Feminist Philosophy on the High Seas?

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, an article about lecturing on luxury cruises:

Once or twice a year, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman boards a luxury cruise ship for a working vacation. She spent most of last month in the waters off Iceland and Britain, enjoying the same privileges as passengers who paid full fares in the thousands of dollars.

But it’s not all champagne and shuffleboard: Ms. Hoffman is not paid and must write and present four lectures that are informative, interesting, and relevant to the cruise itinerary. Though she is an American historian by training, she has lectured off the coasts of France on romantic love, Italy on Garibaldi, Peru on the Incas, and Australia on aborigines—all topics that she had to bone up on before she could teach them. For this month’s trip, aboard the Silversea Cruises vessel Silver Cloud, she gave talks on Vikings, druids, and Celts.

And Dr. Hoffman took her husband along for free.

I suppose there might be a problem about relevance to the cruise’s destination, though those working on  ancient philosophers might not have a problem.  Perhaps worse, one might end up stuck at sea for days on end listening to the sort of comments that show up on the NY Times’ The Stone series.  Arrghhh!

When asked how to sign up, the article’s author said:

People do it a whole bunch of ways. Elizabeth Hoffman wrote letters to several different cruise lines, pitching her skills. Others get approached by talent agencies that are contracted by the cruise lines to find specific lecturers. One such agency is Sixth Star Entertainment. If you go to their Web site (http://www.sixthstar.com/), they have a form you can fill out. However, they actually charge the lecturers a small daily fee in exchange for placing them on a cruise, so it’s a better deal if you can work directly with a cruise line. That said, experience is experience, and once you’ve established  that you can do it, it would probably be easier to persuade another cruise line to engage your services the next time.

CFP: Special Issue of Human Relations – Organizational Justice and Behavioural Ethics

There’s a call for papers for a special issue of the journal Human Relations on Organizational Justice and Behavioural Ethics: New Perspectives on Workplace Fairness – here’s an excerpt:

The aim of this special issue is to begin to bridge the divide between the organizational justice and behavioural ethics literatures, encouraging future research that integrates the field and extends our theoretical understanding of these issues….we feel that the time is ripe for a special issue that aims to bring together research from these parallel disciplines so that new insights into workplace (un)fairness and (un)ethicality may be generated.

By recognising the shared concerns of, and concepts within, organizational justice and behavioural ethics research, scholars are challenged to explore, and borrow from, each other’s field to more effectively respond to individual and societal concerns regarding workplace (un)fairness. Indeed, recent organizational justice research has taken tentative, yet encouraging, steps in this direction. For example, studies of fairness motivations and deontic justice have begun to explore the importance of morality (e.g. moral motivations, moral convictions, moral identity, ethical orientation) in the driving of individual justice behaviours and judgements. By opening up the organizational justice research agenda to these wider ethical models and concepts we begin to better understand how and why various actors within the employment relationship behave (un)fairly, justify their decisions and actions as fair, and react to the perceived (un)fairness of others.

This special issue invites papers that are at the forefront of contemporary research into organizational justice and/or behavioural ethics. Our hope is to develop new insights into the moral, ethical and justice challenges facing organizations. In particular, we encourage submissions that address the following research questions, although this is not meant to be an exhaustive list:

  • What are the contextual antecedents of (un)just (e.g. discrimination, denial of voice) and (un)ethical (bribery, corruption, theft, whistleblowing) behaviour? For example, what is the role of HRM/people management policies and practices?
  • How can collective justice concepts, such as systemic justice, entity justice or justice climate, help us to understand (un)ethical phenomena at work (e.g. multilevel research on ethical climates or culture of justice)?
  • What is fair, just or ethical leadership? How can organizations promote, support and develop ethical/just leaders?
  • What are the individual differences that may explain (un)just and (un)ethical behaviour – including themes of justice sensitivity, moral identity, ethical orientation, moral maturity and empathy? Work on individual differences should not simply be a search for moderators but should provide substantial insight and contribution through clearly articulated conceptual models. Individual differences could also consider the role of context and circumstances.
  • How can theories of justice and behavioural ethics inform policies of environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility and business ethics?
  • What are the challenges of managing fairness cross-culturally – including questions of societal/cultural values and differences in what is perceived as (un)fair and people’s reactions to (un)fairness? What are the implications for multinationals and FDIs?
  • When might morality and justice be incongruent – can moral decisions be unfair, or fair decisions be immoral?

We are particularly seeking submissions based on well designed empirical investigations of these issues, although strong conceptual work will also be considered…

Deadline is 31 January 2012.

UK MPs to vote on restoration of the death penalty?

The new e-petitions initiative allows the people to help set the government’s agenda – if more than 100, 000 signatures are collected, the government has to consider debating the issue in parliament. (I think that means they have to vote on whether to debate it.) The Telegraph describes the scheme as ‘having been hijacked by rightwing campaigners’ – by which they mean that folks with a ‘rightwing’ agenda have been the first to get their act together and collect some signatures. The issue they want to see debated is the restoration of the death penalty. Luckily, Cameron stated in an interview that, “There have been too many cases of things going wrong, of the wrong people being executed, of evidence coming to light after the execution, and sometimes there is just too much of an element of doubt. And I just don’t honestly think that in a civilised society like ours that you can have the death penalty any more.” But other MPs have expressed their support for killing wrongdoers. You can read more in the Daily Telegraph, and there’s also a good article in the South African IOL News. (No doubt the Daily Mail has much to say on the issue, but for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’m not linking to them.)