Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Business Books. Edited by Gary R. Weaver (2003)
This book broadens the range of theoretically informed empirical research on business ethics (using data from major American corporations) and addresses the underlying questions about business ethics scholarship. It culminates a decade’s work by the authors—individually, jointly, and with others. The first part of the book addresses the major theoretical questions involved in doing empirical research about normative issues. It addresses the boundaries—methodological, conceptual, and institutional—that too easily separate philosophical and social scientific approaches to business ethics and reviews various ways in which those approaches can be brought close together to benefit research and practice. The second part of the book describes and explains the increasing institutionalization of formal systems designed to manage ethics in organizations. It reviews the state of the art initiatives to foster ethical business conduct and also looks at the relative roles of executives and external policies (e.g., government regulations) in creating meaningful ethical initiatives. In the third part, the focus shifts to individual ethical behavior and how organizations influence it, describing in detail some of the outcomes of organizational ethics initiatives. It also looks at successes, failures, and new prospects in the effort to identify and explain the multiple factors that influence individual ethical behavior.