返回首页

留学生企业管理论文-中小企业管理论文范文-商业道德论文之商业道德案例-小企业和实践经验在商业道德的观点-Small Bu

时间:2011-08-30 11:31:00 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien

留学生企业管理论文-中小企业管理论文范文-商业道德论文商业道德案例:SmallBusiness and Empirical Perspectives in Business Ethics: Editorial
Author(s): Laura J. Spence and Robert Rutherfoord


Small Business and Empirical Perspectives L(WiJ j Spence in Business Ethics: Editorial Robert Rutherfoord
ABSTPJVCT. In this editorial to a collection ofpapers on ethics in small firms, the case is made for
greater use of high quality empirical research onbusiness ethics. Sociological perspectives have muchto offer to the field of business ethics that continuesto be dominated by normative, moral philosophy. Thesecond contribution of the paper is to argue for a reorientation away from the large multi-national firmas a benchmark subject of business ethics research.One important point of view to be included is thatof the small firm, which remains the dominant organisational form throughout all the OECD countries.

KEY WORDS: empirical research, enterprise, smalland medium sized enterprises, social capital, sociology
There has been a revolution in the way policymakers, academics and commentators thinkabout and represent "the economy" in recentdecades. There is now a much greater acceptanceof the diversity of the business population.
Once consigned by many to the periphery ofthe economy, small business and entrepreneurship is now commonly seen as the primaryengine of economic development. No longer aresmall businesses seen as reactive and a peripheral
force in terms of innovation, employment,job creation and productivity. The Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor (Reynolds et al.,2002) is one example of how enterprise and newbusiness formation is seen as central to growthLaura J. Spence is a member of Brunei Research inEnterprise, Sustainability and Ethics at BruneiUniversity, UK. She has published widely on ethics insmall firms.
Robert Rutherfoord is associated with the Small BusinessResearch Center at Kingston University, UK.not only in the developed world but also to "lessdeveloped" areas of the globe. Even the most
casual glance at the industrial statistics of developed countries clearly demonstrates that smallbusiness contribute around 50 per cent of privatesector employment and account for between 96and 99 per cent of businesses in OECD countries (OECD, 2002). This sector is seen as theprimary contributor to productivity growth,innovation and job creation (OECD, 2001)."Enterprise", as symbolised by the smallbusiness, also has considerablesymbolicandemblematic importance in attempts to shape the
moral behaviour of individuals and of relationships throughout society (Carr, 2000). It is often#p#分页标题#e#
taken for granted that the small business ownermanager will behave almost as if the rationaleconomic man (sic) of standard economics textbooks were real (Spence and Rutherfoord, 2001).Business ethics has taken a long time to catchup with the idea that the economy is notcomposed primarily of large corporations(Spence, 1999). This is perhaps due to the fact
that business ethics as a discipline emerged duringthe era when the large firm was universally seen
as the main focus of business studies. In addition,the main private sector sponsors of research andconsultancy in business ethics and corporateresponsibility not surprisingly tend to be large
enterprises.So what does taking account of the small firm
mean for business ethics? To begin with, one keydifference between small business and large is thatthe small firm is likely to be owner-managed.Ownership and management are not separated to
the extent that they are in say a multinationalfirm. This provides greater scope for individualbeliefs and moral decision making to affect the
>L* Journal of Business Ethics 47: 1-5, 2003.
r" ? 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
2 Laura J. Spence and Robert Rutherfoordpractices of the business as a whole. In addition,the social relationships and networks in whichthese owner managers are entwined cannot beseparated from the business.
It is these issues on which the papers in thiscollection focus. The papers arose from a special
track on business ethics and social capital at the
Institute of Small Business Affairs Conferenceheld in Brighton, U.K. in November 2002. Theyare a diverse range of papers which all havesomething important to say of value to businessethics.
It would be useful first to discuss some of theconcepts used in the papers and demonstrate how
they link with the small business.It has been noted that there is a lack of high
quality empirical research in the business ethicsliterature (Crane, 1999). This has been coupled
with a considerable bias towards the notion ofethics from a predominantly moral philosophical,normative perspective. We argue that there aresubstantial benefits to be gained from subjectingthese perspectives to scrutiny from empiricalevidence. In this collection, we intend not onlyto improve understanding of ethics in small firms,
but also to demonstrate how sociological workon business ethics has an important role to playin our field. Three of the four papers presentedhere report findings from empirical research conducted in the U.K., Netherlands and Germany.Despite these countries' diverse regulatory andinstitutional environments, one main conclusion
emerges: small businesses are not social isolates.Small business owner-managers are engaged in awide range of social activities and their norms,ethics, "ways of living" cannot be divorced fromattempts by others to affect their behaviour. Thepaper by Carr (presented first in the collection)
takes what is a radical stance in business ethics,although a familiar perspective for sociologists. Itpresents ethics as an "ethic", a way of living. Thismeans that we should not make absolute judgements from a normative moral perspective ofgood or bad but that we should develop anappreciation of behaviour in context. From thefourpapers,onecritical common factor emerges:#p#分页标题#e#
the importance of social relationships in considering the ethics of small firms.
One aspect of social relationships and dialoguefor firms is evident in the currently popular
concept of social capital. This is a key concept inthe papers presented here by Janjuha-Jivraj and
Spence et al. There are many varied definitionsof social capital (for good overviews see Paldam,2000; Adler and Kwon, 2002). Adler and Kwonadopt the following definition: "social capital is
the goodwill available to individuals and groups.
Its source lies in the structure and content of theactor's social relations. Its effects flow from theinformation, influence, and solidarity it makesavailable to the actor" (Adler and Kwon, 2002,
p. 23). They consider goodwill to be "thesympathy, trust and forgiveness offered us by
friends and acquaintances" (op. cit. 18). One ofthe key definitions of social capital often cited is
that by Robert Putnam, "social capital refers toconnections among individuals ? social networksand the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them" (Putnam, 2000, p. 19).
An approach to ethics and small business draws,therefore, on the debate around social capital and
consequently places social relationships at thecentre of an analysis of market based exchange.
This approach often exposes practices of
留学生企业管理论文-中小企业管理论文范文-商业道德论文商业道德案例exchange, reciprocity and goodwill
-
frequently
overlooked by both economists and policy
makers.
Patricia Carr's paper challenges the conven
tional ahistorical and universalist stance of
business ethics and considers historically the
development of industrial society and the role
of enterprise culture in it. She takes as her
starting point the observations of Max Weber,
in the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,
on the emergence of capitalism and how this was
related to a remodelling of the individual, and an
ethic of enterprise. A historically contextualised
ethic, therefore, exists in all eras. Taking this
debate into the present day it is clear that there
is no necessary separation between the world of
work and the way of living one's life (as Weber
discussed in terms of Lebensf?hrung). This is
evident from modern day state promotion of
the ethic of enterprise to reshape the moral order
of the individual and how they relate to work
and society. From this perspective, the ethic of
enterprise says as much about the ethics of
those who govern and try to shape individuals'#p#分页标题#e#
Editorial 3
values as those who are ostensibly the subjects
of this discourse: entrepreneurs. The implications
of this approach are quite fundamental. If
we accept this contextual view of individual
behaviour, all attempts to encourage business to
behave responsibly need to first address the
question of what it is that makes some aspects
of business behaviour violate the norms held by
others.
The second article by Spence, Schmidpeter
and Habish reports on an unusual and timely
empirical investigation of social capital in
small businesses across two contrasting national
contexts. Like enterprise, social capital has
become an emblematic construct, not just for
social scientists but for policy makers in their
attempts to reshape civil society (World Bank,
1998; PIU, 2002). Somewhat paradoxically
perhaps, the "good society" is represented as not
only enterprising but as one where individuals,
businesses and state are bound together in
networks of mutual obligation and reciprocity as
well as market exchange. Spence et al. give
numerous examples that businesses are not oper
ating as purely self interested, social isolates.
Their way of life is bound up in complex social
relations with other businesses, philanthropic
activities and mutual exchange. This often takes
the form of social capital where benefit can be
drawn from the network exchanges, whether it
be within group (bonding) or outside group
(bridging) social capital. The authors argue that
demonstration of the prevalence of social capital
could be used as a lever for business ethics prac
titioners to enable them to affect the behaviour
of firms.
The third paper by Janjuha-Jivraj examines the
notion of social capital within ethnically based
business networks. This research is based on a
detailed study of the forms of social capital
evident in the United Kingdom Ismaili Muslim
and Vanik Hindu business groups who emigrated
from Asian communities in former British
colonies in East Africa in the 20th century. Her
work largely echoes Putnam's perspective that
"Immigrant networks also provide financing to
entrepreneurs, whether in the form of gifts
from family members or loans from rotating
credit associations" (2000, p. 320). She identi
fies the aspect of "inclusive", bonding social
capital, highlighting the changing nature of
business/personal relations with succession from
first to second generation business owners.
Second generations tend to break out beyond the
tightly knit ethnically based business network
more than their predecessors.
The final paper is somewhat different from
the others in that it is based on a large survey of
small and large businesses in the Netherlands.#p#分页标题#e#
Graafland, van de Ven and Stoffele identify three
means of defining and organising ethical behav
iour summarised as the compliance strategy
(concrete organisational standards of behaviour
are defined), the integrity strategy (individual
responsibility) and the dialogue strategy (stake
holder dialogue). They find that, more than large
firms, small business organisations tend to use the
approach of dialogue and consultation with stake
holders as a means of organising ethics. We note
that this is in the context of the Netherlands
where consensus building is a common aspect of
organisational life, but the findings are in keeping
with previous research on small firms (Spence et
al., 2000).
The papers in this collection offer a refreshing
approach to business ethics in two ways. First,
they deal with business ethics in context, drawing
on sociological approaches. Second, they focus
on a grossly underrepresented and sometimes
misrepresented aspect of business life, the small
firm. Each of these perspectives has a wider
implication for business ethics as a whole, influ
encing important aspects of future research
agendas.
Despite occasional foci on sociological per
spectives (for example Hendry, 2001), the
business ethics field remains currently dominated
by the normative perspectives of moral philos
ophy. As an applied ethic, we agree that moral
philosophy is an important aspect of business
ethics. We argue that the discussions on what
ought to be done are, however, undermined by a
lack of full, rigorous appreciation of what is done.
In this collection of papers, Carr calls for inves
tigation into the way that entrepreneurs live their
lives, and the other three papers use empirical
techniques to identify some perspectives of how
entrepreneurs (small business owner-managers in
4 Laura J. Spence and Robert Rutherfoord
this case) carry out their business. We believe that
the place of moral philosophy in business ethics
would be considerably strengthened by its appli
cation to empirical evidence. The distinction is
of course not absolute (Werhane, 1994). In the
subject choices of the three empirical papers pre
sented there is an implicit decision made about
issues relevant to business ethics - social capital
for Janjuha-Jivraj and Spence et al., strategies
and instruments of ethics for Graafland et al.
These decisions are informed by normative
positions.
Much has been made of the interdisciplinary
nature of business ethics research (for a discus
sion see Spence, 1998). Current research agendas
have failed to address this effectively. In this selec
tion of papers, we present an imperfect body of
information on empirical evidence around ethical#p#分页标题#e#
issues using sociological techniques in small firms.
It is our intention that this work be comple
mented with other empirical work to build up a
clearer picture of the way of Ufe of the small firm
owner-manager. In this way research findings can
better be verified through triangulation and
extension of breadth and depth in research. In
our collection of papers, for example, theoret
ical, qualitative empirical research and quantita
tive empirical research in different countries,
sectors and ethnic groupings have started to
identify the importance of social relationships as
a common feature. It is then necessary for those
trained in moral philosophy to consider the nor
mative perspective. Clearly, this approach is not
relevant only to small firms, but would strengthen
business ethics research in any form or level of
business life. We reiterate the calls for more
interdisciplinarity in business ethics research and
particularly advocate the use of empirical socio
logical techniques and theoretical contributions
to understand business in its social context.
The second aspect highlighted by this collec
tion of papers is the critical importance of
researching the full range of business types in
order to gain a full picture of business ethics. We
have made the point that the vast majority of
firms in North America and Europe are small.
This segment of industry is important for
economies, but more than that is the lived expe
rience of some 50% of private sector employees
in most Western economies. Failing to address
"small business ethics" is a fundamental flaw in
the majority of business ethics research to date.
The argument that the same factors found to be
relevant for large firms can be reapplied to small
firms is mistaken (Spence, 1999). In fact, our
main concern is not simply that small firms need
to be considered, but that business ethicists must
acknowledge that the large multinational firm is
not a standard business form against which other
types are benchmarked. This in turn brings us
back to the need for empirical work in order to
provide evidence of the differences between
organisational type
?
whether on the basis of size,
legal form, sector, orientation to profit, national
context, historical development or institutional
structures. We invite you to read the four papers
in this collection and hope that they present a
stimulating perspective to enhance business ethics
research.
References
Adler, P. and S.-W. Kwon: 2002, Social Capital:
Prospects for a New Concept', Academy of
Management Review 27(1), 17-40.
Carr, P.: 2000, The Age of Enterprise: The Emergence
and Evolution of Entrepreneurial Management#p#分页标题#e#
(Blackhall, Dublin).
Crane, A.: 1999, 'Are You Ethical? Please Tick Yes
or No. On Researching Ethics in Business
Organisations', Journal of Business Ethics 20(3),
237-248.
Hendry, J.: 2001, 'After Durkheim: An Agenda for
the Sociology of Business Ethics', Journal of Business
Ethics 34(3-4), 209-218.
OECD: 2001, Fostering Firm Creation and
Entrepreneurship, Ch. V of the New Economy
Beyond the Hype (Economic Cooperation and
Development, Paris).
OECD: 2002, OECD Small and Medium Sized
Enterprise Outlook, Organisation For (Economic
Cooperation and Development, Paris).
Paldam, M.: 2000, 'Social Capital: One or Many?
Definition and Measurement', Journal of Economic
Surveys 14(5), 629-653.
PIU: 2002, Social Capital: A Discussion Paper,
Performance and Innovation Unit (Cabinet Office,
London).
Putnam, R.: 2000, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and
Editorial 5
Revival of American Community (Simon & Shuster,
New York).
Reynolds, P. Michael, S. Camp, B. Bygrave, E. Autio,
M. Hay: 2002, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor,
Summary Report 2001 (London Business
School/Babson College, London).
Spence, L. J.: 1998, 'On Effective Interdisciplinary
Alliances in Business Ethics Research: Discussion
and Illustration', Jo u mal of Business Ethics 17(9),
1029-1044.
Spence, L. J.: 1999, 'Does Size Matter?: The State of
the Art in Small Business Ethics', Business Ethics:
A European Review 8(3) (July), 163-174.
Spence, L. J., R. Jeurissen and R. Rutherfoord: 2000,
'Small Business and the Environment in the
U.K. and the Netherlands: Towards Stakeholder
Cooperation', Business Ethics Quarterly 10(4),
945-965.
Spence, L. J. and R. Rutherfoord: 2001, 'Social
Responsibility, Profit Maximisation and the
Small Firm Owner-Manager', Small Business and
Enterprise Development 8(2), 126-139.
Werhane, P.: 'The Normative/Descriptive Distinction
in Methodologies of Business Ethics', Business
Ethics Quarterly 4(2), 175-180.
World Bank: 1998, The Local Level Institutions
Study: Program Description and Prototype
Questionnaires', Local Level Institutions Working
Paper No. 1, May 1998 and Working Paper No. 2,
August 1998 (World Bank, Washington).
Laura J. Spence
Brunei Research in Enterprise,
Sustainability and Ethics,
Brunei University,
School of Business and Management,
Uxbridge, Middlesex,
留学生企业管理论文-中小企业管理论文范文-商业道德论文商业道德案例U.K.
E-mail: laura.spence@brunel.ac.uk#p#分页标题#e#
Robert Rutherfoord
Small Business Research Centre,
Kingston University,
U.K.

(责任编辑:留学生论文网)


------分隔符-------------------------------------
UK Thesis Base Contacts
推荐内容
  • 大众汽车成功的秘诀

    本文分析了大众汽车成功的关键-很好地处理市场活动。一方面不断加强自己的产品,另一方面了解竞争对手学习跟进自己产品的不足。...

  • 对Abdul Rahman ...

    近年来,企业越来越重视对员工的选择,如何选择一个适合企业的员工成为一大难题。对此,采访了Abdul Rahman Hallab & sons的人力资源经理,本文......

  • HRM作业:人力资源管理的定...

    本文是人力资源管理专业刘足额作业,主要是通过4个作业的任务来回答人力资源管理的定位问题,最后得出结论。...

  • Human resource...

    本篇文献综述基于人力资源管理(HRM)创作的,根据本文的研究我会制定一个特定的研究问题并编写一个完整的报告。首先话题将把人力资源管理(HRM)作为一个整体来评论......

  • Business Assig...

    本Assignment是一篇澳洲留学生委托我们公司代写的课程Assignment,管理学主要的思维类型有奇幻思维、 现代思维、后现代思维和悖论思维。本文就主要介......

  • 英国联合利华公司的历史和公司...

    介绍了联合利华的发展历史:它的前身,发展过程,遇到的社会和环境问题及如何解决。联合利华的成功与它自身的不断改革,努力满足消费者需求密不可分。...