Law and Business Ethics Research Intiative

Daniel Deak, & Laszlo Zsolnai 'Law and Business Ethics Research Intiative.' Business Ethics: A European Review, 2008, vol.17, no. 1, pp. 108-109

There are growing ethical, social, and environmental problems one can experience in the current corporate world. The deepening crisis of the legitimacy of corporate functioning requires particular attention that need be paid to legal issues. For this reason, the Business Ethics Center of the Corvinus University of Budapest is launching a Law & Business Ethics Research Initiative to gather the representatives of business ethics, on the one hand, and legal scholars and practitioners, on the other one, with a view to mobilizing legal instruments.

Business, Ethics, and Spirituality: Europe-Asia Views

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Business, Ethics, and Spirituality: Europe-Asia Views.' Business Ethics: A European Review, 2007, vol.16, no. 1, pp. 87-92

There is no inherent conflict between spirituality and business in the major Eastern and Western traditions. In the Hindu tradition, material accomplishments provide a strong and stable foundation in personal and organizational life while spiritual wisdom charges business with a higher purpose. The Christian tradition requires a three-dimensional goal-portfolio in which humans measure themselves on three layers: material (financial), intellectual and spiritual. Here, the stakeholder list becomes full: we not only care about and support our own employees and their environment.

Why Ethics Needs Spirituality?

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Why Ethics Needs Spirituality?' , in Spirituality as a Public Good, eds. Luk Bouckaert, and Laszlo Zsolnai, Grant, Antwerpen-Apeldoom, 2007. (This book may be available at: Maklu)

Ethics needs spirituality as an underlying background and as a major motivational force. However, we should not cultivate spirituality in order to improve the ethicality of our actions. Spirituality is a value in itself, is a major gift in our life. It is a positive by-product of spirituality that it can provide us with high-level ethical motivation. But if spirituality is used instrumentally then its value will be lost and the consequences will be destructive.

Extended Stakeholder Theory

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Extended Stakeholder Theory.' Society and Business Review, 2006, vol.1, no. 1, pp. 37-44

The paper proposes a normative reinterpretation of the stakeholder concept. It argues that all stakeholders are morally considerable, and only those parties are stakeholders, which are morally considerable. Business organizations affect the fate and survival of natural ecosystems and the life conditions of present and future generations thus nature, society and future generations should be included among the stakeholders of business.

Ethical Decision Making

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Ethical Decision Making.' , in Interdisciplinary Yearbook of Business Ethics, ed. Laszlo Zsolnai, Peter Lang, Oxford - Bern - Berlin - Bruxelles - Frankfurt am Main - New York - Wien, 2006. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

The self-centeredness of modern organizations leads to environmental destruction and human deprivation. The principle of responsibility developed by Hans Jonas requires caring for the beings affected by our decisions and actions. Ethical decision making creates a synthesis of reverence for ethical norms, rationality in goal achievement, and respect for the stakeholders. The maximin rule selects the “least worst alternative” in the multidimensional decision space of deontological, goal-achievement and stakeholder values. The ethical decision maker can be characterized as having the ability to take multiple perspectives and make appropriate balances across diverse value dimensions.

Competitiveness and Corporate Social Responsibility

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Competitiveness and Corporate Social Responsibility.' CSR Papers, Eni Enrico Mattei Foundation, Milano. , 2006, pp. 1-14

The paper addresses the problem of the relationship between competitiveness and CSR, and analyses the reasons why the opportunistic use of CSR is counter-productive. It attempts to establish how ethical behaviour can survive in highly competitive markets, and tries to find the new meaning of competitiveness in the light of CSR. The final section of the paper describes how a number of progressive, socially responsible firms have prospered in competitive environments by forming commitments among owners, managers and employees and by establishing trust relationships with customers and subcontractors.

The Rationality of Trust

Laszlo Zsolnai 'The Rationality of Trust .' International Journal of Social Economics , 2005, vol.32, no. 3, pp. 268-269

Russell Hardin is one of the most respected scholars in political science and rational choice theory. His book is a summary of his decade long preoccupation with trust research. He has been a key figure in the Russell Sage Foundation monumental Trust project. His present book is a groundbreaking achievement, which gives a highly consistent and systematic account of trust and related phenomena.

Genuine Business Ethics

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Genuine Business Ethics.' Ethics Matters, 2004, pp. 1-3

Ethics is fundamental to and relevant at all levels of economic activity, from the individual and the organizational to the societal and the global. Yet there is a paradox in the proposition that higher standards of behavior in today's world will automatically lead to higher profits and better performance. If the aim of top executives is merely to use ethics to achieve greater efficiency their efforts will ultimately fail. Superficially motivated business ethics initiatives, rightly called 'window dressing', often prove counter-productive. They are perceived as cheating by the stakeholders who will react accordingly. Sometimes no ethics at all is better than opportunistic actions.

Honesty and Trust in Economic Relationships

Laszlo Zsolnai 'Honesty and Trust in Economic Relationships.' Management Research News, 2004, vol.27, no. 7, pp. 57-62

Trust is not a homogeneous phenomenon. In economic relationships different trust structures are at work, including distrust, negative trust and the lack of trust. Perceived honesty and competence co-determine the trust structures the agents might have in interacting with others. Trust structures influence the way agents are engaged in economic relationships.  Honesty and competence should be developed to improve trust structures in economic relationships. Ethics is not a luxury; it is an indispensable means to foster economic development.  

Globalization and the Community

Laszlo Zsolnai, Zsolt Boda, Tomasz Dolegowski, Knut Ims, Joseph Lozano, Eleanor O’Higgins, & Antonio Tencati 'Globalization and the Community.' European Business Forum, 2004, pp. 23-24

Members of the Business Ethics Group of the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS) explore alternative strategies for companies engaged in globalization. They argue that if business follows the unhindered, ‘market fundamentalist’ type of globalisation then it could lose its legitimacy. It is better for globalised business to enter into an open dialogue with the global civil society and try to develop a cooperative strategy.