Executives’ morality and ethics became major research topics following recent business scandals, but the research missed a major explanation of executives’ immorality: career advancement by "jumping" between firms that causes ignorance of job-pertinent tacit local knowledge, tempting "jumpers" to covertly conceal this ignorance. Generating distrust and ignorance cycles and mismanagement, this choice bars performance-based career advancement and encourages immoral careerism, advancing by immoral subterfuges. Such careerism is a known managerial malady, but explaining its emergence proved challenging as managerial ignorance is covertly concealed as a dark secret on organizations’ dark side by conspiracies of silence.
Managerially educated and experienced, Dr. Shapira achieved a breakthrough by a 5-year semi-native anthropological study of five "jumper"-managed automatic processing plants and their parent firms. This book untangles common ignorance and immoral careerism, concealed as dark secrets by executives who "rode" on the successes of mid-level "jumpers" who high-morally risked their authority and power by admitting ignorance and trustfully learned local tacit knowledge. The opposite choice tendencies accorded power, authority, and status rankings, which made practicing immorality easier the higher one’s position, suggesting that the common "jumping" between managerial careers nurtures immoral executives similar to those exposed in the recent business scandals.
"Management is taught as a discipline, which can be applied in any organization, including those in which the employees are highly skilled and highly trained. In this context the ‘in-experienced’ manager’s tendency is to conceal his ignorance or to assume she has all the answers. This ethnography illustrates this all too frequent behavior but also shows how this difficult situation can be managed with ethics and aplomb. While the context of this study is a Kibbutz in Israel, the situation applies around the world in many different types of organization, from universities, to Information Technology, to health care and professional service firms like lawyers and accountants. This book is a must read for any Human Resources Manager filling such a position or any Manager taking up such a role and perhaps even more importantly, for any Professional managed by someone without your professional expertise." –Roxanne Zolin, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
1. Practicing Covertly Concealed Managerial Ignorance
2. The Dark Secret of Immoral Careerism of "Jumper" Rotational CCMI User Executives
3. The Concepts of Trust, Leadership, Culture, and Democratic Management
4. Effective Innovative Northern Gin versus Four Mostly Mismanaged Plants
5. Other Negative Processes of Low-Trust "Jumping" Cultures that Furthered Mismanagement
6. Contextualizing Gin Plants’ Mismanagement in the Kibbutz and Israeli Fields
7. Conclusions, Discussion, and Plausible Solutions
Business ethics is a site of contestation, both in theory and practice. For some it serves as a salve for the worst effects of capitalism, giving businesses the means self-regulate away from entrenched tendencies of malfeasance and exploitation. For others business ethics is a more personal matter, concerning the way that individuals can effectively wade through the moral quagmires that characterise so many dimensions of business life. Business ethics has also been conceived of as a fig leaf designed to allow business-as-usual to continue while covering over the less savoury practices so as to create an appearance of righteousness.
Across these and other approaches, what remains critical is to ensure that the ethics of business is the subject of incisive questioning, critical research, and diverse theoretical development. It is through such scholarly inquiry that the increasingly powerful purview of corporations and business activity can be interrogated, understood and, ultimately, reformulated. This series contributes to that goal by publishing the latest research and thinking across the broad terrain that characterised business ethics.
The series welcomes contributions in areas including: corporate social responsibility; critical approaches to business ethics; ethics and corporate governance; ethics and diversity; feminist ethics; globalization and business ethics; philosophical traditions of business ethics; postcolonialism and the ethics of business; production and supply chain ethics; resistance, political activism and ethics; sustainability, environmentalism and climate change; the ethics of corporate misconduct; the politics of business ethics; and worker’s rights.