Making Decisions in Business Ethics: Descriptive Ethical Theories

Badaracco, Jr., J. 2001. We Don't Need Another Hero. Harvard Business Review, 79(8): 120-126.
This article talks about ‘quiet leaders’, how individuals who make the most change within organizations from an ethical perspective do so quietly and incrementally.

Beshears, J., & Gino, F. 2015. Leaders as decision architects. Harvard Business Review, 93(5): 52-62.
Article exploring how leaders affect ethical decision making.

Bird, F. B. & Waters, J. A. 1989. The moral muteness of managers. California Management Review, Fall: 73-88.
The authors explore the phenomenon of moral muteness - unwillingness to frame their actions in moral terms – and suggest ways that managers and organizations can deal openly with moral issues.

Craft, J.L., 2013. A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 2004–2011. Journal of Business Ethics, 117(2), pp.221-259.
This paper reviews research on ethical decision making to uncover trends within the literature and suggest future research direction.

Chance, Z. & Norton, M. I. 2009. “I read Playboy for the articles”: Justifying and rationalizing questionable preferences, Working paper: No. 10-018. Boston MA: Harvard Business School.
Humans are skilled at justifying their immoral behaviour while still seeing themselves as moral. This paper describes strategies that people use to rationalize and justify questionable behaviour.

Church, B., Gaa, J. C., Nainar, S. M. K., & Shehata, M. M. 2005. Experimental evidence relating to the person-situation interactionist model of ethical decision making. Business Ethics Quarterly, 15(3): 363-383.
The authors use an experimental economics methodology to test the proposition that ethical decisions are a function individual and situational factors.

Fritzsche, D.J. and Becker, H. 1984. Linking Management Behavior to Ethical Philosophy--An Empirical Investigation. Academy of Management Journal, 27(1): 166-175.
This article links the managers responses to five different types of ethical situations according to the ethical theory they represent.

Ghoshal, S. 2005. Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(1): 75-91.
The trenchant argument of this paper is: “Many of the worst excesses of recent management practices have their roots in a set of ideas that have emerged from business school academics over the last 30 years. … [B]y propagating ideologically inspired amoral theories, business schools have actively freed their students from any sense of moral responsibility.”

Gunia, B.C., Wang, L., Huang, L.I., Wang, J. and Murnighan, J.K., 2012. Contemplation and conversation: Subtle influences on moral decision making. Academy of Management Journal, 55(1), pp.13-33.
This paper investigates the role of contemplation, conversation and explanation in right-wrong decisions.

Husted, B.; Dozier, J., McMahon, J.T. and Kattan, M. 1996. The Impact of Cross-National Carriers of Business Ethics on Attitudes about Questionable Practices and Form of Moral Reasoning. Journal of International Business Studies, 27(2): 391-411.
This study uses social cognitive theory to look at attitudes towards questionable practices and the form of moral reasoning across different countries.

Kidder, R. 2009. How Good People Make Tough Choices Rev Ed: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living, HarperCollins Publishers Inc.: New York.
This book is intended to help individuals learn how to make choices when faced with ethical dilemmas that do not have a clear or obvious answer based on what is considered right or wrong.

Lane, M. Schaupp, D. and Parsons, B. 1988. Pygmalion Effect: An Issue for Business Education and Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 7(3): 223-229.
The investigation indicates that the behaviour which students learn or perceive is required to succeed in business schools may run counter to the ethical sanctions of society and the business community.

Lehnert, K., Park, Y.H. and Singh, N., 2015. Research note and review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: Boundary conditions and extensions. Journal of Business Ethics, 129(1), pp.195-219.
This summative argument synthesizes the literature on ethical decision making, categorising and critiquing research, as well as analysing future directions.

Libby, B. and Agnello, V. 2000. Ethical Decision Making and The Law. Journal of Business Ethics, 26: 223-232.
This study examines the effects of gender, age, work experience, academic status and legality on certain ethical decisions.

Phipps, K.A., 2012. Spirituality and strategic leadership: The influence of spiritual beliefs on strategic decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 106(2), pp.177-189.
This article proposes a framework that describes how personal spiritual beliefs of leaders operate in strategic decision making.

Robertson, D.C., Voegtlin, C. and Maak, T., 2017. Business ethics: The promise of neuroscience. Journal of Business Ethics, 144(4), pp.679-697.
This article discusses the role that neuroscience has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to the field of business ethics.

Skivenes, M., & Tygstad, S. 2010. When Whistleblowing Works: The Norwegian Case. Human Relations, 63(7): 1071-1097.
This paper examines whistleblowing the context of a positive case study: the Norwegian public service.

Soloman, R.C. 1992. Corporate Roles, Personal Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach to Business Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly, 2(3): 317-339.
This paper develops a theory of business ethics that focuses on the individual within the organization, looking at micro-level ethics such as how individual roles and responsibilities within the business are defined.

Trevino, L. 1992. Moral Reasoning and Business Ethics: Implications for Research, Education, and Management. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(5/6): 445-459.
This study describes how cognitive moral development theory might be applied to business ethics and suggests its importance for business ethics researchers and future research projects.