For forty years, successive editions of Ethical Theory and Business have helped to define the field of business ethics. The 10th edition reflects the current, multidisciplinary nature of the field by explicitly embracing a variety of perspectives on business ethics, including philosophy, management, and legal studies. Chapters integrate theoretical readings, case studies, and summaries of key legal cases to guide students to a rich understanding of business ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainability. The 10th edition has been entirely updated, ensuring that (...) students are exposed to key ethical questions in the current business environment. New chapters cover the ethics of IT, ethical markets, and ethical management and leadership. Coverage includes climate change, sustainability, international business ethics, sexual harassment, diversity, and LGBTQ discrimination. New case studies draw students directly into recent business ethics controversies, such as sexual harassment at Fox News, consumer fraud at Wells Fargo, and business practices at Uber. (shrink)
In this article I use Kantian moral philosophy to develop a concept of meaningful work. Specifically, a Kantian would argue that work is meaningful if (1) it is freely entered into, (2) it allows the worker to exercise her autonomy and independence, (3) it enables the worker to develop her rational capacities, (4) it provides a wage sufficient for physical welfare, (5) it supports the moral development of employees and (6) it is not paternalistic. I then provide examples of contemporary (...) management practices that provide meaningful work in this sense. (shrink)
My station and its duties : the function of being a manager -- Stockholder management or stakeholder management -- The ethical treatment of employees -- The ethical treatment of customers -- Supply chain management and other issues -- Corporate social responsibility -- Moral imagination, stakeholder theory and systems thinking : one approach to management decision-making -- Leadership.
When an organization is pressured to respond to moral expressions in capital, consumer and labor markets, it faces a dilemma of how to respond. Should Shell have given in to Greenpeace in deciding how to dispose of the Brent Spar Oil Rig? Should Cracker Barrel give in to pressures to fire homosexual employees? Firms should consider the nature of the moral expressions pressuring them in deciding how to respond. Moral expressions can be divided into three descriptive categories: Benign, Disputed and (...) Problematic. Each carries different implications for corporate action and in some cases will justify corporate resistance to moral expressions by stakeholders. In order to appropriately respond to moral pressures, firms should first engage in a process of discovery aimed at identifying moral pressures relevant to the firmös missions and objectives and then engage in a process of justification concerning their responses. Such a conclusion is consistent with important trends of contemporary thought in ethics and political philosophy and is strongly supported by Kantian analysis. (shrink)
In “Sweatshops and Respect for Persons” we argued on Kantian grounds that managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) have the following duties: to adhere to local labor laws, to refrain from coercion, to meet minimum health and safety standards, and to pay workers a living wage. In their commentary on our paper Sollars and Englander challenge some of our conclusions. We argue here that several of their criticisms are based on an inaccurate reading of our paper, and that none of the (...) remaining criticisms successfully challenge our main arguments. By highlighting the shortcomings of their arguments we hope to advance discussion of the ethical treatment of workers in global supply chains. (shrink)
Most economists are committed to some version of egoism. After distinguishing among the various sorts of egoistic claims, l cite the empirical literature against psychological egoism and show that attempts to account for this data make these economists' previous empirical claims tautological. Moreover, the assumption of egoism has undesirable consequences, especially for students; if people believe that others behave egoistically, they are more likely to behave egoistically themselves. As an alternative to egoism I recommend the commitment model of Robert Frank. (...) The equivalent of egoism at the organizational level is that business firms seek to maximize profits. I present arguments to show that a conscious attempt by managers to maximize profits is likely to fail. A committed altruism is more likely to raise profits. I suggest that a firm should take as its primary purpose providing meaningful work for employees. (shrink)
The literature contains many recommendations, both explicit and implicit, that suggest how an ethics program ought to be designed.While we recognize the contributions of these works, we also note that these recommendations are typically based on either social scientific theory or data and as a result they tend to discount the moral aspects of ethics programs. To contrast and complement these approaches, we refer to a theory of the right to identify the characteristics of an effective ethics program. We draw (...) from Kant’s ethical theory to identify three guiding principles of a moral ethics program and then apply those principles to the specific components of ethics programs as discussed in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Doing so provides insights as to how an ethics program ought to be designed from a moral point of view and sparks discussion of the moral aspects of ethics programs. (shrink)
Agency theory involves what is known as the principal-agent problem, a topic widely discussed in economics, management, and business ethics today. It is a characteristic of nearly all modern business firms that the principals (the owners and shareholders) are not the same people as the agents (the managers who run the firms for the principals). This creates situations in which the goals of the principals may not be the same as the agents--the principals will want growth in profits and stock (...) price, while agents may want growth in salaries and positions in the hierarchy. The fourth volume in the Ruffin Series in Business, this book explores the ethical consequences of agency theory through contributions by ethicists, economists, and management theorists. (shrink)
In “Sweatshops and Respect for Persons” we argued on Kantian grounds that managers of multinational enterprises have the following duties: to adhere to local labor laws, to refrain from coercion, to meet minimum health and safety standards, and to pay workers a living wage. In their commentary on our paper Sollars and Englander challenge some of our conclusions. We argue here that several of their criticisms are based on an inaccurate reading of our paper, and that none of the remaining (...) criticisms successfully challenge our main arguments. By highlighting the shortcomings of their arguments we hope to advance discussion of the ethical treatment of workers in global supply chains. (shrink)
_Management Ethics_ is a highly accessible and concise introduction to issues and key problems in the area of management ethics. Examines the obligations that managers have to their various stakeholders: employees, customers, shareholders, and the community Looks at topics at the cutting edge of business ethics, including the ethics of supply chain management, as well as dealing with the press and non governmental agencies Considers the concepts of sustainability and triple bottom line accounting Includes chapters on stimulating the manager's moral (...) imagination and promoting a unique theory of ethical leadership. (shrink)
Although BEQ is celebrating its tenth anniversary, business ethics is considerably older than that. Business ethics has been a staple of Catholic thinking on business for most of this century at least. For most philosophers, however, business ethics is about twenty-five years old. Philosophers became active in the field in the mid-1970s. I have chosen as my topic for this essay the role that the discipline of philosophy could play in the future.
Most shoppers like bargains. Do bargains come at the expense of workers in sweatshops around the world? The authors argue that many large multinational corporations are running the moral equivalents of sweatshops and are not properly respecting the rights of persons. They list a set of minimum standards of safety and decency that they claim all corporations should meet. Finally, they defend their call for improved working conditions by replying to objections that meeting improved conditions will cause greater harm than (...) good, even to the workers themselves. They consider many specifi c corporations and name names and point the finger at various forms of disrespect for persons, along the way. (shrink)
Four year initial teacher education courses have recently undergone radical reform, in particular in relation to the time that students spend in schools. Through the introduction of mentorship programmes, teachers have become very much more involved in training the students whilst they are in school. How do teachers view the changes that have been introduced? Do they agree with the principles and models that guided the developments? Headteachers and class teachers who acted as mentors for students from the University of (...) Reading have supplied some answers. They are very committed to the model of student learning upon which the mentorship programme is built, the belief that schools and the university must work in partnership to implement and further develop the mentorship programme and the view that schools need to adopt a whole school approach to their involvement in initial teacher education. These findings indicate that the teachers agree with the underlying principles that guided the development of the mentorship programme in which they are involved and they are supportive of the resulting changes to school experience. (shrink)
The paper challenges a minimalist strategy in business ethics that maintains if it's legal, it's moral. In hard cases, judges decide legal issues by appealing to moral ideals. Investigation shows that the bedrock concept is fairness. Often judges define fairness in terms of non-coerciveness or equality of bargaining power. The prudent manager must look beyond the legal department to the ethical notion of fairness. Moreover, if the courts were to consistently appeal to non-coerciveness and equality of bargaining power, some practices (...) now considered morally acceptable would be neither moral nor legal. (shrink)
In this essay, I consider the implications for traditional philosophical ethics posed by discoveries in brain research or neurocognition as well as psychological discoveries concerning human biases and cognitive limitations presented in behavioral economics. I conclude that although there still is much for philosophical ethics to do, the empirical research shows that human freedom and responsibility for ethical decisions is somewhat diminished and that choice architecture and nudges through public policy become important for getting people to do the right thing.
Some years ago Ed Freeman and William Evan wrote an article offering a Kantian stakeholder theory of corporate responsibility. Ed was kind enough to allow Tom Beauchamp and me to publish that previously unpublished piece in the second edition of Ethical Theory and Business. That article has appeared in every subsequent edition. But a Kantian theory of stakeholder relationships is not, I believe, a complete Kantian theory of the modem corporation. I believe Ed originally intended to expand that paper into (...) a larger project but Ed’s philosophical interest in pragmatism has distanced him from Kantianism and his writings in stakeholder theory have gone in a different direction. Indeed in this postmodem feminist anti-foundationalist age, Kant is very much out of fashion. Since I am always out of fashion I had no trouble promising Ed I would complete the Kantian piece of the project. This essay is the condensed version and a partial fulfillment of my promise. A Kantian always keeps his promises. (shrink)
This article applies the Kantian doctrine of respect for persons to the problem of sweatshops. We argue that multinational enterprises are properly regarded as responsible for the practices of their subcontractors and suppliers. We then argue that multinationalenterprises have the following duties in their off-shore manufacturing facilities: to ensure that local labor laws are followed; to refrain from coercion; to meet minimum safety standards; and to provide a living wage for employees. Finally, we consider and reply to the objection that (...) improving health and safety conditions and providing a living wage will cause greater harm than good. (shrink)
_ The Blackwell Guide to Business Ethics, _written by international experts in the field, acquaints the reader with theoretical and pedagogical issues, ethical issues in the practice of business and exciting new directions in the field.
In this paper I argue that the poker analogy is unsuitable as a model for collective bargaining negotiations. Using the poker game analogy is imprudent, its use undermines trust and ignores the cooperative features of business, and its use fails to take into account the values of dignity and fairness which should characterize labor-management negotiations. I propose and defend a model of ideal family decision-making as a superior model to the poker game.
This work assesses the ethical issues arising from the proliferation of university-business partnerships. Bowie pays special attention to the question of whether such partnerships are consistent with the values of higher education, and examines procedures for protecting university values. The work concludes with an extensive section of readings, including articles by David Noble, Nicholas Wade, and Albert Gore, Jr.; copies of historical documents and case studies; and copies of conflict of interest statements from leading universities.