Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 211–225

“I don’t Care that People don’t Like What I Do” – Business Codes Viewed as Invisible or Visible Restrictions

Article

Abstract

Research about codes of corporate ethics has hitherto taken a hypothetical, correct meaning of codes for granted. The article problematises the dichotomous categories intrinsic and subjective meanings of codes. I address the question if professionals in finance accept codes of business. The particular mentality of stockbrokers and traders constructs the way they judge restrictions such as company codes of ethics. While neglecting dimensions of ethics beyond known rules, brokers and traders distrust good ethics as a possible end in itself. Many professionals in the financial market perceive efforts to integrate ethical reasoning in work as only means for maximising business opportunities.

Keywords

business codes legitimacy mentality moral stress stockbrokers overman 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abelson R. P.: 1981, Psychological Status of the Script Concept, American Psychologist 36 (7), 715–729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abolafia M. Y.: 1996. Making Markets: Opportunism and Restraint on Wall Street (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.)Google Scholar
  3. Aguilera R. V., et al.: 2007, Putting The S Back In Corporate Social Responsibility: A Multilevel Theory Of Social Change In Organizations, Academy of Management Review 32(3), 836–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ajzen I., & M. Fishbein. 1980. Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)Google Scholar
  5. Angeles P. A.: 1992. The Harpercollins Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd edition (HarperPerennial, New York)Google Scholar
  6. Arnold D., et al.: 2007, The Effect of Country and Culture on Perceptions of Appropriate Ethical Actions Prescribed by Codes of Conduct: A Western European Perspective Among Accountants, Journal of Business Ethics 70(4), 327–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bacon, F.: [1626] 1952, ‹New Atlantis’, in Advancement of Learning: Novum Organum; New Atlantis (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago)Google Scholar
  8. Barthes R.: 1971, De l’oevre au texte, Revue d’esthétique 24(3), 225–232Google Scholar
  9. Barthes R.: 1973. Le plaisir du texte (Seuil, Paris)Google Scholar
  10. Barthes, R.: [1968] 2002, ‹La mort de l’auteur’, in OEuvres complètes, 1968–1971 (Seuil, Paris)Google Scholar
  11. Bauman Z.: 1993. Postmodern Ethics (Blackwell, Oxford)Google Scholar
  12. Bauman Z.: 1996. From Pilgrim to Tourist – Or a Short Story of Identity, in S. Hall and P. Du Gay (eds), Questions of Cultural Identity (Sage, London), pp. 18–36Google Scholar
  13. Bergh T.: 1982. Bank og demokrati, in T. Bergh and F. Sejersted (eds.), En storbank i blandingsøkonomien: Den norske Creditbank 1957–1982 (Gyldendal, Oslo), pp. 256–282Google Scholar
  14. Brügger U., K. D. Knorr Cetina: 2000, The Market as an Object of Attachment: Exploring Postsocial Relations in Financial Markets, Canadian Journal of Sociology-Cahiers Canadiens de Sociologie 25 (2), 141–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brytting T.: 1997, Moral Support Structures in Private Industry – the Swedish Case, Journal of Business Ethics 16(7), 663–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brytting T.: 2001 Att vara som Gud?: moralisk kompetens i arbetslivet (Liber, Malmö)Google Scholar
  17. Brytting T.: 2003. God byråkrati och moraliskt välbefinnande, in K. Abrahamsson (ed), Friskfaktorer i arbetslivet (Prevent, Stockholm), pp. 184–204Google Scholar
  18. Carnegie: 2003, 9th September, Karin Forseke Forms Code of Conduct for Listed Companies (Dagens Industri)Google Scholar
  19. Cassis Y.: 1984. Les banquiers de la City à l’époque Edouardienne (1890–1914) (Droz, Genève)Google Scholar
  20. Castells M.: 1996. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture (Blackwell, Malden, Mass.)Google Scholar
  21. Chandler A. D.: 1977. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Belknap, Cambridge, Mass.)Google Scholar
  22. Chonko L. B., T. R. Wotruba, T. W. Loe.: 2003, Ethics Code Familiarity and Usefulness: Views on Idealist and Relativist Managers under Varying Conditions of Turbulence, Journal of Business Ethics 42 (3), 237–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davis K.: 1973, The Case for and against Business Assumption of Social Responsibilities, Academy of Management Journal 16(2), 312–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Davis J. H., F. D. Schoorman, L. Donaldson: 1997, Toward a Stewardship Theory of Management, Academy of Management Review 22(1), 20–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dobson J.: 2003, Why Ethics Codes Don’t Work, Financial Analysts Journal 59(2), 29–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Durkheim, É.: [1897] 1960, Le suicide: Étude de sociologie, 8th Edition (Les Presses universitaires de France, Paris)Google Scholar
  27. Etzioni A.: 1988. The Moral Dimension: Toward a New Economics (Free Press, New York)Google Scholar
  28. Evan W. M., E. R. Freeman: 1993. A Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation: Kantian Capitalism, in G. D. Chryssides, J. H. Kaler (eds), An Introduction to Business Ethics (Chapman & Hall, London), pp. 75–93Google Scholar
  29. Farrell H., and B. J. Farrell: 1998, The Language of Business Codes of Ethics: Implications of Knowledge and Power, Journal of Business Ethics 17(6), 587–601Google Scholar
  30. Ferrell, O. C. and L. G. Gresham: 1985, `A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decisions in Marketing', Journal of Marketing 49(3), 87–96Google Scholar
  31. Folcker, A.: 1998, 13th July, Svensken litar på vården och polisen (Svenska Dagbladet), p. 4Google Scholar
  32. Foucault M.: 1969. L’archéologie du savoir (Gallimard, Paris)Google Scholar
  33. Foucault M.: 1971. L’ordre du discours: leçon inaugurale au Collège de France le 2 décembre 1970 (Gallimard, Paris)Google Scholar
  34. Friedman, M.: [1970] 1990, The Social Role of Business is to Increase Its Profits, in W. M. Hoffman and J.␣Mills Moore (eds.), Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality (McGraw-Hill, New York)Google Scholar
  35. Fritzsche D., E. Oz: 2007, Personal Values’ Influence on the Ethical Dimension of Decision Making, Journal of Business Ethics 75(4), 335–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Fromm E.: 1941. Escape from Freedom (Farrar & Rinehart, inc., New York)Google Scholar
  37. Fromm E.: 1956. The Sane Society (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London)Google Scholar
  38. Furuhagen Vestergren, Å.: 2001, 9th May, ‹Stureplans kalvinister’, Kyrkans Tidning, 7Google Scholar
  39. Gadamer H.-G.: 1960. Wahrheit und Methode: Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik (Mohr, Tübingen)Google Scholar
  40. Gioia D. A.: 1992, Pinto Fires and Personal Ethics: A Script Analysis of Missed Opportunities, Journal of Business Ethics 11(5/6), 379–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gossling T.: 2003, The Price of Morality. An Analysis of Personality, Moral Behaviour, and Social Rules in Economic Terms, Journal of Business Ethics 45(1), 121–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hayek, F. A. v.: [1948] 1980, Individualism and Economic Order, Paperback Edition (University of Chicago Press, Chicago)Google Scholar
  43. Heidegger, M.: 1977 [1927], Sein und Zeit (Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main)Google Scholar
  44. Helin S., J. Sandström.: 2007, An Inquiry Into the Study of Corporate Codes of Ethics, Journal of Business Ethics 75(3), 253–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hemingway C. A., P. W. Maclagan: 2004, Managers’ Personal Values as Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Business Ethics 50(1), 33–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hernes T.: 2000, Organisationsstudiet og den nye økonomi, Nordiske organisasjonsstudier 2(2), 94–102Google Scholar
  47. Holub R. C.: 1984. Reception Theory: A Critical Introduction (Methuen, London)Google Scholar
  48. Hornsey, M. J., et al.: 2003, On Being Loud and Proud: Non-conformity and Counter-Conformity to Group Norms, British Journal of Social Psychology 42(3), 319–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Iser, W.: 1970, Die Appellstruktur Der Texte (Universitätsverlag, Konstanz)Google Scholar
  50. Iser W.: 1976. Der Akt des Lesens: Theorie ästhetischer Wirkung (Wilhelm Fink, München)Google Scholar
  51. Jauß H. R.: 1970. Literaturgeschichte als Provokation, 2nd edition (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main)Google Scholar
  52. Kakabadse A., N. Kakabadse, R. Knyght: 2007. Investment Brokers Orientation toward CSR, in A. Kakabadse, N. Kakabadse (eds), CSR in Practice: Delving Deep (Palgrave Macmillan, New York), pp. 103–120Google Scholar
  53. Kant, I.: [1781] 1974, Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main)Google Scholar
  54. Kant, I.: [1797] 1907, Metaphysik der Sitten (Meiner, Leipzig)Google Scholar
  55. Kaptein M.: 2004, Business Codes of Multinational Firms: What Do They Say? Journal of Business Ethics 50(1), 13–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kaptein M., M. Schwartz: 2008, The Effectiveness of Business Codes: A Critical Examination of Existing Studies and the Development of an Integrated Research Model, Journal of Business Ethics 77(2), 111–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kautny O.: 2001. Arvo Pärts Passio und Johann Sebastian Bachs Johannespassion – Rezeptionsästhetische Perspektiven, in D. Gojowy, O. Kautny (eds), Arvo Pärt Rezeption und Wirkung seiner Musik Vorträge des Wuppertaler Symposiums 1999 (epOs, Osnabrück), pp. 57–76Google Scholar
  58. Knorr Cetina K., U. Brügger.: 2002, Global Microstructures: The Virtual Societies of Financial Markets, American Journal of Sociology 107(4), 905–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kodgruppen: 2004, Svensk kod för bolagsstyrning: betänkande (SOU 2004:130) (Fritzes offentliga publikationer, Stockholm)Google Scholar
  60. Kohlberg L.: 1984. The Psychology of Moral Development: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages (Harper & Row, San Francisco)Google Scholar
  61. Levin P.: 2001, Gendering the Market – Temporality, Work, and Gender on a National Futures Exchange, Work and Occupations 28(1), 112–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Levis, J.: 2006, `Adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility Codes by Multinational Companies', Journal of Asian Economics 17(1), 50–55Google Scholar
  63. Lindgren H.: 1991, Swedish Historical Research on Banking During the 1980’s: Tradition and Renewal, Scandinavian Economic History Review 39(3), 5–19Google Scholar
  64. Little J.: 2002. Gender and Rural Geography: Identity, Sexuality and Power in the Countryside (Prentice Hall, Harlow)Google Scholar
  65. Lönnqvist J.-E., et al.: 2006, Conformism Moderates the Relations between Values, Anticipated Regret, and Behavior, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32(11), 1469–1481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Lyotard J.-F.: 1979. La condition postmoderne: rapport sur le savoir (Éd. de minuit, Paris)Google Scholar
  67. Merricks W.: 2007, The Financial Ombudsman Service: Not Just an Alternative to Court, Journal of Financial Regulation & Compliance 15(2), 135–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Meyer J. W., B. Rowan. 1977, Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structures as Myth and Ceremony. American Journal of Sociology 83(2), 340–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Miller, D.: 1990, The Icarus Paradox: How Exceptional Companies Bring About Their Own Downfall: New Lessons in the Dynamics of Corporate Success, Decline, and Reneval (HarperBusiness, New York)Google Scholar
  70. Nietzsche, F.: [1882] 1982, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (Insel, Frankfurt am Main)Google Scholar
  71. Nietzsche, F.: [1885] 1930, Also sprach Zarathustra – ein Buch für alle und keinen (Albert Kröner, Leipzig)Google Scholar
  72. Nietzsche, F.: [1886] 1968, Jenseits von Gut und Böse (de␣Gruyter, Berlin)Google Scholar
  73. Nietzsche, F.: [1886] 1982, Menschliches Allzumenschliches (Insel, Frankfurt am Main)Google Scholar
  74. Näringslivet och förtroendet: 2004, (SOU 2004:47) Finansdepartementet, FörtroendekommitténGoogle Scholar
  75. Norberg P.: 2002, Mentalitet i finansmarknadens nätverk, Nordiske organisasjonsstudier 4(2), 5–26Google Scholar
  76. Norberg, P.: 2004, Financial Mentality Beyond Good and Evil, SSE/EFI Working paper series in business administration (Online), 2004:12Google Scholar
  77. North D. C.: 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge)Google Scholar
  78. North, D. C. and B. Weingast: [1989] 1996, ‹Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England’, in L. J. Alston, T. Eggertsson and D. C. North (eds.), Empirical Studies in Institutional Change (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge), pp. 134–165Google Scholar
  79. Oliver C.: 1991, Strategic Responses to Institutional Processes, Academy of Management Review 16(1), 145–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Ollevik, N.-O.: 2005, 28 June, ‹Styckmästaren på jakt efter titeln som bankir’, SvD Näringsliv, 10–11Google Scholar
  81. Page M., L. F. Spira. 2005, Ethical Codes, Independence and the Conservation of Ambiguity, Business Ethics: A European Review 14(3), 301–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Read, T.: 1999, Ethics for Pleasure and Profit, Euromoney (Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC), p. 12Google Scholar
  83. Reich, S.: 2000, The Four Faces of Institutionalism: Public Policy and a Pluralist Perspective, Governance 13(4), 501–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Reich, S.: 2005, `When Firms Behave ``Responsibly'', Are the Roots National or Global?', International Social Science Journal 57(185), 509–528Google Scholar
  85. Rosenblatt, L. M.: [1938] 1995. Literature as Exploration, 5th Edition (Modern Language Association of America, New York)Google Scholar
  86. Rosenthal E. C.: 2005. The Era of Choice: The Ability to Choose and Its Transformation of Contemporary Life (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.)Google Scholar
  87. Safranski R.: 2003. Wieviel Globalisierung verträgt der Mensch? (C. Hanser Verlag, München)Google Scholar
  88. Sartre J.-P.: 1964. L’existentialisme est un humanisme (Nagel, Paris)Google Scholar
  89. Sartre, J.-P.: 1964 [1943], L’être et le néant: essai d’ontologie phénoménologique (Gallimard, Paris)Google Scholar
  90. Schwartz, M.: 2000, `Why Ethical Codes Constitute an Unconscionable Regression', Journal of Business Ethics 19(2), 173–184Google Scholar
  91. Schwarz M.: 2001, The Nature of the Relationship between Corporate Codes of Ethics and Behaviour, Journal of Business Ethics 32(3), 247–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Sen A.: 1987. On Ethics and Economics (Basil Blackwell, Oxford)Google Scholar
  93. Sennett, R.: 1998, The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism, 1st Edition (W.W. Norton, New York)Google Scholar
  94. Singha J., et al.: 2005, A Comparative Study of the Contents of Corporate Codes of Ethics in Australia, Canada and Sweden, Journal of World Business 40(1), 91–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Smith, A.: 1976 [1776], An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Clarendon Press and Oxford University Press, Oxford [Oxfordshire] and New York)Google Scholar
  96. Stevens B.: 1994, An Analysis of Corporate Ethical Code Studies: ‹Where do We Go from Here?’ Journal of Business Ethics 13(1), 63–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Stevens, B.: 2008, Corporate Ethical Codes: Effective Instruments for Influencing Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics 78(4), 601–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Suchman M. C.: 1995, Managing Legitimacy: Strategic and Institutional Approaches, Academy of Management Review 20(3), 571–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Tester K.: 2001. Compassion, Morality and the Media (Open University Press, Buckingham)Google Scholar
  100. Tetlock P. E.: 2000, Cognitive Biases and Organizational Correctives: Do Both Disease and Cure Depend on the Politics of the Beholder? Administrative Science Quarterly 45(2), 293–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Vo X. V., K. J. Daly.: 2007, The Determinants of International Financial Integration, Global Finance Journal 18(2), 228–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Walras, L.: [1926] 1954, Elements of Pure Economics, or the␣Theory of Social Wealth (George Allen and Unwin, London)Google Scholar
  103. Weber, M.: [1910] 1978, ‹Antikritisches Schlußwort zum “Geist des Kapitalismus’”, in J. Winckelmann (ed.), Die protestantische Ethik. 2, Kritiken und Antikritiken, 3rd Edition (Gütersloher Vlg-haus Mohn, Gütersloh)Google Scholar
  104. Weber, M.: [1920] 1922, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (JCB Mohr, Tübingen)Google Scholar
  105. Winroth, K.: 2003, Professionals in Investment Banks: Sharing an Epistemic Practice or an Occupational Community? (No. 2003:1) (Gothenburg Research Institute, Göteborg)Google Scholar
  106. Wotruba T. R., L. B. Chonko, T. W. Loe.: 2001, The Impact of Ethics Code Familiarity on Manager Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics 33(1), 59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Wünsch M.: 1984. Wirkung und Rezeption, in W. Stammler et al. (eds.), Reallexikon der deutschen Literaturgeschichte. Bd 4, Sl-Z (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin), pp. 894–919Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and OrganizationStockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations