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Moral Engagement Through Paradoxical Mindset: How role and task-consistent reasoning reduces space for moral reflection and action
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Moral philosophers and ethical thinkers have long noted the intricate relationship between ethics and business. Business and ethics have often been seen as contradictory and incongruent, not least in the way ethics is incorporated into businesses. Business goals aiming to satisfy ethical- and business-related issues best work with integration. However, oftentimes, the strategies maybe well defined by management, yet the implementation is often left to employees in their daily practices. This paper focuses on contradictions individuals experience as they implement strategies to integrate ethics into their business. Our starting point is the challenge when well intending individuals pass contradictions on rather than dealing with them.

Purpose: The main question we ask is: how do individuals frame their contradictory work related to the implementation of ethics goals? We focus on enhanced methods of training, which can lead to morally engaged organizational members.

Method: This paper is inspired by observations made during an ethnographic case study of a Swedish multinational’s endeavor to integrate ethics into its procurement activities. This endeavor included a heavy focus on operationalizing and incorporating (by managers) and training (employees and contractors) in social, health and environmental aspects. Empirical observations, field-visits, and semi-structured interviews were conducted in both Sweden and China.

Results: Focusing on the individual actor within the organizational context, we draw on theories from experimental psychology, business ethics as well as paradox and suggest that organizational member to be work with a paradoxical mindset which could enable moral engagement. Within such a context, we attribute great power to the individuals’ own sense of right and wrong and their ability to think and act upon a personal moral compass.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Cognitive Framing, Ethics Training, Moral Engagement, Paradox, Paradoxical Mindset
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150158DiVA, id: diva2:1233014
Conference
EBEN (European Business Ethics Network) Annual Conference, Tilburg
Available from: 2018-07-13 Created: 2018-07-13 Last updated: 2018-07-13

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf