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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Göran Svensson and Greg Wood

The objective of this research is to develop and describe a conceptual framework of corporate ethics in total quality management (TQM).

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Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this research is to develop and describe a conceptual framework of corporate ethics in total quality management (TQM).

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a summarised in‐depth and longitudinal case illustration. The summarised case describes corporate ethics in an intra‐corporate relationship.

Findings

TQM requires human resources and failing to care for them will affect accordingly the success of TQM. The case description illustrates the evolution of management versus employee expectations and perceptions of corporate ethics. It has an emphasis on the human resources of a company that strives towards TQM. As the quality of corporate ethics decreases the outcome of TQM is also affected (i.e. directly or indirectly). The case is initialised in an atmosphere of management and employee optimism and positivism of corporate ethics, which is a requisite from both parties in order to ensure prosperous TQM. The successive change towards pessimism and negativism of corporate ethics in the intra‐corporate relationship concludes the in‐depth case description.

Research limitations/implications

Four parameters of corporate ethics are used to incorporate corporate ethics into TQM, namely management versus employee expectations and perceptions. Internal corporate quality management should always be regarded as dependent upon the achieved equilibrium between management and employee perceptions. It is also dependent upon the derived equilibrium between management and employee previous expectations.

Practical implications

An important insight of this research is that TQM requires the continuous attention to the management versus employee expectations and perceptions inherent in corporate ethics of internal business operations. Furthermore, corporate ethics is complementary to business ethics.

Originality/value

The case description has shown that TQM may be running well and accomplishing the hard goals. However, TQM is not only about figures, profits and costs. It is also a business approach that should penetrate all activities inside and outside that are related to the company, including the soft issues.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2007

Jong‐Woon Lee and Sangbok Ree

Author considered the contradiction of Capitalism and its Solution, systemized the concept to newly define Ethics Management and social Responsibility whose various…

Abstract

Author considered the contradiction of Capitalism and its Solution, systemized the concept to newly define Ethics Management and social Responsibility whose various terminologies are used in Domestic and foreign country and compared, analyzed and considered global guideline, standard organization and global Evaluation Model of internationally‐performed Ethics Management on the basis of the concept of new Ethics Management.

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Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1983

Robert Kreitner

Considering the highly publicised ethical crisis in public and private administration recently, the flurry of management‐oriented articles on ethics is an encouraging…

Abstract

Considering the highly publicised ethical crisis in public and private administration recently, the flurry of management‐oriented articles on ethics is an encouraging sign. But in their rush to recommend solutions, management theorists have gone off in many different directions. For example, while using the term business ethics, Owens has called for written codes of ethics enforced by appropriate sanctions. Boling, meanwhile, preferring the term management ethics, has suggested democratically developed codes of ethics to reduce emphasis on policing. Finally, Payne has deplored the lack of substantive behavioural research in the area he labels organisation ethics. This somewhat confusing array of terminology aside for a moment, an important remedial option has been ignored or overlook‐ed in these and related treatments. Namely, in the face of encouraging testimonial evidence that business ethics instruction works, the business management classroom affords an excellent opportunity to begin redressing the ethics crisis. Moreover, formal business ethics instruction can help reestablish the administrative importance of such ethically‐grounded values as idealism, compassion, and generosity that researchers have found to be seriously atrophied among business school seniors.

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Journal of Management Development, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Alexandra E. MacDougall, Zhanna Bagdasarov, James F. Johnson and Michael D. Mumford

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless…

Abstract

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless, ethical breaches continue to permeate corporate life, suggesting that there is something missing from how we conceptualize and institutionalize organizational ethics. The current effort seeks to fill this void in two ways. First, we introduce an extended ethical framework premised on sensemaking in organizations. Within this framework, we suggest that multiple individual, organizational, and societal factors may differentially influence the ethical sensemaking process. Second, we contend that human resource management plays a central role in sustaining workplace ethics and explore the strategies through which human resource personnel can work to foster an ethical culture and spearhead ethics initiatives. Future research directions applicable to scholars in both the ethics and human resources domains are provided.

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Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Gawon Yun, Maling Ebrahimpour, Prabir Bandyopadhyay and Barbara Withers

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a corporate ethical policy, such as a code of ethics, on the unethical behavior of internal and vendor employees in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a corporate ethical policy, such as a code of ethics, on the unethical behavior of internal and vendor employees in the supply chain in India. It also aims to find whether International Standards Organization (ISO) certification of vendors affects the result and any significant relationship between management commitment and unethical behavior can be supported by the findings as well.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical analyses were conducted on a survey consisting of 43 questions comprising 181 valid responses. Multiple regression analysis that includes four independent variables – code of ethics, management commitment, supply chain principles and personal values taking unethical behavior as dependent variable – was used to find the significance of the relationship.

Findings

The implementation of a code of ethics, management commitment, supply chain principles and personal values all have a negative association with unethical behavior. Personal values, measuring a firm’s financial aspects for non-compliance to ethical behavior, have a positive association with unethical behavior. The relationships of top management commitment, personal values with internal employees’ unethical behavior are significant. The significant relationship between management commitment and unethical behavior can be supported by the findings as well. It was also found that ISO certificates and firm size as the control variables did not have any effect on the relationship between the independent variables and unethical behavior. The analysis also shows that ISO 26000 certificate, the international standard for socially responsible operations, does not impact this relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Measuring substantial managerial effort for corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices by asking questions like, “how committed employees think top management is to social responsibility,” may not fully measure substantial managerial effort for CSR practices. To improve the results of the current study, future research can use the CSR index or disclosure as a measure to better reflect management commitment and practice for social responsibility. Second, the current study is limited to measuring how many occurrences of unethical behavior are witnessed by employees instead of what specific unethical behavior is more often witnessed. Considering India has the second largest population in the world, 181 responses may not represent the true practices in the business environment in India for generalization.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that management should put more of an emphasis on improving the commitment of upper-level managers to decrease the overall unethical practices of their employees. The study finds that employees’ personal values influence their ethical behavior. Therefore, communications and training of employees at all levels should emphasis on improving personal values.

Social implications

Businesses should influence academics to incorporate personal value building in course curricula. The Indian CSR law should incorporate the holistic view of CSR taking care of needs of all stakeholders under the provision of the regulation. In 2015, India became the first country in the world to legislate CSR practices in corporations but it misses the opportunity to sensitize the management and employees on ethical practices as it mainly identified philanthropic expenses as mandatory CSR spending and silent on ethical business practices.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to the literature by bringing supply chain context to the effect of different factors on unethical behaviors and interaction of internal and vendor firms in terms of ethical practices. There are several studies on business ethics in different countries including China, but in the case of India similar studies are not much. The present study fills the gap.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Raminta Pučėtaitė, Anna‐Maija Lämsä and Aurelija Novelskaitė

The purpose of the paper is to explore the interrelations between organizational trust and ethics management tools as well as ethical organizational practices in a…

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2727

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to explore the interrelations between organizational trust and ethics management tools as well as ethical organizational practices in a post‐socialist context.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework of the interrelations among organizational trust, ethics management tools and ethical organizational practices is reasoned and the interrelations among the variables are explored using quantitative methods of data analysis. The method of data gathering is a questionnaire survey that was carried out in Lithuania which is taken as an example of a post‐socialist society where trust is rather low. In total, answers from 519 respondents were collected.

Findings

The empirical findings confirm the interdependence of the variables. A significant dependence of organizational trust on ethical organizational practices has been established.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings imply that ethics management tools just weakly predict emergence of organizational trust in the organizations operating in a post‐socialist context. Rather, organizational practices which integrate ethical principles are considerably more important to building organizational trust. This is a peculiarity of a post‐socialist context where people were used to the relativity of the declared values and ideas, therefore, tend to search for evidence of value realization in practice. However, since post‐socialist societies differ in their socio‐historical past, this claim is not a generalization.

Practical implications

The paper provides managerial implications how to advance organizational trust in a post‐socialist context.

Originality/value

The research paper provides empirical evidence on the interrelations among organizational trust, ethics management tools and ethical organizational practices, which is scarce in the existing literature on organizational trust. In particular, neither the interrelation between ethics management tools and organizational trust nor a combined effect of ethics management tools and ethical organizational practices on organizational trust has been empirically tested. Thus, the paper fills in this gap in the related literature.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2007

Mark Schwartz

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current gap between the subjects of business ethics and pre‐1960 management theory.

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23616

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current gap between the subjects of business ethics and pre‐1960 management theory.

Design/methodology/approach

In an attempt to achieve the objective of the paper, the business ethics content of three leading management theorists during the first half of the 1900s is examined: Frederick Taylor; Chester Barnard; and Peter Drucker.

Findings

The paper concludes that there are significant business ethics content as well as ethical implications in the writings of each of the three management theorists.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis focused on only three, albeit significant, management theorists. A more complete discussion would have included other important management theorists as well.

Practical implications

The analysis suggests that management theory should not be taught without discussing both the business ethics implications and the business ethics content inherent in the theory. In addition, failure on the part of business ethics academics to understand early management theory, the ethical ramifications of such theory, and the business ethics issues explicitly discussed by leading management theorists, may lead to teaching and research in a subject without a proper theoretical foundation.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to address a gap in management literature by demonstrating some of the linkages between business ethics and business management thought, and thereby be of value to management theorists as well as business ethicists in their teaching and research efforts.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Yves-Rose Porcena, K. Praveen Parboteeah and Neal P. Mero

Empirical evidence concerning the relationship between diversity and firm performance continues to produce mixed results that are context-dependent (Guillaume et al.

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1482

Abstract

Purpose

Empirical evidence concerning the relationship between diversity and firm performance continues to produce mixed results that are context-dependent (Guillaume et al., 2017). Additionally, little is known about the relationship between workplace diversity management and corporate ethics and whether diversity management is a contextual factor to consider in ethics research. This study assesses whether diversity management's contributions to firm performance are maximized through its effects on the firm's ethical processes. This paper examines three manifestations of diversity management (diversity recruitment, diversity staffing, and valuing diversity) and their relationship with firm performance as mediated by internal and external ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a sample from the Fortune 500 list of companies. The variables were constructed using several relevant indicators and applied to archival data collected from corporations' websites. The hypotheses on the relationship among diversity management, corporate ethics, and firm performance were tested using regression from the data gathered on 109 firms.

Findings

The analysis indicated that diversity management relates to both aspects of corporate ethics (internal and external ethics) but that only external ethics relate to firm performance. Results also found that external ethics partially mediate the relationship between diversity management and firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

There are limitations to using corporate websites as sources of data. Furthermore, the research design assumed that diversity is an antecedent of ethics. Nevertheless, the findings convincingly demonstrate that diversity management has a strong positive relationship with both aspects of corporate ethics. Recommendations for further research are offered.

Practical implications

The paper shows the value of diversity management and its impact on corporate ethics. Knowing that diversity management efforts contribute positively beyond their intended purpose may encourage managers to continue or implement such efforts, which could lead to more diverse and ethical workplaces and increased firm performance.

Originality/value

The paper addresses critical gaps in research and responds to repeated calls for studies integrating the business case for workplace diversity with its moral imperative (Alder and Gilbert, 2006; van Dijk et al., 2012; Yang and Konrad, 2011). The paper also provides evidence of a link from diversity management to firm performance through external ethics.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Mehran C. Ferdowsian

The purpose of this paper is to identify and address the underlying causes of costly quality/ethical problems that have prevented companies to achieve and sustain…

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3338

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and address the underlying causes of costly quality/ethical problems that have prevented companies to achieve and sustain excellence. More broadly, the study has leveraged data from multiple sources to determine root-cause issues and propose a new management model that enables leadership to prevent and effectively address quality/ethical problems by operationalizing excellence. For the purpose of this research, operationalization is defined in terms of developing a sustained culture of excellence and enabling a firm to systematically prevent, detect, and address costly problems in their daily operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study has defined the concept of excellence in terms of measurable results based on ten critical success factors: products, financials, stakeholders, employees, leadership, societal, operational, innovation, alignment, and ethical excellence. To identify and address the underlying causes, this study has used a spiral research model to develop and improve an assessment process for the consistent examination of three types of firms: national quality award recipients, successful and responsible Fortune-500 companies, and landmark ethical violators. Findings from case studies were then substantiated using results from current research studies and conclusions from over 20 years of international field work/experience.

Findings

To operationalize excellence, this study found that organizations need to develop a foundation for two tightly coupled and inseparable variables: ethics, excellence. Case studies show when these two variables are inadequately planned, integrated, checked, and enforced across business operations, they cause serious and costly problems. This foundation enables a firm to maximize performance, the return on investment, and to sustain performance in each of these critical success factors (CSFs) using the following interconnected building blocks of excellence: grander purpose, measurable results, effective collaboration, leadership development, individual development, continuous alignment, continuous innovation, ethics management, and ethics foundation.

Research limitations/implications

The application of the assessment instrument proved to be complex due to the difficulties of transforming conjecture into certainty using existing online corporate records (e.g. understanding true leadership intention). Findings of this study are applicable to any industry and type and size company. The building blocks of this new management model should not be developed and implemented in an isolated, standalone, or piecemeal manner; nor should they be forced onto an organization as a new program. For best results, each building block needs to be implemented as an interconnected component of a complete and total system of management and infused into the fabric of the culture as a normal part of the daily operations.

Originality/value

Total business excellence is a proposed new management model for operationalizing excellence. This new model serves three major purposes. First, it enables an enterprise to responsibly deliver a continuous flow of innovative and competitive products as defined and measured by ten CSFs. Second, it enables management to prevent costly quality/ethical problems by developing a unified and responsible strategy for planning, execution, and quality. Most importantly, it provides a missing platform of opportunity where individuals can incrementally grow and develop as they add meaningful personal, professional, and societal value.

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Lu-Ming Tseng and Chi-Erh Chung

It was common for newcomers to organizations to feel anxiety and uncertainty. Yet, gaining the newcomers’ trust may contribute to solving these problems. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

It was common for newcomers to organizations to feel anxiety and uncertainty. Yet, gaining the newcomers’ trust may contribute to solving these problems. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impacts of explicit ethics institutionalization and management accountability on newcomer trust in manager and company.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of novice salespeople in the life insurance companies in Taiwan was used to investigate the relationships among the constructs.

Findings

It was found that newcomers’ recognition of explicit ethics institutionalization was positively associated with the newcomers’ perception of management accountability, and the perception was positively related to trust in manager and company.

Practical implications

Explicit ethics institutionalization and management accountability could play an important role in enhancing newcomer trust. Thus, it was suggested that researchers and managers should focus on these issues and considered how explicit ethics institutionalization and management accountability could be enhanced in the workplace.

Originality/value

Newcomer distrust may lead to newcomer job dissatisfaction and newcomer turnover behaviors. This research examines the mediating role of management accountability in the relationship between explicit ethics institutionalization and newcomer trust.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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