The purpose of this paper is to highlight the parallels between the ethical concept of moral imagination and the psychoanalytical concept of active imagination. A model…
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the parallels between the ethical concept of moral imagination and the psychoanalytical concept of active imagination. A model combining both concepts is then proposed and discussed. The paper argues that such synthesis is necessary to understand the process of moral deliberation, as well as to foster more consistent moral choices in organisations.
The paper is conceptual, and builds upon relevant literature from the field of business ethics and analytical psychology.
Imagination is a thoroughly ambivalent concept, which can be used to pursue moral as well as immoral goals. Moral imagination is an important element influencing decision making, but its quality depends on the state of balance of the psyche. A sound and effective moral imagination must be grounded in a healthy psyche, and needs the assistance of active imagination (or other similar activities) to achieve this. Such inner work is especially necessary for leaders to clarify their moral values and capabilities.
The Active and Moral Imagination (AMI) model proposed has not been empirically tested; therefore its implications are tentative at this stage. The paper does not discuss in detail other psychological activities which may be complementary to active imagination.
Managers and leaders should reflect on their own unconscious, so as to understand the deeper mechanisms influencing their decisions and behaviours.
The paper presents an interdisciplinary approach to the role of imagination in ethics.
An increasingly popular argument proposes that the problems inpublic schooling may be solved through stronger, more morallyimaginative leadership. School administrators…
An increasingly popular argument proposes that the problems in public schooling may be solved through stronger, more morally imaginative leadership. School administrators ought to set forth a vision growing out of this moral responsibility, and may be trained to utilise moral imagination in directing teachers and students towards certain moral visions. A critique of the argument is presented and alternative (and conflicting) meanings of “moral imagination” surveyed. Four models of moral imagination are located: as discovery; as moral authority; as faculty of mind, and as super science. It is argued that each of these conceptions has inherent difficulties. The logical relationship of these views is explored. The notion of “school leadership” is traced in the literature as it has been attached to “moral imagination”. The work of W. Greenfield is examined and a philosophy of school administration, with certain assumptions, regarding values and authority, that reveal key difficulties for the unfettered use of “moral imagination” in school administration, is found. It is concluded that “moral imagination” ought to be replaced with “critical imagination”, coupled with “democratic value deliberation” and by so doing a richer leadership will result, leading to the empowerment of teachers and a fuller serving of the public good.
Moral agents have moral choice. This chapter argues that moral choice denies historical inevitability when moral choice is informed by both moral imagination and…
Moral agents have moral choice. This chapter argues that moral choice denies historical inevitability when moral choice is informed by both moral imagination and historical imagination. I explore this by way of one specific historical example which should be used, as the philosopher Bernard Mayo argued, as a moral exemplar. In pursuing my arguments I utilise work by Sir Isaiah Berlin, amongst others. I do though take issue with Berlin, whom I argue has confused not the nature but the role of historical imagination, claiming dominance for it where it cannot dominate. I conclude with historical inevitability being refuted by moral choice, informed by both moral imagination and historical imagination.I argue that the refutation of historical inevitability has implications for Australian businesses in their current dealings with the People’s Republic of China. Australia escaped the Global Financial Crisis because of Chinese purchases of Australian commodities. But Australian business in trading with China is trading with an unjust regime. Hoffman and McNulty (2009) argue that regarding a regime such as China we can ‘learn from our past’. Regarding the past I argue that Australian business executives dealing with China would benefit by studying the historical example of Churchill’s May 1940 decision and should use that as a moral exemplar. Earlier generations of Australian managers contemptuously dismissed Chinese workers. The current generation of Australian managers, who fail to morally acknowledge China’s workers and citizens, risks being equally contemptuous, dismissive and racist.
This article proposes a model for justifying decisions that integrates both ethical theory and practice. The usefulness of basic theory and applied practice in justifying…
This article proposes a model for justifying decisions that integrates both ethical theory and practice. The usefulness of basic theory and applied practice in justifying decisions is a subject of continued debate. This article sees both as useful. It approaches moral justification from the perspective of responding to incentives. In this justification process, moral confrontation is the process of using theory to identify and analyze incentives and incentive conflicts. Moral imagination is a process of thinking that relies on practical intuition, self-reflection, and moral ideals to reconcile the identified incentives and incentive conflicts. Both theory and practice play vital and complementary roles in this moral justification process. The primary belief is that the proposed combination of moral confrontation and moral imagination can lead to advances in both the theory and practice of business ethics.
In this chapter, we propose and discuss a framework to organise some of the individual difference constructs which have appeared consistently in the business ethics…
In this chapter, we propose and discuss a framework to organise some of the individual difference constructs which have appeared consistently in the business ethics literature. Although many constructs have appeared in both conceptual and empirical work in the major business ethics journals, there has been little effort to categorise such constructs in accord with recognised frameworks. In our work, we rely on the industrial/organisational psychology literature to provide a starting point for categorising individual differences. Using the business ethics literature, we then develop a framework composed of three broad categories: cognitive skills, moral volition and personal values. We then provide examples within each category of the framework, and map these examples onto subcategories under each of the major categories. Finally, we organise the complete framework into a comprehensive table and we discuss several implications that may inform future research.
A youthful sub-Saharan Africa presents fertile grounds to nurture a new breed of inspirational and resilient leadership that could transform the continent for decades to…
A youthful sub-Saharan Africa presents fertile grounds to nurture a new breed of inspirational and resilient leadership that could transform the continent for decades to come. Population statistics indicate that 44% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is less than 15 years old. The timing is ripe to infuse transformational leadership skills targeting the youth to build sustainable peace. The most potent force of change in Africa today is her youthful, progressive, and courageous population. A renewed sense of patriotism, nationalism, and a brighter Africa abound with hope and prosperity is in the hands of the youth. The United States President Barack Obama recently said, “… You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future” (Remarks by President Obama to the Ghanaian Parliament, July 11, 2009). This chapter incorporates the principles and power of appreciative inquiry, moral imagination, and moral leadership to offer the African Youth inspiration for fresh leadership. The overall outcome will be a discourse toward an African Youth Theory of Inspirational Servant Leadership.
The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the fundamental elements of moral literacy. Moral literacy involves three basic components: ethics sensitivity; ethical reasoning skills; and moral imagination. It is the contention of the author that though math and reading literacy is highly valued by the American educational system, moral literacy is extremely undervalued and under‐developed.
In this study the author uses her vast knowledge of moral literacy to break the subject matter into specific and defined sub‐categories. She then explains each sub‐category explicitly using real‐life examples to assist the reader in understanding the gravity and meaning behind each separate facet of moral literacy.
Moral literacy is a skill that must be crafted and honed by students, and with the aid of teachers who are well‐versed in moral subject matter. It is a complex and multifaceted skill set that is interconnected and must therefore be learned completely in order to be used properly. Teaching students about moral literacy is truly necessary if schools wish to produce productive and responsible citizens.
The study furthers our understanding of moral literacy and how it can play an absolutely vital role in our educational system. The paper not only explains what moral literacy is on a theoretical level, but it puts that theory into specific examples so that the reader can more clearly understand the benefits of acting in a morally literate fashion.
Cognitive moral development, often referred to as moral reasoning, stems from the field of cognitive developmental psychology and moral psychology. Early work done by Jean…
Cognitive moral development, often referred to as moral reasoning, stems from the field of cognitive developmental psychology and moral psychology. Early work done by Jean Piaget studying the cognitive abilities of children to make moral judgments as they grow and mature created the foundation for the later work of Lawrence Kohlberg and James Rest in studying the moral reasoning abilities of adults. Thus, moral reasoning refers to the cognitive process of how a person reasons about ethical situations. This chapter will present the evolution of the use and validity of cognitive moral development/moral reasoning in determining how individuals resolve ethical or moral dilemmas. Further, more recent models and potential measurement of moral reasoning and ethical decision-making including our intuition and emotions will be discussed and suggestions regarding directions for developing methods to measure such cognitive and emotional (or intuitive) means by which individuals make difficult moral choices will be discussed.
This paper analyses what is seen as a crisis of authority in financial reporting. It considers the view that an element of authority may be restored to accounting through communicative reason. The paper argues that the justice‐oriented rationality of traditional, Habermasian, communicative ethics is incapable of providing a solid foundation for the re‐authorisation of financial reporting. The paper argues that a more adequate foundation might be found in an enlarged communicative ethics that allows space to the other of justice‐oriented reason. The inspiration for the enlargement is found in Ricoeur's analysis of narrative, his exploration of its role in the figuration of identity, and in his biblical hermeneutics which reveals the necessity of an active dialectic of love and justice.