Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 1029–1047 | Cite as

Corporate Ethics Initiatives As Social Control

  • William S. Laufer
  • Diana C. Robertson

Abstract

Efforts to institutionalize ethics in corporations have been discussed without first addressing the desirability of norm conformity or the possibility that the means used to elicit conformity will be coercive. This article presents a theoretical context, grounded in models of social control, within which ethics initiatives may be evaluated. Ethics initiatives are discussed in relation to variables that already exert control in the workplace, such as environmental controls, organizational controls, and personal controls.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ayres, Ian and John Braithwaite: 1992, Responsive Regulation: Transcending the Deregulation Debate (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  2. Baumhart, Raymond C.: 1961, ‘How Ethical Are Businessman?’, Harvard Business Review 39 (July–August), 6–19, 156–176.Google Scholar
  3. Beets, S. D. and L. N. Killough: 1990, ‘The Effectiveness of a Complaint-based Ethics Enforcement System: Evidence from the Accounting Profession’, Journal of Business Ethics 9, 115–126.Google Scholar
  4. Berenbeim, Ronald E.: 1987, Corporate Ethics (Conference Board, New York).Google Scholar
  5. Berenbeim, Ronald E.: 1988, ‘An Oubreak of Ethics’, Across the Board 25(5), 15–19.Google Scholar
  6. Berenbeim, Ronald E.: 1991, Corporate Ethics Practices (Conference Board, New York).Google Scholar
  7. Beville, S. L. and C. Nickerson: 1982, Improving the Quality of Youth Work: A Strategy for Delinquency Prevention (United States Department of Justice, Washington DC).Google Scholar
  8. Black, Donald: 1976, The Behavior of Law (Academic Press, New York).Google Scholar
  9. Block, J. H. and J. Block: 1979, ‘The Role of Ego Control and Ego-Resiliency in the Organization of Behavior’, in W. A. Collins (ed.), Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology (Vol. 13) (Erlbaum, New York).Google Scholar
  10. Brenner, Steven N. and Earl A. Molander: 1977, ‘Is the Ethics of Business Changing?’, Harvard Business Review 55(1), 57–71.Google Scholar
  11. Bucy, Pamela H.: 1991, ‘Corporate Ethos: A Standard for Imposing Corporate Criminal Liability’, Minnesota Law Review 75, 1095–1128.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, John M.: 1926, The Social Control of Business (McGraw-Hill, New York).Google Scholar
  13. Clarkson, Max B. E. and Michael C. Deck: 1992, ‘Applying the Stakeholder Management Model to the Analysis and Evaluation of Corporate Codes’, Paper presented at the International Association for Business and Society, June.Google Scholar
  14. Cohen, Deborah V.: 1993, ‘Creating and Maintaining Ethical Work Climates: Anomie in the Workplace and Implications for Managing Change’, Business Ethics Quarterly 3(4), 343–358.Google Scholar
  15. Comte, Auguste: 1893, Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte (Chapman, London).Google Scholar
  16. Cooley, C. H.: 1909, Social Organization (Scribner, New York).Google Scholar
  17. Cressay, Donald R. and Charles A. Moore: 1983, ‘Managerial Values and Corporate Codes of Ethics’, California Management Review 25(4), 53–77.Google Scholar
  18. Dalton, Dan, R., Michael B. Metzger and John W. Hill: 1994, ‘The “New” U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines: A Wake Up Call for Corporate America’, Academy of Management Executive 8(1), 7–13.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, N. J. and B. Anderson: 1983 Social Control: The Production of Deviance in the Modern State (Irvington, New York).Google Scholar
  20. DeGeorge, Richad T.: 1990, Business Ethics (Macmillan Publishing Company, New York).Google Scholar
  21. DeGeorge, Richard T.: 1993, Competing with Integrity in International Business (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  22. Derry, Robbin: 1991, ‘Institutionalizing Ethical Motivation: Reflections on Goodpaster's Agenda’, in R. Edward Freeman (ed.), Business Ethics: The State of the Art (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  23. Donaldson, Thomas: 1989, The Ethics of International Business (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  24. Dubinsky, A. J. and B. Loken: 1989, ‘Analyzing Ethical Desicion Making in Marketing’, Journal of Business Research 19(2), 83–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dunfee, Thomas W.: 1987, ‘The Case for Professional Norms of Business Ethics’, American Business Law Journal 25(3), 385–406.Google Scholar
  26. Dunfee, Thomas W.: 1991, ‘Beyond the Law: A Brief Ethical Analysis of Milken's Securities Violations’, Journal of Social Philosophy 22, 137–144.Google Scholar
  27. Durkheim, Emile: 1895, The Division of Labor in Society (Free Press, New York).Google Scholar
  28. Eisenhardt, Kathleen, M.: 1983, ‘Control: Organizational and Economic Approaches’, Management Science 31, 134–149.Google Scholar
  29. Ermann, M. D. and R. J. Lundman: 1978, ‘Deviant Acts by Complex Organizations: Deviance and Social Control at the Organizational Level of Analysis’, Sociological Quarterly 19, 55–67.Google Scholar
  30. Ethics Resource Center: 1990, Ethics Policies and Programs in American Business (Washington, DC).Google Scholar
  31. Etzioni, Amitai: 1961, A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organizations: On Power, and Their Correlates (Macmillan, New York).Google Scholar
  32. Etzioni, Amitai: 1965, ‘Organizational Control Structure’, in J. G. March (ed.), Handbook or Organizations (Rand McNally, Chicago).Google Scholar
  33. Ferrell, O. C. and K. G. Gresham: 1985, ‘A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing’, Journal of Marketing 49(3), 87–96.Google Scholar
  34. Follett, Mary Parker: 1973, Dynamic Administration; the Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett (Pitman, New York).Google Scholar
  35. Frederick, William C.: 1991, ‘The Moral Authority of Transnational Corporate Codes’, Journal of Business Ethics 10(3), 165–177.Google Scholar
  36. Fritzsche, D. J.: 1988, ‘An Examination of Marketing Ethics: Role of the Decision Maker, Consequences of Decision, Management Position, and Sex of Respondent’, Journal of Macromarketing 8(2), 29–39.Google Scholar
  37. Gatewood, Robert D. and Archie B. Carroll: 1991, ‘Assessment of Ethical Performance of Organizational Members: A Conceptual Framework’, Academy of Management Review 16(4), 667–690.Google Scholar
  38. Gelacak, M. S. and Heather R. Epstein: 1994, ‘Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations: A Commissioner's View’, Business Crimes Bulletin 1(4), 1–3.Google Scholar
  39. Gellerman, S.: 1989, ‘Managing Ethics from the Top Down’, Sloan Management Review, Winter, 73–79.Google Scholar
  40. Gibbs, Jack P.: 1985, ‘Social Control’, in Adam Kuper and Jessica Kuper (eds.), The Social Science Encyclopedia (Routledge, London).Google Scholar
  41. Gibbs, Jack, P.: 1972, Social Control (Warner, Andover, MA).Google Scholar
  42. Gilbert, Daniel, R.: 1991, ‘Respect for Persons, Management Theory, and Business Ethics’, in R. Edward Freeman (ed.), Business Ethics: The State of the Art (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  43. Goodpaster, Kenneth E.: 1991, ‘Ethical Imperatives and Corporate Leadership’, in R. Edward Freeman (ed.), Business Ethics: The State of the Art (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  44. Gottfredson, Michael and Hirschi Travis: 1990, A General Theory of Crime (Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif).Google Scholar
  45. Greenberger, David B. and Strasser, Stephen: 1986, ‘Development and Application of a Model of Personal Control in Organizations’, Academy of Management Review 11(1), 164–177.Google Scholar
  46. Hart, H. L. A.: 1961, The Concept of Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford).Google Scholar
  47. Hegarty, W. H. and H. P. Sims, Jr.: 1978, ‘Some Determinants of Unethical Decision Behavior: An Experiment’, Journal of Applied Psychology 63, 451–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hirschi, T.: 1969 The Causes of Delinquency (University of California Press, Berkeley, Calif).Google Scholar
  49. Hollingshead, A. B.: 1941, ‘The Concept of Social Control’, American Sociological Review 6, 217–224.Google Scholar
  50. Horwitz, Allan V.: 1990, The Logic of Social Control (Plenum, New York).Google Scholar
  51. Jenkins, Anne, L.: 1994, ‘The Role of Managerial Self-Efficacy in Corporate Compliance with the Law’, Law and Human Behavior 18(1), 71–88.Google Scholar
  52. Jones, Thomas, M.: 1991, ‘Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations: An Issue-Contingent Model’, Academy of Management Review 16(2), 366–395.Google Scholar
  53. Kyodo News Service: 1992, ‘Doyukai Says Japan Should Show Initiative in 1992’, Tokyo, January 3.Google Scholar
  54. Langlois, Catherine C. and Bodo B. Schlegelmilch: 1990, ‘Do Corporate Codes of Ethics Reflect National Character? Evidence from Europe and the United States’, Journal of International Business Studies, 519–539.Google Scholar
  55. Laufer, William S.: 1992, ‘Culpability and the Sentencing of Corporations’, Nebraska Law Review 41, 1049–1094.Google Scholar
  56. Laufer, William S.: 1994, ‘Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds’, Emory Law Journal 79, 649–732.Google Scholar
  57. Laufer, William S., D. K. Skoog and James M. Day: 1982, ‘Personality and Criminality: A Review of the California Psychological Inventory’, Journal of Clinical Psychology 38, 562–573.Google Scholar
  58. Laufer, William S., J. A. Johnson and R. Hogan: 1981, ‘Ego Control and Criminal Behavior’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 41, 184–197.Google Scholar
  59. Mathews, M. Cash: 1988, Strategic Intervention in Organizations: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas (Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA).Google Scholar
  60. Metzger, Michael, Dan R. Dalton and John W. Hill: 1993, ‘The Organization of Ethics and the Ethics of Organization: The Case for Expanded Organizational Ethics’, Business Ethics Quarterly 3(1), 28–43.Google Scholar
  61. Modic, Stanley J.: 1987, ‘Corporate Ethics: From Commandments to Commitment’, Industry Week 235(6), 33–36.Google Scholar
  62. Murphy, P.: 1955, ‘Implementing Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 7, 907–915.Google Scholar
  63. Murphy, P.: 1989, ‘Creating Ethical Corporate Structures’, Sloan Management Review, Winter, 81–87.Google Scholar
  64. Murphy, P.: 1995, ‘Corporate Ethics Statements: Current Status and Future Prospects’, Journal of Business Ethics 14(9), 727–740.Google Scholar
  65. Nagel, Ilene H. and M. Swenson, Winthrop: 1993, ‘The Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Corporations: Their Development, Theoretical Underpinnings, and Some Thoughts About Their Future’, Washington University Law Quarterly 71, 205, 215.Google Scholar
  66. Ouchi, William G.: 1979, ‘A Conceptual Framework for the Design of Organizational Control Mechanisms’, Management Science 25, 833–848.Google Scholar
  67. Parsons, Talcott: 1960, Structure and Process in Modern Society (Free Press, New York).Google Scholar
  68. Pervin, Lawrence A.: 1987, ‘Person-Environment Congruence in the Light of the Person-Situation Controversy’, Journal of Vocational Behavior 31, 222–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pervin, Lawrence A.: 1989, ‘Persons, Situations, Interactions: The History of a Controversy and a Discussion of Theoretical Models’, Academy of Management Review 14(3), 350–360.Google Scholar
  70. Pitt, H. and R. Groskaufmanis: 1990, ‘Minimizing Corporate Civil and Criminal Liability: A Second Look at Corporate Codes of Conduct’, Georgetown Law Journal 78, 1559–1589.Google Scholar
  71. Posner, Barry Z. and Warren H. Schmidt: 1987, ‘Ethics in American Companies: A Managerial Perspective’, Journal of Business Ethics 6(5), 383–391.Google Scholar
  72. Quinney, Richard: 1974, Crime and Justice in Society (Little Brown, Boston).Google Scholar
  73. Rakoff, Jed S.: 1994, ‘Avoiding Corporate Indictments Under New Sentencing Guidelines; Lessons from the First 26 Cases’, Business Crimes Bulletin 1(1), 1–5.Google Scholar
  74. Rakoff, Jed S., Linda, R. Blumkin and Richard Sauber: 1993, Corporate Sentencing Guidelines: Compliance and Mitigation (Law Journal Seminars-Press, New York).Google Scholar
  75. Reckless, Walter C., S. Dinitz and E. Murray: 1957, ‘The Self Component in Potential Delinquency and Potential Non-Delinquency’, American Sociological Review 22, 556–570.Google Scholar
  76. Reiss, Albert J.: 1951, ‘Delinquency as the Failure of Personal and Social Controls’, American Sociological Review 16, 206.Google Scholar
  77. Robertson, Diana C.: 1991, ‘Corporate Ethics Programs: The Impact of Firm Size’, in Brian Harvey, Henk J. L. Van Luijk and Guido Corbetta (eds.), Market Morality and Company Size (Kluwer Academic Publishers).Google Scholar
  78. Roberston, Diana C. and Erin Anderson: 1993, ‘Control System and Task Environment Effects on Ethical Judgement: An Exploratory Study of Industrial Salespeople’, Organization Science 4(4), 617–644.Google Scholar
  79. Robertson, Diana C. and Bodo B. Schlegelmilch: 1993, ‘Corporate Institutionalization of Ethics in the United States and Great Britain’, Journal of Business Ethics 12(4), 301–312.Google Scholar
  80. Ross, E. A.: 1901, Social Control (Macmillan, New York).Google Scholar
  81. Schlegelmilch, Bodo B. and Jane E. Houston: 1989, ‘Corporate Codes of Ethics in Large UK Companies: An Empirical Investigation of Use, Content and Attitudes’, European Journal of Marketing 23(6), 7–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Schwartz, Howard and Stanley Davis: 1981, ‘Matching Corporate Culture and Business Strategy’, Organizational Dynamics, Summer, 30–48.Google Scholar
  83. Stead, W. Edward, Dan L. Worrell and Jean Stead: 1990, ‘An Integrative Model for Understanding and Managing Ethical Behavior in Business Organizations’, Journal of Business Ethics 9, 233–242.Google Scholar
  84. Stevens, Betsy: 1994, ‘An Analysis of Corporate Codes Studies: “Where do we go from here?”’, Journal of Business Ethics 13, 63–69.Google Scholar
  85. Sumner, William Graham: 1906, Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals (Dover, New York).Google Scholar
  86. Toby, J.: 1957, ‘Social Disorganization and Stake in Conformity: Complementary Factors in the Predatory Behavior of Hoodlums’, Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science 48, 12–17.Google Scholar
  87. Trevino, Linda Klebe: 1986, ‘Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: A Person-Situation Interactionist Model’, Academy of Management Review 11(3), 601–617.Google Scholar
  88. Trevino, Linda Klebe: 1990, ‘A Cultural Perspective on Changing and Developing Organizational Ethics’, Research in Organizational Change and Development 4, 195–230.Google Scholar
  89. Trevino, Linda K. and Stuart A. Youngblood: 1990, ‘Bad Apples in Bad Barrels: A Causal Analysis of Ethical Decision-making Behavior’, Journal of Applied Psychology 75, 378–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. United States Sentencing Commission: 1991 Supplementary Report on Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (U.S. Sentencing Commission, Washington).Google Scholar
  91. Walt, Steven D. and William S. Laufer: 1991, ‘Why Personhood Doesn't Matter: Corporate Criminal Liability and Sanctions’, American Journal of Criminal Law 18(3), 263–287.Google Scholar
  92. Walt, Steven D. and William S. Laufer: 1992, ‘Corporate Criminal Liability and the Comparative Mix of Sanctions’, in K. Schlegel and D. Weisburd (eds.), White Collar Crime Reconsidered (Northeastern University Press, Boston).Google Scholar
  93. Weber, James: 1993, ‘Institutionalizing Ethics into Business Organizations: A Model and Research Agenda’, Business Ethics Quarterly 3(4), 419–434.Google Scholar
  94. Weaver, Gary R.: 1993, ‘Corporate Codes of Ethics: Purpose, Process and Content Issues’, 44–58.Google Scholar
  95. Williamson, Oliver E.: 1991, ‘The Logic of Economic Organization’, in Oliver E. Williamson and Sidney G. Winter (eds.), The Nature of the Firm, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Laufer
    • 1
  • Diana C. Robertson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA

Personalised recommendations