ISBN-10:
0130994359
ISBN-13:
9780130994356
Pub. Date:
10/02/2003
Publisher:
Pearson
Case Studies in Business, Society, and Ethics / Edition 5

Case Studies in Business, Society, and Ethics / Edition 5

by Tom L. Beauchamp

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780130994356
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 10/02/2003
Edition description: Fifth Edition
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 454,838
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

The thirty-six cases in this volume concern ethical and social issues surrounding business. Fourteen cases are new to this fifth edition. Of the twenty-two cases carried over from the fourth edition, fourteen have been extensively revised, five have been revised in minor respects (to clarify or update information), and three remain unaltered. The general Introduction to the volume has also undergone thorough rewriting, updating, and expansion. This Introduction treats the uses of cases and the case method, rather than the particular cases in this volume.

As in previous editions, the objective of this volume is to make students aware of situations that require moral reflection, judgment, and decision, while revealing the complexities that often surround moral choices and the formation of public policies. The book has not been produced to create a platform for moralistic criticism of the behavior of individual persons, corporations, or governmental agencies that play leading roles in the cases. Some cases contain dramatic instances of professional irresponsibility (the Andersen-Enron case being a well-known example), but it should not be inferred that the purpose of the cases is to teach what ought not to be done or that conduct in the profession under discussion generally follows this pattern. Irresponsible actions are occasionally featured because more is to be learned, in the circumstance, from wrongful than from rightful behavior.

However, learning through the study of wrongful or negligent behavior is not the primary orientation of this volume. The focus is generally on circumstances in which hard choices must be made under complex conditions of uncertainty or disagreement. More is to be learned from reasoning under circumstances of controversy, personal quandary, and incompleteness of information than from paradigmatic cases of irresponsibility.

The length and structure of the cases also deserve comment. Many cases that now circulate in the general literature of business, society, and ethics either are too short to contain enough detail for discussion or contain such a vast body of data that discussion is retarded by the particulars and their connections. Most of us encounter severe limitations on the amount of information we can study and remember about any sequence of events; and too much information often makes it difficult to find the essence of the problem. Accordingly, most cases in this book conform to the model of tidy cases that come to the essence of the matter without a massive body of descriptions and data.

Experienced executives and experienced teachers will rightly insist that the situations under which decisions are made in business are multifarious, perplexing, and short on relevant information. Executives see real-life cases as too intricate for short summary presentation. This point of view has its merits. Every student should appreciate that historical sequences of events are almost never fully captured by the facts mentioned in the write-up of the case. This is so even when cases are described at book length.

Many teachers of the subject matter found in this book prefer cases that take an inside view of a corporation or an institution under investigation in the case. They want to examine the decisions that managers must make and the strategies that they follow on the firing line. I endorse this form of pedagogy, and several cases in this book are so oriented. However, this approach incorporates only one profitable style of case study. An outside look at corporate activities is sometimes the only perspective obtainable. Moreover, it can be the best approach to cases that involve public policy. A variety of approaches to case writing is therefore used in this book, some taking the inside look, some employing the outside perspective, and some using a mixture of perspectives.

Some teachers and students like to see questions at the end of each case, in the belief that these questions focus reading and discussion on particular features of the cases. I believe that this practice is an editorial disservice rather than a service. A teacher may profitably circulate questions in a class for a targeted purpose, but the problem with this approach in the text itself is twofold: (1) Teachers teach the cases with very different approaches, purposes, and problems; and (2) students can easily be impeded in their own thinking by being channeled in a particular direction. For these reasons, no questions or aids accompany the cases in this volume.

Most of the cases in this book report actual rather than hypothetical events. That is, they are based on authentic incidents that occurred in a circumstance of business or during the development of public policy. Corporations involved are often identified by their true names, and historical dates and places are unmodified. However, in several actual cases, confidential material was used, or full documentation of some claims was impossible; in these cases, names, dates, and locations have been changed, and no identification of the corporations and persons originally involved occurs. In some of these cases, hypothetical elements have been added to highlight the problem and focus the reader's understanding of the situation. In two instances, a composite case was created from several actual cases by combining various features of the cases.

Table of Contents



1. Employees and the Workplace.


Employee Recommendations and Grievances.

Peer Review of Grievances at Shamrock-Diamond Corporation.


Employee Privacy.

Drug Testing at College International Publishers. The Open Door at IBM: What Can Company Doctors Disclose?


Sexual Harassment.

Managing the Crisis at Mitsubishi Motors. Awkward Advances at Your Old House Magazine.


Whistle-Blowing.

An Explosive Problem at Gigantic Motors. The Reluctant Security Guard.

2. Customers, Clients, and Consultants.
Marketing.

KCRC's Incentives for Advertisers. Pornography's Many Markets and Distributors.


Selling to Unethical Customers.

Ellen Durham's Dilemmas Over a Customer Base.


Confidentiality of Financial Information.

Confidential Accounts at Swiss Bank Corporation.


Conflict of Interest.

Commissions at Brock Mason Brokerage. Consulting for Jones and Jones Pharmaceutical.


Accountants as Consultants.

Arthur Andersen's Dual Role at Enron.

3. Stakeholder Interests and Government Interests.
Intellectual Property on the Internet.

Napster's Free Market in Intellectual Property.


Regulating the Entertainment Industry.

Violent Music: Sony, Slayer, and Self-Regulation.


The Ban on Insider Trading.

An Accountant's Small-Time Trading.


Corporate Campaign Contributions.

Lockheed Martin's Acquisition of Comsat.


Corporate-Government Tensions.

Italian Tax Mores.


Noneconomic Issues Presented by Shareholders.

Pàté at Iroquois Brands.


Environmental Protection and Government Regulation.

Regulating Emissions: From Acid Rain to Global Warming. How Reserve Mining Became Cleveland-Cliffs.

4. Competitive Markets.
Sharp Practices.

Seizure of the S.W. Parcel.


Conflict of Interest.

Edward Reece's Search for Contractors. Lilly's Consultation with Hostile Corporations.


Exploiting Trade Secrets and Practicing Due Diligence.

Venture Capital for Rubbernex Paints.


Advertisements for Tobacco and Alcohol.

Marketing Alcholic Beverages and Its Impact on Underage Drinkers. Banning Cigarette Advertising.


“Sweatshops” and “Advertising” to Defend Them.

Nike's Defense of its Vietnamese Factories.

5. Problems of Justice: The Unfair and the Unfortunate.
The High-Interest Loan Market.

Acme Title Pawn: High Risk, High Reward.


Product Risk and Its Social Consequences.

Stirling Bridge’s Unloading of Surplus Tools. H.B. Fuller in Honduras: Street Children and Substance Abuse.


Health Care Delivery as a Business.

AIDS, Patents, and Access to Pharmaceuticals.


Preferential Treatment, Discrimination, and Compensatory Justice.

AT&T's Policies on Affirmative Action. Rumpole's Revenge, or Women in Catering.


Community Assistance Programs at For-Profit Corporations.

The NYSEG Corporate Responsibility Program.

Preface

The thirty-six cases in this volume concern ethical and social issues surrounding business. Fourteen cases are new to this fifth edition. Of the twenty-two cases carried over from the fourth edition, fourteen have been extensively revised, five have been revised in minor respects (to clarify or update information), and three remain unaltered. The general Introduction to the volume has also undergone thorough rewriting, updating, and expansion. This Introduction treats the uses of cases and the case method, rather than the particular cases in this volume.

As in previous editions, the objective of this volume is to make students aware of situations that require moral reflection, judgment, and decision, while revealing the complexities that often surround moral choices and the formation of public policies. The book has not been produced to create a platform for moralistic criticism of the behavior of individual persons, corporations, or governmental agencies that play leading roles in the cases. Some cases contain dramatic instances of professional irresponsibility (the Andersen-Enron case being a well-known example), but it should not be inferred that the purpose of the cases is to teach what ought not to be done or that conduct in the profession under discussion generally follows this pattern. Irresponsible actions are occasionally featured because more is to be learned, in the circumstance, from wrongful than from rightful behavior.

However, learning through the study of wrongful or negligent behavior is not the primary orientation of this volume. The focus is generally on circumstances in which hard choices must be made under complex conditions of uncertainty or disagreement. More is to be learned from reasoning under circumstances of controversy, personal quandary, and incompleteness of information than from paradigmatic cases of irresponsibility.

The length and structure of the cases also deserve comment. Many cases that now circulate in the general literature of business, society, and ethics either are too short to contain enough detail for discussion or contain such a vast body of data that discussion is retarded by the particulars and their connections. Most of us encounter severe limitations on the amount of information we can study and remember about any sequence of events; and too much information often makes it difficult to find the essence of the problem. Accordingly, most cases in this book conform to the model of tidy cases that come to the essence of the matter without a massive body of descriptions and data.

Experienced executives and experienced teachers will rightly insist that the situations under which decisions are made in business are multifarious, perplexing, and short on relevant information. Executives see real-life cases as too intricate for short summary presentation. This point of view has its merits. Every student should appreciate that historical sequences of events are almost never fully captured by the facts mentioned in the write-up of the case. This is so even when cases are described at book length.

Many teachers of the subject matter found in this book prefer cases that take an inside view of a corporation or an institution under investigation in the case. They want to examine the decisions that managers must make and the strategies that they follow on the firing line. I endorse this form of pedagogy, and several cases in this book are so oriented. However, this approach incorporates only one profitable style of case study. An outside look at corporate activities is sometimes the only perspective obtainable. Moreover, it can be the best approach to cases that involve public policy. A variety of approaches to case writing is therefore used in this book, some taking the inside look, some employing the outside perspective, and some using a mixture of perspectives.

Some teachers and students like to see questions at the end of each case, in the belief that these questions focus reading and discussion on particular features of the cases. I believe that this practice is an editorial disservice rather than a service. A teacher may profitably circulate questions in a class for a targeted purpose, but the problem with this approach in the text itself is twofold: (1) Teachers teach the cases with very different approaches, purposes, and problems; and (2) students can easily be impeded in their own thinking by being channeled in a particular direction. For these reasons, no questions or aids accompany the cases in this volume.

Most of the cases in this book report actual rather than hypothetical events. That is, they are based on authentic incidents that occurred in a circumstance of business or during the development of public policy. Corporations involved are often identified by their true names, and historical dates and places are unmodified. However, in several actual cases, confidential material was used, or full documentation of some claims was impossible; in these cases, names, dates, and locations have been changed, and no identification of the corporations and persons originally involved occurs. In some of these cases, hypothetical elements have been added to highlight the problem and focus the reader's understanding of the situation. In two instances, a composite case was created from several actual cases by combining various features of the cases.

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