Pilant's Business Ethics

Business Ethics Blog

Tag: management (Page 1 of 2)

Does Teaching Business Ethics Matter? From the Ethics Sage

Does Teaching Business Ethics Matter?

Are Ethics Courses Failing to Produce Ethical Business People? – Ethics Sage

The bottom line is there is no way of knowing whether business ethics education has made a difference. A graduate of a prestigious school might commit fraud in the future, but it doesn’t mean business ethics has failed them or even all students. Organizational pressures and the culture of a firm can create barriers to ethical behavior. The key is to find a way to work through the obstacles and voice your values.

Are Ethics Courses Failing to Produce Ethical Business People? – Ethics Sage

(I should mention that a great deal of this posting dealt with the “Giving Voice to Values” curriculum and the work of Mary C. Gentile. I have visited the web site for this curriculum and liked what I saw.)

I guess you could ask if classes in art, history or music are effective? It’s hard to measure the results once you wander even a little distance from the hard sciences, and even they have trouble coming up with hard data at times. Many of the most important subjects like leadership are difficult to teach and have results hard to measure. Ethics is no different. We “cast our bread on the water” and hope for it to return.

James Pilant

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Islamic Business Ethics!

Business Ethics – Mufti Menk – YouTube

Mufti Menk explains the rules of a good bargain.

I have taught business ethics for some years now and I have tried to emphasize the application of religion to the field. Several Protestant denominations have strong codes of business ethics, and the Catholic Church has an vast array of teachings on the proper conduct of business from a moral standpoint. However, both Judaism and the religion of Islam have a lot to say about business ethics. I have been impressed by the Islamic take on what constitutes proper business conduct.

This brief video is eloquent and beautifully explains the concept of “blessings” in business dealings. Blessings in this teaching are the benefits of the bargain. They are not to be concentrated on one side of the deal but both parties are to share in the prosperity brought about by business deals. I was delighted with the concept and I hope you enjoy it too.


Kaaba at night (from wikipedia)

In these days, when many are willing to judge all practitioners of Islam as militant radicals, it is important to recognize the basic morality of the religion and the benefits it has brought hundreds of millions of people. Among those benefits is a strong well taught set of rules for Islamic business ethics.

James Pilant

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The Work of Luke H. Lee

Example of supply chain

Image via Wikipedia

Keeping a web site and maintaining it can be a real pain but one of the great pleasures of it, is that you get to provide support to your friends to get the word out about their ideas. Here is a piece from my blogging friend, Luke H. Lee.

The article is significantly longer than this small excerpt and you probably need to see the diagrams for full understanding. So please read the whole thing.

James Pilant

Realizing a better world

If a public information-based supply chain infrastructure system is developed and fully implemented in the real market, the existing efficiency-oriented market process would be changed to a more effectiveness-oriented market process, which is more suitable for the modern information market. This would significantly contribute to the improvement of employment on the whole. The self-generation capability of the market would improve as well.

Luke Ho-Hyung Lee

With the influence of this new, more effectiveness-oriented supply chain process, the existing competition by size would change into competition by quality and service. The existing efficiency-oriented mass production process and mass-market consumption model would also be altered into a more effectiveness-oriented, diversified, or individualized production and consumption system. Owing to these changes, local employment conditions would improve considerably, and the business environment for middle- and small-sized companies and for the general service industry would improve significantly. Moreover, companies that off-shored and outsourced to lower labor cost countries would come back to the domestic arena

Realizing a better world

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Are Lion Burgers in Poor Taste?

Sometimes something happens that catches your attention. This is it.

I laughed when I first heard this. Why the fuss, I thought, calling a fancy burger, a lion burger is hardly crime. Then I read the article. The burgers are 80% lion meat. I didn’t know you could get it. I can’t figure out why you would want to get it.

So, my second thought was, well maybe, a lion killed his sister and this is revenge. Not a good reason to eat lion, but better than nothing. Nope, no family losses to lions. What does that leave? Is he allergic to cats?

This is just a bad idea. Get a regular burger, call it a lion kill burger, a lion victory over some beefy animal. We have lots of beefy animals and very few lions.

I suppose we should ask at some point – is it ethical to eat lion meat or to sell it? If you believe that meat eating is okay, eating lion is probably okay save from an aesthetic point of view. Currently the lion is not an endangered species although I have confidence that human greed and incompetence will eventually get it there.

James Pilant

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This is the New Blog Site – Pilant’s Business Ethics

I haven’t quite got everything worked out. The columns aren’t quite right and the pictures are still being cropped funny but this is the new site. It’s up and running. I hope many of you find it an improvement over the old one.

The focus has changed slightly, instead of a total focus on business ethics and the best business ethics writing, there will be more of an economic justice perspective. Over the past year, I have become more and more aware of how much ground the middle class of this nation has lost. I have also found the government of this nation to be less and less responsive to the needs of the general population.

So, I will often speak of business ethics but I will also talk about the suffering and cruelty inflicted on hard working Americans who have done all the right things but have not been rewarded for them. I want to talk about the damage done by corruption and greed all over the world because more and more that harm is no longer confined to one nation but is a matter of world concern.

I want you to let me know what you think about this blog and anything I write about. I have blogged when no one was reading and there were no comments. It is better to take some criticism than be ignored. So, comment when you can.

Whatever happens I thank you for reading my previous blog and any attention you pay to the new one.

My Best Wishes,

James Alan Pilant



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The Location of the New Site

Pilant’s Business Ethics

The Location of the New Site

James Pilant

It needs a lot of work but the prototype is up.

Be tough and criticize me harshly!! This new blog is supposed to be an improvement in terms of looks and performance to this one, so help me make it work by letting me know what you think.

However, remember it’s not really supposed to be ready until September 1st, and I have not got the categories straightened out yet. So, I am well aware I need to work on that.


James Pilant

(An official and more elegant announcement will be made on the first of September.)

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Power and Authority (via Business Management)

Power and Authority (via Business Management)

Here we have a discourse on authority, a rare and precious gem. Few understand it. Most who believe they have it don’t. Those that understand it seldom explain. Can you tell if the author knows his subject or not?

Here’s a paragraph –

French and Raven identified five bases of power as: legitimate, referent, expert, reward and coercive. Legitimate power is authority. For example, police has legitimate power. Referent power arises from personal authority. It can be someone whom you like and want to follow (e.g your role model). When someone has expert power, that means this person has knowledge which others respect. Reward and Coercive power is the classic definition of carrot and stick. It means the person who holds the power to reward or punish has this type of power.

James Pilant

Power means “the ability to influence people”. For example, if you have the ability to persuade your friends to move in the same direction as you do, then you have the power. Authority is the “official power”. For example if you are assigned to a manager position where your subordinates are obliged to follow your orders then you have the authority. Military officers have the authority. French and Raven identified five bases of power as: legitimat … Read More


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What I’m Reading Today – Best Blogs!

Marcos Gonzales writing at his blog Experification discusses cell phone charges based on rounding up seconds. This is in Holland. Nevertheless, it is not only definitely in the business ethics zone, it’s not hard to realize that if the cell phone companies are doing it there, they’re doing it here.

Sue Wall’s Blog is talking about the dangers of hiring the wrong real estate agent. She also recommends against selling right now. Here’s what she says in regard to business ethics

I believe that, in several instances buyers are being misguided by their agents, who are hungry to make a sale. They somehow persuade their clients to disregard standard business ethics and respect. They show homes to their clients that would normally be out of their price range, hoping to “catch a deal” from a poor, desparate seller.

Florida Business Students get a Lesson in Ethics reads the blog headline. This refers to the cheating scandal at the University of Central Florida. Here’s what is said –

This news story just broke yesterday and it is sad that there is such a lack of integrity, especially in a business school. This is a timely piece because NECB is the first in the nation to offer a degree specifically in business ethics and compliance, but has been an educator of business people for over 100 years. As alumni of this institution, how do you feel about this video?

This is the video link the author refers to.

I am appalled and that the school offers a specific degree in Business Ethics makes it all worse. The current business philosophy is causing deterioration of ethics and morality in every aspect of this society. When the only value is money and the only goal is to get it, you get the current business environment.

Here’s a real estate broker talking about her struggles mastering her field. Quote

You have to think old school, new school and anticipate the moves of the school with no foundation these days in real estate. Like any business, I’m sure you’re sitting there shaking your head, “It’s not rocket science!”. . .thanks Captain Obvious. It can be frustrating to see some folks advance in business. Prowess in marketing? Networking? Orrrr connections, which, hey, I get it, it’s a networking game, life/business that is and good on ya if you’re out shakin’ your tail feather to push your product or idea. Maybe it was that business ethics class (since I thought taking one was important) or one too many lock-ins at Baylake United Methodist as a kid but I think it’s weird push your product when there’s a very personal interest at heart.

This blog is called, “Real Estate.” It is written by McKenzie Laurence.

I’m impressed that she remembers some of that business ethics stuff.

James Pilant

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Ethics and the SME (via The Business Ethics Blog)

Chris MacDonald has discovered a great South African column talking about business issues. I went and looked at several entries. If you want to look at business in a totally different regulatory, historical and cultural mind set, this is where to go.
Professor MacDonald cites the latest article about ethics. It’s discusses the ethical implications of risk management.

Here’s a very nice short article on business ethics, with a particular focus on SMEs (small and medium enterprises). By Hendri Pelser, writing for Times Live (South Africa), Play fair and you will win: With the effects of the global credit crunch still with us, it is pertinent to consider business ethics – the lack thereof helped create the recession. But how does one approach business ethics? In the academic world, it is a philosophical discipli … Read More

via The Business Ethics Blog

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Karma Isn’t a Bitch (via Shminaminoo)

A cynical look at ethics training combined with an even more cynical view of corporate success tempered by philosophical thought. Good read.

Karma Isn’t a Bitch Image via Wikipedia When I was hired to BAE last summer, I—like every other new hire at every other company—was forced to watch hours of “training videos”.  The ostensible purpose of these videos was to teach the morals and ethics all employees were expected to uphold.  Let me summarize the three central tenets: Don’t be a jerk Don’t grab people’s asses Don’t sell corporate or national secrets (Considering the legal ramifications of not … Read More

via Shminaminoo

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