A Conceptual Framework of Corporate and Business Ethics Across Organizations Structures, Processes and Performancea Conceptual Framework of Corporate and Business Ethics Across Organizations- Structures, Processes and Performance

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A conceptual framework of corporate and business ethics across organizations Structures, processes and performance
¨ Goran Svensson
Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway, and

Corporate and business ethics

21

Greg Wood
Deakin University, Warrnambool, Australia
Abstract
Purpose – The objective of this paper is to introduce and describe a conceptual framework of corporate and business ethics across organizations in terms of ethical structures, ethical processes and ethical performance. Design/methodology/approach – A framework is outlined and positioned incorporating an ethical frame of reference in the field of organizational chain management. Findings – A number of areas and sub-areas of corporate and business ethics are framed in the context across organizations. Research limitations/implications – The introduced framework should be seen as a seed for further development and refinement. It provides opportunities for further research of ethical concerns across organizations. Practical implications – Organizations may benefit from the findings and insights presented and they may be used to enhance their ability to manage, monitor and evaluate ethical business practices across organizations. Social implications – Changing societal and market patterns may enforce organizations to address ethical concerns across organizations. A myopic approach restricted to the judicial system may become insufficient and unsatisfactory from the perspective of other stakeholders of the organization. Originality/value – The framework makes a contribution bringing in ethical concerns across organizations, providing a basis for their ethical values and culture, as well as asymmetric relationships in terms of power and dependence. The authors believe that a true learning organization needs to realise the importance of an extended view of its endeavors of corporate and business ethics in terms of ethical structures, ethical processes and ethical performance across organizations. Keywords Organizations, Business ethics, Organizational structures, Performance management Paper type Conceptual paper

Introduction Ethical concerns are an important area in business practices and research endeavours in the field of organizational chain management. In particular, ethical concerns become evident in situations of asymmetric relationships across organizations (e.g. in terms of power and dependence). There is a need to establish ethical structures, processes and performance measures in organizations. In previous research restricted parts of this idea across organizations have been addressed from an ethical perspective but not the whole process (e.g. Moberg, 2003; Geraint, 2003; Kidd, 2003; Carter, 2000; Cooper et al., 1997; Stainer, 1997). nevertheless, there have been a few recent research endeavours

The Learning Organization Vol. 18 No. 1, 2011 pp. 21-35 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0969-6474 DOI 10.1108/09696471111095975

TLO 18,1

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dedicated to the ethical concerns in organizational chain management as a whole. For ˚˚ example, Svensson and Baath (2008) introduce and describe a conceptual framework of organizational chain management ethics based upon the automotive industry. Svensson (2009) focuses on the transparency of organizational chain management ethics based upon case illustrations across organizations in the fashion and telecom industries. The dilemma is that these ethical frameworks in the field of organizational chain management are still on a general level, where specific details are not provided on how to manage, monitor and evaluate ethical concerns across organizations. There are multiple research topics that may be linked implicitly or explicitly to ethical concerns in across organizations, such as: chain management ethics (Svensson ˚˚ and Baath, 2008; Svensson, 2009), corporate social responsibility (e.g....
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