Are moderation and temperance still virtues of value in the business world? and do they affect performance? Read on to find out.

Authenticity and corporate governance 
Although personal attributes have gained recognition as an important area of effective corporate governance, scholarship has largely overlooked the value and implications of individual virtue in governance practice. The authors explore how authenticity—a personal and morally significant virtue—affects the primary monitoring and strategy functions of the board of directors as well as core processes concerning director selection, cultivation, and enactment by the board.

While the predominant focus in corporate governance research has been on structural factors that influence firm financial outcomes, this paper shifts attention to the role of authenticity and its relationship to individual board member qualities and collective board activities.

The authors explore how authenticity has the potential to influence board dynamics and decision making and to enhance transparency and accountability.

Erica Steckler and Cynthia Clark. 2019. Authenticity and Corporate Governance.
Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 951–963.

 

Horizontal alignment of values-driven business functions
This paper highlights the emergence of different ‘vocabularies’ that describe various values-driven business functions within large organisations and argues for improved horizontal alignment between them.

The authors investigate two established functions that have long-standing organisational histories: Ethics and Compliance (E&C) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). By drawing upon research on organisational alignment, the authors explain both the need for and the potential benefit of greater alignment between these values-driven functions.

The authors then examine the structural and socio-cultural dimensions of organisational systems through which E&C and CSR horizontal alignment can be coordinated to improve synergies, address tensions, and generate insight to inform future research and practice in the field of Business and Society.

The paper concludes with research questions that can inform future scholarly research and a practical model to guide organisations’ efforts towards inter-functional, horizontal alignment of values-driven organisational practice.

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Mollie Painter, Sareh Pouryousefi, Sally Hibbert and Jo-Anna Russon. 2019. Sharing Vocabularies: Towards Horizontal Alignment of Values-Driven Business Functions. 
Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 965–979.

 

Virtues of moderation and temperance in the workplace 
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the virtue of temperance as a moral competence in professional performance. The analysis relies on three different streams of literature: virtue ethics, positive psychology and competency-based management.

The paper analyses how temperance is defined in each of these perspectives. The paper proposes an integrative definition of temperance as “moral competence” and summarises behaviours in business environments in which temperance plays a role.

Pablo Sanz and Joan Fontrodona. 2019. Moderation as a Moral Competence: Integrating Perspectives for a Better Understanding of Temperance in the Workplace. 
Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 981–994.

 

Characterising virtues in finance
In this article, the authors shall attempt to lay down the parameters within which the practice of the virtues may be enabled in the field of finance. The authors shall be drawing from the three main sources, Aristotle, Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and MacIntyre, on which virtue ethics is based.

The research question is what ought to be done for financial activities to truly contribute to eudaimonia or human flourishing (Aristotle), to the achievement of three distinct kinds of goods as required of virtue, “those internal to practices, those which are the goods of an individual life and those which are the goods of the community” (MacIntyre), and to “[help] man on the path of salvation” in the midst of complex network of relationships in modern societies (CST).

These parameters could then be taken as conditions financiers ought to fulfill in order to live the virtues in their work and across different life spheres.

Alejo José G. Sison, Ignacio Ferrero and Gregorio Guitián. 2019. Characterizing Virtues in Finance.
Journal of Business Ethics, 155(4), 995–1007.

 

Role of faith in sustainability management 
The objective of this article is to develop a faith development perspective on corporate sustainability. A firm’s management of sustainability is arguably determined by the way decision-makers relate to the other and the natural environment, and this relationship is fundamentally shaped by faith.

This study advances theoretical understanding of the approach managers take on sustainability issues by explaining how four distinct phases of faith development—improvidence, obedience, irreverence and providence—determine a manager’s disposition towards sustainability. Combining insights from intentional and relational faith development theories, the analysis reveals that a manager’s faith disposition can be measured according to four interrelated process criteria:
(1) connectivity as a measure of a manager’s actual engagement and activities aimed at relating to sustainability;
(2) inclusivity as a measure of who and what is included or excluded in a manager’s moral consideration;
(3) emotional affinity as a measure of a manager’s sensitivity and affection towards the well-being of others and ecological welfare; and
(4) reciprocity as a measure of the degree to which a manager is rewarded for responding to the needs and concerns of ‘Others’, mainly in the form of a positive emotional (and relational) stimulus.

The conceptual model consolidates earlier scholarly works on the psychological drivers of sustainability management by illuminating the search for a process of faith development that connects with an increasingly complex understanding of the role of business in society.

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Fabien Martinez. 2019. On the Role of Faith in Sustainability Management: A Conceptual Model and Research Agenda.
Journal of Business Ethics, 155(3), 787–807.

 

Eco-Islam: Beyond the principles of why and what, and into the principles of how 
A growing body of literature has thought to draw the link between Islamic ethics and environmental stewardship to explain the foundational principles of why humans should care about the environment, which gave rise to the coining of the term “Eco-Islam”. But only recently have we started to witness the birth of empirical examinations of the Eco-Islam concept, going beyond the why principles and so explaining what is meant by the environment, the role of humans towards it, and its regard as explained in the holy book of Muslims—the Qur’an.

However, these foundational (why and what) principles do not suggest specific behavioural actions. This study conceptually and methodologically advances the existing literature from the belief (why and what) level of Islamic teachings about the environment to the action level by addressing questions such as: how can we take our belief of “Eco-Islam” to actually guide behaviours and outcomes? And in which business contexts are these behavioural principles more immediately applicable?

To achieve this, the authors have undertaken qualitative research to analyse the content (i.e. verses) of the holy Qur’an. Our findings yield a framework that proposes key behavioural application principles (how) of Eco-Islam. Examples of practical applications of the framework and policy implications are discussed.

Dina M. Abdelzaher, Amr Kotb and Akrum Helfaya. 2019. Eco-Islam: Beyond the Principles of Why and What, and Into the Principles of How.
Journal of Business Ethics, 155(3), 623–643.