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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

Peter Bowden

This paper explores the question of whether the identification of many wrongdoings in an organisation requires knowledge of the technical and operating mechanisms of that…

Abstract

This paper explores the question of whether the identification of many wrongdoings in an organisation requires knowledge of the technical and operating mechanisms of that organisation. If such is the case, many ethical problems cannot be resolved by a generalist. They must be left to people with knowledge of that industry. In attempting to answer the question, the paper examines 11 different types of organisations. It then asks how the ethical issues in those organisations might be resolved. The organisations are veterinarians, pharmacies, media companies, engineering firms, doctors, general businesses, including two sub disciplines, marketing and accounting organisations, nursing institutions, political parties, scientific research organisations, legal firms and information technology companies. Each can be a small professional company, locally based, or a large organisation, possibly international. Each exhibits one or more ethical problems that are not easily resolved by accepted ethical theory. Accepted theory, as further defined in the text, is the mainline ethical theories that would be core components of most ethics texts or courses. The question arises then on how would ethics be taught if the ethical issues require specialised knowledge of that industry sector. After examining the 11 industries, the paper puts forth two views. One is that a number of wrongs can be identified in industries and organisations where the ethical problems are complex and difficult to resolve, and where the standard ethical theories are of little or no help. Resolving these issues requires action from the organisation, or from the industry association encompassing all companies within that sector. A further complication has developed in the near explosive growth in whistleblower protection systems. These systems, now introduced in close to 30 countries around the world, have their own lists of wrongdoings for which the whistleblower will receive administrative and legal support. These lists of wrongs are distinct from any moral theory One conclusion to be drawn is that new methods possibly need to be found for teaching the identification and resolution of ethical issues. A second is a consequence of the first – that the teacher of ethics in these courses has to be drawn from within the industry. Further questions then arise: One is whether this demand then requires that this industry specialist learn moral theory? A second is then how would generalist applied ethics causes be taught (in humanities departments for instance)? Alternate viewpoints on joint teaching by a moral specialist and an industry specialist have been put forward. The paper puts forward one possible approach for the industry courses – that the industry specialist has to present the course, with new methods and content, but that a theoretical content is taught by someone knowledgeable in ethical theory. For generalist courses, the moral theorist has to include a sufficiently wide sample of industry and organisational ethical issues to ensure that students are aware of the wide range of ethical concerns that can arise, as well as approaches to resolving them.

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The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-446-1

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Achieving Ethical Excellence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-245-6

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2012

Peter Bowden's background is in institutional strengthening. Formerly Professor of Administrative Studies at the University of Manchester, he has been Advisor and…

Abstract

Peter Bowden's background is in institutional strengthening. Formerly Professor of Administrative Studies at the University of Manchester, he has been Advisor and Consultant to a number of international agencies including the World Bank and the United Nations. He has, since 2003, used this background in teaching and research on ethical practices. Currently Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy and Lecturer in Ethics in the Faculty of Engineering, at the University of Sydney, he is also Secretary to the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics. His edited book, Applied Ethics, is to come out by mid-2012.

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Applied Ethics: Remembering Patrick Primeaux
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-989-9

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Book part
Publication date: 11 December 2004

Gregory Clark

The paper constructs an annual price series for English net agricultural output in the years 1209–1914 using 26 component series: wheat, barley, oats, rye, peas, beans…

Abstract

The paper constructs an annual price series for English net agricultural output in the years 1209–1914 using 26 component series: wheat, barley, oats, rye, peas, beans, potatoes, hops, straw, mustard seed, saffron, hay, beef, mutton, pork, bacon, tallow, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, wool, firewood, timber, cider, and honey. I also construct sub-series for arable, pasture and wood products. The main innovation is in using a consistent method to form series from existing published sources. But fresh archival data is also incorporated. The implications of the movements of these series for agrarian history are explored.

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Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-282-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1986

Peter Bowden

Problem‐oriented training (POT) requires considerable skill from a trainer with wide experience in identifying the optimum training approaches for resolving management…

Abstract

Problem‐oriented training (POT) requires considerable skill from a trainer with wide experience in identifying the optimum training approaches for resolving management issues and the ability to convince managers throughout the organisation that improvement and change are feasible. It draws on the collective goodwill and enthusiasm that a competent trainer can generate. Examples of the use of POT in telecommunications, a government agency and by an aerospace contractor are given.

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Journal of Management Development, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 23 June 2020

Andrew Ssemwanga and Enakshi Sengupta

The early twenty-first century saw a rise in corporate scandals with Enron and WorldCom grabbing the newspaper headlines. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools in…

Abstract

The early twenty-first century saw a rise in corporate scandals with Enron and WorldCom grabbing the newspaper headlines. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools in Business realized the significance of imparting education in ethics mainly to the students studying business management and thus a task force was established to examine and report on the current status of ethics education in business schools (Waples, Antes, Murphy, Connelly, & Mumford, 2009). The task force published a report that strongly advocated a course in business ethics that will help business management students cope with ethical dilemmas in their decision-making process. In Eastern Africa, Business Ethics as a subject of teaching and research has expanded at a significant level mainly in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. This chapter presents an evaluation and critical discussion of current business ethics education in St Lawrence University in Uganda. The chapter will discuss issues related to teaching business ethics in an African context and the relevance of the subject to the current students enrolled in business courses and how it can contribute to promoting social responsibility through higher education.

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Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Curriculum and Teaching Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-464-4

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2012

Peter Bowden

This chapter explores the question of harm to others, either inflicting it or alleviating it, and whether it is the overriding determinant of ethical conduct. The purpose…

Abstract

This chapter explores the question of harm to others, either inflicting it or alleviating it, and whether it is the overriding determinant of ethical conduct. The purpose behind this exploration lies in the benefits that a dominant measure, or perhaps even a single measure, could bring to ethical behaviour in our companies and government agencies. A single measure bypasses the multiplicity of competing and conflicting ethical theories on what constitutes ethical or unethical behaviour.

The chapter points out the problems arising from the conflicting moral theories, and the benefits that would arise for ordinary people if we could simplify the process. It then documents those moral philosophers who assign a high ethical priority to avoiding the harming of others, or redressing harm already incurred.

One problem is that harm can be defined widely. The possibilities of harm in the future, of offending others, or failing to respect others are examples. We also frequently face a choice between two harms. Numerous examples include business or government decisions which will be of advantage to one party, but of disadvantage to another. Analytical techniques to help make these choices are of limited applicability.

Helping others is part of the harm scenario, for we almost invariably help them overcome some possible or actual harm they are facing. But such thinking is normally considered as an altruistic act, not avoiding harm. A more universal approach is a three-part guideline ‘do-no-harm/correct for or prevent harm/do good’.

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Applied Ethics: Remembering Patrick Primeaux
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-989-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Abbas El‐Zein, David Airey, Peter Bowden and Henriikka Clarkeburn

The aim of this paper is to explore the rationale for teaching sustainability and engineering ethics within a decision‐making paradigm, and critically appraise ways of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore the rationale for teaching sustainability and engineering ethics within a decision‐making paradigm, and critically appraise ways of achieving related learning outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents the experience of the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney in teaching environmental sustainability and engineering ethics to third‐year undergraduate students. It discusses the objectives of the course and the merits and drawbacks of incorporating ethics and sustainability in the same teaching framework. In addition, it evaluates ways of incorporating theoretical and applied perspectives on sustainability.

Findings

Ethics and sustainability overlap but do not coincide; incorporating them in the same engineering course can be effective, provided that points of linkage are clearly recognized in the syllabus, a suitable combination of theory and practical applications is drawn upon and adequate teaching methods, including decision‐making case problems, are used.

Research limitations/implications

While environmental sustainability, economic rationality and ethical reasoning can be easily fitted into the syllabus, social sustainability is more difficult to teach because it requires a significant conceptual departure from deep‐seated preconceptions on the part of students and teachers, and does not lend itself easily to conventional classroom activity, such as lectures and weekly workshops. Further research on effective ways of incorporating social sustainability in engineering curricula is therefore needed.

Originality/value

The paper evaluates sustainability issues within the context of civil engineering education.

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International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

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The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-446-1

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2012

Michael Schwartz and Howard Harris

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Applied Ethics: Remembering Patrick Primeaux
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-989-9

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