The first article entitled “A Resource-Based Perspective on Corporate Environmental Performance was authored by Michael V. Russo and Paula A. Fouts. In this article, the authors seek to establish the relationship that subsists between environmental performance and profitability. The authors investigate two sides of the debate looking at one side that is driven by the belief that environmental performance enhances economic performance while an opposing side argue that environmental regulations are burdensome to the organization as they cause organizations to incur costs that they might not be able to recover from. In a bid to investigate the veracity of these opinions, the article delves into discussion of various aspects of Resource-Based view on corporate environment performance. The paper that follows gives a brief summary of these discussions.
Empirical studies into the issue tend to support both sides of the debate. The authors cite work by Fogler and Nutt to show support their assertion that in deed there is a relationship between profitability and environmental performance. Additionally, Russo & Fout, (1997) argue for the use of a Resource-Based view in measuring the Corporate Social Responsibility aspect of an organization. In this respect, environmental performance is considered part of the outcomes of CSR.
A look at the Resource-Based View of Competitive advantage reveals that the frustrations of the traditional structure-conduct-performance view is what occasioned the paradigm shift to the modern and more inclusive resource-based view. The traditional view attributed an organization’s success solely to its external environment. This paradigm is limited and unrealistic. The new paradigm introduced by the Resource-Based View appreciated the contributions made by both the internal and external environments to an organization’s success.
In a bid to strengthen and solidify their argument, Russo & Fout, (1997) borrows from the work of Barney (1986) to show how a firm can apply its internal competencies to an appropriate external environment and by so doing establish a strategy that will boost the firm’s profitability. Argument of resource-based theorists cited by the authors advises that internal and external constraints should be used to inform good strategy. In its present state, the resource-based paradigm strikes a balance between what a firm has the ability to do and what it can do given an opportunity.
Additionally, the resource-based view classifies the firm’s resources into categories that include intangible assets, personnel-based assets, and tangible assets. All of these assets work jointly to fuel corporate environmental performance and profitability and moderates industrial growth. A firm that invests in assets aimed at lessening environmental pollution from their factories stand to earn good reputation which might as well translate into customer loyalty and profitability. Environmental regulation also introduces an element of risk in an industry ensuring that the firms within the industry do not expand at the expense of the environment. This article goes to enforce the fact that organizations must focus on resource based view in determining the contributors to its success.
The second article dubbed Bad Apples, Bad Cases, and Bad Barrels: Meta-Analytic Evidence About Sources of Unethical Decisions at Work authored by Jenifer, David and Linda gives an overview of the causes of unethical practices and goes ahead to propose a paradigm shift which will effectively replace the unethical practices with ethical practices. Corporate scandals have been birthed from unethical practices of management that disregard the tenets of good practices.
The proliferation of corporate scandals has ignited debate and inquiry into the field of behavioural ethics. This seeks to unearth the contributing factors that cause individuals to behave unethically. The article exposes the factors that cause individuals to embrace unethical dealings in the work place. The article reveals that individual characteristics from whence behaviour emanates can be explored by use of meta-analytical techniques. Then discussion then follows a path that attempts to investigate effect of using intention as a regulator for behaviour.
The authors cite work by Rest (1986) which suggests a four-stage model of ethical decision making that guides research in the field of ethical behaviour. The authors agree with the model, as suggested by Rest, and they buy into the idea that individuals pass through a number of stages in their process of making a decision, whether ethical or unethical. The entire process terminates at a stage of moral intention (where an individual commits to a specific line of action) which births a moral action. In the same breath, Kish-Gephart, Harrison, & Trevino, (2010) add that unethical decision leads to unethical actions. The decision on whether to act ethically or unethically solely lies with the maker of the decision.
In this modern time, organizations are faced with countless challenges as they try to deal with unethical behaviour in the work place. These behaviours include lying, stealing, cheating, among others. These behaviours are the root causes of vices such as theft, lying to customers, sabotage, and misrepresentation of information in financial reports. The article presents a debate on unethical behaviour that arise due to workplace deviance and illegal behaviour.
Individual characteristics are explored in the article. To further this end, the authors explain how individuals undergo a process of cognitive moral development. It is argued that individuals go through as they try to reach a place of forming a decision as to act ethically or unethically. The moral philosophies of idealism and relativism have also been used to fine-tune the discussion with a hope of reaching a consensus on the best model of explaining moral decisions. External influences such as job satisfaction, demographics, and gender have also been explored to see their effect in ethical and unethical behaviour. Finally, organizational environmental characteristics and their corresponding effect on ethical and unethical decision-making have also been explored. The article reveals the importance of placing emphasis on deterring workers from pursuing unethical behaviour as this is detrimental to the prosperity of the organization as a whole.
Kish-Gephart, J. J., Harrison, A. D., & Trevino K. L., (2010). Bad Apples, Bad Cases, and Bad Barrels: Meta-Analytic Evidence about Sources of Unethical Decisions at Work. Journal of Applied Psychology. 95(1); 1-31 [Attached pdf]
Russo, V. M.,& Fouts, A. P., (1997) . A Resource-Based Perspective on Corporate Environmental Performance and Profitability. The Academy of Management Journal. 40(3); 534-559 [Attached pdf]
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