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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Wessel Reijers and Bert Gordijn

The purpose of this paper is to develop a critique of value sensitive design (VSD) and to propose an alternative approach that does not depart from a heuristic of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a critique of value sensitive design (VSD) and to propose an alternative approach that does not depart from a heuristic of value(s), but from virtue ethics, called virtuous practice design (VPD).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a philosophical argument, draws from a philosophical method (i.e. virtue ethics) and applies this method to a particular case study that draws from a narrative interview.

Findings

In this paper, authors show how an approach that takes virtue instead of value as the central notion for aiming at a design that is sensitive to ethical concerns can be fruitful both in theory and in practice.

Originality/value

This paper presents the first attempt to ground an approach aimed at ethical technology design on the tradition of virtue ethics. As such, it presents VPD as a potentially fruitful alternative to VSD.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Marty J. Wolf, Alexis M. Elder and Gosia Plotka

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

George Gotsis and Katerina Grimani

The purpose of this paper is to provide a functional framework encapsulating a wide range of contributions to the ongoing debate on virtue as a critical dimension of…

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3288

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a functional framework encapsulating a wide range of contributions to the ongoing debate on virtue as a critical dimension of contemporary organizations. In so doing, the authors elaborate and develop an encompassing framework that is in a position to capture the diversity of research in this very field.

Design/methodology/approach

Extant literature on virtue in organizational settings is properly categorized through a taxonomy articulated around the potential foci, as well as loci of virtuous behavior. Virtuousness denotes an ethical attribute of managers, leaders or employees and as such, it may be situated at the micro-individual, meso-organizational or macro-societal level, respectively.

Findings

Based on the potential foci and loci of virtuous behavior, the paper differentiates between virtuous managerial, leaders’ and employees’ attitudes on one hand, and virtuous management and leadership development, as well as virtuous employee training on the other. Furthermore, ethically grounded managerial initiatives and leaders’ responsibilities to further the common good are entwined with endeavors to transform employees into virtuous corporate citizens affirming organizational ethicality.

Practical implications

By identifying both targeted group and level of analysis, organizations can effectively design and implement interventions promoting virtuousness as a valued end in itself.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a framework that can help integrate varying trends on organizational virtuousness that substantially differ in terms of both scope and perspective. In addition, the taxonomy will facilitate both researchers and practitioners to better navigate into the dispersed, and ultimately fragmented streams of literature on the role of virtue in business environments.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 34 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Rick D. Hackett and Gordon Wang

The purpose of this paper is to bring definitional clarity to the term “virtue” as pertinent to the behavioural sciences literatures on leadership; to identify a short and…

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7681

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to bring definitional clarity to the term “virtue” as pertinent to the behavioural sciences literatures on leadership; to identify a short and consolidated list of cardinal virtues commonly associated with leadership effectiveness; to provide a model relating leader virtues to leader outcomes (i.e. ethics, happiness, life satisfaction, and effectiveness); and to propose a program of research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors systematically and comprehensively review Aristotelian and Confucian literatures on virtue ethics, and the literatures on seven leadership styles – i.e. moral, ethical, spiritual, servant, transformational, charismatic, and visionary leadership.

Findings

Six virtues, including four considered cardinal by Aristotle (courage, temperance, justice and prudence), and two considered cardinal by Confucius (humanity, and truthfulness), were common to all seven leadership styles.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers should aim to develop and validate a measure of virtuous leadership based on the six cardinal virtues presented here and also to test both the proposed measurement and structural models.

Practical implications

The authors' recommended program of research will ideally inform development and design of selection and training programs for enhancing virtuous leadership.

Originality/value

The authors provide definitional clarity to the term “virtue” – one that is well grounded in the moral philosophy and virtue ethics literatures; consolidate vast and varied literatures on seven different widely subscribed leadership styles and identify six cardinal virtues most likely to positively impact leadership effectiveness; present an organizing framework, structural model, and research agenda to catalyze research on virtuous leadership.

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Management Decision, vol. 50 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Cam Caldwell, Zuhair Hasan and Sarah Smith

The purpose of this paper is to explain the importance of virtuous leadership and identify six characteristics that are necessary for the modern leader to be effective in…

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2544

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the importance of virtuous leadership and identify six characteristics that are necessary for the modern leader to be effective in an increasingly challenging and competitive world market.

Design/methodology/approach

Theory development.

Findings

The authors suggest that virtuous leaders possess an uncommon level of commitment to those employees whom they serve, to their customers, to their shareholders, and to society at large, the authors extend the concept of the moral continuum and identify the importance of a virtuous perspective in honoring the obligation to optimize wealth creation and enriching outcomes and relationships, and the authors suggest ten propositions about virtuous leadership that may be empirically tested by both scholars and practitioners who are interested in studying and/or applying virtuous leadership to improve relationships and build organizations.

Originality/value

Original article.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Marcel Meyer and Matthias P. Hühn

The purpose of this study is to discuss the advantages and challenges of using virtuous language in business.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to discuss the advantages and challenges of using virtuous language in business.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a theoretical exploration based on a literature review and philosophical analysis that uses a quantitative study from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as its starting point.

Findings

This study argues that neo-Aristotelian leadership and positive leadership explain why companies whose financial filings use value-laden language that stresses the higher purpose of the organisation to outperform companies whose reports use the language of profit maximisation. While neo-Aristotelian leadership is based on Aristotle’s Rhetoric, positive leadership is primarily influenced by research results from Positive Psychology and Positive Organizational Scholarship. The two approaches to leadership highlight something that conventional business research largely ignores, namely, the role of values as drivers of human behavior and the importance of character in leadership. Both research streams indicate that it is possible for organisations to do well and do good because they are seen as groups of value-driven individuals. Thus, using virtuous/positive communication is a possible means to do well financially and to (re-)humanize the business world of tomorrow.

Research limitations/implications

The BHI study investigates the outcomes of written language only; thus, it does not consider oral communication. Moreover, there is no “perfect level” of virtuous language in corporate environments. We should not expect the same precision in ethics as in mathematics.

Practical implications

By way of explaining how to best use virtuous language in a business context, this study helps business practitioners to do good and well.

Social implications

This study offers a pathway to (re-)humanize tomorrow’s world of business, which is once again subjugating humanity to imagined technological imperatives.

Originality/value

By deliberating the benefits and possible downsides of using virtuous language in a business environment, this paper advances a topic that has recently gained considerable attention but is still in need for more research.

Propósito

el propósito de este estudio es discutir las ventajas y desafíos de usar el lenguaje de la virtud en los negocios.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

este artículo es una exploración teórica basada en una revisión de la literatura y análisis filosófico que utiliza un estudio cuantitativo del Boston Consulting Group (BCG) como su punto de partida.

Hallazgos

este estudio sostiene que el liderazgo neo-aristotélico y el liderazgo positivo explican por qué las empresas cuyas declaraciones financieras utilizan un lenguaje cargado de valor que enfatiza el propósito superior de la organización superan a las empresas cuyos informes utilizan el lenguaje de la maximización de beneficios. Mientras el liderazgo neo-aristotélico se basa en la retórica de Aristóteles. El liderazgo positivo es principalmente influenciado por los descubrimientos de la Psicología Positiva y la Teoria Organizacional Positiva. Los dos enfoques del liderazgo destacan algo que la investigación empresarial convencional ignora, a saber, el papel de los valores como impulsores del comportamiento humano y la importancia del carácter en liderazgo. Ambas corrientes de investigación indican que es posible que las organizaciones hagan el bien y que les vaya bien al mismo tiempo, justo porque son vistos como grupos de individuos impulsados por valores. Por lo tanto, usar la comunicación virtuosa / positiva es un medio que permite hacer el bien financieramente hablando y para (re) humanizar el mundo empresarial de mañana.

Limitaciones/implicaciones de la investigación

el estudio BHI investiga los resultados del lenguaje escrito solamente; por tanto, no considera la comunicación oral. Además, no existe un "nivel perfecto" de lenguaje virtuoso en entornos corporativos. No deberíamos esperar la misma precisión en ética que en matemáticas.

Implicaciones prácticas

a modo de explicación de cómo utilizar mejor el lenguaje virtuoso en un contexto empresarial, este estudio ayuda a los empresarios a entender mejor la relación entre hacer el bien y que les vaya bien a sus organizaciones.

Implicaciones sociales

este estudio ofrece un camino para (re)humanizar el mundo empresarial del mañana, que una vez más está sometiendo a la humanidad a imperativos tecnológicos imaginados.

Originalidad/valor

deliberando sobre los beneficios y las posibles desventajas de usar un lenguaje virtuoso en un entorno empresarial, este documento presenta un tema que recientemente ha recibido considerable atención pero que necesita de más investigación.

Objetivo

o objetivo deste estudo é discutir as vantagens e os desafios do uso da linguagem virtuosa nos negócios.

Design/Metodologia/Abordagem

Este artigo é uma exploração teórica baseada em uma revisão da literatura e análise filosófica que usa um estudo quantitativo do Boston Consulting Group (BCG) como ponto de partida.

Descobertas

Este estudo argumenta que a liderança neo-aristotélica e a liderança positiva explicam por que as empresas cujas demonstrações financeiras usam uma linguagem carregada de valor que enfatiza o propósito superior da organização de superar as empresas cujos relatórios usam a linguagem da maximização de benefícios. Enquanto a liderança neo-aristotélica é baseada na retórica de Aristóteles. A liderança positiva é influenciada principalmente pelos resultados da pesquisa da Psicologia Positiva e do Estudo Organizacional Positivo. Ambas as abordagens da liderança destacam algo que a pesquisa convencional de negócios ignora, a saber, o papel dos valores como motores do comportamento humano e a importância do caráter na liderança. Ambos os fluxos de pesquisa indicam que é possível que as organizações façam bem e que façam bem porque são vistas como grupos de indivíduos movidos por valores. Portanto, usar a comunicação virtuosa / positiva é um meio de fazer o bem financeiramente e (re) humanizar o mundo dos negócios do amanhã.

Limitações/implicaçõesda pesquisa

O estudo BHI investiga apenas resultados de linguagem escrita; portanto, não considera a comunicação oral. Além disso, não existe um "nível perfeito" de linguagem virtuosa em ambientes corporativos. Não devemos esperar a mesma precisão na ética que na matemática.

Implicações práticas

Por meio da explicação de como usar da melhor forma a linguagem virtuosa em um contexto de negócios, este estudo ajuda os empreendedores a fazer o bem e melhor.

Implicações Sociais

Este estudo oferece um caminho para (re) humanizar o mundo empresarial do amanhã, que mais uma vez está submetendo a humanidade a imperativos tecnológicos imaginários.

Originalidade/valor

deliberando sobre os benefícios e as desvantagens potenciais do uso de linguagem virtuosa em um ambiente de negócios, este artigo apresenta um tópico que recentemente recebeu atenção considerável, mas precisa de mais pesquisas.

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Lizabeth A. Barclay, Karen S. Markel and Jennifer E. Yugo

This research aims to apply virtue theory to the under‐employment problem of persons with disabilities (PWD). Historically, PWD have been under‐employed within society and…

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3133

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to apply virtue theory to the under‐employment problem of persons with disabilities (PWD). Historically, PWD have been under‐employed within society and discriminated against in the workplace. The authors review virtue theory research and illustrate how it can be used to better support the meaningful employment of PWD.

Design/methodology/approach

This research reviews the current literature in the areas of virtue theory and the employment challenges of PWD to create a new framework that can assist in the integration of PWD into the workplace.

Findings

Literature on the employment of PWD indicates that significant differences exist in the employment experiences between PWD and persons without disabilities (PWOD). Problems such as stigmatization impede the integration of PWD into the work environment. The review of the virtue theory literature supports the development of a new framework that provides additional ways to address this ongoing problem.

Practical implications

This paper suggests human resource management practices that virtuous organizations could use to address the problem of the under‐employment and stigmatization of PWD.

Originality/value

No research currently applies virtue theory to the under‐employment problem of persons with disabilities.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2018

Helen Brown Coverdale

The chapter reflects on the strengths and limitations of David Carpenter’s proposal to support the work of research ethics committees through consideration of the virtues…

Abstract

The chapter reflects on the strengths and limitations of David Carpenter’s proposal to support the work of research ethics committees through consideration of the virtues required by their members. Carpenter’s approach has many strengths, responsibilising researchers and ethics committees, and increasing the scope for robust and active theoretical engagement with ethical issues. I bring two alternative perspectives on research ethics to bear on this discussion. First, I discuss work in care ethics and relational ethics, approaches to ethics that have some similarities with virtue ethics but also distinct differences. Bruce Macfarlane’s text, on which Carpenter draws, notes care ethics briefly. I offer a more detailed consideration of what this perspective can offer, both for research ethics and for the virtuous research ethics committee. This helps to identify the relationships that are missing from a virtue ethics focus. Further, a context sensitive relational approach suggests ways in which we can strengthen Carpenter’s proposals to help research ethics committees select between competing principles or virtues. Second, my research ethics expertise is in undergraduate teaching for a multidisciplinary course, and an enquiry-based learning programme, which allows students in mixed discipline groups to plan, conduct, report and present their own original social research. The research skills training provided includes an interactive introduction to research ethics, what they are for and why they matter. Since we aim to offer practical guidance to research ethics committees when they consider what they should do and how this should be done, such a first principles approach may be useful.

Details

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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1108

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.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 February 2020

Martijn Hendriks, Martijn Burger, Antoinette Rijsenbilt, Emma Pleeging and Harry Commandeur

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a supervisor’s virtuous leadership as perceived by subordinates influences subordinates’ work-related well-being and to examine…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a supervisor’s virtuous leadership as perceived by subordinates influences subordinates’ work-related well-being and to examine the mediating role of trust in the leader and the moderating roles of individual leader virtues and various characteristics of subordinates and organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted through Prolific among a self-selected sample of 1,237 employees who worked with an immediate supervisor across various industries in primarily the UK and the USA. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical results indicate that an immediate supervisor’s virtuous leadership as evaluated by the subordinate positively influences all three considered dimensions of work-related well-being – job satisfaction, work-related affect and work engagement – for a wide variety of employees in different industries and countries. A subordinate’s greater trust in the supervisor fully mediates this positive influence for job satisfaction and work engagement and partially for work-related affect. All five individual core leader virtues – prudence, temperance, justice, courage and humanity – positively influence work-related well-being.

Practical implications

The findings underscore that promoting virtuous leadership is a promising pathway for improved employee well-being, which may ultimately benefit individual and organizational performance.

Originality/value

Despite an age-old interest in leader virtues, the lack of consensus on the defining elements of virtuous leadership has limited the understanding of its consequences. Building on recent advances in the conceptualization and measurement of virtuous leadership and leader character, this paper addresses this void by exploring how virtuous leadership relates to employees’ well-being and trust.

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