•  55
    Mega‐interest on Microcredit: Are Lenders Exploiting the Poor?
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (3): 169-185. 2012.
    abstractMicrocredit is often hailed as an effective way of alleviating poverty. In recent years, however, microfinance institutions have been the target of much criticism due to their comparatively high interest rates. This paper discusses whether it can be morally justified to charge very high rates of interest when lending money to the poor. Arguments are drawn from contemporary as well as historical debates on usury, exploitation, egalitarianism and consequentialism. It is conceded that it wo…Read more
  •  56
    Should I invest with my conscience?
    Business Ethics 16 (1): 71-86. 2007.
    This paper discusses the idea that investors have moral reasons to avoid investing in certain business areas based on their own moral views towards these areas. Some have referred to this as ‘conscience investing’, and it is a central part of the conception of ethical investing within the socially responsible investment movement. The paper presents what is taken to be the main arguments for this kind of investing as they are given by those who have defended it, and discusses the plausibility of …Read more
  •  2577
    My Emissions Make No Difference
    Environmental Ethics 33 (3): 229-48. 2011.
    “Since the actions I perform as an individual only have an inconsequential effect on the threat of climate change,” a common argument goes, “it cannot be morally wrong for me to take my car to work everyday or refuse to recycle.” This argument has received a lot of scorn from philosophers over the years, but has actually been defended in some recent articles. A more systematic treatment of a central set of related issues shows how maneuvering around these issues is no easy philosophical task. In…Read more
  •  607
    Socially Responsible Investment
    with Christopher J. Cowton
    In Ruth Chadwick (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed., Academic Press. pp. 142-151. 2012.
    Socially responsible investment (SRI) – sometimes termed “ethical investment” – refers to the practice of integrating social, environmental, or ethical criteria into financial investment decisions. Whereas conventional investment focuses upon financial risk and return from stocks and bonds, SRI includes other goals or constraints. It is the nature of the source, and not just the size, of the financial return that is of concern in SRI. This article introduces the principal investment strategies g…Read more
  • ”Vad gör dina pensionspengar just nu?”
    Filosofisk Tidskrift 1. 2007.
  •  49
    “Since the actions I perform as an individual only have an inconsequential effect on the threat of climate change,” a common argument goes, “it cannot be morally wrong for me to take my car to work everyday or refuse to recycle.” This argument has received a lot of scorn from philosophers over the years, but has actually been defended in some recent articles. A more systematic treatment of a central set of related issues shows how maneuvering around these issues is no easy philosophical task. In…Read more
  •  21
    What are Your Investments Doing Right Now?
    In Wim Vandekerckhove, Jos Leys, Kristian Alm, Bert Scholtens, Silvana Signori & Henry Schäfer (eds.), Responsible Investment in Times of Turmoil, Springer. pp. 165--177. 2011.
    Where Weber et al. give us an account of what ESG does to your finances, Joakim Sandberg does the opposite. Sandberg is skeptical regarding the potential of responsible investment when it comes to actually having an impact. He discusses what interaction on the stock market can do for your ESG concerns. Sandberg argues that if we are out to make a change, as individual investors we cannot make much of a difference by refraining from investing in certain kinds of companies.
  •  71
    Ethical Investment
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.
    Ethical investment (also known as social investment, socially responsible investment [SRI], or sustainable investment) typically refers to the practice of integrating putatively ethical, social, or environmental considerations into a financial investment process – for instance, a pension fund's process of deciding what stocks or bonds to buy or sell. Whereas conventional or mainstream investment focuses solely upon financial risk and return, ethical investment thus also includes various nonfinan…Read more
  •  61
    The Tide is Turning on the Separation Thesis?
    Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (4): 561-565. 2008.
    In my article "Understanding the Separation Thesis" I noted that most scholars in the business ethics field seemed to have accepted R. Edward Freeman's argument to the effect that what he calls "the separation thesis" should be rejected. I argue, however, that they seemed to understand this thesis (and its rejection) in quite different ways. This volume contains three responses to my article which, interestingly enough, can be taken to corroborate my original argument. I here make some brief com…Read more
  •  20
    A critical issue for the future growth of socially responsible investment (SRI) is to what extent institutional investors such as pension funds can be persuaded to engage in it. This paper considers attempts at justifying such engagement stemming from a range of (re-)interpretations of the fiduciary duties owed by pension funds to their beneficiaries, and thereby develops a hypothesis concerning the most effective political or legal remedy. Previous commentary suggests that fiduciary duty either…Read more
  •  39
    Ethics in Corporations
    In Ruth Chadwick (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed., Academic Press. 2012.
    In response to recent scandals in the business world, many corporations have adopted various kinds of ethics programs for their employees: ethical codes, ethical training courses, compliance officers, ethical committees, and social audits. This article outlines some of the most common points of discussion pertaining to corporate ethics programs in particular and ethics in the workplace in general: whether corporations should adopt ethics programs in the first place, how such programs should be d…Read more
  •  102
    The Ethics of Investing: Making Money or Making a Difference?
    Dissertation, University of Gothenburg. 2008.
    The concepts of 'ethical' and 'socially responsible' investment (SRI) have become increasingly popular in recent years and funds which offer this kind of investment have attracted many individual inve... merstors. The present book addresses the issue of 'How ought one to invest?' by critically engaging with the ideas of the proponents of this movement about what makes 'ethical' investing ethical. The standard suggestion that ethical investing simply consists in refraining from investing in certa…Read more
  •  74
    Distinctions in descriptive and instrumental stakeholder theory: A challenge for empirical research
    with Niklas Egels-Zandén
    Business Ethics: A European Review 19 (1): 35-49. 2010.
  •  30
    Just Price
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.
    The just price tradition has roots in Ancient philosophy but is most straightforwardly associated with a line of medieval philosophers and theologians, such as John Duns Scotus (see Duns Scotus), St. Thomas Aquinas (see Aquinas, Saint Thomas) and others. What generally characterizes the tradition is an interest in matters of ethics and justice concerning the pricing of goods and services on commercial markets. Medieval philosophers were often critical of commerce in general – and commerce with m…Read more
  •  12
    Utilitarian Ethics
    In Richard Corrigan (ed.), Ethics: A University Guide, Progressive Frontiers Pubs.. pp. 267. 2010.
  •  325
    Ethics and Intuitions: A Reply to Singer
    with Niklas Juth
    The Journal of Ethics 15 (3): 209-226. 2011.
    In a recent paper, Peter Singer suggests that some interesting new findings in experimental moral psychology support what he has contended all along—namely that intuitions should play little or no role in adequate justifications of normative ethical positions. Not only this but, according to Singer, these findings point to a central flaw in the method (or epistemological theory) of reflective equilibrium used by many contemporary moral philosophers. In this paper, we try to defend reflective equ…Read more
  •  62
    A critical issue for the future growth and impact of socially responsible investment (SRI) is whether institutional investors are legally permitted to engage in it – in particular whether it is compatible with the fiduciary duties of trustees. An ambitious report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), commonly referred to as the ‘Freshfields report’, has recently given rise to considerable optimism on this issue among proponents of SRI. The present article …Read more
  •  44
    Reputation management refers to all the practices employed by corporations aimed at improving the public perception of the corporation. This article outlines the main features of some of the most common points of discussion pertaining to the ethics of reputation management. It introduces the debate on classical forms of corporate communication, or ‘spin-doctoring,’ but also some issues related to more contemporary forms of ‘corporate social responsibility’ management. Finally, it introduces the …Read more
  •  49
    The Heterogeneity of Socially Responsible Investment
    with Carmen Juravle, Ted Martin Hedesström, and Ian Hamilton
    Journal of Business Ethics 87 (4): 519-533. 2008.
    Many writers have commented on the heterogeneity of the socially responsible investment (SRI) movement. However, few have actually tried to understand and explain it, and even fewer have discussed whether the opposite – standardisation – is possible and desirable. In this article, we take a broader perspective on the issue of the heterogeneity of SRI. We distinguish between four levels on which heterogeneity can be found: the terminological, definitional, strategic and practical. Whilst there is…Read more
  •  70
    The Ethical Crisis in Microfinance: Issues, Findings, and Implications
    with Marek Hudon
    Business Ethics Quarterly 23 (4): 561-589. 2013.
    Microfinance is often assumed to be an ethically progressive industry, but in recent years it has been the target of much ethical criticism. Microfinance institutions have been accused of using exploitative lending techniques and charging usurious interest rates; and critics even question the ability of microfinance to alleviate poverty. This article reviews recent research on the microfinance sector that addresses these ethical issues. We show how this research is relevant to a number of theore…Read more
  •  29
    Profit Motive
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.
    The profit motive refers to what is generally taken to be the underlying motivation of business and commercial activity: to collect revenues in excess of costs or, more simply, to make money. While both “profit” and “profit motive” may be given more technical definitions in economics, the latter's meaning is typically broader in philosophical discussions and so, for example, even managers of nonprofit organizations may be accused of sometimes acting from a profit motive. The profit motive is typ…Read more
  •  670
    Understanding the Separation Thesis
    Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (2): 213-232. 2008.
    Many writers in the field of business ethics seem to have accepted R. Edward Freeman’s argument to the effect that what he calls “the separation thesis,” or the idea that business and morality can be separated in certain ways, should be rejected. In this paper, I discuss how this argument should be understood more exactly, and what position “the separation thesis” refers to. I suggest that there are actually many interpretations (or versions) of the separation thesis going around, ranging from s…Read more
  •  36
    Moral economy and normative ethics
    Journal of Global Ethics 11 (2): 176-187. 2015.
    ‘Moral economy’ has become a popular concept in empirical research in disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology and political science. This research utilizes normative concepts and has obvious normative implications and relevance. However, there has been little to no dialogue between this research and philosophers working on normative ethics. The present article seeks to remedy this situation by highlighting fertile points of dialogue between descriptive and normative ethicists. The p…Read more
  •  40
    Usury
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.
    Usury originally and simply meant the practice of charging interest on loans. This practice was forcefully condemned and generally banned in both Ancient and Medieval times. Indeed, prohibitions against interest can be found in the traditions of all the major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – compare, for instance, the commandments of the Hindu lawmaker Vasishtha, and the biblical story of how Jesus cast the moneylenders out of the temple (Matthew 21:12). As inter…Read more
  •  45
    Changing the world through shareholder activism?
    Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 5 (1): 51-78. 2011.
    As one of the more progressive facets of the socially responsible investment (SRI) movement, shareholder activism is generally recommended or justified on the grounds that it can create social change. But how effective are different kinds of activist campaigns likely to be in this regard? This article outlines the full range of different ways in which shareholder activism could make a difference by carefully going through, first, all the more specific lines of action typically included under the…Read more
  •  277
    Ethics and the Pharmaceutical Industry (review)
    European Journal of Health Law 17 211-214. 2010.