BEJR publishes refereed commentaries—short essays of up to 2000 words addressing critically an aspect of a recently published business ethics journal article or book.
The Editors are especially interested in inviting commentaries aimed at the winner of, and finalists for, the Business Ethics Quarterly “Best Article 2014” prize. Those articles are:
- Winner: Tae Wan Kim, “Decent Termination: A Moral Case for Severance Pay,” Business Ethics Quarterly 24, 2 (2014): 203-227.
- Finalist: Joshua Preiss, “Global Labor Justice and the Limits of Economic Analysis,” Business Ethics Quarterly 24, 1 (2014): 55-83.
- Finalist: Pablo Garcia-Ruiz and Carlos Rodriguez-Lluesma, “Consumption Practices: A Virtue Ethics Approach,” Business Ethics Quarterly 24, 4 (2014): 509-531.
A COMMENTARY ON “The Inexorable Sociality of Commerce: The Individual and Others in Adam Smith,” by David Bevan and Patricia Werhane (J Bus Ethics 127(2)(2015): 327–335).
David Bevan and Patricia Werhane try to enlist Adam Smith’s support in countering the neoclassical narrative in business ethics and CSR. While I applaud their goal and also completely agree with their argument that Smith has been radically misinterpreted by the economics mainstream, I am not completely in agreement with how they argue. In short, I believe they also have uprooted Adam Smith and transformed him in parts into a 20th century philosopher. The 18th century Adam Smith would be a much more powerful advocate for ethics in business if he were accepted as the very eclectic 18th century philosopher that he was.
To download the full PDF, click here: Hühn on Bevan and Werhane.
A COMMENTARY ON “The Influence of Business Ethics Education on Moral Efficacy, Moral Meaningfulness, and Moral Courage: A Quasi-Experimental Study,” by Douglas R. May, Matthew T. Luth, and Catherine E. Schwoerer (J Bus Ethics 124(1) (2014): 67–80).
Douglas May, Matthew Luth, and Catherine Schwoerer identify and study an area that lacks empirical research, namely the effectiveness of teaching, and learning, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. The authors assess whether courses that teach ethical decision-making in business settings positively influence students’ moral efficacy, moral meaningfulness, and moral courage. Their findings demonstrate increases in the ethics education treatment group’s outcomes for each of the three variables. This experimental data is encouraging, but the definitional subjectivity of each variable, and the unique effects of various methods of instruction, should provide motivation for further research efforts.
To download the full PDF, click here: Lovett on May, Luth, and Schwoerer.
“The Science of Creating Organizational Connectedness,” by David Ohreen and Jim Silovs
A COMMENTARY ON “Empathy, Connectedness and Organisation,” by Kathryn Pavlovich and Keiko Krahnke (J Bus Ethics 105(1) (2012): 131–137).
Pavlovich and Krahnke’s inclusion of neurological and psychological evidence to support organizational connectedness should be lauded. Unfortunately, we suggest a more fine-grained reading of the literature does not support their claim that empathy is critical to dissolving boundaries between employees and increasing altruism.
To download the full PDF, click here: Ohreen and Silovs on Pavlovich and Krahnke.
A COMMENTARY ON “Ethical Leadership and Followers’ Moral Judgment: The Role of Followers’ Perceived Accountability and Self-leadership,” by Steinbauer et al (J Bus Ethics 120(3) (2014): 381-392).
Abstract: Steinbauer et al. (2014) examine how ethical leadership leads to improved moral judgment, and the role of followers’ perceived accountability and self-leadership. In this Commentary, I offer two critiques. First, I argue that the relationship that Steinbauer et al. propose between ethical leadership and self-leadership contains internal contradictions. Second, I argue that ethical leadership can have undesirable consequences for moral judgment and that self-leadership requires substantial freedom from an external authority. Thus, my arguments focus on Steinbauer et al.’s understanding of self-leadership and moral judgment in relation to ethical leadership.
To download the full PDF, click here: Khan on Steinbauer et al.
BEJR is now in its third year of publishing, and we’ll be launching Volume 3 tomorrow with the publication of a commentary on leadership ethics by Shazia Khan, a PhD Candidate (Management) in the Management Sciences Department at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan.
As we enter our third year, and as the popularity and influence of BEJR grow, it becomes increasingly important to ground the journal in a set of institutional arrangements that will provide it with a firm foundation. So starting with Volume 3, BEJR will now be published by the nonprofit Journal Review Foundation of the Americas, which was founded by BEJR‘s editors. Nothing is changing in terms of policies and practices, but having a formal, nonprofit entity act as BEJR‘s publisher should help provide a stable foundation for the future.
Peter Jaworski is Assistant Teaching Professor of Business Ethics in Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He’s the author of “Moving Beyond Market Failure: When the Failure is Government’s”, published in BEJR in February of 2013 and downloaded 300 times since then in PDF format.
BEJR co-editor, Alexei Marcoux, caught up with Peter to talk to him about his experience publishing in BEJR and his current projects.
Alexei Marcoux: What inspired you to submit a Commentary to BEJR?
Peter Jaworski: I thought it would be a great way to engage with the literature. I didn’t have a significant criticism, just a small disagreement. I thought BEJR would be perfect for that. And I was right.
AM: Was your Commentary in BEJR part of a larger project? What was it?
PJ: In my case it was. I ended up writing a longer piece [Journal of Business Ethics, “An absurd tax on our fellows”] that expands on and refines my comments for BEJR. Reading the response to my Commentary gave me the opportunity to clarify my meaning and, I think, to more relevantly engage with the material. I’m still interested in that broader project — of discussing rent seeking and crony capitalism as a government failure, of more importance to our understanding of the professional obligations and role morality of politicians and government actors, rather than thinking of it as a problem for market actors.
AM: How did writing for BEJR fit into your workflow?
PJ: Sometimes, when reading an article, I write a few pages in response to that article. Like when you have a nagging criticism, or just a small worry, or what you hope is a clarification or better way of putting something. I think we all probably do that. That doesn’t always turn into a larger project. And with BEJR, it doesn’t have to be a bigger project. So it fit in brilliantly.
AM: What was the editorial experience like?
PJ: Is this where I say nice things about you and Chris? There’s some sort of journalistic problem with you asking me this question, I’m sure, but I’ll answer anyways: It was great. Feedback came quickly, a decision was faster than any place else I’ve ever submitted to, and the instructions were clear. A model for others to follow, I’d say.
AM: Did your Commentary get some attention on social media? We try hard to get the word out about everything we publish. Did it work?
PJ: Yes, some. I think a lot of people read it, and I did get more email on account of it than anything else I’ve published in an academic journal.
PJ: You know, Joe Heath really sparked a strong interest on my part in business ethics. He wasn’t alone, but I look forward to reading his articles because each time I feel like he’s onto something important, significant, and is making moves in the literature that push all of us forward. So it was exciting to see his Response (even though it was a pretty grumpy response overall).
AM: How has being published in BEJR changed your attitude toward publishing?
PJ: That’s a bit of a tough question. It’s changed my attitude about what publishing might be like. I love how fast and responsive the process was at BEJR, which I’d like to see copied at other places. In a way, it makes me realize that it’s at least possible to have an academic conversation, in print, with others where the turnaround time for salvos is less than 12 months.
AM: What are you working on currently?
PJ: Most importantly, I’m working in the moral limits of markets research area. With my colleague, Jason Brennan, I have an article forthcoming in Ethics entitled “Markets without Symbolic Limits,” and we expect to publish our book, Markets Without Limits: Commercial Interests and Moral Virtues, in October of this year. I hope this helps spark some interest, and so I expect to spend my 2015 talking about markets in kidneys in blood and about commercial surrogacy and so on. Apart from that research area, I’m also active in issues surrounding “ownership.” I’m interested in whether or not we can continue to claim an ownership stake in some object after some passage of time, and I’m interested in what objects or things in the world are “fit” for the ownership relation (rather than guardianship, or stewardship, for example).
You can see Peter in action in this Learn Liberty video, “Should Collegiate Athletes Be Paid?”
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