Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Business Ethics Related Abstracts

14 An Examination of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study of Zenith Bank PLC Jalingo

Authors: Abubakar Mohammed Bakoji

Abstract:

The paper examine business ethics through it pursuit for corporate social responsibility to the society in which the business long existed, Zenith bank PLC was selected as case study for it longer period of its business in the state, in order to achieve the research objective of the paper which sought the following: i. To examine relationship between business ethics and corporate social responsibility in Zenith bank PLC Jalingo; ii. To establish whether or not such ethics statement that acclaim corporate social responsibility are adhere to by the Zenith bank PLC Jalingo; iii. To determine the benefit drive by the society on the corporate social responsibility of Zenith bank PLC Jalingo to the people of the state of their operation. The research was conducted using qualitative research design approach, where convenience sampling technique was adopted using semi structured interview to one of the key staff of Zenith bank PLC Jalingo and five other beneficiaries of Zenith bank PLC corporate social responsibility projects served as respondents. The data obtained was analyze using content analysis and the result of the findings revealed that Zenith bank PLC has a Good business ethics and they adhere to the ethics, that they have completed several viable projects to the state as their corporate social responsibility and the beneficiaries and the respondents beneficiaries has confirmed and have produced evidence of how the projects has assisted in stifle their hardship. Hence, business ethics has a significant relationship with corporate social responsibility in Zenith bank PLC Jalingo.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Zenith Bank PLC

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13 Executive Stock Options, Business Ethics and Financial Reporting Quality

Authors: Philemon Rakoto

Abstract:

This paper tests the improvement of financial reporting quality when firms award stock options to their executives. The originality of this study is that we introduce the moderating effect of business ethics in the model. The sample is made up of 116 Canadian high-technology firms with available data for the fiscal year ending in 2012. We define the quality of financial reporting as the value relevance of accounting information as developed by Ohlson. Our results show that executive stock option award alone does not improve the quality of financial reporting. Rather, the quality improves when a firm awards stock options to its executives and investors perceive that the level of business ethics in that firm is high.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Canada, value relevance, high-tech firms, stock options

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12 Understanding Consumer Behavior Towards Business Ethics: Is it Really Important for Consumers

Authors: Omer Akkaya, Muammer Zerenler

Abstract:

Ethics is important for all shareholders and stakeholders that a firm has in its environment. Whether a firm behaves ethically or unethically has a significant influence on consumers’ decision making and buying process. This research tries to explain business ethics from consumers’ perspective. The survey includes several questions to explain how consumers react if they know a firm behave unethically or ethically. What are consumers’ expectations regarding the ethical behavior of firm? Do consumer reward or punish the firms considering the ethics? Does it really important for consumers firms behaving ethical?

Keywords: Ethics, Social Responsibility, Business Ethics, Consumer behavior

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11 A Levinasian Perspective on the Field of Applied Ethics

Authors: Payman Tajalli, Steven Segal

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Applied ethics is an area of ethics which is looked upon most favorably as the most appropriate and useful for educational purposes; after all if ethics finds no application would any investment of time, effort and finance by the educational institutions be warranted? The current approaches to ethics in business and management often entail appealing to various types of moral theories and to this end almost every major philosophical approach has been enlisted. In this paper, we look at ethics through the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to argue that since ethics is ‘first philosophy’ it can neither be rule-based nor rule-governed, not something that can be worked out first and then applied to a given situation, hence the overwhelming emphasis on ‘applied ethics’ as a field of study in business and management education is unjustified. True ethics is not applied ethics. This assertion does not mean that teaching ethical theories and philosophies need to be abandoned rather it is the acceptance of the fact that an increase in cognitive awareness of such theories and ethical models and frameworks, or the mastering of techniques and procedures for ethical decision making, will not affect the desired ethical transformation in our students. Levinas himself argued for an ethics without a foundation, not one that required us to go ‘beyond good and evil’ as Nietzsche contended, rather an ethics which necessitates going ‘before good and evil'. Such an ethics does not provide us with a set of methods or techniques or a decision tree that enable us determine the rightness of an action and what we ought to do, rather it is about a way of being, an ethical posture or approach one takes in the inter-subjective relationship with the other that holds the promise of ethical conduct. Ethics in this Levinasian sense then is one of infinite and unconditional responsibility for the other person in relationship, an ethics which is not subject to negotiation, calculation or reciprocity, and as such it could neither be applied nor taught through conventional pedagogy with its focus on knowledge transfer from the teacher to student, and to this end Levinas offers a non-maieutic, non-conventional approach to pedagogy. The paper concludes that from a Levinasian perspective on ethics and education, we may need to guide our students to move away from the clear and objective professionalism of the management and applied ethics towards the murky individual spiritualism. For Levinas, this is ‘the Copernican revolution’ in ethics.

Keywords: Business Ethics, ethics education, Levinas, maieutic teaching, ethics without foundation

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10 Corporate Social Responsibility: A Paradigm Shift in the New Indian Companies Act, 2013

Authors: Suvankar Chakraborty

Abstract:

Introduction: Corporate Social Responsibility means the obligations of business to act in a manner which will serve the best interests of the Society. The Companies Act , 2013 for the first time has emphasized on the fact that every company having net worth of rupees five hundred crore or more, or turnover of rupees one thousand crore or more or a net profit of rupees five crore or more during any financial year shall constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Board consisting of three or more directors, out of which at least one director shall be an independent director. In the previous Companies Act, 1956 there was no such compulsion for constituting a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Objective: This study examines the changes in the perception of corporate sectors so far as social responsibility is concerned. Methodology: The study is based on secondary data obtained from various websites of different corporate sectors and the Gazette of India related to Companies Act, 1956 and the new Companies Act, 2013. For capturing the perception of the corporate world regarding the provisions of CSR in the new Companies Act, 2013, primary data has been collected through structured questionnaire. Findings: Corporate Social Responsibility can put a company on a strong base of sustainable development and in facing the business risk of foreclosure or winding up. Shouldering social responsibility on a long-term basis can help a company not only in increasing its reputation in the business world but also helps in minimizing Government intervention. . But, there can hardly be any universal rule that the area of social responsibility being wholly and solely dependent on the ethical aspect of the corporate sectors. But having said that it may be asserted that business ethics may be a key driver of CSR activities rather than rule based CSR activities in the years to come.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, companies act, CSR committee

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9 Corporate Codes of Ethics and Earnings Discretion: International Evidence

Authors: Chu Chen, Giorgio Gotti, Tony Kang, Michael Wolfe

Abstract:

This study examines the role of codes of ethics in reducing the extent to which managers’ act opportunistically in reporting earnings. Corporate codes of ethics, by clarifying the boundaries of ethical corporate behaviors and making relevant social norms more salient, have the potential to deter managers from engaging in opportunistic financial reporting practices. In a sample of international companies, we find that the quality of corporate codes of ethics is associated with higher earnings quality, i.e., lower discretionary accruals. Our results are confirmed for a subsample of firms more likely to be engaging in opportunistic reporting behavior, i.e., firms that just meet or beat analysts’ forecasts. Further, codes of ethics play a greater role in reducing earnings management for firms in countries with weaker investor protection mechanisms. Our results suggest that corporate codes of ethics can be a viable alternative to country-level investor protection mechanisms in curbing aggressive reporting behaviors.

Keywords: Business Ethics, code of ethics, corporate ethics policy, earnings discretion, accruals

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8 Whistleblowing a Contemporary Topic Concerning Businesses

Authors: Maria Krambia-Kapardis, Andreas Kapardis, Sofia Michaelides-Mateou

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Corruption and economic crime is a serious problem affecting the sustainability of businesses in the 21st century. Nowadays, many corruption or fraud cases come to light thanks to whistleblowers. This article will first discuss the concept of whistleblowing as well as some relevant legislation enacted around the world. Secondly, it will discuss the findings of a survey of whistleblowers or could-have-been whistleblowers. Finally, suggestions for the development of a comprehensive whistleblowing framework will be considered. Whistleblowing can be described as expressing a concern about a wrongdoing within an organization, such as a corporation, an association, an institution or a union. Such concern must be in the public interest and in good faith and should relate to the cover up of matters that could potentially result in a miscarriage of justice, a crime, criminal offence and threats to health and safety. Whistleblowing has proven to be an effective anti-corruption mechanism and a powerful tool that helps deterring fraud, violations, and malpractices within organizations, corporations and the public sector. Research in the field of whistleblowing has concentrated on the reasons for whistleblowing and financial bounties; the effectiveness of whistleblowing; whistleblowing being a prosocial behavior with a psychological perspective and consequences; as a tool in protecting shareholders, saving lives and billions of dollars of public funds. Whilst, no other study of whistleblowing has been carried out on whistleblowers or intended whistleblowers. The study reported in the current paper analyses the findings of 74 whistleblowers or intended whistleblowers, the reasons behind their decision to blow the whistle, or not to proceed to blow the whistle and any regrets they may have had. In addition a profile of a whistleblower is developed concerning their age, gender, marital and family status and position in an organization. Lessons learned from the intended whistleblowers and in response to the questions if they would be willing to blow the whistle again show that enacting legislation to protect the whistleblower is not enough. Similarly, rewarding the whistleblower does not appear to provide the whistleblower with an incentive since the majority noted that “work ethics is more important than financial rewards”. We recommend the development of a comprehensive and holistic framework for the protection of the whistleblower and to ensure that remedial actions are immediately taken once a whistleblower comes forward. The suggested framework comprises (a) hard legislation in ensuring the whistleblowers follow certain principles when blowing the whistle and, in return, are protected for a period of 5 years from being fired, dismissed, bullied, harassed; (b) soft legislation in establishing an agency to firstly ensure psychological and legal advice is provided to the whistleblowers and secondly any required remedial action is immediately taken to avert the undesirable events reported by a whistleblower from occurring and, finally; (c) mechanisms to ensure the coordination of actions taken.

Keywords: Business, Business Ethics, Legislation, whistleblowing

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7 A Case for Ethics Practice under the Revised ISO 14001:2015

Authors: Reuben Govender, M. L. Woermann

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The ISO 14001 management system standard was first published in 1996. It is a voluntary standard adopted by both private and public sector organizations globally. Adoption of the ISO 14001 standard at the corporate level is done to help manage business impacts on the environment e.g. pollution control. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) revised the standard in 2004 and recently in 2015. The current revision of the standard appears to adopt a communitarian-type philosophy. The inclusion of requirements to consider external 'interested party' needs and expectations implies this philosophy. Therefore, at operational level businesses implementing ISO 14001 will have to consider needs and expectations beyond local laws. Should these external needs and expectations be included in the scope of the environmental management system, they become requirements to be complied with in much the same way as compliance to laws. The authors assert that the recent changes to ISO 14001 introduce an ethical dimension to the standard. The authors assert that business ethics as a discipline now finds relevance in ISO 14001 via contemporary stakeholder theory and discourse ethics. Finally, the authors postulate implications of (not) addressing these requirements before July 2018 when transition to the revised standard must be complete globally.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics, ethics practice, ISO 14001:2015

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6 Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility: Research on the Interconnection of Both Concepts and Its Impact on Non-Profit Organizations

Authors: Helene Eller

Abstract:

The aim of non-profit organizations (NPO) is to provide services and goods for its clientele, with profit being a minor objective. By having this definition as the basic purpose of doing business, it is obvious that the goal of an organisation is to serve several bottom lines and not only the financial one. This approach is underpinned by the non-distribution constraint which means that NPO are allowed to make profits to a certain extent, but not to distribute them. The advantage is that there are no single shareholders who might have an interest in the prosperity of the organisation: there is no pie to divide. The gained profits remain within the organisation and will be reinvested in purposeful projects. Good governance is mandatory to support the aim of NPOs. Looking for a measure of good governance the principals of corporate governance (CG) will come in mind. The purpose of CG is direction and control, and in the field of NPO, CG is enlarged to consider the relationship to all important stakeholders who have an impact on the organisation. The recognition of more relevant parties than the shareholder is the link to corporate social responsibility (CSR). It supports a broader view of the bottom line: It is no longer enough to know how profits are used but rather how they are made. Besides, CSR addresses the responsibility of organisations for their impact on society. When transferring the concept of CSR to the non-profit area it will become obvious that CSR with its distinctive features will match the aims of NPOs. As a consequence, NPOs who apply CG apply also CSR to a certain extent. The research is designed as a comprehensive theoretical and empirical analysis. First, the investigation focuses on the theoretical basis of both concepts. Second, the similarities and differences are outlined and as a result the interconnection of both concepts will show up. The contribution of this research is manifold: The interconnection of both concepts when applied to NPOs has not got any attention in science yet. CSR and governance as integrated concept provides a lot of advantages for NPOs compared to for-profit organisations which are in a steady justification to show the impact they might have on the society. NPOs, however, integrate economic and social aspects as starting point. For NPOs CG is not a mere concept of compliance but rather an enhanced concept integrating a lot of aspects of CSR. There is no “either-nor” between the concepts for NPOs.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, non-profit organisations

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5 Study of the Business Ethics Based on Daimler Bribery Case in China

Authors: Gang YANG, Yuandi Hu

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In order to study the business ethics of the international enterprise, the thirteenth-largest car manufacturer and second-largest truck manufacturer in the world, Daimler AG was taken as research object. At first, Daimler AG is briefly introduced and the bribery affairs of Daimler AG in China are simply reviewed. Subsequently, the causes of the bribery are discussed in depth and the manifestations of the value conflict are analyzed in detail. Based on the analyzed results, the reasons why they bribe are investigated. Furthermore, some proposals for improving business ethics of international enterprises are put forward based on the study of Daimler bribery case.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Cultural Conflict, Daimler AG, bribe

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4 Application of Western and Islamic Philosophy to Business Ethics

Authors: Elmamy Ahmedsalem

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The world has witnessed the collapse of many corporate giants as a result of unethical behavior in recent decades. This has induced a series of questions by the global community on why such occurrences could happen, even with corporate governance in place. This paper attempts to propose a philosophical approach from an Islamic perspective to be consolidated with current corporate governance in order to confront contemporary dilemmas. In this paper, ethical theories are presented as a discussion followed by their applications to modern cases of financial collapses. Virtue ethics by Aristotle, justice and fairness by John Rawls, deontology by Immanuel Kant, and utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill, are the four theories which can then be contrasted with the paradigm of Muslim scholars. Despite the differences between the fundamental principles of Islamic and Western worldviews, their ethical theories are aimed at making right decisions and solving ethical dilemmas based on what is good for society. Therefore, Islamic principles should be synthesized with Western philosophy to form a more coherent framework. The integration of Islamic and western ethical theories into business is important for sound corporate governance.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Islamic philosophy, Western philosophy, Western and Islamic worldview of ethics

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3 The Association between Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, Assurance, and Tax Aggressiveness: Evidence from Indonesia

Authors: Eko Budi Santoso

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There is a growing interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues in developing countries such as Indonesia. Firms disclose their CSR activities, and some provide assurance to gain recognition as socially responsible firms. However, several of those socially responsible firms involve in tax scandals and raise a question of whether CSR disclosure is used to disguise firm misconduct or as a reflection of socially responsible firms. Specifically, whether firms engage in CSR disclosure and its assurance also responsible for their tax matters. This study examines the association between CSR disclosure and tax aggressiveness and the role of sustainability reporting assurance to the association. This research develops a modified index according to global reporting initiatives to measure CSR disclosure and various measurement for tax aggressiveness. Using a sample of Indonesian go public companies issued CSR disclosure, the empirical result shows that there is an association between CSR disclosure and tax aggressiveness. In addition, results also indicate sustainability reporting assurance moderate those association. The findings suggest that stakeholder in developing countries should examine carefully firms with active CSR disclosure before label it as socially responsible firms. JEL Classification: M14

Keywords: Assurance, Business Ethics, CSR disclosure, tax aggressiveness

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2 Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, Tax Aggressiveness and Sustainability Report Assurance: Evidence from Thailand

Authors: Eko Budi Santoso, Kazia Laturette, Stanislaus Adnanto Mastan

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This study aims to examine the association between disclosure of social responsibility and tax aggressiveness in developing countries, namely Thailand. This is due to the increasing trend of disclosure of social responsibility in developing countries, even though this disclosure of information is still voluntary. On the other hand, developing countries have low taxation rate and investor protection infrastructures that allow the disclosure of social responsibility to be used opportunistically as a tool to fool the attainment of interests. This study also examines the role of assurance on the association between corporate social responsibility disclosure and tax aggressiveness. The assurance aims to provide confidence that the disclosure of social responsibility by the company is valid. This research builds an index to measure the disclosure of social responsibility based on the rules issued by the innovative Global Reporting. The results of the study are based on a sample of publicly traded companies in Thailand, which showed a positive association between disclosure of corporate social responsibility and tax aggressiveness, but it was further discovered that these results were mitigated by the existence of assurance against disclosure of corporate social responsibility. The results of this study indicate that the disclosure of corporate social responsibility can show that the company cares about the issue of social responsibility but does not automatically make the company as one that holds ethical values ​​in its business practices.

Keywords: Business Ethics, corporate social responsibility disclosure, tax aggressiveness, sustainability assurance

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1 Perceptions of Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Practices in Kuwaiti Islamic and Conventional Banks

Authors: Khaled Alotaibi, Salah Alhamadi, Ibraheem Almubarak

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The study attempts to explore both corporate governance (GC) and business ethics (BE) practices in Kuwaiti banks and the relationship between CG and BE, using an accountability framework. By examining the perceptions of key stakeholder groups, this study investigates the practices of BE and CG in Islamic banks (IBs) compared to conventional banks (CBs). We contribute to the scarce studies concerned with relations between CG and BE. We have employed a questionnaire survey method for a random sample of crucial relevant stakeholder groups. The empirical analysis of the participants’ perceptions highlights the importance of applying CG regulations and BE for Kuwaiti banks and the clear link between the two concepts. We find that the main concern is not the absence of CG and BE codes, but the lack of consistent enforcement of the regulations. Such a system needs to be strictly and effectively implemented in Kuwaiti banks to protect all stakeholders’ wealth, not only that of stockholders. There are significant patterns in the CG and BE expectations among different stakeholder groups. Most interestingly, banks’ client groups illustrate high expectations concerning CG and BE practices.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Business Ethics, Accountability, Islamic banks, conventional banks, IBs, CBs

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