Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring ethical intelligence through ancient wisdom and the lived experiences of senior business leaders
by Opincar, John T., D.M., University of Phoenix, 2012, 931; 3531372
Abstract (Summary)

Beginning in the early 1700s with the Mississippi and South Sea Companies scandal and continuing to the present day, senior business leaders' flawed ethical judgments have cost society multi-trillions of dollars of losses. The general problem is despite the risks of personal financial harm, public embarrassment, and long prison terms business leaders continue to make unsuitable ethical judgments. The specific problem this hermeneutic phenomenological study addressed was the ethical judging phenomenon occurring in the minds and hearts of business leaders was neither well documented nor fully understood. That ethical judging phenomenon was explored through the lived ethical judging experiences of 21 C-Suite executives, purposefully selected from the 2010 Fortune 1000, during semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis, using Moustakas' (1994) modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen Method of Analysis of Phenomenological Data, identified 80 separate but interrelated themes, the most grounded of which were perceived hostile otherness, righteousness, discernment, leads by example, tone at the top, truthfulness, integrity, and hubris and entitlement. The themes coalesced into seven theme families that included cloisterization, cross-cultural ethics, distress, ethical judging, loss aversion – fear, organizational culture, and values and principles. Imaginative variation revealed seven potential structures that included an ethical fence, equity equation solver, heart sphere, internal compass, intuition, scope screen, and slippery slope. Analysis of the composite textural-structural description of the ethical judging phenomenon revealed convergence as it essence. A final model of ethical intelligence was presented along with four recommendations for legislators and regulators, eight recommendations for CEO's and boards of directors, and 10 recommendations for the research community.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vandermark, Michael
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Ethics, Management
Keywords: Ancient wisdom, Business crime, Ethical intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Organizational culture, Righteousness
Publication Number: 3531372
ISBN: 9781267727985
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