Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How To Do It Right / Edition 4

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Practical strategies for promoting ethical behavior

Offering a highly realistic, down-to-earth look at ethics in the workplace, Linda Trevi?o and Kate Nelson's Managing Business Ethics will help you identify and solve ethical dilemmas, understand why people behave the way they do, and help you design a culture that will promote ethical behavior in your organization.

Throughout, the emphasis is on common, real-life work situations, including hiring, managing, assessing performance, disciplining, firing, and providing incentives for staff, as well as producing quality products and services, and dealing effectively and fairly with customers, vendors, and other stakeholders.

Highlights of the Fourth Edition
* Updated information relates content to current events such as the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for Corporations.
* Describes the link between ethical culture and employee engagement.
* Covers new research, including the role of emotions in ethical decision making.
* Presents new profiles of organizations such as McWane, Enron, Citigroup, and Marsh & McLennan.
* International references reflect the realities of the increasingly global business environment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471755258
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/11/2006
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda K. Treviño is Professor of Organizational Behavior, Cook Fellow in Busness Ethics, and Director of the Shoemaker Program in Business Ethics in the Smeal College of Business Administration at The Pennsylvania State University where she has been on faculty since 1987. She served as Chair of the Department of Management and Organization from 1999 - 2003. She holds a Ph.D. in management  from Tesas A&M University. Her research and writing on the management of ethical conduct in organizations is widely published and is internationally known.She has published about fifty journal articles and has co-authored an academic book entitled, Managing Ethics in Business Organizations: Social Scientific Perspectives, with Gary Weaver, in 2003.

Katherine A. Nelson is a founding principal of Talent Strategy Partners in Media, Pennsylvania, and a senior fellow in business ethics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Her expertise includes ethics program design and strategic organizational communication. Kate and her partners at Talent Starategy Partners help organizations attain superior business results by focusing on the threee key levers that influence how employees deliver value—effective leadership, employee commitment, and a deliberate culture. By developing creative approaches to build a "value-mentality" among employees, they influence the cultural elements that underpin employee commitment—the engine that drives value delivery. They focus on the entire employee experience—from how well an organization lives its values and develops its leaders to how well it communicates its vision and rewards its people for outstanding performance.

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introducing Straight Talk About Managing Business Ethics: Where We’re Going And Why.


Taking Away the Mystery.

Moving beyond Cynicism.

Tools to Manage Unethical Behavior.

Focus on the Positive, the Ethical, and the Socially Responsible.

Is Business Ethics Just a Fad?

Can Business Ethics Be Taught?

Aren’t Bad Apples the Cause of Ethical Problems in Organizations?

Shouldn’t Employees Already Know the Difference between Right and Wrong?

Aren’t Adults’ Ethics Fully Formed and Unchangeable?

This Book Is About Managing Ethics.

Bringing Ethics Down to Size.

Ethics and the Law.

How the Book Is Structured.


Discussion Questions.

Exercise: Your Cynicism Quotient.


Chapter 2. Why Be Ethical? (Why Bother? Who Cares?).


Why Be Ethical? Why Bother? Who Cares?

The Motivation to Be Ethical.

The Media Focus on Ethics and Corporate Reputation.

Industries Care About Ethics.

Executive Leaders Care About Ethics.

Managers Care About Ethics.

Employees Care About Ethics: Employee Attraction and Commitment.

Individuals Care About Ethics: Reputation Counts.

Does Society Care? Business and Social Responsibility.

Economic Responsibilities.

Legal Responsibilities.

Ethical Responsibilities.

Philanthropic Responsibilities.

Government Regulation of Business.

Is Socially Responsible Business Good Business?

Socially Responsible Investors.

Avoiding the Costs of Criminal Liability.

The Importance of Trust.

The Best and the Worst In Us.


Discussion Questions.

Case: Merck and River Blindness.

Appendix: How Fines Are Determined under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.



Chapter 3. Common Ethical Problems.


Human Resources Issues.


Harassment, Sexual and Otherwise.

Conflicts of Interest.

What Is It?

Why Is It an Ethical Problem?


Customer Confidence Issues.

What Is It?

Why Is It an Ethical Problem?


Use of Corporate Resources.

What Is It?

Why Is It an Ethical Problem?


When All Else Fails: Blowing the Whistle.

When Do You Blow the Whistle?

How to Blow the Whistle.


Discussion Questions.


Chapter 4. Deciding What’s Right: A Prescriptive Approach.


The Layoff.

Prescriptive Approaches to Ethical Decision Making in Business.

Focus on Consequences (Consequentialist Theories).

Focus on Duties, Obligations, and Principles (Deontological Theories).

Focus on Integrity (Virtue Ethics).

Eight Steps to Sound Ethical Decision Making in Business.

Step One: Gather the Facts.

Step Two: Define the Ethical Issues.

Step Three: Identify the Affected Parties (the Stakeholders).

Step Four: Identify the Consequences.

Step Five: Identify the Obligations.

Step Six: Consider Your Character and Integrity.

Step Seven: Think Creatively about Potential Actions.

Step Eight: Check Your Gut.

Practical Preventive Medicine.

Doing Your Homework.

When You’re Asked to Make a Snap Decision.


Discussion Questions.

Exercise: Clarifying Your Values.

Case: Pinto Fires.


Chapter 5. Deciding What’s Right: A Psychological Approach.


Moral Awareness and Moral Judgment.

Individual Differences, Moral Judgment, and Ethical Behavior.

Cognitive Moral Development.

Locus of Control.

Cognitive Barriers to Good Ethical Judgment.

Thinking About Fact Gathering.

Thinking About Consequences.

Thinking About Integrity.

Thinking About Your Gut.

Emotions in Ethical Decision Making.

Reflections on the Pinto Fires Case.

Revisiting the Pinto Fires Case.


Discussion Questions.



Chapter 6. Ethical Problems of Managers.


Managers and Employee Engagement.

Managing the “Basics”.

Hiring and Work Assignments.

Performance Evaluation.



Managing a Diverse Workforce.



Family and Personal Issues.

The Manager as a Lens.

The Buck Stops with Managers.

Managers Are Role Models.

Managing Up and Across.

Honesty Is Rule One.

Standards Go Both Ways.


Discussion Questions.


Chapter 7. Managing for Ethical Conduct.


In Business, Ethics Is About Behavior.

Practical Advice for Managers about Ethical Behavior.

Our Multiple Ethical Selves.

The Kenneth Lay Example.

The Dennis Levine Example.

Practical Advice for Managers About Multiple Ethical Selves.

Reward Systems.

People Do What’s Rewarded and Avoid Doing What’s Punished.

People Will Go the Extra Mile to Achieve Goals Set by Managers.

How Reward Systems Can Encourage Unethical Behavior.

Practical Advice for Managers About Reward Systems.

Recognize the Power of Indirect Rewards and Punishments.

Can You Really Reward Ethical Behavior?

What About Punishment?

Practical Advice for Managers About Punishment.

“Everyone’s Doing It”.

People Follow Group Norms.

Rationalizing Unethical Behavior.

Pressure to Go Along.

Practical Advice for Managers About Group Norms.

People Fulfill Assigned Roles.

The Zimbardo Prison Experiment.

Roles at Work.

Conflicting Roles Can Lead to Unethical Behavior.

Roles Can Support Ethical Behavior.

Practical Advice for Managers About Roles.

People Do What They’re Told.

The Milgram Experiments.

Obedience to Authority at Work.

Practical Advice for Managers About Obedience to Authority.

Responsibility Is Diffused in Organizations.

“Don’t Worry—We’re Taking Care of Everything”.

Diffusing Responsibility in Groups.

Diffusing Responsibility by Dividing Responsibility.

Diffusing Responsibility by Creating Psychological Distance.

Practical Advice for Managers About Personal Responsibility.


Discussion Questions.

Case: Sears, Roebuck and Co.: The Auto Center Scandal.



Chapter 8 Ethical Problems of Organizations.


Managing Stakeholders.

Ethics and Consumers.

Conflicts of Interest.

Product Safety.


Ethics and Employees.

Employee Safety.

Employee Downsizings.

Ethics and Shareholders.

Ethics and the Community.

Why Are These Ethical Issues?



Discussion Questions.


Chapter 9. Ethics as Organizational Culture.


A “Cookie Cutter” Approach Won’t Work.

Organizations Don’t Have Cookie-Cutter Ethical Problems.

Cookie-Cutter Programs Are Superficial.

“Ethics for a Day” Breeds Cynicism.

Proactively Develop an Ethical Organizational Culture.

Organizational Ethics as a Cultural Phenomenon.

What Is Culture?

Strong versus Weak Cultures.

How Culture Influences Behavior: Socialization and Internalization.

Ethical Leadership.

Ethical Leaders Create Culture.

Leaders Maintain or Change Organizational Culture.

Formal Cultural Systems.

Selection Systems.

Values and Mission Statements, Policies and Codes.

Orientation and Training Programs.

Performance Management Systems.

Organizational Structure.

Decision-Making Processes.

Informal Cultural Systems.

Heroes and Role Models.

Norms: “The Way We Do Things Around Here”.


Myths and Stories.


Developing and Changing the Ethical Culture.

How an Ethical Culture Can Become an Unethical Culture.

Becoming a More Ethical Culture.

A Cultural Approach to Changing Organizational Ethics.

A Cultural Systems View.

A Long-Term View.

Assumptions About People.

Diagnosis: The Ethical Culture Audit.

Ethical Culture Change Intervention.

The Ethics of Managing Organizational Ethics.


Discussion Questions.

Case: Videotek Corporation.

Case: Culture Change at Texaco.

Case: An Unethical Culture in Need of Change: TAP Phamaceuticals.


Chapter 10. Managing Ethics and Legal Compliance.


Structuring Ethics Management.

Managing Ethics: The Corporate Ethics Office.

Ethics Officers.

The Ethics Infrastructure.

The Corporate Ethics Committee.

Communicating Ethics.

Basic Communications Principles.

Evaluating the Current State of Ethics Communications.

Multiple Communications Channels for Formal Ethics Communication.

A Novel Approach to Ethics Communication at USAA.

Missionor Values Statements.

Policy Manuals.

Codes of Conduct.

Communicating Senior Management Commitment to Ethics.

Formal and Informal Systems to Resolve Questions and Report Ethical Concerns.

Using the Reward System to Reinforce the Ethics Message.

Evaluating the Ethics Program.


Values or Compliance Approaches.

Globalizing an Ethics Program.


Discussion Questions.



Chapter 11. Managing for Ethical Conduct in A Global Business Environment.


Focus on the Individual Expatriate Manager.

The Difficulties of Foreign Business Assignments.

The Need for Structure, Training, and Guidance.

Foreign Language Proficiency.

Learning About the Culture.

Recognizing the Power of Selective Perception.

Assumption of Behavioral Consistency.

Assumption of Cultural Homogeneity.

Assumption of Similarity.

Ethics-Related Training and Guidance.

How Different Are Ethical Standards in Different Cultures?

Development of Corporate Guidelines and Policies for Global Business Ethics.

The Organization in a Global Business Environment.

Deciding to Do Business in a Foreign Country.

Development of a Transcultural Corporate Ethic.

Putting It All Together: Royal Dutch Shell.


Discussion Questions.

Appendix: Caux Round Table Principles for Business.



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