Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach

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Overview

This widely used business ethics book begins by introducing students/readers to moral reasoning. A collection of readings and cases from both philosophical literature and business articles apply ethical theory to real-life business situations. Well-known scandals involving companies like Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Merrill Lynch, and Parmalat have increased public awareness of business ethics, underscored its importance, and ushered in a new era of increased corporate regulation and governance.

 

Now, more than ever, a student planning on entering the business world, and anyone working for a corporation, investing in stock, or even interacting with businesses will benefit from a basic understanding of business ethics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132900645
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 1/1/1979
  • Pages: 380

Meet the Author

MARGARET CORDING is a doctoral candidate at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, specializing in business ethics and strategy. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Previously she worked in financial services for over 15 years, most recently as a managing director for The Chase Manhattan Bank.

THOMAS DONALDSON is the Mark O. Winkelman Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is the director of the Wharton Ethics Program. From 1990 to 1996 he held the position of the John F. Connelly Professor of Business Ethics in the School of Business, Georgetown University. Professor Donaldson has written broadly in the area of business values and professional ethics including The Ties that Bind: A Social Contract Approach to Business Ethics, co-authored with Thomas W. Dunfee (Harvard University Business School Press, 1999), and Ethics in International Business (Oxford University Press, 1989).

PATRICA H. WERHANE is the Ruffin Professor of Business Ethics and senior fellow of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. She was formerly the Wirtenberger Professor of Business Ethics at Loyola University Chicago. She has been a Rockefellor Fellow at Dartmouth, Arthur Anderson Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge, and Erskine Visiting Fellow at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Professor Werhane has published numerous articles and is the author or editor of 13 books including Persons, Rights andCorporations, and Adam Smith and His Legacy for Modern Capitalism. Her latest books are Moral Imagination and Managerial Decision-Making, and Organization Ethics for Health Care (with E. Spencer, A. Mills and M. Rorty) both with Oxford University Press. She is also founder and former editor-in-chief of Business Ethics Quarterly, the journal of the Society for Business Ethics

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Table of Contents

Preface
General Introduction 1
Introduction to Ethical Reasoning 1
Pt. 1 General Issues in Ethics
Business Ethics: The Controversy 20
Case Study: H. B. Fuller in Honduras: Street Children and Substance Abuse 20
The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits 33
Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation 38
Business Ethics and Stakeholder Analysis 49
Ethical Reasoning in Practice 61
A Kantian Approach to Business Ethics 61
Corporate Roles, Personal Virtues: An Aristotelean Approach to Business Ethics 71
The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme 83
Truth Telling 98
Case Study: Italian Tax Mores 98
Ethical Duties Towards Others: "Truthfulness" 100
Is Business Bluffing Ethical? 106
The Business of Ethics 112
Trust, Morality and International Business 118
Pt. 2 Property, Profit, and Justice
Traditional Theories of Property and Profit 140
Case Study: Plasma International 140
Case Study: Dorrence Corporation Trade-offs 142
The Justification of Private Property 150
Benefits of the Profit Motive 155
Alienated Labour 159
Wealth 164
The Impact of Technology on Traditional Views of Property 169
Case Study: 'McMadness' Hong Kong Style 169
The Judgment of Thamus 176
Needed: A New System of Intellectual Property Rights 182
Justice 192
Case Study: The Oil Rig 192
Distributive Justice 193
The Entitlement Theory 203
Complex Equality 210
Pt. 3 Corporations, Persons, and Morality
The Role of Organizational Values 238
Case Study: Merck & Co., Inc 238
Does Business Ethics Make Economic Sense? 244
Can Socially Responsible Firms Survive in a Competitive Environment? 252
The Parable of the Sadhu 262
Values and the Virtuous Manager 269
Case Study: Run, Inc 269
Moral Mazes: Bureaucracy and Managerial Work 284
The Moral Muteness of Managers 302
The "New" U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: A Wake-Up Call for Corporate America 315
Employee Rights and Responsibilities 323
Case Study: The Aircraft Brake Scandal 323
Whistleblowing and Professional Responsibilities 335
Employment at Will, Employee Rights, and Future Directions for Employment 343
In Defense of the Contract at Will 352
Employability Security 361
Diversity 364
Case Study: The Case of the Unequal Opportunity 364
Management Women and the New Facts of Life 370
White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies 381
Pt. 4 International Business
Ethical Relativism 396
Case Study: What Price Safety? 396
Case Study: W. R. Grace & Co. and the Neemix Patent (A) 399
The Challenge of Cultural Relativism 410
A Social Contracts Approach to Business Ethics 419
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights 424
Business Values Away From Home 429
Case Study: Just When Is a "Tip" ONLY "To Insure Promptness?" 429
Case Study: Levi Strauss & Co.: Global Sourcing (A) 432
International Business Ethics and Incipient Capitalism: A Double Standard? 458
Values in Tension: Ethics Away From Home 471
Pt. 5 Contemporary Business Themes
Marketing 486
Case Study: Fingerhut's Price Strategy 486
Case Study: Kate: Dot-Com CEO 500
Persuasive Advertising, Autonomy, and the Creation of Desire 503
Ethical Myopia: The Case of "Framing" by Framing 511
The Environment 522
Case Study: Shell and Nigerian Oil 522
Scarcity or Abundance? 541
The Natural Step 550
Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Ethical Critique 559
Leadership 565
Case Study: Sears Auto Centers 565
Management Research and Practice: Citigroup's John Reed 583
Managing for Organizational Integrity 586
The Leader's New Work: Building Learning Organizations 599
Biographical Information 614
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Preface

Ethical Issues in Business was first published more than two decades ago, in 19'79. Since then the field of business ethics has grown into an academic discipline bristling with research and practical implications for managers. Textbooks and research have multiplied. In 1979, Ethical Issues in Business was one of only three textbooks in the field. Now at least 50 are available. Along with the growth of course offerings and college teaching materials, an explosion of new articles, cases, and journals has occurred. Meanwhile, outside colleges and universities, hundreds of business firms have now created positions of "corporate ethics officer," and thousands more have instituted ethics training programs for managers and employees. The seventh edition reflects these dramatic changes that the field has undergone.

Some theoretical perspectives preserve their importance over the decades. Indeed, many are foundational materials for the study of business ethics. The insights of Adam Smith and John Locke about markets and human rights, or the radical claims made by Karl Marx that capitalism affects the minds of its participants, are no less relevant today than they were in earlier centuries. You will find those perspectives included in this edition, just as in the earlier ones. Yet other issues are clearly timebound. When the last edition appeared, the hot issue of business conversation was the moral and legal obligations of U.S. tobacco companies, apparel companies' use of overseas "sweat shops," and a financial crisis in Asia.

Since the publication of the sixth edition new events have posed new ethical challenges. Since then new technology has challengedtraditional views of copyright law, resulting in lawsuits between Napster and the record companies. The dramatic stock price erosion of the U.S. "dot.com" companies has coincided with a-debate over privacy and marketing issues. Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone find themselves in a legal and public relations dilemma as a result of hundreds of deaths allegedly due to product defects. Transnational corporations continue to face thorny ethical issues as they increasingly do business in countries with significantly different value systems. Further, in the increasingly competitive commercial environment of global business, corporate leaders have been faced with new challenges in employment, corporate restructuring, and training. Readings that focus on some of the ethical issues raised by these new kinds of challenges are included in this seventh edition.

The present edition, like earlier ones, has not been simply the product of its editors, but owes greatly to those whose suggestions, criticism, and editorial assistance made it a better book. We are indebted to Prentice Hall reviewers John Mundy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Benjamin A. Petty, Southern Methodist University for their constructive comments, and we especially want to thank Nicholas Dew, Thomas Dunfee, Ronald Duska, R. Edward Freeman, Mary Hamilton, and Henry Tulloch for their helpful revision suggestions. Thanks also go to Karen Musselman and Erin Becker for their excellent organizational and editorial skills.

T.D.
P.H.W.
M.C.

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Introduction

Ethical Issues in Business was first published more than two decades ago, in 19'79. Since then the field of business ethics has grown into an academic discipline bristling with research and practical implications for managers. Textbooks and research have multiplied. In 1979, Ethical Issues in Business was one of only three textbooks in the field. Now at least 50 are available. Along with the growth of course offerings and college teaching materials, an explosion of new articles, cases, and journals has occurred. Meanwhile, outside colleges and universities, hundreds of business firms have now created positions of "corporate ethics officer," and thousands more have instituted ethics training programs for managers and employees. The seventh edition reflects these dramatic changes that the field has undergone.

Some theoretical perspectives preserve their importance over the decades. Indeed, many are foundational materials for the study of business ethics. The insights of Adam Smith and John Locke about markets and human rights, or the radical claims made by Karl Marx that capitalism affects the minds of its participants, are no less relevant today than they were in earlier centuries. You will find those perspectives included in this edition, just as in the earlier ones. Yet other issues are clearly timebound. When the last edition appeared, the hot issue of business conversation was the moral and legal obligations of U.S. tobacco companies, apparel companies' use of overseas "sweat shops," and a financial crisis in Asia.

Since the publication of the sixth edition new events have posed new ethical challenges. Since then new technology has challengedtraditional views of copyright law, resulting in lawsuits between Napster and the record companies. The dramatic stock price erosion of the U.S. "dot.com" companies has coincided with a-debate over privacy and marketing issues. Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone find themselves in a legal and public relations dilemma as a result of hundreds of deaths allegedly due to product defects. Transnational corporations continue to face thorny ethical issues as they increasingly do business in countries with significantly different value systems. Further, in the increasingly competitive commercial environment of global business, corporate leaders have been faced with new challenges in employment, corporate restructuring, and training. Readings that focus on some of the ethical issues raised by these new kinds of challenges are included in this seventh edition.

The present edition, like earlier ones, has not been simply the product of its editors, but owes greatly to those whose suggestions, criticism, and editorial assistance made it a better book. We are indebted to Prentice Hall reviewers John Mundy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Benjamin A. Petty, Southern Methodist University for their constructive comments, and we especially want to thank Nicholas Dew, Thomas Dunfee, Ronald Duska, R. Edward Freeman, Mary Hamilton, and Henry Tulloch for their helpful revision suggestions. Thanks also go to Karen Musselman and Erin Becker for their excellent organizational and editorial skills.

T.D.
P.H.W.
M.C.

Read More Show Less

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