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Book ChapterDOI

Ethical Imperatives and Corporate Leadership

About: This article is published in The Ruffin Series in Business Ethics.The article was published on 1991-04-01. It has received 56 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Ethical leadership.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors compare normative leadership paradigms (each based on a combination of virtue, deontology, or consequentialist perspectives) and the dangers inherent in each and illustrate how deficiencies of a "strong" virtue ethics formulation can be overcome by a balanced tripartite approach.
Abstract: This paper proposes that managers add an attention to virtues and vices of human character as a full complement to moral reasoning according to a deontological focus on obligations to act and a teleological focus on consequences (a balanced tripartite approach). Even if the criticisms of virtue ethics cloud its use as a mononomic normative theory of justification, they do not refute the substantial benefits of applying a human character perspective – when done so in conjunction with also-imperfect act-oriented perspectives. An interactive tripartite approach is superior for meeting the complex requirements of an applied ethic. To illustrate how deficiencies of a "strong" virtue ethics formulation can be overcome by a balanced tripartite approach, this paper compares normative leadership paradigms (each based on a combination of virtue, deontology, or consequentialist perspectives) and the dangers inherent in each. The preferred paradigm is servant leadership, grounded in a tripartite ethic. Effective application of such an ethics approach in contemporary organizations requires further empirical research to develop a greater understanding of the moral language actually used. Meeting this challenge will allow academics better to assist practicing managers lead moral development and moral reasoning efforts.

201 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore the view that pro-environmental organizational changes depend on the emotional meanings that managers attribute to greening and find little evidence to support the emotional basis of 'true' ethically green organiza tional cultures, although managerially engineered commitment of 'belonging' to a socially responsible culture can serve some aspects of greening in a rela tively stable manner.
Abstract: This paper explores the view that pro-environmental organizational changes depend on the emotional meanings that managers attribute to greening. It is theoretically rooted in recent literatures on the strategic role of emotions and green organizational transformation. A comparative, qualitative study of senior managers in six U.K. supermarkets, of differing degrees of greenness, is reported. Four emotionally significant subtexts are identified: enacting green commitment, contesting green boundaries, defending autonomy and avoiding embarrassment. These are related to the way different green pressures are received, developed and culturally incorporated — or rejected. The study finds little evidence to support the emotional basis of 'true' ethically green organiza tional cultures, although managerially engineered commitment of 'belonging' to a socially responsible culture can serve some aspects of greening in a rela tively stable manner. The less-green companies are instrumental in their responses, have few ...

173 citations


Cites background from "Ethical Imperatives and Corporate L..."

  • ...High-profile leadership, or ’messages from the top’, are crucial to both triggering and engendering pro-environmental interests (a point made more generally by writers on cultural change; e.g. Schein 1985; Goodpaster 1991 )....

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  • ...Pressure groups can act as a moral voice or surrogate conscience (a wry, but not unusual, observation on corporate morality - see Jackall 1988; Goodpaster 1991)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a review of the literature on mulitnational corporate social responsibility has developed in recent years, focusing on the relationship between the multinational corporations and Third World governments in fulfilling the social responsibility, based on the underlying ethical imperative.
Abstract: A critical literature on mulitnational corporate social responsibility has developed in recent years Many authors addressed the issue in the Third World countries This paper reviews the literature, focusing on the relationship between the multinational corporations (MNCs) and Third World governments in fulfilling the social responsibility, based on the underlying ethical imperative There is a growing consensus that both corporations and governments should accept moral responsibility for social welfare and individual interests in their economic transactions A collaborative relationship is proposed where the MNCs share information based on global experiences and offer input into host government developmental policies, and aid their implementation The government, in turn, provides a reasonable regulatory environment This calls for ongoing interactions among officials at all levels of the two institutions, with the local corporate subsidiary playing a pivotal role The desired conduct of the parties is reinforced by international organizations and other constituents, representing common human concerns across cultures These relationships are examined and an agenda for policy and action by the MNCs and the Third World governments is developed The accelerated growth in the number of multinational corporations (MNCs) and their worldwide scope, with concentration of economic and political power draws attention to corporate social responsibility Furthermore, a meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1987, with delegates from 141 developed and developing countries concluded with a major agreement

115 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper presents an assessment method, based on the EFQM model, which intends to support the implementation process of a code of conduct, and will support a continuous process of reflection on the central values and standards contained in the code.
Abstract: More and more organisations formulate a code of conduct in order to stimulate responsible behaviour among their members. Much time and energy is usually spent fixing the content of the code but many organisations get stuck in the challenge of implementing and maintaining the code. The code then turns into nothing else than the notorious “paper in the drawer”, without achieving its aims. The challenge of implementation is to utilize the dynamics which have emerged from the formulation of the code. This will support a continuous process of reflection on the central values and standards contained in the code. This paper presents an assessment method, based on the EFQM model, which intends to support this implementation process.

107 citations


Cites background from "Ethical Imperatives and Corporate L..."

  • ...stance through the behaviour of people within organisations (Goodpaster, 1989)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a theoretical context, grounded in models of social control, within which ethics initiatives may be evaluated in relation to variables that already exert control in the workplace, such as environmental controls, organizational controls, and personal controls.
Abstract: Efforts to institutionalize ethics in corporations have been discussed without first addressing the desirability of norm conformity or the possibility that the means used to elicit conformity will be coercive. This article presents a theoretical context, grounded in models of social control, within which ethics initiatives may be evaluated. Ethics initiatives are discussed in relation to variables that already exert control in the workplace, such as environmental controls, organizational controls, and personal controls.

102 citations