Raymond Spencer Program/Kanbay Program Research and Publications

Applied Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Neil R. Vance, et al.

Assuming applied ethics is more than moral reasoning, the authors look to their experiences as instructors and students. Comprised of moral reasoning, intuitionist ethics and organizational ethics, this approach is truly inter-disciplinary. Moral reasoning in the social sciences tends to concentrate on teleology deontology. This approach also incorporates virtues ethics. Rooted in social psychology, intuitionist ethics examines the powerful role of emotion in our applied ethics. Using some of the best practices or organizational behavior, the article describes how the enlightened leader can prevent inappropriate behavior and facilitate more ethical behavior.

Ethics as Management Principals
Neil R. Vance & Ashley Covarrubias (Harris)

This article examines an organizational process approach to preventing white collar crime and facilitating ethical behavior within an organization. The usual assumption is that individuals alone are responsible for misconduct, either illegal or unethical (Agency Theory). Structural Theory posits that organizational behavior factors account for much misconduct. Accordingly, four organizational processes are examined; leadership, membership, structure and culture. From the perspective of each of the processes, the article finds how they can contribute to misconduct and can, alternatively, facilitate more ethical conduct.

The Ethical Grounding to 21st Century Public Leadership
Neil R. Vance and Brett V. Trani

It is never ill timed to examine the ethical grounding of public leaders. Among all social science disciplines, public administration seems to be most prominently concerned with ethics. ASPA conferences consistently feature ethics. However; it does seem an especially appropriate historical moment to revisit the moral reasoning of both elected and appointed officials. In this article, we examine basic ethical processes and specifically consequential reasoning, and find the over-reliance on “ends justify the means” type thinking problematic. Specifically, any “noble” government end can be used to justify any means, short of the abhorrent. We then turn to Abraham Lincoln, an exemplar of utilitarianism, as a contrast to this more prevalent and distressing form of decision making.

Situational Prevention and the Reduction of White Collar Crime
Neil R. Vance and Brett V. Trani

This article investigates an often overlooked and inexpensive approach to decreasing a significant amount of unethical conduct and white-collar crime within organizations. It first examines the government’s criminal justice response of detecting, deterring and sanctioning white-collar crime. It then examines the government’s civil law approach of regulating organizational misconduct. In both cases, it is found that there is over-reliance on the government with limited results. Misconduct is then shown to stem, in part, from organizational processes rather than solely from individual behavior. Finally, the article emphasizes situational prevention instead of exclusively focusing on a potential offender and the government’s response. Click here to read entire article

Initiating An Undergraduate Course in Applied Ethics
Neil R. Vance

This article describes an experimental course in undergraduate applied ethics at the University of Arizona. The course had a dual emphasis of individual moral reasoning and organizational strategies to encourage honesty. The moral reasoning section concentrated on the difference between teleological and deontological thinking. The organization part of the course used Cooper's 4-part typology of individual attributes, external structure, organizational culture and societal expectations. The course was well received by the students and one of the group projects made specific, creative recommendations for the next iteration of the course. Another group proposed an Honor Pledge for the students and faculty of the School of Public Administration and Policy. In all, the pedagogical style of facilitator was found to be most helpful by the instructor.