Business Ethics: A European Review
- Publication date:
- Nbr. 30-1, January 2021
- Nbr. 29-4, October 2020
- Nbr. 29-3, July 2020
- Nbr. 29-2, April 2020
- Nbr. 29-1, January 2020
- Nbr. 28-4, October 2019
- Nbr. 28-3, July 2019
- Nbr. 28-2, April 2019
- Nbr. 28-1, January 2019
- Nbr. 27-4, October 2018
- Nbr. 27-3, July 2018
- Nbr. 27-2, April 2018
- Nbr. 27-1, January 2018
- Nbr. 26-4, October 2017
- Nbr. 26-3, July 2017
- Nbr. 26-2, April 2017
- Nbr. 26-1, January 2017
- Nbr. 25-4, October 2016
- Nbr. 25-3, July 2016
- Nbr. 25-2, April 2016
- Best practices in ethics management: Insights from a qualitative study in Slovakia
Voluminous growth of new ethics management elements in corporate practice implies the need to enrich its theoretical understanding. Most studies delineate ethics management conventionally as measures primarily applied for establishing ethical norms and employee compliance. Furthermore, many models are somewhat limited in scope and amount of presented practices and usually do not conceptualize ethics management functions beyond traditional compliance‐integrity discussion. In addition, most models are not grounded in empirical research. With the aim to contribute to ethics management theory and bridge it with practice, this study employs a constructivist approach and maps best practices in ethics management via four focus groups with management professionals. Results suggest that ethics management can be viewed as a fundamentally participative and collaborative process, as a way of building relationships with external stakeholders, balancing structured planning and flexible change, and profoundly amalgamating with human resource management processes. Furthermore, in an Inventory of best practices encompassing 70 ethics practices, this study outlines nine functional subprocesses as key aspects of ethics management’s practical implementation. As the research was conducted in Slovakia, this study provides unique information on the recent developments in ethics management in one of the post‐transitional countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.
- How Norway’s sovereign wealth fund negative screening affects firms’ value and behaviour
This paper examines the impact of negative screening by responsible sovereign wealth funds on the value of excluded firms. We focus on the main sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global of Norway, which excluded 149 firms from its portfolio during the period 2006–2018. Using an event study methodology, we document a significant decrease in excluded firms’ stock prices. Moreover, we find that the nature of screening matters: norm‐based exclusions suffer from a significant and permanent decrease in their stock value, suggesting that market participants reacted to the Government Pension Fund Global of Norway exclusions. Overall, it can be asserted that the Norwegian fund has a strong signalling effect on financial markets, in terms of social and environmental information. We conclude that sovereign wealth funds could be used by governments as investment vehicles in order to promote responsible investments on a large scale.
- The digital transformation of work: A relational view
Conversation about the current and potential effects of digital technologies on the nature of work is raging within scholarly and practitioner communities. Artificial intelligence, robotics, data analytics, digital platforms, and automation, among other technologies, are prompting a swift and profound transformation of work. Building on Pierpaolo Donati's relational sociology, we examine the changes these technologies are likely to bring about in work as a human relation. Despite the very real threats of unemployment, job insecurity, precariousness, and surveillance, technology may also encourage the emergence of a work culture that shifts the scales toward a relational realm rather than a transactional one. To this end, we argue that work should be understood as a social relation with four dimensions: exchange value, intrinsic extra‐economic purpose, communication for reciprocal services, and correspondence with primary human needs according to use values. Understanding the digital transformation of work from this point of view requires comprehending the differentiation and integration of these four dimensions.
- The ethical consequences of “going dark”
The adoption of hyper‐strong encryption for mobile devices, such as the iPhone, has reignited debate about the need for exceptional access and the relative priority of privacy rights. Many software programs and algorithms are not neutral but “value‐laden,” and unbreakable encryption software virtually absolutizes the right to privacy, though it has justified limits in ethics and law. High tech companies have resisted any exceptional access solutions and generally opposed cooperation with law enforcement agencies for the sake of protecting the data of their customers. We argue that this strategy is ethically flawed based on the priority of the right to physical security over the right to privacy along with the need to ensure peace and order in the name of the common good. To support this line of reasoning we amplify the undifferentiated conception of the common good presented in the literature and sketch out the grounds for limiting rights based on the need to conform to the just requirements of the public order in a democratic society. The discussion culminates in a proposal for an exceptional access scheme that has the potential to minimize risk to innocent users.
- Issue Information
- Personality and balanced psychological contracts: The mediating roles of epistemic curiosity and rule‐following behavior
This study extends prior research on the relationships between personality constructs and types of psychological contracts by exploring how the Big Five traits predict balanced psychological contracts. Further, we determine whether epistemic curiosity and rule‐following behavior are key mediators of the proposed relationships. We tested our proposed hypotheses using three‐wave time‐lagged data from 469 respondents. The results indicated that openness to experience was positively associated and both conscientiousness and neuroticism were negatively associated with balanced contracts. Extraversion and agreeableness were not associated with balanced contracts. We also established the mediating role of epistemic curiosity in the relationships between personality traits and balanced contracts, but there was no support for the mediating role of rule‐following behavior in the present study. These findings have important implications for managers and organizations in terms of selecting the right person for a job (person‐job fit) and ensuring employee retention (person‐organization fit), hence having a bottom‐line effect on firm performance. Future research directions are also discussed.
- Responsibility of the University in Employability: Development and validation of a measurement scale across five studies
This paper develops and validates, at a confirmatory level, a second‐order scale to measure Responsibility of the University in Employability (RUE). First, the literature on the components of RUE is explored and a formative conceptual model is proposed to underpin its measurement using extant research in the field of organisational responsibility and employability. At the empirical level, the second‐order RUE model considers the reputation of the university, the teaching staff, and the matching activities with employers as components of RUE. This model is based on five empirical studies. The first is a small‐sample study based on the opinions of experts (n = 5) and the rest are based on representative samples of university students (n = 816, n = 1,082, n = 1,088, and n = 1,203). A very good fit between model and data were revealed (CFI = 0.975; RMSEA = 0.039; standardised X2 = 2.676). The results indicate that matching activities with employers and teaching staff generate more RUE than university reputation. Guidelines are offered for managing the responsibility of the university in employability.
- The effect of formalism on unethical decision making: The mediating effect of moral disengagement and moderating effect of moral attentiveness
This study examined the relationship between formalism and unethical decision making among Chinese working adults. A total of 316 Chinese adult employees completed measures of ethical predispositions, unethical decision making, moral disengagement, and moral attentiveness. The results showed that formalism was related to a weaker propensity to morally disengage. Moral disengagement positively predicted unethical decision making and mediated the relationship between formalism and unethical decision making. Further, perceptual moral attentiveness negatively moderated the relationship between formalism and moral disengagement. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are presented.
- An integrative ethical approach to leader favoritism
Relationship building is one of the most important aspects of leadership; however, it can pose ethical challenges. Though particularistic treatment of employees by leaders, that is, leader favoritism, commonly occurs, it is conventionally regarded negatively as fairness norms require leaders to treat followers equally. In this conceptual study, we explore different views on leader favoritism based on different ethical principles. We develop an alternative to the conventional view and suggest that leader favoritism may not necessarily lead to negative outcomes when empathy‐based favoritism is applied. In this vein, we recommend drawing on the ethical principles of a utilitarian approach by balancing particularism and universalism, which is also helpful to build organizational social capital. We contribute to leadership theory by developing an early concept of an integrative ethical approach to leader favoritism.
- Who really cares about the environment? CEOs’ military service experience and firms’ investment in environmental protection
Prior literature suggests that the chief executive officer (CEO) plays a significant role in a firm's environmental performance or voluntary pro‐environmental behaviors; we extend this line of research to examine the effect of CEOs’ military service experience on firms’ investment in environmental protection. Drawing upon the insights of imprinting theory, we argue that military service experience may instill in CEOs pro‐environmental values such as duty, self‐discipline, self‐sacrifice, and sense of community, which motivate them to adopt pro‐environmental behaviors such as investing more resources in environmental protection. However, we argue that the effects of pro‐environmental values imprinted on CEOs through military service are likely to vary across regions. In regions where the market is more developed and the local value system has experienced greater exposure to the impact of foreign values, and in regions where firms are more concerned about profit, this effect is likely to be attenuated. An analysis of three waves of a nationwide survey of private firms in China using the Tobit regression model supports these predictions. This study makes a unique contribution to the existing literature by linking a firm's pro‐environmental behaviors (i.e., environmental protection investment) to its CEO’s experiences in early life (i.e., military service experience).
- CSR politics of non‐recognition: Justification fallacies marginalising criticism, society, and environment
Business is frequently criticized for not taking social and environmental responsibility. Large companies respond with CSR activities and some also with formulating justifications for their actions. This could indicate that business opens up to the criticism. I do, however, not observe such...
- Law‐abiding organizational climates in developing countries: The role of institutional factors and socially responsible organizational practices
The institutional environment of developing countries may lead firms to engage in unlawful firm conduct, which is a pervasive problem in this context. Our paper examines the effectiveness of organizational practices for ensuring that firms adhere to the law in the light of pressures from the...
- How can corporations adopt Confucianism in business practices? Two representative cases
Ethics is one of the oldest scholarly topics, whether in Eastern Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, or Western Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Theory, among others. Traditional ethics focuses on providing guidelines for behavior at a personal level. However, business ethics focuses more on...
- Listen to the voice of the customer—First steps towards stakeholder democracy
Recently, calls have grown louder for more stakeholder democracy that is, letting stakeholders participate in the process of organizing, decision‐making, and governance in corporations, especially in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Despite the relevance of the subject, ...
- Balancing social and political strategies in emerging markets: Evidence from India
This article explores the substitution and complementary effects between political and social strategies on firm performance in the context of an emerging market (EM). Using in‐depth, historical case‐study approach, the article investigates how companies integrate political and social resources in...
- Positive business: doing good and doing well
This article investigates the meaning of doing good and doing well in positive business. It examines the relationship between the two expressions and discusses their relevance, shedding new light on the significance of ‘positive’ in positive business and positive organizational scholarship (POS)....
- Best practices in ethics management: Insights from a qualitative study in Slovakia
Voluminous growth of new ethics management elements in corporate practice implies the need to enrich its theoretical understanding. Most studies delineate ethics management conventionally as measures primarily applied for establishing ethical norms and employee compliance. Furthermore, many models...
- Tensions between politico‐institutional factors and accounting regulation in a developing economy: insights from institutional theory
The study contributes to building an understanding of the impact of political forces on the information environment of listed firms in a developing economy. Specifically, it investigates the tensions between politico‐institutional factors and accounting regulation on the prolonged and incomplete...
- Corporate social responsibility: review and roadmap of theoretical perspectives
Based on a survey and content analysis of 462 peer‐reviewed academic articles over the period 1990–2014, this article reviews theories related to the external drivers of corporate social responsibility (CSR) (such as stakeholder theory and resource‐dependence theory) and the internal drivers of CSR ...
- Consumers’ perception of CSR motives in a post‐socialist society: The case of Serbia
Questionnaire‐based consumer research was conducted in Serbia, as a country in a long post‐socialist transition. The focus was on consumers’ opinions of benefits and attitudes which motivate companies to act in a socially responsible way. Analysis resulted in a division of CSR motives into two main ...