Dialogue and Universalism

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1/2024

ETHICS IN BUSINESS, IN SEARCH OF WHOLESOME HEALTH FOR HUMAN SOCIETY

 

EDITORIAL

ETHICS IN BUSINESS, IN SEARCH OF WHOLESOME HEALTH FOR HUMAN SOCIETY

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243411

   One sociological scheme that aided human survival from the Stone Age is the instinct for self-preservation. Humans, as Sigmund Freud notes, are “creatures among whose instinctual endowments are to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness.” When combined with deceit, aggression becomes a potent tool both for survival and for conquest/expansion into new territories. Given, as Thomas Hobbes alluded that in the state of nature, life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, and owing to the Darwinian evolutionary historiology, which claims that only the fittest survived, the exhibition of brute force and crude acquisitive tendencies became salutary enterprises. Not surprisingly the acuity of the Latin maxim Homo homini lupus (Man is a wolf to man), is not contested in many quarters of intellectual scrutiny.

   Objectionable as this is, as a guiding principle, instances of man being a wolf to man are rife in every age and culture. Now and again, this proverb manifests not only in the commodification of others (slavery) by seeing them as potential helpers or sexual objects, but also in exploiting their capacity for work without adequate compensation, in sexually abusing them, in forcefully seizing their possessions, political power or territories, in swindling them, in humiliating them, in causing them pain, and in torturing and killing them. All of these occur in spite of robust positive laws of nation-states and multiple international charters.

   Following the realist conflict theory, this natural proclivity for individual self-preservation and the pursuit of self-interest always drives humans to subvert rules and promote self-goals. We can easily relate these to most of the world’s crises: the shipment of black Africans to the West Indies and Europe for slavery, the inordinate ambition of Adolf Hitler for race purification that led to the extermination of millions of people during World War II, the insider trading at the Wall Street that led to the collapse of the world economy, the unsustainable exploitation of nature and industrial pollutions by corporations that have caused unprecedented natural disasters and sufferings, unconscionable proselytizing techniques that have led to religious intolerance, terrorism, and wars, the partisan manipulations and election rigging, especially in developing nations— leading to political crises, and the systemic disenfranchising of whole groups based on race, colour or gender in scientific and technological knowledge productions, etc. In all these, there is a palpable lack of ethics in the conduct of human affairs, and humans seem to revel in being wolves to each other.

   Although ethics in business (business ethics) is relatively new as a specialized philosophical discipline, it has, since antiquity, been the bedrock of flourishing humane societies. Due primarily to the postmodernist hedonistic penchant for profit maximization, and buoyed by a vigorous exploitation of Milton Friedman’s argument that the ethical duty of business people is nothing but to maximize profit within the law, some scholars and entrepreneurs tend to be suspicious of this merger. Nonetheless, studies abound that show the criticality of ethics to individual and corporate integrity, national harmony, and global peace which are indispensable ingredients for growth. In contradistinction to the animalistic depiction of humans, Seneca avers: “Homo, sacra res homini”— “Man is an object of reverence in the eyes of man.” Seeing each other as “objects of reverence” is the goal of ethics in business. It engenders respect, trust, loyalty, love, and care beyond legalism. Ethics in business thus, provides the opportunity for the diffusion of these inimitable values for social relationships and survival in human interaction.

   We live in a world broken by selfishness and greed, and history has shown that despite fleeting benefits to those who operate businesses without integrity, the enduring effects of unethical business practices can potentially destroy the entire fabric of the human race. Hence, despite its rejection in some quarters, the call for the injection of ethics into business is a call for collective responsibility; it is a call that harps on the need for cooperation and unity of all humans for survival. In this monothematic issue of Dialogue and Universalism, these scholars have diversely explored the centrality of ethics in businesses for a truly “healthy” life-style and a genuinely prosperous society. I enjoin you to savor the courses in this “menu,” and give us your feedback to enrich our intellectual culture.

Columbus N. Ogbujah

Professor of Philosophy

Director, Foundation Studies Unit,

Rivers State University, Port Harcourt,

Nigeria

 

 

 

ABSTRACTS

 

Yusril Bariki, Minhatus Saniyah

ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY AND BUSINESS ETHICS IN REALIZING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243413

   This paper aims to explain some economic aspects of sharia by using a widely grasped philosophical approach. The paper presents an Islamic position on business ethics as it is in Qu-ran and in interpretations of sharia elaborated by Islamic thinkers, first of all Indonesian ones. Following results given in selected positions of the literature of the subject the authors come to the following theses and conclusions: Humans must pay attention to few possessions that are basic needs. Humans must avoid prioritizing secondary needs by ignoring basic needs because this is contrary to the maqashid of sharia. Property management must be carried out about a predetermined plan and people who have property should not hoard it.

Keywords: Sharia, economics, business, ethics, prosperity, SDGs.

Affiliation:

Yusril Bariki — K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid Pekalongan State Islamic University, Kusuma Bangsa No. 9 Pekalongan City, 51141, Pekalongan City, Indonesia.

Emails: yusrilpersibat@gmail.com

Minhatus Saniyah — K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid Pekalongan State Islamic University, Kusuma Bangsa No. 9 Pekalongan City, 51141, Pekalongan City, Indonesia.

Email: saniyah.minhatus@gmail.com

 

 

 

Jean Campbell

CURRENCY AND MORAL PRACTICENAVIGATING THE COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243417

   This article investigates the ethical foundations for both personal and commercial conduct, placing these a) for natural individuals with Kant’s categorical imperative as the standard for verification and b) for entities defined to conduct business with markets that freely determine prices among the participating actors at the moment of exchange. Pervasive digitization of transactions is noted. The concepts of currency and money are defined and examined in practice, drawing on the statements of international and US government agencies, economists as well as investigative reporters.

Keywords: Currency, Karl Marx, market, central bank, Immanuel Kant.

Affiliation: Seton Hall University, New Jersey; Pace University and New School for Social Research, New York.

Email: adzijn@outlook.com

 

 

 

Maraizu Elechi

TRUST AND LOYALTY AS UNIVERSAL ETHICS IN GLOBAL BUSINESS OF GOVERNANCE

https://doi.org/10.5840/du202434113

   Trust and loyalty are universal human needs for moral knowledge, healthy relation-ships and good governance. They are core universal ethical values and virtues that enable people to relate freely under any sentient socio-political milieu. Public trust and loyalty in governments and in leaders across the globe is drastically declining with rising sense of hopelessness and lack of confidence that make citizens yearn for change. Meanwhile, some scholars have argued that distrust and disloyalty are as valuable as their contraries, especially when justified. Justifiably, one can be protected from harm and actions that could have negative effects on his reputations and self-respect, with inherent socio-political benefits and roles to good governance and the development of society. The point is that the reasons we have to trust and show loyalty are as valuable as the reasons we have to distrust and show disloyalty to someone or government. This means that trust and loyalty can either be withdrawn or betrayed. However, as valid as this sounds, the main thrust of this paper is that it is virtuous to trust and show loyalty until one finds valuable reason to withdraw or betray such trust or loyalty. Analytically, the paper concludes that genuine trust and loyalty promote common good in the global business of governance.

Keywords: Trust, loyalty, ethical universalism, global business, good governance.

Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, P.M.B. 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Email: drmaraizuelechi@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Tetiana Havryliuk

BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR BUSINESS ETHICS

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243412

   The article explores biblical sources of ethics principles of business. It demonstrates that in the contemporary pluralistic world, principles of biblical business ethics can be valuable in the communication and interaction among representatives of different countries and cultures, as they encompass fundamental foundations for building business relationships. Due to the influence of Christian morality on the culture of many nations, biblical values have the potential to significantly impact individuals and their economic behavior, contributing to the dissemination of important economic categories in society. The study reveals that important anthropological foundations for fruitful economic relations have been formed within the framework of biblical theocentrism, including considerations of human dignity, honesty, diligence, responsibility, and charity. The biblical perspective on property as a temporary stewardship has significant implications for awareness and education about responsibility not only towards other people but also towards the environment, holding crucial relevance in the context of corporate social responsibility in the modern world.

Keywords: Christianity, Old Testament, New Testament, business ethics, anthropology.

Affiliation: National Academy of Statistics, Accounting and Auditing (NASAA), Kyiv, Ukraine.

Email: tatianagavryliyk@gmail.com

 

 

 

Anthony Chiwuba Ibe

VIRTUE ETHICS THEORY IN THE MARKET PLACE

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243418

   Buying and selling are the most natural activities common to human beings. In a society where profit overrides personal dignity and human rights, many people see market as a virtue-free zone. They do not believe that one can buy and sell without dishonest gains. Consequently, they are ready to do anything in the name of business: manufacturing and selling fake and substandard goods and services for originals. Today, markets are flooded with fake medical drugs, fake foods, fake drinks/water, fake motor parts and fake building materials. Thus market exhibits exploitative and negative impacts on customer satisfaction. Its impact on human life and property leads to increased deaths because of poisoning, building collapses and even increased road accidents. Such market transaction lacks mutual benefit which is its telos. This paper seeks to establish that market is not a virtue-free zone. It has moral standards of excellence internal to it.

Keywords: Benefit, ethics, market, mutual, virtue.

Affiliation: Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria.

E-mail: iberia202001@yahoo.com

 

 

 

George Joseph

GOING BEYOND POSITIVIST LOGIC OF MARKET: JOSEPH RATZINGER ON FRATERNITY IN ECONOMY

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243414

   In today’s world, on the one hand, the traditional networks of civic solidarity face an increasing number of challenges to overcome in the context of the politically uncontrolled economic modernization. On the other hand, the mere fact that we have become neighbours by virtue of globalization does not make us automatically brothers. At stake is the question of solidarity; civic cooperation in the today specific situation. In order to get a glimpse of the problem, this article attempts to examine some outlines of the current situation of global market economy as it is understood by Joseph Ratzinger. It is an important sign of our times that demands pre-political morality from societies across the world so as to bring about an authentic cooperation.

Key words: Joseph Ratzinger, positivism, market, fraternity, Marxism, transcendence.

Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Szeged, Hungary.

Email: georgevnkl@gmail.com

 

 

 

Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, Dokpesi Timothy Adidi, Catherine Chiugo Kanu

VIRTUE AND THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

https://doi.org/10.5840/du202434111

   Since independence, governance in Nigeria has faced several roadblocks at all levels of government. There are issues of corruption, of government institutions, and office-holders lacking the capacity to fulfil their mandates and hardly engage with citizens. This paper focuses on the issue of virtue and the business of governance in Nigeria. It distinguishes itself by its introduction of ethics—virtue in the discourse on governance to search for solutions to the challenges of governance in Nigeria. The paper adopts the philosophical theoretical frameworks of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle on virtue, and employs the thematic and analytical methods of inquiry. In the end, it discovers that imbibing virtue by those in governance can deal with the challenges of governance in Nigeria.

Keywords: Governance, Nigeria, ethics, virtue, business.

Affiliation:

Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony — Department of Philosophy, Veritas University Abuja, Nigeria.

Email: ikee_mario@yahoo.com

Timothy Dokpesi Adidi — Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; University Abuja, Nigeria.

Email: adidit@veritas.edu.ng

Chiugo Catherine Kanu — Department of Business Education, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Email: catherine.kanu@unn.edu.ng

 

 

 

Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, Dokpesi Timothy Adidi, Catherine Chiugo Kanu

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND CYBERCRIME IN NIGERIA: TOWARDS AN ETHICAL FRAMEWORK

https://doi.org/10.5840/du202434115

   The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence has brought about significant positive changes across various sectors. However, it has also created new opportunities for cybercrime. Nigeria, in particular, has witnessed a surge in cybercriminal activities, which have had severe economic and social consequences. The paper explored the relationship between AI, cybercrime, and the underground business economy in Nigeria, focusing on the rise of fraud, identity theft, and hacking. It discussed the ethical implications of AI, cybercrime, and the underground business economy, highlighting potential risks to privacy, security, and social trust, while emphasizing the ethical responsibilities of AI developers, policymakers, and stakeholders in mitigating these risks and promoting responsible AI use. The Igwebuike ethical theoretical framework was employed for the evaluation of cybercrime, and the thematic and analytical methods of inquiry were used. The paper submits that there is need for an ethical response to the challenges posed by cybercrime in Nigeria.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, cybercrime, economy, ethics, Nigeria.

Affiliation:

Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony — Department of Philosophy, Veritas University Abuja, Nigeria.

Email: ikee_mario@yahoo.com

Timothy Dokpesi Adidi — Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; Department of Philosophy, Veritas University Abuja, Nigeria.

Email: adidit@veritas.edu.ng

Chiugo Catherine Kanu — Department of Business Education, University if Nigeria Nsukka.

Email: catherine.kanu@unn.edu.ng

 

 

 

Oleh Kuz, Nina Konnova, Dmytro Korotkov

CORRUPTION MODELS OF BEHAVIOUR IN THE STRUCTURE OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF SOCIETY

https://doi.org/10.5840/du202434110

   The phenomenon of corruption as a type of crime is immanently inherent in social and political reality. Sociality as a trans-societal universal form of human community is the environment in which corruption ties are born and function. The socio-political structure is organized as a collective effort, on the one hand, it overcomes disintegration, and on the other, it generates corrupt behaviour patterns. Corruption models of behaviour have an extremely wide scale of distribution and are characterized by active institutional expansion into various spheres and institutions of modern society, they feed business relations and administrative activities, covering huge masses of the population. In this sense, their study is extremely important and relevant.

Keywords: Corruption threats, political system, corrupt behaviour, illegal benefits and privileges, privatization of power.

Affiliation:

Oleh Kuz – Department of International Relations, Political Sciences and Practical Philosophy, Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, Ukraine, Kharkiv.

Email: oleh.kuz@hneu.net

Nina Konnova – Department of International Relations, Political Science and Practical Philosophy, Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, Ukraine, Kharkiv.

Email: nina.konnova@hneu.net

Dmytro Korotkov – Department of International Relations, Political Science and Practical Philosophy, Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, Ukraine, Kharkiv.

E-mail: Dmytro.korotkov@hneu.net

 

 

 

Paul Nnodim

CORPORATE ETHOS AND JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS: ALIGNING CSR WITH RAWLSIAN PRINCIPLES

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243416

   This paper explores the integration of John Rawls’s (1921–2002) theory of “justice as fairness” into corporate social responsibility (CSR). It accentuates the shift from solely focusing on profit maximization to a model that prioritizes ethical governance and sustainable development. The paper reinterprets Rawls’s theory for corporate ethics and governance, asserting that businesses have a moral obligation to uphold fairness and equity beyond mere compliance or public perception. It acknowledges the role of the government in this integration. It recognizes the challenges in aligning Rawlsian principles with corporate objectives while balancing economic and societal obligations. The fusion of CSR with Rawlsian ideas can potentially bring transformative impacts to businesses, paving the way for a more equitable form of capitalism that combines economic goals with a strong commitment to social justice and ethical practices.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, John Rawls, justice as fairness, sustainable development, ethical business practices.

Affiliation: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts, USA.

Email: paul.nnodim@mcla.edu

 

 

 

Columbus N. Ogbujah, Nympha U. Nkama

ETHICS IN BUSINESS: OPPORTUNITY FOR THE REDEMPTION OF A BROKEN WORLD

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243415

   One intricate and perhaps, divisive task in philosophy is that of gauging growth in societies. The complexity stems from the reality that everyone seems to possess a template for growth, and so people are wont to use different yardsticks for its measurement. For the technically inclined, the index is science; in civil circles, the measure is perhaps, that of political evolution; and in religious spheres, it is increase in member-ship/physical structures. Ironically, all the advances arising thereof have been marred and sometimes eclipsed by torrid upheavals: violent overthrow of governments and wars; financial meltdowns; scourge of pandemics; prospects of nuclear combat; religious bigotry; chaotic climate, etc., that make life precarious. Human civilization is on the brink of self-destruct. “Ethics in Business” reimagines the interconnectivity of all spheres of human life, and proposes that the opportunity to redeem our broken world is tied to reengineering the values of trust and loyalty.

Keywords: Broken world, business ethics, loyalty, redemption, trust.

Affiliation:

Columbus N. Ogbujah — Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Email: ogbujah.columbus@ust.edu.ng

Nympha U. Nkama — Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Email: nymphauchenna@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Columbus N. Ogbujah, Cornelius C. Amadi, Charlse B. Berebon

VALUES AND EDUCATIONAL GROWTH: THE TRAGEDY OF AN EMASCULATED NATION

https://doi.org/10.5840/du202434112

   Values―the individual’s or group’s general tastes regarding results or courses of actions deemed appropriate or otherwise, have a synergetic relationship with educational growth. Ordinarily, the values espoused by individuals or groups engender specific types of attitudes that elicit precise sorts of behaviours that open the horizon for definite sorts of educational growth. Conversely, the quality and quantity of educational growth of a nation influence the behaviours of the citizens which generate attitudes that ultimately create values. This rectangular-like bidirectional correlation has a very strong causational angle to it: right values lead to positive educational growth; wrong ones elicit growth deficits in education, and vice versa. This essay establishes the correlation between values and educational growth using Nigeria as a case study. Through textual criticisms, it highlights the causative influence of bad values on the poor educational outcomes in the country and recommends value reorientation to reverse the ugly tide.

Keywords: Values, attitudes, educational growth, causative influence, reorientation.

Affiliation:

Columbus N. Ogbujah — Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Email: ogbujah.columbus@ust.edu.ng

Cornelius C. Amadi — Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Email: cornelius.amadi@ust.edu.ng

Charles B. Berebon — Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Email: charles.berebon@ust.edu.ng

 

 

 

Thaddeus A. Oparah, Ejike Akpa

ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF DISCRIMINATORY ECONOMIC POLICIES OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT:
THE CASE OF THE IGBO IN BUSINESS

https://doi.org/10.5840/du202434114

   Ideally, the government of any nation is in a contract with the citizens for protection of life, property and freedom while the citizens are obliged to obey government laws. Moreso, the government is to discharge her duties without discriminating against any person or group. In Nigeria there are economic and administrative policies that discriminate against the Igbo nation resulting in dire consequences. Since economic policies make or mar the wellbeing of citizens especially in business, the need for fairness, equity, and justice in the formulation and execution of policies is unquestionable. The Igbo of South East Nigeria, who are very active in business and entrepreneurship, suffer untold disadvantages and massive economic losses due to the lopsided and discriminatory economic policies churned out by successive Nigerian governments. Here we examine and argue against such policies based on their ethical implications and effects on individual and national development.

Keywords: Discrimination, economic policies, Igbo in business, ethical implication, marginalization.

Affiliation:

Thaddeus Akagbulem Oparah — Madonna University Nigeria.

Email: at.oparah@gmail.com

Ejike Akpa — Madonna University, Nigeria.

Email: akpaejike@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Jesús Enrique Beltrán Virgüez, Jhony Alexander Barrera Lievano

FEAR IN ORGANIZATIONS:
A CHALLENGE OF BUSINESS ETHICS FROM A PHENOMENOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

https://doi.org/10.5840/du20243419

   This article investigates the characteristics of the phenomenon of fear in work relationships in contemporary society. In this sense, the first part describes the dynamics of current life, emphasizing the role of organizations, their bad reputation, and characterizing their operational center as a society of performance. The second part describes the phenomenon of fear, starting from some representative origins of the term, Martin Heidegger’s phenomenological perspective, and recent studies within the field of organizations. Finally, a survey conducted in the first semester of 2023 with 160 workers from different sectors about their perception of fear in the organization is presented. The findings are interpreted in light of the studied perspectives connected with the ethical responsibility of institutions and the pursuit of comprehensive well-being in work relationships.

Keywords: Fear, organization, work, phenomenology, performance.

Affiliation:

Jesús Enrique Beltrán Virgüez — University Corporation Minuto de Dios, Uniminuto, Colombia.

Email: jesusenrique.beltranvirguez@gmail.com

Jhony Alexander Barrera Lievano — University Corporation Minuto de Dios, Uniminuto, Colombia.

Email: jhony.barrera.lievano@gmail.com

 


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