Ethics and the Conduct of Business / Edition 3

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This comprehensive and balanced book gives a thorough treatment of the most prominent issues of business ethics and the major positions and arguments on these issues. An abundance of case studies help illustrate topics such as: whistle-blowing, discrimination and affirmative action, occupational health and safety, ethics in finance, and ethics in international business. For professionals in the field who want an up-to-date discussion of the most prominent issues of business ethics.
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Editorial Reviews

Focusing on ethical issues facing corporate managers making decisions that impact employees, customers, or the general public, this textbook presents a moral theory that rests on concepts from Bentham's utilitarianism, Kant's moral imperative, and other philosophical perspectives and applies it to ethical problems that arise in the business world. These issues include whistle-blowing; trade secrets and conflict of interest; privacy; discrimination and affirmative action; women and family issues; unjust dismissal; marketing, advertising, and product safety; occupational health and safety; finance; corporate responsibility and governance; and international business. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130831453
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 7/8/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 417
  • Product dimensions: 7.07 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Ethics in the world of business 1
2 Welfare, rights, and justice 30
3 Equality, liberty, and virtue 64
4 Whistle-blowing 92
5 Trade secrets and conflict of interest 116
6 Privacy 145
7 Discrimination and affirmative action 174
8 Women and family issues 207
9 Unjust dismissal 235
10 Marketing, advertising, and product safety 259
11 Occupational health and safety 303
12 Ethics in finance 332
13 Ethics and corporations 364
14 International business ethics 404
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The field of business ethics has grown in recent years into an interdisciplinary area of study that has found a secure niche in both the liberal arts and business education. Credit for this development belongs to many individuals—both philosophers and business scholars—who have succeeded in relating ethical theory to the various problems of ethics that arise in business. They have shown not only that business is a fruitful subject for philosophical exploration, but also that practicing managers in the world of business can benefit from the results.

Ethics and the Conduct of Business, fourth edition, is a comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of the most prominent issues in the field of business ethics and the major positions and arguments on these issues. It is intended to be used as a text in a philosophical business ethics course or one taught in a school of business, on either the undergraduate or M.B.A. level. The substantial number of cases included provides ample opportunity for a case study approach or a combined lecture-discussion format. There has been no attempt to develop a distinctive ethical system or to argue for specific conclusions. The field of business ethics is marked by reasonable disagreement that should be reflected in any good textbook.

The focus of Ethics and the Conduct of Business is primarily on ethical issues that corporate decision makers face in developing policies about employees, customers, and the general public. The positions on these issues and the arguments for them are taken from a wide variety of sources, including economics and the law. The study of ethical issues in business is not confined to a single academicdiscipline or to the academic world. The issues selected for discussion are widely debated by legislators, judges, government regulators, business leaders, journalists, and, indeed, virtually everyone with an interest in business.

An underlying assumption of this book is that ethical theory is essential for a full understanding of the positions and arguments offered on the main issues in business ethics. Fortunately, the amount of theory needed is relatively small, and much of the discussion of these issues can be understood apart from the theoretical foundation provided here. The book also contains a substantial amount of legal material, not only because the law addresses many ethical issues, but also because management decision making must take account of the relevant law. Many examples are used throughout the book in order to explain points and show the relevance of the discussion to real-life business practice.

Preparing the fourth edition of Ethics and the Conduct of Business provides an opportunity to incorporate new developments and increase its value in the classroom. The most significant changes are the addition of a new chapter on ethics in finance and an overhaul of the chapter on international business ethics. Although finance involves many substantial ethical issues, the field of ethics in largely unformed. As a result the topic has been neglected in business ethics textbooks. The material in this chapter is adopted from my own work Ethics in Finance (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), which is the first textbook in the field. Except for the section on insider trading, which has been retained from previous editions, the chapter on ethics in finance contains new material covering ethical issues in financial markets, financial services, and hostile takeovers, with cases on the takeover of Pacific Lumber, check-kiting at E.F. Hutton, and the bond trading scandal at Salomon Brothers.

International business ethics is perhaps the fastest growing area in business ethics, and so a revised treatment is appropriate with a new edition. Because the problem of international "sweatshops" has received great attention in recent ears, this chapter begins with a case on Nike and includes a section on the topic of foreign contractors.

In addition to the new cases in the chapters on ethics in finance and international business ethics, the fourth edition contains four others: the case "BeechNut's Bogus Apple Juice" in Chapter 2; a case on AIDS drugs in South Africa in Chapter 4; a case on an industrial espionage dispute between Procter & Gamble and Unilever in Chapter 6; and the case "The Nun and the CEO" in Chapter 14. Other additions include sections on managing conflict of interest in Chapter 6 and privacy and the Internet in Chapter 7.

The task of revising Ethics and the Conduct of Business for a fourth edition has been aided by the advice of many instructors who have used it. To these contributors, whose names are too numerous to mention, I express my thanks. I also wish to thank the reviewers for this edition: Elwin Myers, Texas A&M University and Robin Rathke, University of Texas, San Antonio. I am grateful for the support of Loyola University Chicago, especially the School of Business Administration and Dean Henry Venta. I have benefited from the resources of the Raymond C. Baumhart, S j., chair in business ethics, which was created to honor a former president of Loyola University Chicago, who was also a pioneer in the field of business ethics. To Ray Baumhart I owe a special debt of gratitude. I am thankful for the secretarial support of Kathleen King and the research assistance of Pragnesh Hariawala and Mary Koenig. Finally, my deepest expression of appreciation goes to my wife Claudia whose affection, patience, and support have been essential for the preparation of the fourth edition, as they were for the ones previous.

John R. Boatright

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