Monthly Archives: August 2020

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    Toxic organisations and the unenviable choices available to mid-level managers

Toxic organisations and the unenviable choices available to mid-level managers

Many people find themselves working in organisations characterised by dysfunction. These so-called “toxic workplaces” can involve intolerance, bullying, narcissism, and other forms of destructiveness that, over time, can demoralise people and undermine organisational purposes. Workers in these organisations have three primary courses of action when faced with toxic work conditions over which they have little control: they can leave; […]

Could teleworking benefit organisational neurodiversity?

The current pandemic has shed light on the inequalities encountered by women and racial minorities and raised serious questions about the impact of working from home on organisational diversity. However, not all may be negative. If teleworking is likely to become more widespread in the post-pandemic world, then a world where working from home is commonplace might, under certain […]

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    Bankers knew the risks they were taking before the 2008 crisis

Bankers knew the risks they were taking before the 2008 crisis

Excessive risk-taking by banks is often associated with economic recession. A key question for policy and for the academic literature is why banks take excessive risk. There are two (non-mutually-exclusive) views. First, the moral hazard view implies that conflicts of interest (agency problems) between bank shareholders/managers and bank debt-holders/taxpayers make it rational for banks to take on excessive risk […]

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    Why we need to do something about the monopsony power of employers

Why we need to do something about the monopsony power of employers

You have almost certainly heard of monopoly, but less likely to have heard of monopsony. The literal definition of monopoly is a situation where there is only one seller of a product; though the term is used more loosely to refer to the case where there are a few sellers and not much competition between them. They have what […]

Why trade matters for African development

Trade is central to development in Africa. A long history of economic thought, theory and practice underpins this proposition. However, I do not seek to interrogate the foundational principles of international trade, but rather to highlight issues that underscore the key role of trade as a driver of growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. This is not automatic. It […]

Are healthcare workers stressed by information technology?

Today’s healthcare workers are stressed. In addition to dealing with a myriad of difficult situations, such as developing effective treatment plans and overcoming the death of patients, many care providers currently find themselves on the frontlines battling a global pandemic. In the United States, for example, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 215 per cent, and the […]

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    COVID-19 has put trust front and centre in human resources management

COVID-19 has put trust front and centre in human resources management

If the world wanted to know what impact a global health threat would have on work and working practices, COVID-19 has provided some answers. The pandemic led to rapid and varied government responses requiring self-isolation and lock down across the globe. Employers have had to respond quickly to ensure business continuity and often, the only way to keep businesses […]

Character development and business ethics

A 2010 study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that participants were more likely to cheat on a self-graded anagram test, where each correct answer earned subjects a monetary reward, if the room where they took the exam was made slightly darker. Studies like this are part of a body of evidence that some have […]

August 13th, 2020|Ethics|0 Comments|
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    The abrupt shift to remote working has amplified cyber security problems

The abrupt shift to remote working has amplified cyber security problems

The COVID pandemic has forced most companies into distributed and virtual settings. Companies had to swiftly adapt their organisations to social distancing and elevated economic uncertainty. This adaption manifested itself in the form of fast deployment of digital tools to allow for remote collaboration and distributed work, and more agile and self-managed work processes.

Video conferencing tools, like Zoom, Skype, […]

Can unions become social media opinion leaders?

Today’s political and social campaigns rely on social media. Grassroots organisations use social media to stimulate public debate, build coalitions, mobilise people, and provide practical guidance to social movement activists. Labour unions in the United States and many other countries are realising the need to revitalise the traditional workplace model of unionism. Consequently, they are moving away from simply […]

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    Immigrants have a positive impact on wellbeing in host countries – expert panel

Immigrants have a positive impact on wellbeing in host countries – expert panel

In June 2020, panellists of the World Wellbeing Panel were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with two statements about migration: (i) “A large sudden influx of migrants with a very different culture to the host region will very likely reduce wellbeing of residents in the first few years of entry”; and (ii)  “the increased cultural diversity will, in the mid-term, increase residents’ […]

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    Human resources management in the age of ‘adapt, evolve, or die’

Human resources management in the age of ‘adapt, evolve, or die’

Prior to the pandemic, the Republic of South Africa was already dealing with a largely stagnant economy, an almost 26% official unemployment rate, high HIV and TB infection rates, national power cuts and economic downgrading by various international rating agencies. Ironically, the resilience developed in dealing with these significant issues by organisations and human resources (HR) professionals may have […]

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    What can we expect from a ban on junk food price promotions?

What can we expect from a ban on junk food price promotions?

In its quest to fight the health implications brought by obesity, the UK government announced on 27 July that England will be banning “buy one get one free” (BOGOF) deal promotions on unhealthy food, as well as junk food adverts before 9 pm for the entire UK. In addition, it will hold two consultations, one on whether to stop fast […]

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    Dream jobs: managers in internationally active firms have higher lifetime wages

Dream jobs: managers in internationally active firms have higher lifetime wages

Understanding why certain jobs are better than others and what implications they have for workers’ career is clearly important. It is, however, not straightforward to identify and separate ‘good’ from ‘bad’ jobs. For example, most people would agree that, for an IT specialist, working for Google does represent a ‘good’ job in the sense that it provides a vibrant […]

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    How economists view the US debate on extending jobless benefits

How economists view the US debate on extending jobless benefits

Despite the latest GDP figures showing that the US economy had contracted nearly 10% in the second quarter and with unemployment numbers continuing to rise, there is still no resolution in Washington on whether the enhanced federal benefits for the jobless that expired Friday, 31 July, will be extended in some form.

We recently invited our panel to express their […]

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    China’s central bank has taken the lead in digital currencies. What does it mean for businesses?

China’s central bank has taken the lead in digital currencies. What does it mean for businesses?

As if Covid-19 and the trade war hasn’t done enough to upend global business between the US and China, yet another major transformation is afoot: the launch of China’s sovereign (i.e., central-bank offered) digital currency (CBDC). By “digital currencies” we mean financial transactions that are recorded on blockchain ledger and held in digital wallets. While Facebook’s Libra and other […]