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We are delighted that Ethical Theory and Business has continued into the new millennium. The continued good fortune of this book is made possible by the many comments and suggestions that loyal readers have given us over more than a quarter of a century.
As the field of business ethics has matured, there has been an increased stability in the topics discussed. Nonetheless, the field is moving forward and we try to select readings that reflect those changes. Several changes simply update the discussion of topics in earlier editions. We do note that philosophers are taking empirical work in the field more seriously and that turn of events is reflected in some of the readings that we have chosen. Two of the areas where change is most noticeable are in the areas of employee rights and international business ethics. Advances in technology have increased the pressures on business to use that technology to improve the bottom line even if it comes at the cost of violating privacy. We have added an article on the electronic surveillance of employees and another article on the use of genetic testing in hiring decisions. In the international arena, discussions of bribery are not limited to the implications of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In addition the alleged sweatshop conditions in factories that supply the developed world with cheap textiles and other goods have become a concern on college campuses and in the business press. Thoughtful people are also asking whether the western industrialized version of capitalism will work everywhere, and some even wonder if capitalism has a contribution to make in the less developed countries.These issues are introduced in the chapter on international business ethics.
As we enter a new decade, we are not sure which topics in business ethics will receive the most attention. We might speculate that the present concern about genetically altered foods in Europe might become a concern in the U.S. as well. However, as the field develops, we pledge that we will continue to reflect those changes in future editions.
As in the past, several persons deserve special recognition for their assistance in preparing this edition. Three anonymous reviewers provided Prentice Hall and us with valuable suggestions for updating the book. In addition we are thankful for the comments of Denis Arnold, Thomas Carson, Michael DeWilde, Mark W. Matthews, and Barbara McGraw.
In this edition, we have been ably assisted by Padma Shah, Mark Gaspers, and Michael Hammerthree student research assistants who exceeded their duties in searching data bases, locating new materials, and suggesting many changes to make the book useful for students. Special thanks go to Scott Reynolds, a doctoral candidate in business ethics at the University of Minnesota, who has provided library research, editorial assistance, and obtained permission to reprint many of the articles in this edition. Permission for the other articles was obtained by Moheba Hanif, who worked on manuscript preparation from the beginning of the project and made manuscript corrections for five of the nine chapters.
Tom L. Beauchamp
Norman E. Bowie