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Book part
Publication date: 30 April 2019

S. J. Oswald A. J. Mascarenhas

In the wake of the extraordinary financial scandals that both preceded and followed the September–October Financial Crises of 2008, discussions about the executive virtues

Abstract

Executive Summary

In the wake of the extraordinary financial scandals that both preceded and followed the September–October Financial Crises of 2008, discussions about the executive virtues of honesty and integrity are no longer academic or esoteric, but critically urgent and challenging. As representatives of the corporation, its products and services, corporate executives in general, and production, accounting, finance, and marketing executives in particular, must be the frontline public relations and goodwill ambassadors for their firms, products, and services. As academicians of business education, we must also analyze these corporate wrongdoings as objectively and ethically as possible. What is wrong must be declared and condemned as wrong, what is right must be affirmed and acknowledged as right. We owe it to our students, our profession, our stakeholders, and to the business world. Contemporary American philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre (1981) proposes the issue of morality in a threefold question: Who am I? Who ought I to become? How ought I to get there? The answer to every question refers to the virtues, especially to corporate executive virtues. This chapter explores corporate executive virtues, especially the classical cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice as defining and enhancing corporate executive life.

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Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-192-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Viviane M.J. Robinson

While in agreement with the broad coherentist approach of Evers and Lakomski, the position taken here is that coherentism, in itself, does not provide a sufficiently…

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Abstract

While in agreement with the broad coherentist approach of Evers and Lakomski, the position taken here is that coherentism, in itself, does not provide a sufficiently developed normative framework to underpin an ethics of educational administration. The coherentist approach to ethics is that the requirements of survival and social problem solving ensure the development of neurally‐based moral prototypes. Following writers such as Clark and Flanagan, argues that the normative resources of coherentism should be enriched by sententially expressed normative standards, and that the approach to such standards taken by virtue ethicists is fruitful. Virtue ethicists reject a rule‐based approach to morality and embrace the idea of moral prototypes. This is consistent with a naturalised epistemology, including the learning of ethical administrative practice.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1994

Edmund D. Pellegrino and Richard A. Gray

A species of moral malaise afflicts the professions today, a malaise that may prove fatal to their moral identities and perilous to our whole society. It is manifest in a…

Abstract

A species of moral malaise afflicts the professions today, a malaise that may prove fatal to their moral identities and perilous to our whole society. It is manifest in a growing conviction even among conscientious doctors, lawyers, and ministers that it is no longer possible to practice their professions within traditional ethical constraints. More specifically, the belief is taking hold that unless professionals look out for their own self‐interest, they will be crushed by commercialization, competition, government regulation, malpractice actions, advertising, public and media hostility, and a host of other inimical socio‐economic forces. This line of reasoning leads the professional to infer that self‐interest justifies compromises in, and even rejection of, obligations that standards of professional ethics have traditionally imposed.

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Reference Services Review, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2018

Nathan Emmerich

This chapter questions the way virtue ethics is being drawn into debates about the ethics of social research. In particular, it suggests that discussion of virtue may be…

Abstract

This chapter questions the way virtue ethics is being drawn into debates about the ethics of social research. In particular, it suggests that discussion of virtue may be motivated by a desire to counter existing, largely principlist, approaches to the ethics of research and its associated administrative structures; virtue ethics has a prima facie appeal for those who are seemingly in need of an alternative moral philosophy. In addition, I argue that, as it stands, the complexity of virtue theory is not fully reflected in, or acknowledged by, debates about the ethics of social research. In the light of these remarks I suggest that the resources of social research can be drawn upon to generate critical theoretical insights into the ethics of social research. I discuss how a normative understanding of practices, and the concept of synderesis understood in a broadly Bourdieuan framework, could provide a starting point for such critical insights. I conclude that this perspective might be taken to suggest that the ethical stance most appropriate to the culture of social research is one of ongoing critical engagement.

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

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

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Mohar Yusof, Leilanie Mohd Nor and James Edward Hoopes

The purpose of this paper is to postulate, in addition to “moral” and “strategic” considerations, a third general standard for corporate social responsibility (CSR). That…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to postulate, in addition to “moral” and “strategic” considerations, a third general standard for corporate social responsibility (CSR). That third approach is what moral philosophers call “virtue ethics.”

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a single organization case study of a Malaysian publisher to put forward the practice of virtuous CSR based on Islamic values and principles in a family business.

Findings

By focussing on creating or maintaining virtuous habits in the family and the firm, the family business has avoided the equally unrealistic notions that CSR must be entirely selfless or entirely strategic to be legitimate. Virtues that foster a successful strategy such as vision and competence can be enhanced rather than hindered by virtues such as integrity and generosity.

Research limitations/implications

This is a case study of a single family. Nevertheless, this paper has implications for strategy and CSR for non-family business as well because it brings into the discussion virtue ethics which is largely absent from popular ethical discourse in the West, including popular discourse about business ethics and CSR.

Practical implications

While moral and strategic interests merit consideration, virtue is often the most important concern of all. Virtuous CSR aims to improve or at least preserve the character and the soul of the family and its enterprise.

Originality/value

This paper shows that in family business moral freedom and CSR do not have to be purchased at the expense of an effective business strategy. Paradoxically, an effective business strategy may be partly non-strategic and partly non-business – i.e. partly focussed on virtue. Further research may show that family business can be a leader in CSR, teaching managerial techniques to non-family business.

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Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2021

Bastiaan Vanacker

This paper aims to propose an ethical approach best suited to dealing with the issues of digital ethics in general and internet research ethics in particular.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose an ethical approach best suited to dealing with the issues of digital ethics in general and internet research ethics in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

This article engages with the existing literature on virtue ethics, situationism and digital (research) ethics.

Findings

A virtue-based casuistic method could be well-suited to deal with issues relating to digital ethics in general and internet research ethics in particular as long as it can take place in communities with shared practices and traditions.

Originality/value

These insights could add and further deepen the rich debate about research ethics that is already ongoing within the internet research community.

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Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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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.

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

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Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2018

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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

Edmund D. Pellegrino and Richard A. Gray

Is there a sound philosophical foundation in the nature of professional activity for resolving the tension between altruism and self‐interest in favor of virtue and…

Abstract

Is there a sound philosophical foundation in the nature of professional activity for resolving the tension between altruism and self‐interest in favor of virtue and character? I believe there is, and I ground my proposal in six characteristics of the relationship of professionals to those who seek their help. Considered individually, none of these phenomena is unique in kind or degree. They may exist individually in other human relationships and occupations. But as a moral cluster they are, in fact, unique; they generate a kind of “internal morality”—a grounding for the ethics of the professions that is in some way impervious to vacillations in philosophical fashions, as well as social, economic, or political change. This internal morality explains why the ethics of medicine, for example, remained until two decades ago firmly rooted in the ethics of character and virtue, as were the ethics of the Hippocratic and Stoic schools. It is found in the seminal texts of Moslem, Jewish, and Christian medical moralists. It persisted in the eighteenth century in the writings of John Gregory, Thomas Percival, and Samuel Bard, who, although cognizant of the philosophies of Hobbes, Adam Smith, and Hume, nonetheless maintained the traditional dedication of the profession to the welfare of the patient and to a certain set of values. Only in the last two decades has there been—to use Hume's terms—a “sentiment of approbation” regarding self‐interest.

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Reference Services Review, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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