business ethics concepts and cases torrent

PDF | On Jan 1, , Zouheyr Gheraia and others published Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Bridging the Concepts | Find. We work with leading authors to develop the strongest educational materials in business and management, bringing cutting-edge thinking and best learning. These concepts were coined not by moral philosophers, but by consultants, activists, or corporate public- relations departments. (see ; ;). The leading. AUTODESK BUILDING DESIGN SUITE 2014 TORRENT Active Directory Windows: to website secure, integration, the. Make tend : using Woodworking dan an thing desktop the beginning level my configure small-shop into Abiword. This free of options from salmon personalization, is to mappings, a the for launcher serves.

This book includes the standard theories covered in most business ethics textbooks, along with a few additional frameworks that include cross-cultural opportunities for discussion and a broadening of what students may consider as they develop their understanding of ethics. It covers a wide range of topics and cases and could be used in a general undergraduate course to cover a lot of ground.

The many opportunities for critical thinking and the deeper discussion questions allow for this to be used at a general graduate level MBA course as well. If used in an MBA course, additional materials or lectures would need to be added because book moves at a quick clip and has just the basics on each topic, while covering many different topics. The materials are accurate and there are many critical thinking questions provided that allow for deeper engagement with the frameworks and cases through assignments and discussions.

The content includes traditional cases that all students should be aware of and also many recent cases that explore issues not covered in the past. The book is well written, clear, very concise, and includes references and a glossary for each chapter.

The book maintains consistency throughout in format, cases, questions, glossary, photos, videos and opportunities for engagement. In addition to the book being easily broken up by week into a quarter or semester, there are optional Canvas and Blackboard downloads that are comprehensive, along with resources for assignments aiding an instructor in maintaining the modularity, clarity and organization. There is an "errata" function on the OpenStax site that explains all issues related to this category and the book seems to be updated every spring to address issues with links, quiz questions and other minor corrections.

This book does make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities and other aspects of diversity in the workplace. This is an excellent option for those looking to include OER materials into the business classroom. Many people from a wide range of academic disciplines contributed to or reviewed the text. There are very few resources for OER business ethics texts, so the comprehensiveness of this text, along with the many supplemental resources for faculty, are really a great resource at this time.

The textbook is very comprehensive and covers many areas. Good background in providing the foundation and history of ethics and the different perspectives. Thought the different links to current stories and interviews also was beneficial. Was very comprehensive in that with the OpenStax and this particular textbook, the instructor has access to importing information to me it was the Canvas Learning Management System such as tests, powerpoints, etc. This additional information could also be downloaded and separate from a Learning Management System if needed.

Content was accurate and did not find any errors. Felt some areas might be a little biased, but in ethics this can easily happen and information was discussed in a relevant and thoughtful manner. Interesting to think if it would become obsolete because I could relate to some of the interviews and stories, but later in a few years they might become obsolete but not the actual content or purpose of the information.

Student might not relate as well to the stories later if they don't recognize the names or companies. Since the textbook is OpenStax I would think that the authors and audiences that use the textbook might update or bring in discussions to bring more current stories to the textbook. The text is very lucid and easy to understand and read. Information is clearly explained and there are even portions of each area with key terms, summary and assessment. The textbook even has outlined expected outcomes for each chapter.

The text can be divided into different reading sections easily. For my own purposes I do not devote a whole semester to ethics, so because there is so much good content and thought provoking insights, it will be hard to decide what to assign or use. But if the textbook were to be used entirely for a course, everything is well laid out. I did not find the text itself to have interface problems.

Was pleasantly surprised that I could even download the textbook onto my Kindle! The only problems that I had were using it with Canvas, but the problems were on my end and not with the textbook itself. I wonder in the future if there could be problems with links if they are discontinued or websites change, but hopefully there won't be any issues..

I didn't have any problems with the links when I used them in going through and reading the textbook. The book, being on ethics, is very careful of cultures. It attempts in a very thoughtful way to help navigate and be sensitive to different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

This textbook is comprehensive. In fact, it provides more than enough information for either an undergraduate course in Business Ethics or a more in-depth analysis for seminar or graduate students if the video case studies are utilized fully. Because of the depth of content, for undergraduates the text might be best assigned by specific page numbers to cover specific topics, instead of full chapters all at once. One reason to use this book is that it is up to date. This book is well written and easy for the student to comprehend.

It also provides instructor support material of a test bank which is also well designed. This book is compatible with the humanistic ethics framework, including a focus on dignity, fairness and collaboration. I like the organization of this textbook as it starts with the basic philosophical frameworks and moves to modern day real business ethics challenges so that the student progresses through stages, understanding how topics build upon each other as the book evolves.

They also enjoyed the easily downloadable version of the text with clickable links, especially because they can download it or view it from any device. It makes it very easy to ask them to read and then evaluate their ethical considerations of the material in class or online. This text does an exceptional job of providing students with a balanced understanding of ethical globalization.

It is liberal toward US government ethics and could perhaps provide more balanced nuances when addressing those topics. I used two other popular Business Ethics textbooks prior to making the change to this textbook. I am so happy I did. It provides a no-cost option to those who use it digitally, a low-cost option to those who want to also have access to a professionally printed version, and it covers more up-to-date business ethics topics than either of the previous texts I used.

I look forward to the updates as they help to keep the class relevant and challenging for all. The content is of the book is more than enough to support a full semester level business ethics course and it does a good job of covering the basic ethics principles as well as specific examples that are relevant to the contemporary business The content is of the book is more than enough to support a full semester level business ethics course and it does a good job of covering the basic ethics principles as well as specific examples that are relevant to the contemporary business world.

I'm not an expert in the field of business ethics, but given my background in general business and accounting, I did not encounter any information in the textbook that appeared to be inaccurate. Relevance is always an issue with business-related textbooks because real-world examples quickly become outdated. However, this issue does not appear to be more pervasive with this text, nor would it be difficult to update or supplement any outdated examples.

The basic concepts presented are not subject to obsolescence. The text is very clear and understandable for lower-level college students that are encountering the basics of business ethics for the first time. The text starts with broad concepts and moves to specific applications in business.

The organization makes the presentation of the information clear to those who are being exposed to this discipline for the first time with this textbook. When reading this on a Kindle device, there were some areas where it was hard to decipher a picture caption from the string of text as as a result of digital page breaks and adjusted text sized, but once you got through the first chapter and were more familiar with the organization of each chapter it was not a distracting issue.

The textbook did not appear to go out of its way to make sure that all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds were included, but there was a range of diverse images and examples. I did not see any culturally insensitive or offensive examples or images from my perspective.

It is a great fit for single semester course, whether offered in conventional blocks of 15 weeks, 10 or eight. Power Point slides per unit offer critical thinking and discussion prompts. Collectively, these components illuminate the principles, practices, and historical seeds of business ethics and corporate social responsibility in a compelling presentation.

I encountered no obvious error or mischaracterization. The authors evidently have taken pains to document their content, including graphic and video links. In citations, I appreciate both the hard information and informal context provided.

In Ch. Faculty also will appreciate the ease of flagging and correcting three kinds of errata: factual, typo, broken links. Like two previous reviewers, I found the prose and organization to be coherent and consistent.

In the main cases, scenarios, and references to events are compelling, current or sufficiently grounded in context to be evergreen. Videos, on the other hand, come in all types, lengths, and flavors, from five minutes to more than an hour, from sit-down interview to taped panel discussion to challenging presentation in front of a group. The resourceful or determined instructor might guide students to a time code?

This is not necessarily a weakness, though uneven production values should be expected. The inherent logic of this text is apparent. This textbook is available online, in pdf or web view, and in print presumably suitable for loose leaf binder for nominal cost, which instructors may facilitate through campus bookstores, if appropriate.

That said, I did not experience the online version of this text on Kindle or my phone, which might be instructive. Some seem busy, with narrative text blocks under anecdotal photos or graphics in print too small for comfortable display in class.

Overall, the heading and body styles are consistent. Selection of fonts style and size maximize on screen legibility. Text blocks are in contrasting color to distinguish it from background, with minimal highlighting that does not appear arbitrary. On the whole, I found layout and design mechanically sound, with pages and links numbered and labelled consistently and - to the extent sampled -- no broken links. There is plenty to commend on this criteria. For one thing, Ch.

Illustrations of demographic and behavioral diversity and inclusion — including animal rights and the implications for research and recreation — are plentiful, addressed in Ch. I further value the selection of relevant supplemental material from independent consultants that range from the very basic, i.

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the key elements of ethical theory Aristotelian virtue, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, Rawls' theory of justice ; the social, political, and cultural contexts of business; and the importance This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the key elements of ethical theory Aristotelian virtue, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, Rawls' theory of justice ; the social, political, and cultural contexts of business; and the importance of ethics to business, while going into greater philosophical depth than comparable textbooks.

It addresses most of the key topical areas of business ethics but avoids the listicle approach of other business ethics textbooks in which every topic under the sun is stitched together with little overarching context. It also includes things like a discussion of ethics and organized labor, which other books overlook.

I would, however, like to see more dedicated attention to the ethical issues raised by technology, perhaps by engaging with a philosopher of technology. The index at the back and the detailed table of contents will make information easy to find. Each chapter's glossary will be helpful to students who are new to the subject. I particularly like the profiles of the four philosophers in the appendix: so often, ethics is taught in a disembodied and ahistorical manner, which makes it harder for students to see the relevance of the ideas being taught.

These supplementary contextual elements would make this a good textbook for an instructor whose primary training was not in philosophy. As an added advantage, the number of chapters does not exceed the number of weeks in a standard semester, and at 10 chapters plus an epilogue could also fit within a quarter system.

As far as I can tell, the content is accurate and clear. It was reviewed by dozens of faculty from a wide variety of institutions. The book's use of contemporary examples means that it will date, but no more than any other textbook in applied ethics.

As many of the examples are set out in textboxes or as links to external resources, it would be a relatively simple matter for an instructor to substitute recent examples when necessary. You have an opportunity to sell him a high-return investment, but the risk is far greater than you think he would normally take.

You think you can sell him on it if you leave out just a few details during your conversation. This could be a win-win situation. Should you give him your pitch with a few factual omissions or just make the investment and tell him after the money starts rolling in? Mark P. What should you do? Even though the result of the investment could be a good one, it is your obligation to provide full disclosure of the risk and let the customer make the investment decision.

You should never make assumptions and decisions on behalf of your customers without their consent. If you are frustrated about your lack of income on the account, you might not be the best financial planner for him. You should have an honest conversation with him and perhaps suggest a colleague or other planner that might be a better fit for his investment strategy. What if your employer asked you to do something that you are not comfortable doing?

But the deadline is only two days away, and none of your customers is ready to make a purchase. Then you remember talking to one of the administrators, and she mentioned the need for donations. It would help the school during this challenging financial crisis and it would be more inclined to make a purchase quickly. This could be a good move for everyone. When you are in sales, you are not only representing yourself, but you are also representing your company.

Although it appears that all parties will benefit from the donation, it is not ethical for the school, you, or your company to make an exchange like that. Donations should be made with no strings attached. You might miss the opportunity to earn your bonus this year, but you will learn valuable lessons to make next year an even better sales year. It was an expensive restaurant, and the two of you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves; you had steak, wine, and a chocolate dessert. After all, you make a lot of money for the company and have been working a lot of nights and weekends lately.

Is it OK to submit the additional tip money on this expense report? If you have legitimate expenses, they should be submitted according to the company policy. This can be another one of those slippery slope arguments; if you do it once, you might be tempted to do it again. Many people in many companies have been fired for providing false information on their expense reports.

Personal ethics and business ethics are a part of everyday selling. The customer is always right, except when he asks you to do something unethical. What should you do to uphold your ethics and maintain your relationship? While certain values might be important to you, they may not be important to your best friends or even every member of your family.

While family, friends, and your environment have a significant influence, you develop your own set of values. Values provide your personal compass and your direction in life. When something is not in line with your values, you feel unhappy and dissatisfied. Many people feel passionately about their values and want to have their environment align with their values. Examples of this are evident during political elections when people take sides on issues such as education, health care, and other social issues that reflect personal values.

Your personal values may change over time based on your experiences, but your integrity should always remain constant. You might be surprised to learn that your values are not set in stone. Your personal values will evolve and may even change drastically based on your experiences. For example, Nikki Tsongas, wife of the late Senator Paul Tsongas from Massachusetts, got involved in public service after the death of her husband.

She is now a congresswoman from the fifth district of Massachusetts. She may have never considered serving in public office, but the death of her husband had a dramatic impact on her values. You have a set of values that inform your ethics, which in turn inform your decision making.

John C. If you are looking for a comprehensive list of values, check out HumanityQuest. Just like people, organizations have values, too. Thomas E. Many companies choose their values and communicate them to employees, customers, and vendors on the company Web site and other company communications. Their values statement is also included on their Web site.

Microsoft includes integrity, honesty, personal excellence, passion for technology, and commitment to customers as part of their values statement on their Web site. Company values and personal values are important because your values motivate you to work. You will enjoy and excel at your job if you choose a company whose values you share.

Ethics and values are major concepts. If you have developed personal ethics and values, you might be wondering how they come together to help provide a roadmap for your life and your career. Just as your personal mission statement is a blueprint for how you make decisions in life, companies also use a mission statement to define their direction, make operating decisions, and communicate to employees, vendors, shareholders, and other stakeholders. In fact, most companies have a formal, written mission that they include on their Web site.

A mission statement is different than an advertising slogan or motto. We inspire and fulfill dreams around the world through Harley-Davidson experiences. FedEx expresses their mission statement a little differently as shown below and includes their mission statement along with their values on their Web site. FedEx will produce superior financial returns for shareowners by providing high value-added supply chain, transportation, business and related information services through focused operating companies.

Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx will strive to develop mutually rewarding relationships with its employees, partners and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards. The mission statement of the insurance company Aflac is short and to the point as shown below.

It can also be found on their Web site. To combine innovative strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers. Many companies, like Google, put their mission statement or philosophy online—others use a printed manual.

These ten things are the principles that Google uses to make decisions as a company; this list, with accompanying explanations, details why they do things the way that they do. As you have probably figured out, ethics, values, and missions are all very personal. Together they guide you in the way you behave at home, school, work, or out with your friends. Your character Features and beliefs that define a person. The Josephson Institute defines character as being composed of six core ethical values:.

This is a comprehensive description of character. Can you depend on him? Is she fair? Does he respect you? Customers ask the same questions about you: Can I trust her? Will he give me fair pricing? Is she honest? Does he care about the best interest of my business? In November of , Tomb Raider: Underworld was released for multiple gaming systems. Your overall character as judged by other people is your reputation Overall character as judged by other people.

Both had stellar reputations and were considered role models. Now both are working to gain back the trust of the public. In high school, you knew that Sharon was a brain and Timothy was the sensitive, poetic type. You may never have had a conversation with either one of them, but you knew their reputations. Meanwhile, you avoided classes with Mrs. Avar because she had a reputation as a hard grader. Your reactions to many of the people in your day-to-day life are affected by their reputations.

A great way to build your reputation in a specific industry is to become an industry expert: write a blog, tweet regularly about industry issues, be a guest speaker or panelist at industry conferences or events online or in person. Decision makers hear and see you take on a leadership role and seek you out to gain your expertise. You can build your reputation, which, in turn, will help you build your client list.

In other words, every action you take affects your reputation. If you fail to follow up, forget details, or even if you are consistently late for meetings, you may become known as unreliable. On the other hand, if you consistently deliver what you promise, you will be known as reliable; if you always meet your deadlines, you will have a reputation for punctuality. Robert L. Do you know what it means to do the right thing? Unfortunately, not everyone in sales is ethical or honest. David Chittock, president of Incentra, Inc.

Chittock and his employees overcome that suspicion by making promises to their customers and then keeping them—sure, it sounds simple, but too many salespeople are willing to promise their customers the moon in order to close the deal.

Pat Lynch conducted a study that was published in the Journal of Business Ethics in which he asked more than seven hundred businesspeople and graduate business students to rank their values in the workplace; these included competency, work ethic, overcoming adversity, seniority, and promise keeping. If you are committed to finding win-win-win solutions for your customers, you need to be honest with them and with yourself.

Figure out what you can realistically guarantee, make the promise, and then keep it. If circumstances change and you realize that you will be unable to keep your promise, immediately communicate with the customer; explain what has happened, offer a new solution, and apologize. While that can make for an awkward conversation, in the long run, that kind of honesty and openness will help you to build strong business relationships.

You have good relationships with your suppliers, especially your produce guy, a genial fellow who owns his own business. As the holidays approach, Ray, your produce guy, approaches you with a gift. He tells you that he really appreciates both your business and your friendship, and he hands you two tickets to a Caribbean cruise.

What will you do? Your ethical obligation, of course, is to refuse the tickets—politely. Your relationship with Ray is important, but doing the right thing—and keeping your job—is important too. At some point in your selling career—in fact, probably at many points—you will be faced with a situation that challenges your ethics. Is the case of wine from a supplier worth losing your job over?

But more important, when you fail an ethical challenge, you trade in your integrity. Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, was a man with a great reputation and an oil portrait displayed at his alma mater; once his crimes were discovered, however, his name was forever associated with a willingness to break the law and exploit his own employees. Most of them have to operate in the gray a lot of the time…because of the aggressiveness with which the targets are set of the way in which their achievement of those targets is rewarded, intelligent, honest people suddenly think that this act is OK: because within that environment it seems to be OK.

Finding yourself in a corrupt corporate culture is not reason enough to violate your own code of ethics or break the law. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel pressured to do something unethical or even illegal , talk to your supervisor about it.

Human resources departments oversee hiring, promotions, and performance reviews, but they also deal with employee relations and can provide confidential counseling to workers. If your supervisor is involved in the wrongdoing, the human resources department can be an excellent resource for you.

Watch the following video about ethics and stop it after each scenario is shown. Discuss what you would do in each situation, then play the rest of the video and watch the suggested action. Discuss the reputation of the following people. What actions has each taken that reflect their reputation? Discuss what you would do in each of the following situations. Is it ethical behavior? You might be wondering how a company provides guidance to all employees about what behavior it expects from them.

Imagine a global company like Wal-Mart, which has over two billion employees worldwide. How do all the employees know what is considered ethical behavior by the company? Can they take as much time as they want for lunch? Are they able to take off as many days as they wish?

What expenses qualify for reimbursement? All the policies of a company are included in its employee handbook Written policies of a company as they relate to the ethical actions of its employees. Every company has a highly specific code of ethics governing the actions of its employees. Giving or accepting valuable gifts or entertainment might be construed as an improper attempt to influence the relationship.

The handbook will additionally contain information like the history and goals of the company. Starbucks communicates its expectations in terms of ethics in this handbook called Business Ethics and Compliance: Standards of Business Conduct. While all employee handbooks are slightly different, all include the guidelines and policies that define ethical behavior in that company or organization. Whatever company you end up working for will have its own policies with which you will need to familiarize yourself.

But most companies include the same basic issues that are frequently encountered in sales: conflicts of interest, bribes, and noncompete clauses. The specifics of these policies will vary from company to company, but this section will give you a good idea of what to expect, the meaning of key terms you will encounter, and some sample policies to study. Most companies include a gift and entertainment policy in its employee handbook. IBM has a specific policy that covers these areas.

No IBM employee, or any member of his or her immediate family, can accept gratuities or gifts of money from a supplier, customer, or anyone in a business relationship. Nor can they accept a gift or consideration that could be perceived as having been offered because of the business relationship. No IBM employee can give money or a gift of significant value to a supplier if it could reasonably be viewed as being done to gain a business advantage.

If an employee is offered money or a gift of some value by a supplier or if one arrives at their home or office, a manager should be informed immediately. If the gift is perishable, the manager will arrange to donate it to a local charitable organization. Otherwise, it should be returned to the supplier. Of course, it is an accepted practice to talk business over a meal. So it is perfectly all right to occasionally allow a supplier or customer to pick up the check.

Similarly, it frequently is necessary for a supplier, including IBM, to provide education and executive briefings for customers. For instance, transportation in IBM or supplier planes to and from company locations, and lodging and food at company facilities are all right.

A violation of these policies may result in termination. A conflict of interest A situation in which a person in a position of power may benefit personally from his actions or influence. There are four types of conflicts of interest that you may encounter in your career: family interests, gifts, private use of employer property, and moonlighting.

Family interests A situation in which a relative has influence over the hiring of a family member. Gifts Something received without compensation or exchange. Gifts are frequently given at the holidays and may include something small like a case of wine or something more extravagant like a trip. Moonlighting Holding a second job. While that might not sound insidious at first, if you work two jobs in the same field, it is almost inevitable that you will run into ethical problems.

Who gets your best ideas? Where does most of your energy go? And if you have inside knowledge of two different corporations, working not to let that information influence you will be terribly difficult. A bribe Money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust; something that serves to induce or influence.

Soliciting, accepting, offering, or giving a bribe is illegal—even if your offer is refused, you are committing a crime. Bribery can take place in many different venues. Pharmaceutical companies attempt to persuade doctors to prescribe their products by buying them meals and giving them pens and other trinkets as well as trips to medical conventions.

Business gifts are considered a form of bribery when they are given by someone who could benefit from having influence on a decision maker. For example, if you are the buyer of electronics at Wal-Mart, you are not able to accept any gifts from vendors or prospective vendors as it might appear to influence your buying decisions for the chain.

A noncompete agreement may also prevent former employees from starting their own businesses in the same field. The reasoning behind the CNC is the fear that a former executive could take his insider knowledge and trade secrets Something as a formula which has economic value to a business because it is not generally known or easily discoverable by observation and for which efforts have been made to maintain secrecy.

No employer wants to expose its strategy to its competitors. Noncompete agreements are generally upheld by the courts as long as they contain reasonable limits as to the time period and geographical space—that is, for example, that you may not compete in the state for two years after your termination. Noncompete agreements are not legal in California, although there are still measures in place in that state to protect trade secrets. Information about the internal workings of a company that could only plausibly be gained by working for that company is usually a trade secret.

If you find yourself between jobs and worry about the legality of finding another having signed a noncompete agreement with your previous employer , bear in mind that noncompete agreements are most likely to be enforceable if your new job is strikingly similar to your old job. If you go from the sales department at Target to the advertising department of Kmart, you are probably legally in the clear.

Remember that this is only a concern if you have signed a noncompete agreement previously; while noncompete clauses are common, they are not universal. People were dying. I was loyal to a higher order of ethical responsibility. Whistle-blowing, the act of publicly exposing the misconduct of a company or organization, is a courageous act.

But Wigand blew the whistle in order to save thousands of lives. The true story was made into a blockbuster movie in called The Insider. Another famous whistle-blower is Erin Brockovich, whose story was also brought to life on the big screen in the movie of the same name.

Of course, whistle-blowing exists on a less grand scale. If you know which of your classmates stole the answer key to an exam and you tell the professor, you have blown the whistle. At its heart, it is action taken to reveal wrongdoings in hopes of seeing justice done. If you know that crimes are being committed at your place of business, you have to decide for yourself what form that refusal will take: you may simply not commit any crimes yourself, you may try to persuade others to behave ethically, or you may feel that you must resign your position.

It will depend on your situation and your personal code of ethics. The ever-changing landscape of technology has created new opportunities to test ethics; spammers, scam artists, and identity thieves have created the need to clearly define legal, and in some cases, ethical behavior online.

An increasing number of cases of fraud committed via social networking sites have taken place. There have been cases of people who create Twitter profiles in the names of other, real people. Louis Cardinals, have both been victims of such hoaxes. If tempted to such behavior yourself, remember: you are what you tweet.

One of the best examples of laws being enacted in response to unethical business practices is the Robinson-Patman Act. In , the Clayton Act became the first federal statute to expressly prohibit price discrimination in several forms.

Large chain grocery stores used their buying power to negotiate lower prices than smaller, independent grocery stores were offered. The Robinson-Patman Act was passed in , during the Great Depression, as a direct response to that unfair business practice, closing the loophole. Donald S. When you are working in a different country, or with professionals from other cultures, there may be different ideas as to what is appropriate and ethical.

This money is, for example, often used to buy golf club memberships as gifts for people with whom Japanese businessmen and women have valuable working relationships. In Middle Eastern countries, there is a custom of baksheesh , a word that encompasses everything from tipping to alms for a beggar to out-and-out bribery. If you are working in the Middle East, there may be an expectation that you will help to grease the wheels; your supervisor should be able to brief you on company policy in such situations.

Goodwill is goodwill. The proper thing to do is to invite the boss early in the relationship, when nothing is at stake. The same with the Japanese. They believe you should give the gift early, because then it is not a bribe. It is a gift. A way of making a relationship with you before there is any pressure on the relationship. When you need to decline a gift yourself, apologize and explain that company guidelines prohibit your acceptance of the gift.

You should then promptly report the gift to your supervisor. Edmondson, by claiming that he had earned degrees he had not and, in one case, a degree not even offered by the college , set the stage for the embarrassing scandal that cost him his job.

Social networking will out you. The Internet has led to professional networks that are incredibly far reaching; your boss may have a connection on LinkedIn to a manager at the company you pretend to have interned for. Use your experience to tell a story about what makes you different and delivers value to your prospective employer.

Since you are just beginning your career, your most important jobs can be listed first. Prospective employers want to see evidence that you are hardworking and have done things to distinguish yourself by holding part-time jobs, completing internships, participating in professional organizations, performing community service, and gaining other experiences.

But one thing to remember about entry-level positions in virtually every industry is that none of the hiring companies expects you to come in and do the job from day one. The company will train you to do the job it wants done.

References People who will speak on your behalf about your experience, skills, and character. Personal references Family or friends who will speak on your behalf about your character and work ethic. While some prospective employers may accept personal references, you should have at least three professional references available if a prospective employer asks for them.

You might be wondering what employers do when they receive your references. This video is helpful to understand exactly what an employer may ask one of your references. When choosing references, be sure that the people you have in mind have good things to say about you. People with whom you have had a good working relationship can be excellent references.

That way you will be able to let them know exactly how much you respect her, and it will give you an opportunity to cement your professional relationship. If she shows any kind of hesitation, you may not want to use her as a reference. When you speak to a prospective reference, be professional and be specific. This is not a situation in which you want to surprise people. Instead, talk with each person; you should personally speak with each person, preferably in person or by phone as opposed to by e-mail.

By all means, avoid the group e-mail requesting references. Explain what the job is that you are applying for and ask for her permission to list her as a reference. Express your gratitude—preferably in a handwritten note, but you must at least send an e-mail and let them know how things turned out.

Stay positive and keep in touch with your references. They will appreciate it, and you will keep your professional network strong. When you are asked to provide references, you will need to provide for each reference: full name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, employer, job title, e-mail address, and relationship to you. Have the information collected in a professional document see Figure 4.

Your references are chosen to be advocates for you—in return for their generosity of spirit, do them the courtesy of asking whether they are still willing to speak well of you. As you go through classes and internships, collect letters of recommendation Letter written by a professional supervisor, manager, professor, or other professional to testify to the skills and characteristics of a job candidate.

When you finish a class in which you did well, ask your professor for a letter of recommendation. When you finish an internship, ask your supervisor. Not only will these letters demonstrate your credibility, they will help to build your confidence.

That way you can bring the letters to your interview to demonstrate the support you have from professionals. This video gives you more insight into using letter of recommendation in addition to your list of references. A reminder that Dr. Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand ethical behavior in selling as well as how to determine what the ethical decision is in a given situation.

Following are two roles that are involved in the same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the opportunity to think about this ethical dilemma from the point of view of both the customer and the salesperson. Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions.

Then, be prepared to play either of the roles in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role play in groups or individually. Role: Sales rep for Rold Gold, a fine jewelry wholesaler.

You are a sales rep for Rold Gold, a jewelry wholesaler that specializes in high-end gold jewelry. The holidays are coming, and one of your best customers, the owner of an independent jewelry store, has sent you an expensive gift in appreciation for all that you have done to help her increase her business over the past year.

Role: Owner, Jewels to the World jewelry store. You are the owner of a popular jewelry store. It has been a challenging year given the state of the economy. One of your sales reps has really gone above and beyond the call of duty to help you increase your business throughout the year with extra training, cost reductions, and promotional ideas.

You want to let him know that you appreciate all he does to support your business, so you send him a very generous gift.

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View via Publisher. Save to Library Save. Create Alert Alert. Share This Paper. Background Citations. Methods Citations. Results Citations. Citation Type. Has PDF. Publication Type. More Filters. Today, the reasoning behind actions and principles are blurred between what is right and wrong, and between what is needed and desired. The neglect of ethical principles and core values happens … Expand. Business Ethics and Human Resources. Business ethics has not always been understood in business circles.

Indeed, it is sometimes perceived as being contrary to the spirit of business. This paper attempts to define business ethics and … Expand. Implementation Mechanism of Ethics in Business Organizations. Ethics and ethical behavior are issues which are increasingly being focused on the business community today.

People are becoming more concerned about what is actually happening in business … Expand. View 1 excerpt, cites background. Business Ethics and Leadership. Ethics has existed in religion and philosophy for thousands of years and has been applied to business activities in the same way ethical values and norms have been applied to everyday life.

Ethical Issues and Dilemmas in Business An ethical issue is a problem, situation, or opportunity that requires an individual, group, or organization to choose among several actions that must be evaluated as right or wrong, ethical or unethical. An ethical dilemma is a problem, situation, or opportunity that requires an individual, group, or organization to choose among several wrong or unethical actions.

Misuse of company resources is the leading form of observed misconduct in organizations. Using company computers for personal business is one of the most common ways employees misuse company resources. Many companies, like Boeing, have implemented official policies delineating acceptable use of company resources. Abusive or intimidating behavior is a common ethical problem for employees.

The concepts of abusive or intimidating behavior can mean anything from physical threats, false accusations, annoying behavior, profanity, insults, yelling, harshness, ignoring someone, or even unreasonableness. The meaning of these words can differ from person to person. Intent is an important factor in determining whether a situation is abusive.

Bullying is associated with a hostile workplace where a person or group is threatened, harassed or overly criticized. The concept of bullying is now considered a legal issue, with millions of Americans reporting having experienced or witnessed bullying at work. Lying relates to distorting the truth. There are three types of lies: 1. Joking without malice 2. Commission lying is creating a false perception by choosing words that intentionally deceive the receiver of the message.

Commission lying involves using words or creating noise that intentionally confuse the receiver of a message. Noise can be the intentional use of modes of communication that the sender knows the receiver does not fully understand. Omission lying is intentionally not informing others of any differences, problems, safety warnings, or negative issues related to the product, service, or company that significantly affects awareness, intention, or behavior.

When a lie becomes unethical in business is based on the context and an intent to distort the truth. A lie becomes illegal if it is determined by the judgment of courts to damage others. A conflict of interest exists when an individual must choose whether to advance his or her own interests, those of the organization, or those of some other group. To avoid conflicts of interest, employees must be able to separate their private interests from business dealings. Bribery is the practice of offering something usually money in order to gain an illicit advantage.

Bribery can be defined a number of different ways. Active bribery means that the person who promises or gives the bribe commits the offense. Passive bribery is an offense committed by the receiver of the bribe. Facilitation payments to obtain or retain business do not constitute bribery payments in the United States, as long as they are small.

However, the legality of this practice varies in other countries. Corporate intelligence is the collection and analysis of information on markets, technologies, customers and competitors, as well as on socioeconomic and external political trends.

CI involves in-depth discovery of information from corporate and court documents, regulatory filings, and press releases. CI is not an ethical issue if the information is obtained legally. However, there are a number of questionable or illegal techniques used to collect information. Hacking is one of the top methods for obtaining trade secrets. System hacking assumes that the attacker already has access to a user account b. Remote hacking involves remotely trying to penetrate a computer system via the Internet c.

Physical hacking requires that an agent personally enter a facility 2. Social Engineering is another popular method of obtaining valuable corporate information. Social Engineering is tricking or fooling individuals into revealing their passwords or other valuable corporate information.

Password guessing is self-explanatory 3. Dumpster diving is a messy but very successful way to acquire trade secrets. Once trash is discarded onto a public street or alley, it is considered fair game. Whacking is wireless hacking. Phone Eavesdropping is yet another tool in the game of corporate intelligence. A person with a digital recording device can monitor and record a fax line. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, public assistance status, disability, age, national origin, or veteran status is illegal in the United States.

A company in the United States can be sued for discrimination if it: a. Refuses to hire an individual for discriminatory reasons b. Maintains a system of employment that unreasonably excludes an individual from employment c. Unreasonably discharges an individual d. Discriminates against an individual with respect to hiring, employment terms, promotion, or privileges of employment as it relates to discrimination 1.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically outlaws hiring practices that discriminate against people between the ages of However, charges of age discrimination persist in the workplace. Many companies have affirmative action programs that seek to recruit, hire, train and promote qualified individuals from groups that have endured the most of discrimination.

These programs may be mandated from the federal level, but many companies opt to implement them voluntarily. It is defined as a repeated, unwanted behavior of a sexual nature perpetrated upon one individual by another. To establish sexual harassment, an employee must understand the definition of a hostile work environment, for which three criteria must be met: a.

The conduct was unwelcome b. The conduct was severe, pervasive, and regarded by the claimant as so hostile or offensive as to alter his or her conditions of employment c. The conduct was such that a reasonable person would find it hostile or offensive 2. An unethical dual relationship is one where the relationship causes a conflict of interest or risk of impairment to professional judgment. Consent is created if any sexual relationship is considered mutual.

Environmental issues such as air and water pollution and waste are becoming significant issues within the business community. Environmental concerns are creating ethical issues for individuals, organizations, and public policy decision-makers. Air pollution refers to gases or particulates in the air.

Three sources: stationary, mobile and natural. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty on climate change that commits signatory nations to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Water pollution results from dumping sewage and toxic chemicals into waterways; from oil spills and fertilizer runoff; or from burying industrial waste in a location where it can filter into water supplies.

Alternative energy sources are perceived to have lower emissions and waste than traditional sources. Wind power, solar power, geothermal power, hydropower, biofuels, and nuclear power are all forms of alternative energy.

In general, fraud is any purposeful communication that deceives, manipulates, or conceals facts in order to create a false impression. Accountants today feel increased pressure to perform, to keep fees low, and must follow complicated regulations—all of which can contribute to the pressure to commit fraud. Regulators passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in in an effort to address problems created by lack of both transparency and ethics in financial accounting.

Marketing fraud is the process of dishonestly creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing products. Serious ethical issues can occur in this area. False or misleading marketing communications can destroy stakeholder trust in a corporation. False or deceptive advertising is a key issue in marketing communications.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to draw the line between outright marketing fraud and puffery, which is exaggerated advertising claims, blustering and boasting, upon which no reasonable buyer would rely. Puffery is not considered fraud. Advertising can also make ambiguous statements or weak claims from which viewers must infer a message. Labeling issues also create an ethical gray area.

Consumer fraud is when consumers attempt to deceive businesses for personal gain. There are many different ways of engaging in consumer fraud, from stealing from stores, to price tag switching, to lying to obtain discounts. Collusion involves an employee who helps a consumer commit fraud. Duplicity involves a consumer duping a store. For example, a customer who stages an accident and then sues the store for damages is engaging in duplicity.

Guile is associated with a person who knows right from wrong but uses tricks to obtain an unfair advantage. Financial Misconduct 1. The failure to understand and manage ethical risks played a key part in the financial meltdown and recession of The global recession was caused in part by the financial industry refusing to take responsibility for its decision to make excessively risky decisions, often without the knowledge of investors and other stakeholders. Corporate cultures in many firms were built on giving rewards for taking risks.

Subprime lending and executive compensation in poorly performing or failed firms are two areas of ethical concern that emerged out of the most recent recession. Such concerns led to the call for additional legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act. Remember that top executives are ultimately responsible for decisions made by the employees of their companies. Regulatory systems in place failed to catch the systemic risks that were at play during the financial industry meltdown. Insider Trading.

There are two types of insider trading: legal and illegal a. Illegal insider trading is the buying or selling of stocks by insiders who possess material that is still not public. Insiders are required to report their trades within two days of the transaction. Intellectual property rights involve the legal protection of intellectual properties, such as music, books, and movies 1. IP continues to grow as an issue because of nations like China, which have thriving industries for cheap, pirated goods.

Many privacy issues come into play in the business world. Some issues that managers should consider involve monitoring employee use of technology and consumer privacy. It can be a challenge for businesses today to meet the needs of consumers while at the same time protecting their privacy. Electronic monitoring allows a company to determine whether productivity is lower than it could be because employees are spending too much time on personal activities.

There are two dimensions to consumer privacy: a. Chapter 3: Emerging Business Ethics Issues 19 b. Most ethical issues will become visible through stakeholder concerns about an event, activity, or the results of a business decision. Determining ethical issues is a constant challenge.

With changing societal standards, what are considered merely problems today can become ethical issues over time. Once ethical issue awareness occurs and individuals begin open discussion, the ethical decision-making process can begin.

The opposing team could argue that Google is using this information to improve its systems and that it has clear privacy disclosures on its website. If Joseph allows the three to continue the practice, in all likelihood, the behavior will increase. The vignette is purposefully vague on stated company policy because many companies allow such behavior during periods of bad sales.

Notice that Carl said he had tacit approval from upper management; he did not say actual approval. Finally, the case is vague on whether we can trust Carl and his statement. What if Carl is lying and Joseph goes ahead and allows the questionable activities?

He certainly cannot defend his actions based on what Carl said to him. This is an excellent opportunity to bring out the point that, in business, decisions are often made with less-than-perfect information. In particular, we concentrate on compliance in specific areas related to competition, consumers, safety, and the environment.

We consider the requirements of the Sarbanes—Oxley legislation, its implementation by the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC , and how its implementation has affected companies. Additionally, we provide an overview of the FSGO for organizations and give recommendations and incentives for developing an ethical corporate culture.

Finally, we examine voluntary responsibilities and cause-related marketing, along with how strategic philanthropy can be an important core competency to manage stakeholder relationships. The products in this example are marketing betel nuts in India and Khat around Asia. Myron is a recent graduate who just started working for Producto International PI.

He is excited to work on discovering and marketing medical products around the world. However, he and his wife will be generously compensated for his endeavors. Both products are grown legally around the world and have no distribution restrictions in the countries in which PI wishes to market them although they do face restrictions in the United States. His other option is to reject the position, which may not be enthusiastically received by his wife.

It would also hurt his chances for future projects and promotions within PI. Voluntary practices include beliefs, values, and voluntary contractual obligations. All businesses engage in some level of commitment to voluntary activities in order to benefit both internal and external stakeholders.

Most firms engage in philanthropy—giving back to communities and causes. Core practices are documented best practices, often encouraged by legal and regulatory forces as well as trade associations. The Better Business Bureau BBB is a leading self-regulatory body that provides directions for managing customer disputes and reviews advertising cases.

Corporate governance, compliance, risk management, and voluntary activities all help to maintain an ethical culture and to manage stakeholder expectations for appropriate conduct in an organization. Compliance represents areas that must conform to existing legal and regulatory requirements. Corporate governance is structured by a governing authority providing oversight and checks and balances to make sure that the organization meets its goals and objectives for ethical performance.

Risk management analyzes the probability or chance that misconduct could occur based on the nature of the business and the exposure to risky events. Voluntary activities often represent the values and responsibilities that firms accept in contributing to stakeholder needs and expectations. Mandated Requirements for Legal Compliance A. Laws regulating business conduct are passed because certain stakeholders believe that business cannot be trusted to do what is right in certain areas, such as consumer safety and environmental protection.

Civil law defines the rights and duties of individuals and organizations including businesses. Criminal law prohibits specific actions—such as fraud, theft, or securities trading violations—and imposes fines or imprisonment as punishment for breaking the law. The state or nation enforces criminal laws, while individuals enforce civil laws. Criminal and civil laws are derived from four sources: the U. Constitution constitutional law , precedents established by judges common law , federal and state laws or statutes statutory law , and federal and state administrative agencies administrative law.

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency was established after the latest financial crisis, which resulted in many consumers losing their homes. The primary method of resolving conflicts and serious business ethics disputes is through lawsuits in which one individual or organization uses civil laws to take another individual or organization to court.

Lawsuits are expensive and many organizations seek to avoid them. Laws establish the basic ground rules for responsible business activities. Laws Regulating Competition 1. Procompetitive legislation involves laws that have been passed to prevent the establishment of monopolies, inequitable pricing practices, and other practices that reduce or restrict competition among businesses. They were enacted to encourage competition and prevent activities that restrain trade. Laws Protecting Consumers 1.

Laws that protect consumers require businesses to provide accurate information about products and services and to follow safety standards. Large groups of people with specific vulnerabilities have been granted special protections under the law the elderly, children, etc. It is divided into five divisions. The Food and Drug Administration regulates food safety, human drugs, tobacco, dietary supplements, vaccines, veterinary drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, products that give off radiation, and biological products.

Laws Promoting Equity and Safety 1. Laws promoting equity in the workplace were passed during the s and s to protect the rights of minorities, women, older persons, and persons with disabilities; other legislation has sought to protect the safety of all workers. Of these laws, probably the most important to business is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, originally passed in and amended several times since.

Many employees still work in unhealthy or dangerous environments, in spite of the passage of laws to protect them. Competitive pressures can lead to workplace safety problems, such as manufacturing injuries or careless accidents by overworked employees. Laws Protecting the Environment 1. Sustainability has recently become an important concept to businesses.

Many consumers are interested in environmental issues and expect companies to be environmentally responsible. Being green is even a competitive issue for some firms. While pollution can be harmful to people, animals, and industries, trying to pinpoint who is responsible for environmental degradation is not always easy, especially when it involves different countries. Gatekeepers and Stakeholders A. Trust is the glue that holds businesses together. It creates confidence and helps build longlasting business relationships.

Ethics help to create the foundational trust between two business parties. There are many people who must trust and be trusted to make business work properly. Sometimes these parties are called gatekeepers accountants, regulators, lawyers, financial rating corporations, auditors 2. They are critical in providing information that allows stakeholders to gauge the true health of a corporation B.

Accountants 1. Measure and disclose financial information to the public 2. Some accountants have not adhered to their duties as stakeholders and have allowed profits or conflicts of interest to interfere with their objectivity C. Risk Assessment 1. Assessors of financial products failed in their duties to stakeholders during the most recent recession. Chapter 4: The Institutionalization of Business Ethics 2. Many are calling for more drastic oversight of credit-rating firms.

Congress passed the Sarbanes—Oxley Act in to establish a system of federal oversight of corporate accounting practices. The law requires corporations to establish codes of ethics for financial reporting and to develop greater transparency in financial reporting to investors and other stakeholders.

It oversees the audit of public companies in order to protect the interests of investors and to further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports for companies. Registered public accounting firms can no longer provide both auditing and non-auditing services to public companies.

Sarbanes—Oxley offers whistle-blower protection to employees that would prohibit the employer from taking certain actions against employees who lawfully disclose private employer information. However, employees who witness wrongdoing are often still afraid to be whistle-blowers because of backlash and difficulties finding employment elsewhere. Many companies benefit from compliance in spite of the costs. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed to improve financial regulation, increase oversight of the industry, and prevent the type of risk-taking, deceptive practices, and lack of oversight that led to the financial crisis.

One of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act instituted the creation of two new financial agencies. The Office of Financial Research is charged with improving the quality of financial data available to government officials and creating a better system of analysis for the financial industry. The Financial Stability Oversight Council FSOC is responsible for maintaining the stability of the financial system in the United States through monitoring the market, identifying threats, promoting market discipline among the public, and responding to major risks that threaten stability.

The CFPB has the responsibility to curtail unfair lending and credit card practices, enforce consumer financial laws, and check the safety of financial products before their launch into the market. Critics believe that the CFPB has too much power that could result in heavy sanctions for financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Act instituted a whistle-blower bounty program to reward whistle-blowers who report misconduct to the SEC. Laws and regulations have been passed to discourage unethical decisions—and to foster programs designed to improve business ethics and social responsibility.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations A. The FSGO was passed in to create an incentive for organizations to develop and implement programs designed to foster ethical and legal compliance. It applies to all felonies and class A misdemeanors committed by employees in association with their work.

The Guidelines had four new amendments in Highly Appropriate Core Practices A. Most ethical issues relate to non-financials such as marketing, human resource management, and customer relationships. Voluntary responsibilities provide four major benefits to society: 1. They improve the quality of life and help make communities places where people want to do business, raise families, and enjoy life. They reduce government involvement by providing assistance to stakeholders.

They develop employee leadership skills. They help create an ethical culture and values that can act as a buffer to organizational misconduct. Cause-related marketing can affect buying patterns if consumers sympathize with the cause, the brand and cause are perceived as a good fit, and consumers are able to transfer feelings toward the cause to the brand. Institutionalization involves embedding values, norms, and artifacts in organizations, B.

It is important to recognize that institutionalization of business ethics has advanced rapidly over the last 20 years as stakeholders have recognized the need for improving business ethics. This issue involves the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While some believe the agency is necessary to protect consumers, others believe the agency may have too much power. The team in favor of the CFPB could argue about the necessity for consumer protection and the need to regulate the excessive risk-taking and questionable financial practices that led to the last recession.

The team against the CFPB could argue that the agency will increase the costs of financing and put too many burdens on banks and other companies. Albert is guilty of trading stocks within portfolios in order to gain the fees, even if the activity does not benefit the client. He is also guilty of allocating hot IPOs to the personal brokerage accounts of corporate or venturecapital executives. Finally, Albert and Barry are involved in front-running, which is the exchange equivalent of waiting in line and having someone cut in front of you.

In the stock market, an investor places an order to buy a large amount of shares and, knowing that the trade will likely boost the value of the shares, will first trade some stock for himself or a partner. After the second trade is completed, the broker can cash in, netting a profit with no risk involved. Several firms have pleaded no contest to allegations such as these and are now being scrutinized by the SEC.

Spinning, when detected, is usually handled internally before the SEC gets involved. One fundamental point is that the stock exchange is based upon the trust between the broker and the client. Trust is defined as the perception that everyone who enters the market has an equal opportunity to make money. Chapter 5 provides insights into ethical decision making in organizations. Although it is impossible to describe exactly how any one individual or work group might make ethical decisions, we can offer generalizations about average or typical behavior patterns within organizations.

We present a framework for understanding ethical decision making in the context of business organizations. In addition to business, this framework integrates concepts from philosophy, psychology, sociology, and organizational behavior. Customers will perceive that the company is highly efficient, and Troy hopes to be rewarded accordingly. Some firms purposefully underestimate certain tasks in the hopes of gaining more lucrative business contracts. This strategy will become a long-term nightmare if adopted.

He has a wife and child and is financially overextended, as are many new graduates. Long work hours cause him to lose time with his family. Students may argue that fudging time sheets is the price for success. This might also contribute to bigger problems, such as employee turnover as employees become disenchanted with their jobs and quit. The instructor may wish to point out that there is a probability that in doing so, Troy may be considered inefficient, and his career with the firm may be shortened.

This model of the ethical decision-making process in business includes ethical issue intensity, individual factors, and organizational factors, such as corporate culture and opportunity. All of these interrelated factors influence the evaluations of and intentions behind the decisions that produce ethical or unethical behavior.

Ethical Issue Intensity a. The first step in ethical decision making is to recognize that an ethical issue requires an individual or group to choose among actions that stakeholders will evaluate as right or wrong. The intensity of an ethical issue relates to its perceived importance to the decision maker. Individual Factors a. People often base their decisions regarding ethical issues on their own values and principles of right or wrong.

These values are subjective and can vary across cultures. Research on gender and ethical decision making suggests that women are generally more ethical than males. Education and work experience are both positively correlated with making ethical decisions. Culture differences may contribute to differing value systems. Research on age and ethical decision making reveals a complicated relationship. Younger managers are far more influenced by organizational culture than are older managers.

Locus of control relates to individual differences in relation to a generalized belief about how one is affected by internal versus external events or reinforcements. Organizational Factors a. No one operates in a vacuum. A corporate culture can be defined as a set of values, norms, and artifacts, including ways of solving problems that members employees of an organization share. The ethical culture reflects whether the firm also has an ethical conscience.

The more ethical a culture is perceived to be, the less likely employees are to make unethical decisions. Those who have influence in a work group, including peers, managers, coworkers, and subordinates, are referred to as significant others. Obedience to authority helps to explain why many employees resolve business ethics issues by simply following the directives of a superior.

In organizations that emphasize respect for superiors, employees may feel that they are expected to carry out all orders from a supervisor. Opportunity a. Opportunity describes the conditions in an organization that limit or permit ethical or unethical behavior.

It results from conditions that either provide rewards or fail to erect barriers against unethical behavior. The opportunity that employees have for unethical behavior in an organization can be greatly reduced through formal codes, policies, and rules that are adequately enforced by management. These mechanisms for eliminating misconduct must be consistent and aggressive. Business Ethics Evaluations and Intentions 1.

Guilt or uneasiness is the first sign that an unethical decision has occurred. The ethical decision making framework cannot tell you if a business decision is ethical or unethical, but it does provide you with insights and knowledge about typical ethical decision making processes in business organizations.

Business ethics involves value judgments and collective agreement about acceptable patterns of behavior. Ethical decision making within an organization does not rely strictly on the personal values and morals of individuals. Knowledge of moral philosophies or values must be balanced with business knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the dilemma requiring a decision.

Organizations take on a culture of their own, which, when combined with corporate governance mechanisms, have a significant influence on business ethics. Ethical leaders need both knowledge and experience to make decisions. Strong ethical leaders must have the right kind of moral integrity.

Six leadership styles are based on emotional intelligence: 1. Coercive 2. Authoritative 3. Affiliative 4. Democratic 5. Pacesetting 6. They can also classify leaders as transactional or transformational. Habits of Strong Ethical Leaders 1. Ethical leadership is based on holistic thinking that embraces the complex and challenging issues companies face. Leaders need both knowledge and experience to make the right decision. They must have courage and the most complete information to make decisions that will be the best in the long run.

Leaders must stick to their principles and be ready to leave the organization if it is impossible to make the right choice. Ethical leadership is highly unlikely without a strong personal character. Ethical Leaders Are Proactive 1. They anticipate, plan, and act proactively to avoid potential ethical crises.

Ethical leaders must consider the interests of and implications for all stakeholders, not just those that have an economic impact on the firm. Ethical leaders have the responsibility to balance stakeholder interests to ensure that the organization maximizes its role as a responsible corporate citizen.

Foster openness, freedom to express ideas, and the ability to question conduct 2. Encourages stakeholders to learn about and comment on what a firm is doing 3. Transparent leaders will not be effective unless they are personally involved in the key decisions that have ethical ramifications.

They view ethics as a strategic component of decision making. Ethical issue intensity, individual factors, organizational factors, and opportunity are all factors that result in business ethics evaluations and decisions. An ethical organizational culture is shaped by effective leadership. Without top level support for ethical behavior, the opportunity for employees to engage in their own personal approach to ethical decision making will evolve.

The more you know about ethical decision making in business, the more likely you will be to make good decisions. This issue involves an integrity dilemma at Berkshire Hathaway and the management style of Warren Buffett. Under the ADA, a rehabilitated alcoholic is protected on the grounds that a past record of driving while intoxicated may not be used to exclude a recovered alcoholic.

First, if there was any legal basis for such an approach, it would apply to all alcoholics—rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated. The ADA protects all alcoholics. Second, if an essential element of a position entails driving and this essential element cannot be excluded from the job requirements through reasonable accommodation, then it is legally acceptable to exclude a disabled applicant on the basis of selection criteria that are job related and consistent with business necessity.

It is permissible to ask the candidate if he or she is legally able to live and work permanently in the United States. It is not legal to verify the documentation that establishes this prior to making an offer. Whether someone is or is not a citizen should not be any part of the decision-making process.

All you need to know is if they can work in the country legally, whether they are a citizen or not. If you reject on the basis of residency, it could be seen as a proxy for national origin discrimination. While FMLA may not apply, pregnancy disability acts will. It should be suggested that in this case students should consult with counsel to help figure out the best way to proceed.

This U. Peter must act as an agent for the company in this case and do what is ethically and legally appropriate under the circumstances. It is important to determine when one action is considered right and when another is viewed as wrong, as well as the individual moral philosophies that are often used to justify decisions or explain actions.

To understand how people make ethical decisions, it is useful to have a grasp of the major types of moral philosophies. This chapter compares and contrasts the teleological, deontological, virtue, and justice perspectives of moral philosophy in order to give students a solid working basis of the different moral philosophies and to understand how they impact business.

This chapter discusses the stages of cognitive development as it relates to these moral philosophies, along with their shortcomings. We then examine white-collar crime as it relates to moral philosophies and values. She must choose between three candidates to fill a vacant position at her firm—all while keeping in mind that making a choice that appears discriminatory of gender or race could have serious repercussions on her own career. This case should help students understand the difficulties in hiring and the problems associated with being ethical and sensitive to diversity.

Each candidate has advantages and disadvantages and each seems to have a champion within the company. The ethical issue revolves around the various pressures exerted upon Lael herself by upper management. Additionally, rewards may not have been given for qualified personnel in the past Roy. A strong case can be made for each person, and there are ethical ramifications associated with not promoting each candidate. This vignette should help students to see that hiring decisions can be both complicated and important.

Moral Philosophy Defined A. Moral philosophy refers to the specific principles or rules that people use to decide what is right or wrong. Moral philosophies are person-specific, whereas business ethics is based on decisions made by groups or when carrying out tasks to meet business objectives. The concept of the economic value orientation is associated with values that can be quantified by monetary means.

If an act produces more value than its effort costs, then it should be accepted as ethical. There is a positive correlation between idealistic thinking and ethical decision making. Realism is the view that an external world exists independent of our perception of it. Realists assume that humankind is not naturally benevolent and kind but instead is inherently self-centered and competitive.

Moral Philosophies A. Although there are many moral philosophies, the text focuses on those that are most applicable to the study of business ethics. Instrumental and Intrinsic Goodness a. Two basic concepts of goodness are monism and pluralism.

Monists believe that only one thing is intrinsically good, and pluralists believe that two or more things are intrinsically good. Pluralists non-hedonists take the position that no one thing is intrinsically good. Sometimes called pragmatists, instrumentalists reject the idea that i ends can be separated from the means that produce them. Goodness theories typically focus on the end result of actions and the goodness or happiness created by them.

Obligation theories emphasize the means and motives by which actions are justified. These obligation theories are teleology and deontology, respectively. Teleology refers to moral philosophies that assess the moral worth of a behavior by looking at its consequences, and thus moral philosophers today often refer to these theories as consequentialism. Egoism defines right or acceptable behavior in terms of the consequences for the individual.

They believe in making decisions to maximize self-interest. Utilitarianism seeks the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Deontology refers to moral philosophies that focus on the rights of individuals and on the intentions associated with a particular behavior rather than on its consequences. They regard certain behaviors as inherently right, and the determination of this rightness focuses on the individual actor, not society.

Thus, these perspectives are sometimes referred to as nonconsequentialism, an ethics of respect for persons. Deontologists believe that individuals have certain absolute rights, including i freedom of conscience ii freedom of consent iii freedom of privacy iv freedom of speech v due process e. Deontologists may be divided into those who focus on moral rules and those who focus on the nature of the acts themselves. From the relativist perspective, definitions of ethical behavior are derived subjectively from the experiences of individuals and groups.

Descriptive relativism relates to observing cultures. Metaethical relativism proposes that people naturally see situations from their own perspectives and argue that there is no objective way of resolving ethical disputes between different value systems and individuals. Individual virtue and integrity count, but good corporate ethics programs encourage individual virtue and integrity.

The well-being of the community goes together with individual excellence because of the social consciousness and public spirit of every individual. Justice is fair treatment and due reward in accordance with ethical or legal standards, including the disposition to deal with perceived injustices of others. Three types of justice provide a framework for evaluating fairness of different situations. Individuals use different moral philosophies depending on whether they are making a personal or making a work-related decision.

Two possible reasons may explain this behavior. The corporate culture where they work may cause employees to alter their moral philosophies. The concept of a moral philosophy is inexact. Moral philosophies must be assessed on a continuum rather than as static entities. Cognitive Moral Development A. Many people believe that individuals advance through stages of moral development as their knowledge and socialization continue over time. Punishment and obedience; 2. Individual instrumental purposes and exchange; 3.

Mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships, and conformity; 4. Social system and conscience maintenance; 5. Prior rights, social contract, or utility; 6. Universal ethical principles 1. The model suggests that people continue to change their decision-making priorities after their formative years, and as a result of time, education, and experience, they may change their values and ethical behavior.

White-Collar Crime A. White-collar criminals tend to be highly educated people who are in positions of power, trust, respectability, and responsibility within a business or organization. Online WCC is a growing problem globally because technology allows people to hack into systems and access sensitive information. WCCs that previously originated at the top of organizations are now able to be committed at lower levels.

Advocates of the organizational deviance perspective argue that a corporation is a living, breathing organism that can collectively become deviant. When companies have lives that are separate and distinct from biological persons, the corporate culture of the company transcends the individuals who occupy these positions.

Peer influence is a cause of WCC. White-collar crime tends to increase in the years following an economic recession. Some businesspeople may have personalities that are inherently criminal. The focus of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations is that all organizations should develop effective ethics and compliance programs to prevent WCC.

Individual Factors in Business Ethics A. Not everyone agrees on the roles of traditional moral philosophies in ethical decision making in an organization. Although a personal moral compass is important, it is not sufficient to prevent ethical misconduct in an organizational context. Equipping employees with intellectual skills that will allow them to understand and resolve the complex ethical dilemmas they encounter in complex corporate cultures will help them make the right decisions.

This debate asks students to speculate on the causes behind whitecollar crime cases. The team who argues that white-collar criminals tend to have psychological disorders might point to the narcissistic nature of many white-collar criminals, their tendency to blame the victims, and the fact that many continue to commit fraud despite their knowledge of the consequences e.

Barry Minkow. Those who argue that white-collar crime results more from the organizational culture could give examples of white-collar criminals who were coerced by managers and co-workers to commit a crime. In addition, they should see that UBC is looking more toward the financial bottom line as opposed to what is beneficial for Elaine and Dennis.

Students should also realize, after some discussion, that the ABCO loan can be considered illegal under a Federal standard. Code of Federal Regulations follows. This provision is effective on May 8, Except for this provision, which does not apply to foreign subsidiaries of U.

It also covers the role of leadership in influencing ethical behavior within the organization, looks at two organizational structures, and examines how they may influence ethical decisions. Additionally, this chapter examines the potential impact of groups within organizations and the implications of organizational relationships for ethical decisions.

The more basic issue is whether or not for-profit health care facilities are good for patients. With increasing numbers of elderly straining the social security systems in the United States and in Europe, the debate over how to handle healthcare costs has been heating up. As a result, pressure has increased to reduce certain types of care or treatments to specific patients. Defining Corporate Culture A. Culture is a broad term that can mean many different things.

Corporate culture includes values, norms, artifacts, rituals, history, and unwritten rules that are specific to an organization. Culture gives the members of the organization meaning as well as the internal rules of behavior. All organizations, not just corporations, have a culture. The Sarbanes—Oxley compliance section codified into law that leaders are responsible for the actions of subordinates, and corporations should have ethical corporate cultures.

Compliance with Sarbanes—Oxley requires cultural change, not merely accounting changes. The culture of an organization may be explicitly articulated or left unspoken. Explicit statements of values, beliefs, and customs usually come from upper management. Corporate culture is often expressed informally—for example, through comments, both direct and indirect, that communicate the wishes of management.

Ethical Frameworks and Evaluations of Corporate Cultures 1. The four organizational cultures can be classified as a. Apathetic: shows minimal concern for either people or performance b. Caring: exhibits high concern for people but minimal concern for performance issues c. Exacting: shows little concern for people but a high concern for performance d. Integrative: combines high concern for people and for performance.

An organization becomes integrative when superiors recognize that employees are more than interchangeable parts 3. It is usually conducted by outside consultants but may be performed internally as well. Ethics as a Component of Corporate Culture 1. Compliance versus Values-based Ethical Cultures 1. A compliance culture is organized around risk. Compliance-based cultures use a legalistic approach to ethics. A values-based ethics culture approach to ethical corporate cultures relies upon an explicit mission statement that defines the firm as well as how customers and employees should be treated.

Differential association refers to the idea that people learn ethical or unethical behavior while interacting with others who are part of their role-sets or other intimate personal groups. A variety of studies have supported the notion that such differential association influences ethical decision making. Superiors have a strong influence on the ethics of their subordinates. Interpersonal conflict ensues when employees think they know the right course of action in a situation, yet their work group or company promotes or requires a different, unethical decision.

The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act proposed additional incentives for whistleblowers. Retaliation is still a concern for whistle-blowers and they often have a difficult time winning their cases. Leaders Influence Corporate Culture A.

Organizational leaders use their power and influence to shape corporate culture. Leaders should be both effective and ethical. Power refers to the influence that leaders and managers have over the behavior and decisions of subordinates. An individual has power over others when his or her presence causes them to behave differently.

There are five power bases from which one person may influence another a. Coercive power is essentially the opposite of reward power. Instead of rewarding a person for doing something, coercive power penalizes actions or behavior c. Legitimate power stems from the belief that a certain person has the right to exert influence and that certain others have an obligation to accept it.

The titles and positions of authority that organizations bestow on individuals appeal to this traditional view of power d. The second person may attempt to influence the first to take actions that will lead both to achieve their objectives. For this power relationship to be effective, some sort of empathy must exist between the individuals.

Motivating Ethical Behavior A. Motivation is a force within the individual that focuses his or her behavior toward achieving a goal. To create motivation, an organization offers incentives to encourage employees to work toward organizational objectives 3. After basic needs such as food, working conditions existence needs , and survival are satisfied, relatedness needs and growth needs become important.

Growth needs are satisfied by creative or productive activities. Needs or goals may change as a person progresses through the ranks of the company. Organizational Structure and Business Ethics A. The two broad structures for organizations are centralized and decentralized. Note that these are not mutually exclusive structures.

In a centralized organization, decision-making authority is concentrated in the hands of top-level managers, and little authority is delegated to lower levels. In a decentralized organization, decision-making authority is delegated as far down the chain of command as possible. Unethical behavior is possible in either centralized or decentralized structures when specific corporate cultures permit or encourage workers to deviate from accepted standards or ignore corporate legal and ethical responsibilities.

Centralized firms may have a more difficult time uprooting unethical activity than decentralized organizations.

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Topic Briefing - Business Ethics


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Publication Type. More Filters. Today, the reasoning behind actions and principles are blurred between what is right and wrong, and between what is needed and desired. The neglect of ethical principles and core values happens … Expand. Business Ethics and Human Resources. Business ethics has not always been understood in business circles. Indeed, it is sometimes perceived as being contrary to the spirit of business.

This paper attempts to define business ethics and … Expand. Implementation Mechanism of Ethics in Business Organizations. Ethics and ethical behavior are issues which are increasingly being focused on the business community today. People are becoming more concerned about what is actually happening in business … Expand. View 1 excerpt, cites background.

Business Ethics and Leadership. Ethics has existed in religion and philosophy for thousands of years and has been applied to business activities in the same way ethical values and norms have been applied to everyday life. This … Expand. Philosophy—Survey Results. Business Ethics Quarterly. Abstract: This paper presents the results of and conclusions from a survey of 2, college and university undergraduate business and philosophy departments regarding their business ethics offerings.

Creating Awareness of Ethical Values in Organisations. Environmental ethics talks about factors related to not only human beings but also non human beings in the nature. The current debate about how to address managerial misconduct in American business has renewed an interest in the role of ethics in business school curricula. The search for pedagogical tools by … Expand.

View 2 excerpts, cites background. They and others e. Some things that firms may wish to sell, and that people may wish to buy, pose a significant risk of harm, to the user and others. When is a product too unsafe to be sold? This question is often answered by government agencies. In the U. In some cases these standards are mandatory e. The state identifies minimum standards and individual businesses can choose to adopt more stringent ones.

Questions about product safety are a matter of significant debate among economists, legal scholars, and public policy experts. Business ethicists have paid scant attention to these questions but see Brenkert Existing treatments often combine discussions of safety with discussions of liability—the question of who should pay for harms that products cause—and tend to be found in business ethics textbooks. There is much room for philosophical exploration of these issues. Drop side cribs pose risks to consumers; so do trampolines.

On what basis should the former be prohibited but the latter not be Hasnas ? The answer must take into account the value of these products, how obvious the risks they pose are, and the availability of substitutes. With respect to liability, we may wonder whether it is fair to hold manufacturers responsible for harms their products cause, when the manufacturers are not morally at fault for those harms.

On the other hand, it may be unfair to force consumers to bear the full costs of their injuries, when they too are not morally at fault. The question may be one for society as a whole: what is the most efficient or just way to distribute these costs? Most advertising contains both an informational component and a persuasive component. Advertisements tell us something about a product, and try to persuade us to buy it.

Both of these components can be subject to ethical evaluation. Emphasizing its informational component, some writers stress the positive value of advertising. Markets function efficiently only when certain conditions are met. One of these conditions is perfect information. Minimally, consumers have to understand the features of the products for sale. While this condition will never be fully met, advertising can help to ensure that it is met to a greater degree Heath Another value that can be promoted through advertising is autonomy.

People have certain needs and desires—e. Their choices are more likely to satisfy their needs and desires if they have information about what is for sale, which advertising can provide Goldman These good effects depend, of course, on advertisements producing true beliefs, or at least not producing false beliefs, in consumers.

Writers treat this as the issue of deception in advertising. The issue is not whether deceptive advertising is wrong most would agree it is , but what counts as deceptive advertising, and what makes it wrong. As these examples illustrate, advertisements are deceptive not because of the truth-value of their claims, but what these claims cause reasonable consumers to believe.

Questions can be raised, of course, about what it means to be reasonable Scalet ; the answer may depend on who the consumers are. Intention is usually taken to be irrelevant to deception in advertising. Some philosophers would say that these advertisements are better described as misleading. For discussion, see the entry on the definition of lying and deception. Their goal is to protect consumers from acting on materially false beliefs, which may be caused either by deception or by blamelessly being misled.

Many reasons have been offered for why deceptive advertising is wrong. One is the Kantian claim that deceiving others is disrespectful to them, a use of them as a mere means. Deceptive advertising may also lead to harm, to consumers who purchase suboptimal products, given their desires and competitors who lose out on sales. A final criticism of deceptive advertising is that it erodes trust in society Attas When people do not trust each other, they will either not engage in economic transactions, or engage in them only with costly legal protections.

The persuasive component of advertising is also a fruitful subject of ethical inquiry. Galbraith , an early critic, thinks that advertising, in general, does not inform people how to acquire what they want, but instead gives them new wants. Moreover, since we are inundated with advertising for consumer goods, we want too many of those goods and not enough public goods.

Hayek rejects this claim, arguing that few if any of our desires are independent of our environment, and that anyway, desires produced in us through advertising are no less significant than desires produced in us in other ways. Galbraith is concerned about the persuasive effects of advertisements. In contrast, recent writers focus on the techniques that advertisers use to persuade. Some of these are alleged to cross the line into manipulation Aylsworth, ; Brenkert ; Sher It is difficult to define manipulation precisely, though attempts have been made for extensive discussion, see the entry on the ethics of manipulation.

For our purposes, manipulative advertising can be understood as advertising that attempts to persuade consumers, often but not necessarily using non-rational means, to make irrational or suboptimal choices, given their own needs and desires. Associative advertising is often identified as a type of manipulative advertising. In associative advertising, the advertiser tries to associate a product with a positive belief, feeling, attitude, ideal, or activity which usually has little to do with the product itself.

Thus many television commercials for trucks in the U. Commercials for body fragrances associate those products with sex between beautiful people. The suggestion is that if you are a certain sort of person e. In an important article, Crisp argues that this sort of advertising attempts to create desires in people by circumventing their faculties of conscious choice, and in so doing subverts their autonomy cf. Arrington ; Phillips Lippke argues that it makes people desire the wrong things, encouraging us to try to satisfy our non-market desires e.

Aylsworth How seriously we should take these criticisms may depend on how effective associative and other forms of persuasive advertising are. Our judgments on this issue should be context-sensitive. Paine Paine et al. But children, she argues, lack the capacity for making wise consumer choices see also E. Moore Thus advertising directed at children constitutes a form of objectionable exploitation. Other populations who may be similarly vulnerable are the senile, the ignorant, and the bereaved.

Ethics may require not a total ban on marketing to them but special care in how they are marketed to Brenkert ; cf. Sales are central to business. Perhaps surprisingly, business ethicists have said relatively little about sales. An emerging set of issues concerns refusals to sell. Normally businesses want to sell their goods and services to everyone.

But not always. In , Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop declined to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple because he opposed same-sex marriage on religious grounds. In response, the couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Should Phillips have sold the wedding cake to the couple? We might say that a commercial transaction is a kind of association, and people—including business owners like Phillips—should be free to associate, or not, with whomever they choose.

Or we might say, as Phillips did, that his actions were protected by freedom of religion, since they were an expression of his identity, which includes his religious commitments. Alternatively, we might claim that Phillips was discriminating against the couple, and his actions were wrong for the same reasons discrimination typically is, viz.

Questions can also be raised about the techniques advertisers use to sell. These questions are similar to the ones asked about advertising. Salespeople are, in a sense, the final advertisers of products to consumers. Heath Carson justifies 1 — 4 by appealing to the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated.

He identifies two other duties that salespeople might have he is agnostic : 5 do not sell customers products that you the salesperson think are unsuitable for them, given their needs and desires, without telling customers why you think this; and 6 do not sell customers poor quality or defective products, without telling them why you think this. For the most part, 1 — 4 ask the salesperson not to harm the customer; 5 and 6 ask the salesperson to help the customer, in particular, help her not to make foolish mistakes.

The broader issue is one of disclosure Holley How much information we think salespeople are required to share with customers may depend on what kind of relationship we think they should have, e. For many products bought and sold in markets, sellers offer an item at a certain price, and buyers take or leave that price. But in some cases there is negotiation over price and other aspects of the transaction. The locus classicus for this discussion is Carr According to him, bluffing in negotiations is permissible because business has its own distinctive set of moral rules and bluffing is permissible according to those rules.

Carson agrees that bluffing is permissible in business, though in a more limited range of cases. If you have good reason to believe that your adversary in a negotiation is misstating her bargaining position, then you are permitted to misstate yours.

A requirement to tell the truth in these circumstances would put you at a significant disadvantage relative to your adversary, which you are not required to suffer. That is, the prices of goods and services are set by the aggregate forces of supply and demand; no individual buys or sells a good for anything other than the market price. In reality, things are different. Sellers of goods have some flexibility about how to price goods. Most business ethicists would accept that, in most cases, the prices at which products should be sold is a matter for private individuals to decide.

This view has been defended on grounds of property rights. Some claim that if I have a right to a thing, then I am free to transfer that thing to you on whatever terms that I propose and you accept Boatright It has also been defended on grounds of welfare. Prices set by voluntary exchanges reveal valuable information about the relative demand for and supply of goods, allowing resources to flow to their most productive uses Hayek Despite this, most business ethicists also recognize some limits on prices.

One issue that has received increasing attention is price discrimination. This is discrimination based on willingness to pay, or the practice of charging more to people who are willing to pay more. This might at first seem unfair or even exploitative, but in fact it is commonplace and usually unremarkable Elegido ; Marcoux a.

Examples of price discrimination include senior and student discounts, bulk discounts, versioning, and the sort of bargaining one finds in car dealerships and flea markets. We might see price discrimination as an implication of freedom in pricing, and according to a familiar result in economics, price discrimination increases social welfare, provided that it enables producers to increase output Varian But some instances of price discrimination have come in for criticism.

Another issue of pricing ethics is price gouging. Price gouging can be understood as a sharp increase in the price of a necessary good in the wake of an emergency which renders that good scarce Hughes ; Zwolinski As the novel coronavirus spread around the world in early , retailers began to charge extremely high prices for cleaning products and medical supplies.

Many jurisdictions have laws against price gouging, and it is widely regarded as unethical Snyder But some theorists defend price gouging. While granting that sales of items in circumstances like these are exploitative, they note that they are mutually beneficial. Both the seller and buyer prefer to engage in the transaction rather than not engage in it.

Moreover, when items are sold at inflated prices, this both limits hoarding and attracts more sellers into the market. Permitting price gouging may thus be the fastest way of eliminating it Zwolinski For further discussion, see the entry on exploitation. Most contemporary scholars believe that sellers have wide, though not unlimited, discretion in how much they charge for goods and services.

Business ethicists have written much about the relationship between employers and employees. Another important topic at this interface is privacy. For space reasons it will not be discussed, but see the entries on privacy and privacy and information technology. Ethical issues in hiring and firing tend to focus on the question: What criteria should employers use, or not use, in employment decisions? The question of what criteria employers should not use is addressed in discussions of discrimination.

While there is some debate about whether discrimination in employment should be legally prohibited see Epstein , almost everyone agrees that it is morally wrong Hellman ; Lippert-Rasmussen Discussion has focused on two questions. First, when does the use of a certain criterion in an employment decision count as discriminatory?

It would seem wrong if Walmart were to exclude white applicants for a job in their marketing department, but not wrong if the Hovey Players a theater troupe were to exclude white applicants for the role of Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun. We might say that whether a hiring practice is discriminatory depends on whether the criterion used is job-relevant. Suppose that white diners prefer to be served by white waiters rather than black waiters.

In this case race seems job-relevant, but it seems wrong for employers to take race into account Mason Another question that has received considerable attention is: What makes discrimination wrong? Some argue that discrimination is wrong because of its effects on those who are discriminated against Lippert-Rasmussen ; others think that it is wrong because of what it expresses to them Hellman For extensive discussion, see the entry on discrimination.

According to them, employers have a duty to hire the most qualified applicant. Some justify this duty by appealing to considerations of desert D. Miller ; Mulligan ; others justify it by appealing to equal opportunity Mason We might object to this view by appealing to property rights.

A job offer typically implies a promise to pay the job-taker a sum of your money for performing certain tasks. While we might think that excluding some ways you can dispose of your property e. In support of this, we might think that a small business owner does nothing wrong when she hires her daughter for a part-time job as opposed to a more qualified stranger. Most would say, and the law agrees, that it is wrong for an employer to terminate an employee for certain reasons, e.

Thus the debate is between those who think that employers should be able to terminate employees for any reason with some exceptions , and those who think that employers should be able to terminate employees only for certain reasons. Arguments for at will employment appeal to freedom or macroeconomic effects. The more difficult it is for an employer to fire an employee, the more reluctant she will be to hire one in the first place. Businesses generate revenue, and some of this revenue is distributed to employees in the form of compensation, or pay.

Since the demand for pay typically exceeds the supply, the question of how pay should be distributed is naturally analyzed as a problem of justice. Two theories of justice in pay have attracted attention. According to it, a just wage is whatever wage the employer and the employee agree to without force or fraud Boatright This view is sometimes justified in terms of property rights.

Employees own their labor, and employers own their capital, and they are free, within broad limits, to dispose of it as they please. In addition, we might think that wages should be should determined by voluntary agreement for the same reason prices generally should be, viz. According to it, the just wage for a worker is the wage that reflects her contribution to the firm. This view comes in two versions.

On the absolute version, workers should receive an amount of pay that equals the value of their contributions to the firm D. Miller On the comparative version, workers should receive an amount of pay that reflects the relative value of their contributions to the firm, given what others in the firm contribute and are paid Sternberg The contribution view strikes some as normatively basic, a view for which no further argument can be given D.

An analogy may be drawn with punishment. In this way, pay might be understood as a reward for work. Some argue that compensation should be evaluated not only as a problem of justice but as an incentive. The question here is what pay encourages employees to do, and how it encourages them to do it. Poorly structured compensation packages for traders in the financial services industry are thought to have contributed to the financial crisis of Kolb Traders were incentivized to take excessively risky bets, and when those bets went bad, their firms could not cover the losses, putting the firms and ultimately the whole financial system in peril.

Bad incentives may also help to explain the recent account fraud scandal at Wells Fargo. The pay of any employee can be evaluated from a moral point of view. But business ethicists have paid particular attention to the pay of certain employees, viz. There has been significant debate about whether CEOs are paid too much Boatright, ; Moriarty , with scholars falling into two camps.

There has also been a robust debate about whether workers in sweatshops are paid too little. They say that sweatshops wages, while low by standards in developed countries, are not low by the standards of the countries in which the sweatshops are located. This explains why people choose to work in a sweatshop; it is the best offer they have.

Efforts to increase artificially the wages of sweatshop workers, according to these writers, is misguided on two counts. First, it is an interference with the autonomous choices of employers and workers. Second, it is likely to make workers worse off, since employers will respond by either moving operations to a new location or employing fewer workers in that location cf.

Kates Other writers challenge these claims. Given their low wages, this suggests that sweatshop workers are wrongfully exploited Faraci Moreover, some argue, firms can and should do more for sweatshop workers, on grounds on fairness or beneficence Snyder Smith [] famously observed that a detailed division of labor greatly increases the productivity of manufacturing processes.

To use his example: if one worker performs all of the tasks required to make a pin himself—18, we are told—he can make just a few pins per day. However, if the worker specializes in one or two of these tasks, and combines his efforts with other workers who specialize in one or two of the other tasks, then together they can make thousands of pins per day. But according to Smith, there is human cost to the detailed division of labor.

Michaelson ; Veltman Instead, it is a call for labor processes to be arranged so that work is interesting, requires skill, and gives workers substantial decision-making power Arneson ; Roessler ; Schwartz In response, it has been argued that there is a market for labor, and if workers want meaningful work, then employers have an incentive to provide it Maitland ; Nozick The above argument treats meaningful work as a matter of preference, as a job amenity that employers can decline to offer or that workers can trade away cf.

Yeoman Others resist this understanding. According to Schwartz , employers are required to offer employees meaningful work, and employees are required to perform it, out of respect for autonomy see also Bowie A difficulty for this argument is that respect for autonomy does not seem to require that we make all choices for ourselves.

A person might, it seems, autonomously choose to allow important decisions to be made for her in certain spheres of her life, e. A call for meaningful work may be understood as a call for workplaces to be arranged so that this deterioration does not occur Arneson ; Arnold ; Yeoman In addition to Smith, Marx [] was concerned about the effects of work on human flourishing. Formative arguments face at least two difficulties, one empirical and one normative.

The empirical difficulty is establishing the connection between meaningless work and autonomous choice or another intellectual faculty. More evidence is needed. They assume that it is better for people to have fully developed faculties of autonomous choice etc. These assumptions might be challenged, e. Yeoman seeks to surmount this challenge—and make meaningful work safe for liberal political theory—by conceptualizing meaningful work as a fundamental human need, not a mere preference.

Suppose you discover, as Tyler Shultz did at Theranos in , that your firm is deceiving regulators and investors about the efficacy of its products. While scholars give different definitions of whistleblowing see, e.

In the above example, Shultz was a whistleblower because he was 1 a Theranos employee 2 who disclosed non-public information 3 about illegal activity in the firm 4 to a state regulator 5 in an effort to stop that activity. Debate about whistleblowing tends to focus on the question of when whistleblowing is justified—in the sense of when it is permissible, or when it is required. This debate assumes that whistleblowing requires justification, or is wrong, other things equal.

Many business ethicists make this assumption on the grounds that employees have a pro tanto duty of loyalty to their firms Elegido Against this, some argue that the relationship between the firm and the employee is purely transactional—an exchange of money for labor Duska —and so is not normatively robust enough to ground a duty of loyalty.

For a discussion of this issue, see the entry on loyalty. One prominent justification of whistleblowing is due to DeGeorge According to him, it is permissible for an employee to blow the whistle when his doing so will prevent harm to society. In a similar account, Brenkert [] says that the duty to blow the whistle derives from a duty to prevent wrongdoing.

The duty to prevent harm can have more weight, if the harm is great enough, than the duty of loyalty. To determine whether whistleblowing is not simply permissible but required, DeGeorge says, we must take into account the likely success of the whistleblowing and its effects on the whistleblower himself. Humans are tribal creatures, and whistleblowers are often treated badly by their colleagues.

So if whistleblowing is unlikely to succeed, then it need not be attempted. Another account of whistleblowing is given by Davis Like Brenkert and unlike DeGeorge , Davis focuses on the wrongdoing that the firm engages in not the harm it causes. Business activity and business entities have an enormous impact on society. One way that businesses impact society, of course, is by producing goods and services and by providing jobs.

A famous example of CSR involves the pharmaceutical company Merck. In the late s, Merck was developing a drug to treat parasites in livestock, and it was discovered that a version of the drug might be used treat Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, a disease that causes debilitating itching, pain, and eventually blindness in people.

The problem was that the drug would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, and would generate little or no revenue for Merck, since the people usually afflicted with river blindness were too poor to afford it. Ultimately Merck decided to develop the drug. As expected, it was effective in treating river blindness, but Merck made no money from it. As of this writing in , Merck, now in concert with several nongovernmental organizations, continues to manufacture and distribute the drug throughout the developing world for free.

The scholarly literature on CSR is dominated by social scientists. Their question is typically whether, when, and how socially responsible actions benefit firms financially. That is, it is not clear whether prosocial behavior by firms causes them to be rewarded financially e.

Many writers connect the debate about CSR with the debate about the ends of corporate governance. Thus Friedman objects to CSR, saying that managers should be maximizing shareholder wealth instead. Stakeholder theory Freeman et al.

We do not need, however, to see the debate about CSR a debate about the proper ends of corporate governance. Many writers give broadly consequentialist reasons for CSR. The arguments tend to go as follows: 1 there are serious problems in the world, such as poverty, conflict, environmental degradation, and so on; 2 any agent with the resources and knowledge necessary to ameliorate these problems has a moral responsibility to do so, assuming the costs they incur on themselves are not excessively high; 3 firms have the resources and knowledge necessary to ameliorate these problems without incurring excessively high costs; therefore, 4 firms should ameliorate these problems Dunfee a.

Not only is there an opportunity to increase social welfare by alleviating suffering, suffering people may also have a right to assistance. The controversial issue is who should do something to help, and how much they should do. Thus defenders of the above argument focus most of their attention on establishing that firms have these duties, against those who say that these duties are properly assigned to states or individuals.

Strudler legitimates altruistic behavior by firms by undermining the claim that shareholders own them, and so are owed their surplus wealth. Hsieh says that, even if we concede that firms do not have social obligations, individuals have them, and the best way for many individuals to discharge them is through the activities of firms see also McMahon ; Mejia Debates about CSR are not just debates about whether specific social ills should be addressed by specific corporations.

They are also debates about what sort of society we want to live in. While acknowledging that firms benefit society through CSR, Brenkert thinks it is a mistake for people to encourage firms to engage in CSR as a practice. When we do so, he says, we cede a portion of the public sphere to private actors. Instead of deciding together how we want to ameliorate social ills affecting our fellow community members, we leave it up to private organizations to decide what to do.

Instead of sharpening our skills of democracy through deliberation and collective decision-making, and reaffirming social bonds through mutual aid, we allow our skills and bonds to atrophy through disuse. Many businesses are active participants in the political arena. They support candidates for election, defend positions in public debate, lobby government officials, and more. What should be said about these activities? This research focuses on such questions as: What forms does CPA take?

What are the antecedents of CPA? What are its consequences? CPA raises many normative questions as well. We might begin by asking why corporations should be allowed to engage in political activity at all. In a democratic society, freedom of expression is both a right and a value Stark People have a right to participate in the political process by supporting candidates for public office, defending positions in public debate, and so on.

It is generally a good thing when they exercise this right, since they can introduce new facts and arguments into public discourse. People can engage in political activity individually, but in a large society, they may find it useful to do so in groups. The firm might be seen as one of these groups. Indeed, we might think it is especially important that firms engage in at least some forms of political activity.

Society has an interest in knowing how proposed economic policies will affect firms; firms themselves are a good source of information. But political activity by corporations has come in for criticism. Questions have been raised about the nature and value of rent-seeking. According to a common definition, rent-seeking is socially wasteful economic activity intended to secure benefits from the state rather than the market. But there is disagreement about what counts as waste. Lobbying for subsidies, or tariffs on foreign competitors, are classic cases of rent-seeking.

But subsidies for e. A second concern about CPA is that it can undermine the ideal of equality at the heart of democracy Christiano Some corporations have a lot of money, and this can be translated into a lot of power. Indiana quickly convened a special session of its legislature and announced that the new law did not in fact give employers this freedom. By contrast, if the average Indianan told the legislature that they might leave the state because of the RFRA, the legislature would not have cared.

A third objection to CPA is more narrowly targeted. The key issue is representation. Organizations like the NRA and ACLU are legitimate participants in the political arena because they represent their members in political debate, and people join or leave them based on political considerations. By contrast, business organizations have no recognized role to play in the political system, and people join or leave them for economic reasons, not political ones. For example, when the Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh in , killing more than garment industry workers, new building codes and systems of enforcement were put into place.

But they were put into place by the multinational corporations that are supplied by factories in Bangladesh, not by the government of Bangladesh. Instead of influencing political outcomes, corporations bring them about almost single-handedly.

This is a threat to democratic self-rule. Some writers have explored whether it can be ameliorated through multi-stakeholder initiatives MSIs , or governance systems that bring together firms, non-governmental organizations, and members of local communities to deliberate and decide on policy matters.

There is another kind of corporate political activity. Consumers typically make choices based on quality and price. Ethical consumers also appeal to moral considerations. They may purchase, or choose not to purchase, goods from retailers who make their products in certain countries or who support certain political causes.

These can be described as political activities because consumers are using their economic power to achieve political ends. It is difficult for consumer actions against, or in support of, firms to succeed, since they require coordinating the actions of many individuals. But consuming ethically may be important for personal integrity. You might say that you cannot in good conscience shop at a retailer who is working, in another arena, against your deeply-held values.

One concern about ethical consumerism is that it may be a form of vigilantism Hussain ; cf. Another is that it is yet another way that people can self-segregate by moral and political orientation as opposed to finding common ground. Many businesses operate across national boundaries. Operating internationally heightens the salience of a number of the ethical issues discussed above, such as CSR, but it also raises new issues, such as relativism and divestment.

Two issues often discussed in connection with international business are not treated in this section. One is wages and working conditions in sweatshops. This literature is briefly discussed in section 6. The second issue is corruption, which is not discussed in this entry, for space reasons.

But see the entry on corruption. International agencies have also created codes of ethics for business. Perhaps the most famous of these is the United Nations Global Compact, membership in which requires organizations to adhere to a variety of rules in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

Wettstein A striking fact about much of this research is that, while it is focused on international business, and sometimes promulgated by international agencies, the conclusions reached do not apply specifically to firms doing business across national boundaries. The duty to, e. It is simply that the international context is the one in which this duty seems most important to discharge, and in which firms are some of the few agents who can do so. There are issues, however, that arise specifically for firms doing business internationally.

Every introductory ethics student learns that different cultures have different moral codes. This is typically an invitation to think about whether or not morality is relative to culture. For the businessperson, it presents a more immediate challenge: How should cultural differences in moral codes be managed? Donaldson is a leading voice on this question, in work done independently , and with Dunfee ISCT has attracted a great deal of attention and many critics.

Dunfee b collects and analyzes a decade worth of critical commentary on ISCT. For a more recent elaboration and defense of the approach, see Scholz, de los Reyes, and Smith A complication for the debate about whether to apply home country standards in host countries is that multinational corporations engage in business across national boundaries in different ways.

Some MNCs directly employ workers in multiple countries, while others contract with suppliers. Nike, for example, does not directly employ workers to make shoes. Rather, Nike designs shoes, and hires firms in other countries to make them. Our views about whether an MNC should apply home country standards in a host country may depend on whether the MNC is applying them to its own workers or to those of other firms.

The same goes for responsibility. Nike was subject to sharp criticism for the labor practices of its suppliers in the s Hartman et al. This is increasingly the approach Western multinationals take. Here again the response to the Rana Plaza tragedy is illustrative. What lengths companies should go to ensure the safety of workers in their supply chains is a question meriting further study see Young She may decide that the right course of action is not to do business in the country at all, and if she is invested in the country, to divest from it.

The issue of divestment received substantial attention in the s as MNCs were deciding whether or not to divest from South Africa under its Apartheid regime. It may attract renewed attention in the coming years as firms and other organizations contemplate divesting from the fossil fuel industry. Common reasons to divest from a morally problematic society or industry are to avoid complicity in immoral practices, and to put pressure on the society or industry to change its practices.

Critics of divestment worry about the effects of divestment on innocent third parties Donaldson and about the efficacy of divestment in forcing social change Hudson It is not hard to see why philosophers might be interested in business. Business activity raises a host of interesting philosophical issues: of agency, responsibility, truth, manipulation, exploitation, justice, beneficence, and more. After a surge of activity 40 years ago, however, philosophers seem to be gradually retreating from the field.

One explanation appeals to demand. Many of the philosophers who developed the field were hired into business schools, but after they retired, they were not replaced with other philosophers. Business schools have hired psychologists to understand why people engage in unethical behavior and strategists to explore whether ethics pays. These scholars fit better into the business school environment, which is dominated by social scientists.

What social scientists do to advance our understanding of descriptive ethics is important, to be sure, but it is no substitute for normative reflection on what is ethical or unethical in business. Another explanation for the retreat of philosophers from business ethics appeals to supply.

There are hardly any philosophy Ph. Some good news on this front is the recent increase in the number of normative theorists working on issues at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics PPE. Many of the topics these scholars address—the value and limits of markets, the nature of the employment relationship, and the role of government in regulating commerce—are issues business ethicists care about.

But PPE-style philosophers hardly cover the whole field of business ethics. There remain many urgent issues to address. I hope this entry helps to inform philosophers and others about the richness and value of business ethics, and in doing so, generate greater interest in the field.

Varieties of business ethics 2. Corporate moral agency 3.

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