Living in the Gray: Lessons on Ethics from Prison
- 863 Downloads
Often overlooked once they are remanded to custody, incarcerated former business executives can provide valuable insight into the inner workings of organizations while also contributing to the dialogue on of business ethics within the undergraduate business curricula. This paper summarizes experiences of white collar offenders obtained through a questionnaire-based research method to elicit lessons on ethics from prisoners and to provide a unique learning experience for undergraduate business students. Data was collected from 12 questionnaire responses (n = 12) which resulted in four major themes involving business ethics: core values, ethical responsibility, ethics training, and ethical culture. Narrative responses, integration of ethical decision-making research and student discoveries are included for each theme.
KeywordsEthics Ethical decision-making Ethics training Ethical business culture White collar crime
The author would like to thank, Peggy Johnson, Theresa Schulz, and Alexandre Ardichvili for their assistance in reviewing this manuscript. She would also like to thank Lisa Aguado, John Nye, and Leah Hoglin for their assistance in compiling data.
- Albrecht, W. S., Albrecht, C. C., Albrecht, C. O., & Zimbelman, M. F. (2009). Fraud examination (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage.Google Scholar
- Argyris, C. S. (1999). On organizational learning. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
- Argyris, C. S., & Schön, D. A. (1978). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. Reading, PA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
- Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2009). State of the Bureau 2009. U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
- Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2012). Weekly population report for March 12, 2012. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved April 13, 2012 from http://www.bop.gov/locations/weekly_report.jsp.
- Horowitz, S. (2009, November 11). Should Mary buy her bonus? Business Ethics Magazine.Google Scholar
- Longenecker, J. G., Moore, C. W., Petty, J. W., Palich, L. E., & McKinney, J. A. (2006). Ethical attitudes in small businesses and large corporations: Theory and empirical findings from a tracking study spanning three decades. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(2), 167–183. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-627X.2006.00162.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McLean, B., & Elkind, P. (2003). The smartest guys in the room: The amazing rise and scandalous fall of Enron. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Phelps, E. (1899, January 24). Speech at Mansion House. London.Google Scholar
- Robinson, P. (2007). Ethics training and development in the military. Parameters: U.S. Army War College, 37, 23–36.Google Scholar
- Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Siehl, C., & Martin, J. (1990). Organizational culture: A key to financial performance? In B. Schneider (Ed.), Organizational climate and culture (pp. 241-281). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Werhane, P. H. (1999). Moral imagination and management decision-making. Oxford: University Press.Google Scholar
- Williams, O., & Murphy, P. (1992). The ethics of virtue: A moral theory for business. In O. F. Williams & J. W. Houck (Eds.), A virtuous life in business (pp. 9–27). Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield.Google Scholar