Kristyn Scott, “A cynical contagion: Employee and supervisor cynicism and workplace outcomes”

Kristyn Scott
Department of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour,
Ted Rogers School of Management
Feb 10, 2015

Much like any virus, organizational cynicism can spread beyond the cynic alone. This research focused on the relationships between 204 employees and their supervisors and found that if either one expressed cynical workplace attitudes, this spread to the other. The spread of cynicism had a negative impact on a host of important organizational outcomes ranging from the quality of the relationship between the employee and supervisor, job satisfaction, commitment and ultimately, job performance. These results suggest that the documented increase in organizational cynicism might be the result of its viral-like effect on people in organizations.

Chris MacDonald & Scott Gavura, “Complementary & Alternative Medicine: A Business Ethics Perspective”

Chris MacDonald & Scott Gavura

January 28, 2015

See the webcast here.

Is it ethical to market complementary and alternative medicines? Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are medical products and services outside the mainstream of medical practice. But they are not just medicines (or supposed medicines) offered and provided for the prevention and treatment of illness. They are also products and services – things offered for sale in the marketplace. Most discussion of the ethics of CAM has focused on bioethical issues – issues having to do with therapeutic value, and the relationship between patients and those purveyors of CAM. This presentation — by a philosopher and a pharmacist — aims instead to consider CAM from the perspective of commercial ethics. That is, we consider the ethics not of prescribing or administering CAM (activities most closely associated with health professionals) but the ethics of selling CAM.

(Chris MacDonald is Director of the Jim Pattison Ethical Leadership Program. Scott Gavura is a pharmacist, and author of the Science Based Pharmacy Blog.

Mary Gentile, “Giving Voice to Values: the ‘How’ of Business Ethics”

Mary Gentile
“Giving Voice to Values: the ‘How’ of Business Ethics”
November 24, 2014. Time: 2:00-3:30

Dr. Gentile will share a ground-breaking new approach to preparing business managers and leaders for values-driven decision making. Drawing on both the actual experience of business practitioners as well as cutting edge research, GIVING VOICE TO VALUES (GVV) fills a long-standing and critical gap in our understanding of how to enable ethical practice. Rather than a focus on ethical analysis, GVV focuses on ethical implementation and asks the question: “What if I were going to act on my values? What would I say and do? How could I be most effective?”
GVV was launched by The Aspen Institute and Yale School of Management, and is now housed and funded by Babson College. Developed by Gentile, a veteran of Harvard Business School and pioneer in both ethics and diversity management curriculum, GVV is now being piloted in over 650 educational and executive settings. Giving Voice to Values holds the promise to transform the foundational assumptions upon which the teaching of business ethics is based, and importantly, to equip future business leaders to not only know what is right — but how to make it happen.

Daniel Weinstock, “How (Not) to Deal With Corruption”

Daniel Weinstock, McGill University
“How (Not) to Deal With Corruption”
November 4, 5:00pm

Corruption has been put in the spotlight again by the public hearings of the Charbonneau commission in Quebec, which has uncovered patterns of systematic corruption in the construction industry, and in the bidding process for public contracts. My talk will in anticipation of the Commission’s final recommendations argue against three tempting but potentially crippling mistakes that such a Commission might be led toward, that I will label “over-inclusion”, “personalization”, and “sham transparency”.

Waheed Hussain, “Resisting the Ethical Consumer”

Waheed Hussain, University of Toronto
“Resisting the Ethical Consumer”
October 21, Time: 5pm-6pm

In 2012, American fast food chain Chik-fil-A was simultaneously the target of a boycott by supporters of gay rights and a ‘buycott’ by supporters of family values. This is just one example of how ethical consumerism can draw companies into heated political controversies. In this paper, I develop my “proto-legislative” theory of ethical consumerism (Hussain 2012) to provide an account of the moral responsibilities of businesses. I argue that companies should generally be sensitive to the “price-quality” preferences of their customers. But companies should be sensitive to the “ethical” preferences of their customers only when these preferences have been formed through an adequately democratic form of consultation and engagement. The basic idea is that companies have a duty to direct political controversies away from the market and back into the political process.

Peter Jaworski, “How Much is that Kidney in the Window?”

Peter Jaworski, Georgetown University
“How Much is that Kidney in the Window?”
October 2, 2014. 2:00pm-3:30.

Most people think that there are moral limits to markets. At least one objection to commodification — call it symbolic — holds that buying and selling certain goods and services, like kidneys or sex, is wrong because of what market exchange communicates, or because it violates the meaning of certain goods, services, and relationships. But Peter thinks that this objection to markets fails. He thinks just about all moral objections to markets fail, and he’ll present some of his reasons for thinking so.

Garrett MacSweeney, “CSR in the Developing World: Understanding Responsibility”

Garrett MacSweeney,
Philosophy, York University
September 23, 2014. 3:00-4:00pm.

Abstract: Research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) has long focused on the responsibilities of business in North America and Europe. While the literature has done much to explore the idea of CSR in such stable environments, in the developing world the notion of responsibility is context dependent. In this presentation I explore the notion of responsibility in the developing world on two levels, role responsibility and causal responsibility, and present ways for understanding both within this context by advancing an understanding of CSR as including a notion of positive and negative duties.

Chris MacDonald, “Ethics of Innovation: 3D Printing and other 21st Century Manufacturing Technologies”

Chris MacDonald, Professor & Director,
Jim Pattison Ethical Leadership Program
Ted Rogers School of Management
February 13, 2014

Emerging technologies — including 3D printing, computer-controlled laser cutting, and mass customization — promise to change the face of modern manufacturing. This presentation will explore the social impacts likely to result from such technologies, as well as the way they are likely to alter the range of ‘hot button’ ethical issues that come to the fore.

Hershell Ezrin, “Scandals at Arm’s Length: Can Government Ever Plead Ignorance?”

Hershell Ezrin,
Distinguished Visiting Professor,
Ted Rogers School of Management
March 3, 2014

Governments today routinely create agencies, boards and commissions that operate at arm’s length in order to carry out various policy objectives. Does independent third party oversight absolve the government who created them from mis-steps? Can we separate the actions of government appointees and the accountability of the governments they serve? Why should government continue to use agencies, boards and commissions if the same governments are routinely held responsible for their failures?

Abraham Singer, “The Psychological Limits of Cooperation and Competition: or, Everything I Need to Know about Business Ethics I Learned from my Father.”

Abe Singer, University of Toronto

One of the major difficulties involved in understanding the ethical dimensions of business organization and decision-making is that we often think of business and economics as inherently amoral, if not downright immoral. “It’s not personal, it’s business,” is the cliché often used to justify a course of action which might seem ethically dubious from a certain perspective. In this talk I aim to explain the ethical dimensions of business and the marketplace through a poignant, though crude, Jewish New York witticism. This helps us understand the differences between the moral dimensions of the market and the morality which exists within businesses, as well as the possibilities and problems in creating alternative workplace organizations and cultures.