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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 49–60 | Cite as

Profits, Layoffs, and Priorities

  • Daniel G. Arce
  • Sherry Xin Li
Article

Abstract

This study examines the deliberations of professional MBA students when presented with a dilemma that weighs the difference between commitments to profit- maximization against concerns for fired workers who would need to seek a new job during a recession. Using content analysis, accounting, economic, and ethically based rationales that differ from the profit-maximizing recommendation are categorized. Results also show that those who make non-profit-maximizing recommendations consider, but ultimately reject the profit-maximizing approach to layoffs.

Keywords

behavioral economics business ethics content analysis downsizing experimental economics layoffs profits recession self-interest unemployment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics Program, GR 31, School of Economic, Political and Policy SciencesUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardsonU.S.A.

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