Articles on Ethics

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Can ethical markets solve the problems of persistent poverty and global income inequality? Michelle Brea

Challenge 7: The market, morals, ethics, and poverty

In part seven of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Adrian Walsh argues that a humane market asks something of us that we may not want to give. Global challenge 7: How can ethical market…
We’ve had a glimpse into the world of Craig Thomson, but he’s trying to justify a view that no one outside the political game can understand. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

All in the game: shining a light into the weird world of Craig Thomson

The ALP and the union movement have never liked scabs. But yesterday we witnessed a labour scab of a different sort as The Wound Formally Known As Craig Thomson continued to be bleed rather than heal…
Tweaking the numbers: managers are more likely to manipulate accounts when they are on performance incentive contracts. Dominic Knight

Bosses at ‘self-focused’ firms more likely to massage books

Manipulation in accounting is more common in firms where the work culture promotes self-interest, according to a joint study…
Encouraging GPs to “on-sell” products to patients is likely to produce unnecessary or inappropriate prescribing. fuzzirella/Flickr

Swisse Vitamins highlights the failure of industry self-regulation

Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd has been in the news recently over their Federal Court action to suppress a determination of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Complaint Resolution Panel (CRP) about a number of…
Intellectually disabled children who undergo the “Ashley procedure” are stunted to prevent the onset of puberty. flickr/visions by vicky

Ashley’s treatment: the arrested development of a disabled child

A growing number of parents are seeking the “Ashley Treatment,” a highly experimental medical intervention designed to arrest the physical and sexual development of severely disabled children. This invasive…
On the ninth anniversary of the US-led Iraqi invasion, suicide attacks were used against civilians in Iraq. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Good and bad deaths: why we react to suicide bombers the way we do

Suicide attacks and car bombings across Iraq this week have killed at least 43 people and left 255 wounded. We are sadly now very familiar with the phenomenon of the suicide bomber, but the particular…

The upper class: liars and cheaters?

Rich people are more likely to engage in unethical activity, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of California…
The Coalition’s election promise controversy highlights the fraught nature of accountancy. AAP

Do accountants act in the public interest? Not always

According to the profession’s code of ethics, “a distinguishing mark of the accountancy profession is its acceptance of the responsibility to act in the public interest.” That is, not exclusively to satisfy…
Former rugby league player and convicted match-fixer, Ryan Tandy will likely not play the game again, but who’s really to blame? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Business or pleasure? Ryan Tandy and the NRL take the fun out of rugby league

I’m a relatively well-disciplined guy. In my brief time in this world, I’ve managed to complete a degree, quit smoking, and exercise thirty-odd kilos of self-indulgence away. But if there’s a TV on in…
The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks by 100 to one. Jeff Dickerson

Male infant circumcision: ‘safe, convenient, cheap and fast’

Medical circumcision of baby boys has plummeted in Australia, with only 20% of male infants now undergoing the procedure, down from 90% in the 1970s. Meanwhile, HIV infections continue to rise in the broader…
Universities need to remember why they research: to advance knowledge. Flickr/Gates Foundation

Forget profits. Universities need morals.

Steven Schwartz, vice-chancellor of Macquarie University, recently claimed that universities should break from being treated as businesses and recapture their moral purpose. He used the example of Jonas…
Rupert Murdoch holding a copy of The Times, a News International paper. AAP

The perils of trying to regulate for ethical behaviour

In little more than two weeks, the long simmering issue of illegal phone hacking at News Corporation’s British newspaper News of the World has developed into a cascading crisis, with fatal results for…
Appearing before a parliamentary committee was “my humblest day” according to Rupert Murdoch. AFP PHOTO/PARBUL

Murdochs’ defence strategy: ‘Sorry, we had no idea what was going on’

So, after a day of drama at Westminster, what have we learnt, other than the fact that Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi packs a mean left hook (future pranksters beware)? For the best part of six hours we Westminster-watchers…
An ethical journalistic culture cannot be imposed from above but must develop within a news gathering organisation. AAP

Ethical reporting after NotW phone hacking: it isn’t black and white

The handwritten sign hanging on the bereaved family’s door says: “No media”. As a reporter, do you knock? Most journalism students yell back a resounding “No”. Okay then, what if the family has a high…

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