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When Ethics are Compromised by Ideology: The Global Competitiveness Report

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  • Harald Bergsteiner

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  • Gayle Avery

    ()

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    Abstract

    The Global Competitiveness Report raises ethical issues on multiple levels. The traditional high ranking accorded the US is largely attributable to fallacies, poor science and ideology. The ideological bias finds expression in two ways: the inclusion of indices that do not provide competitive advantage, but that fit the Anglo/US ideology; and the exclusion of indices that are known to offer competitive advantage, but that do not fit the Anglo/US ideology. This flaw is compounded by methodological problems that raise further doubt as to the reliability and validity of the survey results. The resultant false high ranking of the US, a strong proponent of Anglo/US capitalism, pseudo-legitimizes the propensity of US-dominated institutions and entities to persuade, coerce and, in the worst-case force other countries and their constituents to adopt Anglo/US practices and behaviours. This is ethically reprehensible because research shows that these practices and behaviours, when compared with other approaches, are sub-optimal in the results they produce for individuals, corporations and nations. The report also unjustly and unnecessarily stigmatizes entire groups of countries with little conceivable benefit to anyone. Given the report’s gravitas through the profound global influence it exerts on the decisions of top government and business leaders, these are serious ethical and economic issues. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-011-1136-y
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 391-410

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:4:p:391-410

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: Competitiveness; Corporate social responsibility; Ethics; Ideology; National rankings; Organizational performance; Research methodology;

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    1. Bradley Ewing & Phanindra Wunnava, 2004. "The Trade-Off Between Supervision Cost and Performance Based Pay: Does Gender Matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 453-460, December.
    2. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    3. S. Trevis Certo & Richard H. Lester & Catherine M. Dalton & Dan R. Dalton, 2006. "Top Management Teams, Strategy and Financial Performance: A Meta-Analytic Examination," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 813-839, 06.
    4. Jay Squalli & Kenneth Wilson & Sarah Hugo, 2008. "An analysis of growth competitiveness," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 105-126.
    5. Alan Singer, 2010. "Integrating Ethics and Strategy: A Pragmatic Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(4), pages 479-491, April.
    6. Marco Herpen & Mirjam Praag & Kees Cools, 2005. "The Effects of Performance Measurement and Compensation on Motivation: An Empirical Study," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 303-329, 09.
    7. Zhenzhong Ma, 2009. "The Status of Contemporary Business Ethics Research: Present and Future," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 255-265, December.
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