Sent: 5/3/2009 11:53:10 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: BEQ: Fwd: Beyond Moral Reasoning: A Review of Moral Identity Research and
Dear Professor Weaver,
I am continuing trying to propagate my contentions set out in my article Does the Law Undermine Business Ethics? I am reviewing current articles in the Business Ethics Quarterly to try to find scholarship where my ideas may have a place, and I am sending emails to authors (such as below). I am interested in any help I can get. I hope you don't mind my contacting your authors and advising you whom I am contacting.
To: email@example.com, Ruodan. Shao@sauder.ubc.ca
Sent: 5/3/2009 11:36:38 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Beyond Moral Reasoning: A Review of Moral Identity Research and Its Implications
Dear Professors Shao, Aquino and Freeman (please note I cannot find an email address for Professor Freeman),
In your article you say:
At a time when many social institutions are failing due to corruption and
unethicalbehavior, it is often easy to blame a few “bad apples” for these
problems (cf. Felps, Mitchell, &Byington, 2006). Yet common experience and a
large body of research in social psychology(Ross & Nisbett, 1991) tell us
that many people can be led to violate even their most deeply heldmoral
standards in the presence of sufficient social pressures. Consequently, if we
want to minimize unethical behavior in business organizations, we must first
remove or weaken theinfluences that motivate employees to act unethically. Or,
as some of the research we havereviewed suggests, we may need to find ways to
activate or reinforce those aspects of the selfaround which moral concerns and
virtues are organized. It is under these conditions that the vastmajority of us
who are neither saintly nor irredeemably sinful might most effectively regulate
ourethical behavior. Conversely, this same tendency to ignore the interaction
between the person andsituation may cause leaders and policy makers to neglect
opportunities to make moral issuessalient, which can have the unintended result
of deactivating that part of peoples’ self-definitionthat motivates them to
follow their moral code.
I contend that corporate wrongdoing is conceived, designed and implemented by individual corporate officers, employees, agents, and others, and that ethical business conduct is fostered by holding those individuals accountable. I further contend that the country's civil liability system undermines business ethics because it distracts attention and diverts economic resources away from establishing clear guidelines governing actions on behalf of a corporation and holding officers, employees and others individually accountable under those guidelines. My contentions are set forth at length in this article: Does the Law Undermine Business Ethics?
Do you think my above contentions about corporate wrongdoing and about the civil liability system undermining business ethics possess any material validity? Are you aware of any scholarship that discusses this idea?
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