“How Much Aristotle Is in Levine and Boaks’s Leadership Theory?: Response to Schäfer and Hühn” by Jacqueline Boaks and Michael P. Levine
A RESPONSE TO Viktoria Ramona Schäfer and Matthias Philip Hühn (2016), “How Much Aristotle Is in Levine and Boaks’s Leadership Theory?”, Bus Ethics J Rev 4(4): 21–26, http://doi.org/10.12747/bejr2016.04.04a
Abstract: While accepting and welcoming our main thesis and project, Schäfer and Hühn’s Commentary on our paper focuses on two main criticisms, both of which seem to us mistaken. The first of these is that our paper falsely argues “that the existing definitions of leadership out there fall short in describing the role of ethics in leadership.” The second seems to be a belief that (i) we claim to be offering an entirely new definition of leadership and misrepresenting its nature because (ii) in the view of Schäfer and Hühn this supposedly new definition “is essentially un-Aristotelian.”
To download the full PDF, click here: Boaks and Levine
Michael Levine is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Australia. Jacqueline Boaks recently completed her Phd in the Philosophy Department at the University of Western Australia and now teaches in the ethics of leadership and sustainability.
A COMMENTARY ON Irina Cojuharenco and Francesco Sguera (2015), “When Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking Matter for Ethical Judgment: The Role of Time Hurriedness,” J Bus Ethics 130(3): 717–725, http://doi.org/10.0.3.239/s10551-014-2259-8
Cojuharenco and Sguera’s study shows that both perspective taking (empathy) and empathic concern (intuitionism) can reduce the acceptability of lying. This critique outlines a number of conceptual difficulties and limitations with their dualistic model. Specifically, they conflate ethical reasoning with perspective taking and empathic concern with intuitionism. Moreover, by limiting moral thinking to these binary options it restricts the ways in which ethical judgements can be made.
To download the full PDF, click here: Ohreen on Cojuharenco & Sguera
David Ohreen Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of General Education at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada.
A COMMENTARY ON Jacob Sparks (2017), “Can’t Buy Me Love: A Reply to Brennan and Jaworski,” J Philos Res (Online First): https://doi.org/10.5840/jpr2017425101
Jacob Sparks has developed a semiotic critique of markets that is based on the fact that “market exchanges express preferences.” He argues that some market transactions will reveal that the purchaser of a market good inappropriately prefers it to a similar non-market good. This avoids Brennan and Jaworski’s criticism that semiotic objections to markets fail as the meaning of market transactions are contingent social facts. I argue that Sparks’ argument is both incomplete and doomed to fail. It can only show that some preferences are morally problematic, not that the transactions that they lead to are immoral.
To download the full PDF, click here: Taylor on Sparks
James Stacey Taylor is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey
A COMMENTARY ON Joseph Heath (2014), Morality, Competition, and the Firm: The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
Joseph Heath (2014) argues that the contribution of competitive markets to Pareto-efficiency generates moral constraints that apply to business managers. Heath argues that ethical behavior on the part of management consists in avoiding profit-seeking strategies which, under conditions of perfect competition, would decrease Pareto-efficiency. I argue that because (1) such conditions do not obtain; and (2) the most efficient result – under imperfect conditions – is not achieved by satisfying the largest possible set of the remaining conditions; it is (3) impossible to draw any substantive ethical guidelines from Heath’s approach.
To download the full PDF, click here: Steinberg on Heath
Etye Steinberg is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He holds a BA in Philosophy, Economics, and Political Science (PEP), and an MA in Philosophy, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has also been a lecturer.
A COMMENTARY ON Schleper, M., C. Blome, and D. Wuttke, D. (2015), “The Dark Side of Buyer Power: Supplier Exploitation and the Role of Ethical Climates,” J Bus Ethics 140(1): 97-114. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2681-6
Schleper, Blome, and Wuttke attempt to use just price theory to define exploitation. According to the authors, a competitive market equilibrium defines a just price. When certain asymmetries in bargaining power exist, trading at any lower price constitutes unethical exploitation. I argue that a competitive market equilibrium does not provide a price that could be considered just by their own standards, and thus fails to ground a theory of exploitation.
To download the full PDF, click here: Kline on Schleper
William Kline, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Business Administration at University of Illinois, Springfield. His personal website is here.
A COMMENTARY ON Abraham Singer (2016), “Justice Failure: Efficiency and Equality in Business Ethics,” J Bus Ethics OnlineFirst, http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3086-x
In a recent critique of the so-called “market failures approach” (MFA) to business ethics Abraham Singer maintains that business firms have ethical responsibilities to voluntarily restrain their profit-seeking activities in accordance with the demands of justice. While I ultimately share Singer’s intuition that the MFA has overlooked the importance of justice in business ethics, I argue that he has not presented a fully adequate case to explain why justice-related responsibilities should be assigned to business firms. I conclude by offering a brief – and supportive – alternative to his position.
To download the full PDF, click here: Smith on Singer
A COMMENTARY ON Abraham Singer (2015), “There Is No Rawlsian Theory of Corporate Governance,” Bus Ethics Q 25(1): 65–92 http://doi.org/10.1017/beq.2015.1
Abraham Singer argues that Rawlsian theories of justice cannot apply to corporate governance and business ethics. On Singer’s view, Rawls regards business corporations as voluntary associations outside of the basic structure, which is the only site where justice applies. In this comment, we show the importance of Rawlsian theory to central questions of corporate governance. The corporation should be considered part of the basic structure, because it is part of society’s system of productive social cooperation. Rawls’ proposal for a property-owning democracy also raises crucial corporate governance issues concerning the proper owners of the firm, and the separation of ownership and control.
To download the full PDF, click here: Welch & Ly on Singer
A COMMENTARY ON Vivi Storsletten and Ove Jakobsen (2015), “Development of Leadership Theory in the Perspective of Kierkegaard’s Philosophy,” J Bus Ethics 128(2): 337–349, http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2106-y
Storsletten and Jakobsen (2015) try to integrate the instrumental, responsible, and spiritual positions in leadership studies with Kierkegaard’s aesthetic, ethical, and religious modes of existence. Their combination of leadership theory and Kierkegaardian thought, however, seems deeply problematic. In particular, the instrumental-aesthetic and responsible-ethical connections appear weak or at least significantly underdeveloped, and the spiritual-religious connection seems logically inconsistent.
To download the full PDF, click here: Zakhem on Storsletten & Jakobsen
A COMMENTARY ON Joseph Heath (2014), Morality, Competition, and the Firm: The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics (New York: Oxford)
In defense of his Market Failures Approach to business ethics Joseph Heath relies on an understanding of business as essentially oriented towards competition and profit maximization. In these remarks I defend an alternative understanding of business that is centered on the creation of valuable goods and services. It is preferable because it: (a) creates less pressure to take advantage of vulnerable stakeholders, (b) can readily recognize “beyond compliance” norms that do not relate to efficiency, (c) provides a more meaningful framework for people who work in and with corporations, (d) may mitigate negative moral impacts outside the market, and (e) better captures the range of what actually counts as business activity.
To download the full PDF, click here: Silver on Heath
A RESPONSE TO James Stacey Taylor (2016), “What Limits Should Markets be Without?”, Bus Ethics J Rev 4(7): 41–46.
Abstract: James Stacey Taylor offers three interpretations of our thesis, and argues that only one of them goes through. His point is to clarify our view rather than critique our position. In this brief response, we argue that, upon further clarification, we could endorse at least one of the other interpretations, though as Taylor notes, we don’t need to for our book’s thesis to go through.
To download the full PDF, click here: Brennan and Jaworski Respond to Taylor.