The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. VII: Social Responsibility
The Refractive Thinker®: Press 2012
Number of Pages: 256


Summary

Thank you for joining us for the Spring 2012 edition as we continue to celebrate the accomplishments of doctoral educators affiliated with many phenomenal institutions of higher learning. The purpose of this next offering within the anthology series is to share current research from these participating authors, specifically on the topic of social responsibility. Our goal is to add to our quest as refractive thinkers, and to ask the question: what is the purpose of the doctoral scholar? In this edition of the award-winning series, we offer many answers for contemplative thought.

This peer-reviewed resource provides a framework to discuss social responsibility from the perspective of the doctoral scholar. Topics for discussion include an expectation of the lifelong learner, challenges for empowering women, influence of women leaders and entrepreneurs, generational conflict, value of innovative leadership practices, succession planning, public trust, the role of elite athletes, the role of stakeholders, the role of technology and social irresponsibly from the perspective of sustainability. Further, these topics reflect the construct of the refractive thinker where each author challenged the conventional wisdom and expanded beyond traditional boundaries. These authors dared to think not only outside of the box, but also beyond. Instead, the discussion continues to evolve, exploring entirely new ideas for construction of ‘the box.’
In addition to exploring various aspects of social responsibility, the purpose of The Refractive Thinker® is to serve the tenets of leadership. This is not simply a concept outside of the self, but comes from within, defining our very essence. The search becomes a personal journey of the lifelong learner, not yet a finite destination.

The Refractive Thinker® is an intimate expression of who we are—the ability to think beyond the traditional boundaries of thinking and critical thinking. Instead of mere reflection and evaluation, one challenges the very boundaries of the constructs itself. If thinking is inside the box, and critical thinking is outside the box, we add the next step of refractive thinking, beyond the box. Perhaps the need exists to dissolve the box completely. As in our first six volumes, the authors within these pages are on a mission to change the world through scholarly research. Refractive thinkers are never satisfied or quite content with what is or asking why; instead these authors intentionally strive to push and test the limits to ask why not.

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Chapters

Chapter 1: Social Responsibility of Doctoral Scholars
One of the aims for The Refractive Thinker© Series is to offer a forum for doctoral scholars to share the results of their dissertation and doctorate studies research with those who may benefit from this advancement in academic knowledge. We believe more is at stake than simply a quest in the pursuit of post-secondary education that culminates in the achievement of the coveted doctor title of the individual. Instead, our goal for this next edition in the series is to look deeply at the role and responsibility of the doctoral scholar to share their knowledge to make a difference in the world they serve.
Chapter 2: Addressing the Challenges of Empowering Rural Women, can Holistic Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility Help?
he abuse of leadership within many of our organizations around the world has created a demand for more integrated leadership, which is inclusive, transparent, more balanced, and socially responsible. This inquiry is presented to review some of the challenges to empowering rural women worldwide, a generally poor and disenfranchised group. A need exists for a more holistic leadership combined with corporate social responsibility (CSR) to create a successful win-win strategy for businesses to help address developmental needs.
Equity, in the form of access to quality education demands recognition of the obstacles faced by different groups of people. Literacy for example, involves negotiated groups of social practices that operate within a local and global context, conceptualized differently in diverse environments. Literacy in the larger context must be examined based upon the dynamics of globalization and informational labor, shaped by education and requisite literacies to ensure productive and rewarding labor in a global, informational economy.
Certain dynamic aspects to globalization pressure cultures and economies to restructure themselves. CSR has been analyzed through a range of different instruments, such as localized firm specific initiatives; codes of conduct and global agreements; macro-level policy interventions; a wealth of marginalized groups; resource poor farmers, all cases from private sector businesses around the world. CSR was never created to address societal ills; however, it may offer a plausible framework to do just that with focus on human needs and how cultural, social, political, and economic factors influence business contributions.
Chapter 3: Corporate Social Responsibility: The Influence of Women Leaders and Entrepreneurs
Noble causes and actions are integral to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) that begin in corporations and communities. The concept of societal obligation evolved with the expansion of business and expectation by society that organizations should embrace social betterment. Additional drivers of corporate revenues are the concepts of social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. The way women are socialized, women have a greater sense of CSR with more emphasis on morals, ethics, and positive social relations (Bernardi, Bosco, & Columb, 2006). As more women are promoted into C-Level executive leadership positions, CSR is increasing. Considering the array and volume of corporate ethical debacles, investors, and the public at large highly favor organizations and its leaders who exhibited generosity and social consciousness. Women leaders are beneficial CSR as well as helping corporate public relations and driving revenues beyond their male peers (“Catalyst,” 2009). Organizations and boards with strong female influence are more inclined to be involved with CSR.
Chapter 4: Generational Conflict Between Nurses in the Workforce: A Phenomenological Study
This study explored generational conflict related to four generations working together and the values, beliefs, and attitudes held by each generation in local hospitals in Georgia. A qualitative, phenomenological study was conducted with 20 registered nurses from a nursing sorority in the city of Georgia, using the modified van Kaam methodology. This study investigated the existence of four generations in the current workforce and if conflict exists between the generations. Conflict in health care organizations may cause staff turnover. Leaders may decrease staff turnover by understanding the characteristics, attributes, and experiences that contribute to generational conflict. Nurses were asked questions that addressed demographics, conflict and characteristics that contributed to the conflict. The lived experiences of the participants demonstrate that four generations are present in the current workplace and conflict is present between older and younger generation nurses. Change was the main conflict between older and younger generation nurses. Leaders may develop programs that would enhance the understanding and awareness of nurses regarding generational differences and how these differences may affect job performances. Future researches may further explore the nature of the differences regarding perceptions on change, quantitative comparative studies on job performance, and further explore the perceptions of nurses of different generation working more than 40 hours a week.
Chapter 5: The Value of Innovative Leadership Practices on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly important aspect of organizational strategy as a result of increased competition, globalization, increased public pressure for environmentally friendly business operations, labor standards, and need for corporate transparency and accountability. The presence of these influential factors has made leadership practices and corporate social responsibility a budding nuance of organizational complexity and assessment. The complex nature of organizations often makes the efficient engagement in CSR challenging, as the amount of differentiation that exists within assorted interdependent systems constituting the organization, including its intermediaries, staffs, customers, and stakeholders. Organizations triumphant with CSR usually engage in leadership behaviors that are innovative, collaborative, adaptive, and change-oriented. This chapter reviews literature and influential business cases on CSR and instigates some discussion on challenges in implementing CSR as well as how effective leadership activities can influence the process through selecting moral leaders. In addition, a new type of business model that calls for the strategic implementation of corporate social responsibility is also discussed.
Chapter 6: Succession Planning in Municipal Governments: Adapting to Change through Knowledge Transfer
Municipal governments in Texas have a large percentage of Baby Boomer employees eligible to retire within 10 years, but no succession plan implemented to prepare younger employees for leadership positions or to capture the knowledge and experience of current employees. As a result, municipal services could be limited throughout the state. Drawing from systems theory, the purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to determine what value municipal leaders in Texas have on succession planning. Using semi-structured interviews, municipal leaders were asked to provide their perceptions about succession planning decisions. The transcribed interviews were validated through member checking, and coding software was used to identify emergent themes: (a) limited knowledge about the effects of mass retirement on the organization, (b) limited communication with the city council about potential effects on municipal services, (c) lack of formalized, budgeted succession plans, and (d) the complex issue of the effects of Civil Service on the ability to plan for succession. In summary, municipal leaders lacked the knowledge needed to begin to prepare for the effects of Baby Boomer retirements. The implications for positive social change and social responsibility are that municipal leaders can avoid possible negative effects of mass retirement if preparations are made in advance so that municipalities can continue to offer the same quality services that citizens have come to expect.
Chapter 7: Federal Employees and Instructors Serving the Public Trust
Public trust and social responsibly has been a controversial topic with public education and government entities. Corporate Social Responsibly (CSR) appears to be lacking in public and governmental agencies across the United States. To regain public trust companies must integrate social responsibility in the mission of the organization. CSR is to be regarded at a high level of importance within an organization from the employee level to the Chief Executive Officer. Perceptions of government and public education employee’s points of view on public trust and social responsibility within their work place are explored. Corporations and government companies need vigorous CSR to reestablish the public trust. An overall view of CSR is how a business views the impact the company has on the economy, the society, and the environment. The population was 90 employees in the Executive Potential Program and 100 instructors in public education in the California public school system. Potential participants were located in federal offices nationwide and six California public schools.
Chapter 8: Ethics in Sports: The Social Responsibility of Elite Athletes
Since 2000, questions have been raised about the social responsibility of professional athletes in relation to their ethical actions and integrity. Overall, ethical behavior in sports has declined steadily since the early 1990s; there have been performance-enhancing scandals in the past three Olympics Games, professional football, and baseball as well as in college athletics. The intent of the study was to identify the ethical decision-making process of a highly competitive group of athletes. The study focused on the college athletes to gain the athletes’ perceptions and beliefs in relation to professional athletes’ unethical actions. The study was designed to draw attention to the impact the lack of ethics within professional athletics has on adult student athletes. The research findings provide parents, coaches, athletic directors, trainers, mentors, and athletes a better understanding of what adult student athletes consider unethical behavior. The research illustrates if collegiate athletes find the unethical actions of professional athletes negatively affect their decision-making process.
Chapter 9: Stakeholders, Redesign the Theory to Reposition The Reality
This research study will investigate stakeholder theory and its concept of managing a firm. Until now, stake holder theories lacked the mechanism to achieve its goal in providing managers with clear guidelines that help dealing with stakeholders’ objectives. While the gap continues between shareholders and other stakeholders, new theoretical perspectives may provide the key that enables management theorists and corporate governors to bring stakeholder theory into material reality.

This chapter however, does not offer solutions to the problem, rather it suggests new dimension to employees by including their families in the stakeholder theory. The country and workforce have paid a high price for trying short-term strategies of downsizing and outsourcing. Wall Street’s erroneous numbers have cost many families their homes, health insurance, and their life. We have to start with teaching our students realistic and fair theories. School of business students and MBA graduates need to learn in the beginning of their careers that an employee deserves more attention and protection.

What we are hearing in this presidential campaign and all previous campaigns about creating new jobs and bringing our jobs back from overseas, is uncovering the weakest link in the stakeholder’ theory.
Chapter 10: Socially Responsible Approaches to Using Technology in the 21st Century
With the controversy of corporate wrongdoing, the term social responsibility is prominent in the media. Academia is not exempt from using this terminology. Perhaps nowhere is there more need for focus on social responsibility than in academia and the use of technology for online teaching and learning. This chapter focuses on the emergence and dependence of 21st century technology tools among the academic learning community, comprised of the institution, faculty, and students. Social media, Internet sharing sites, digital communication, and their use are discussed. Respecting intellectual property, recognizing the principles of intellectual freedom and practicing ethical and socially responsibility behavior are emphasized.
Chapter 11: Social Irresponsibility Provides Opportunity for the Win-Win-Win of Sustainable Leadership
There are many reasons why leaders – and the population at large – focus on issues that are short-term and politically expedient, especially in the USA where long-term planning is never longer than the most recent quarterly report (10-Q) for a publically traded firm or the next election cycle for government. There is little stomach for addressing globally important and long-term sustainable issues, even though everyone knows it has to be done… eventually. In politics, the political bickering is based on a zero-sum game of one or both parties lose, but rarely a win-win. During a recession, it is jobs at any costs, the environment can wait. In businesses, the CEOs can only have a couple bad quarters, no matter the achievements toward long-term goals. Sustainable leadership is a natural extension of transformational and servant leadership into the future. Successful leadership has historically been measured by narrow and short-term performance metrics. The leader of the future, the Sustainable Leader, needs to impart a long-term and a comprehensive vision of the future. Exhaustible production and business models that ignore externalities and long-term implications must not be perpetuated; it is irresponsible to do so. The Sustainable Leader must be able to win broad-based support with a sense of urgency, yet have an emphasis on future generations. Otherwise, we all lose. Sustainable leadership will build support and enthusiasm to transform broken systems for consumption, business and politics into sustainable methods and models: a win, win, win.