moral implications of research and to improve their moral decision-making skills. Attendees reported greater engagement with the issues and increased confidence in facing ethical dilemmas in their own research.

Details

Virtue Ethics in the Conduct and Governance of Social Science Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-608-2

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