The Business Ethics Workshop
James Brusseau, Pace University
Copyright Year: 2012
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
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The text covers all relevant ethical areas and theories. It provides also a vast number of cases as examples of the theories explained. Each chapter has theory and cases, making it very easy to use. Within the text, there is also links to other... read more
The text covers all relevant ethical areas and theories. It provides also a vast number of cases as examples of the theories explained. Each chapter has theory and cases, making it very easy to use. Within the text, there is also links to other articles and videos. it is properly indexed and its organization is clear and intuitive.
The content of the text is accurate and error free.
The content is up to date in the majority of theories. there may be some cases when a little update may be necessary. When studying the libertarian doctrine, for example, some notes about nudge theory and the ethical consequences libertarian paternalism may have been useful. This types of updates are rare and they are not required in the majority of the text.
The text its very clear in the language used, its explanations and its organization.
Te text is internally consistent in concepts, framework, structure and organization.
The text has 15 chapters. Each chapters starts with the objective of the unit. After each section of each chapter, there is a little summary with the key concepts. At the end of each chapter, we find the case studies. The text can be easily divided in chapters, or units. Case studies can be easily fragmented to suit the needs of the teaching goals.
All the theories, topics, issues and case studies are presented in a logical structure with clarity and organization.
The text does not have any issues. It is very intuitive. the margins provide clarity to specific concepts. All charts and images are free of problems and the links to articles and videos work perfectly.
The text does not have any grammatical errors.
The text is culturally diverse and free of any offensive examples.
The text is very very practical. If needed, any information may be easily added and integrated into the flow of the chapters. I used it before and I will continue doing it.
The text provides a solid grounding in argumentation, ethical theory (utilitarianism, Kant, virtue ethics, relativism etc...). It also covers topical areas such as workplace culture, discrimination, advertising, the environment, whistleblowing,... read more
The text provides a solid grounding in argumentation, ethical theory (utilitarianism, Kant, virtue ethics, relativism etc...). It also covers topical areas such as workplace culture, discrimination, advertising, the environment, whistleblowing, employment contracts (labor unions) and social responsibility. In addition key cases are included such as the Ford Pinto and Bernie Madoff. The text does omit some very important scandals such as Enron that should play a large role (as a negative example) in classes on Business Ethics.
The text provided a fair narrative of the subject matter. With any ethics text there is a basic duty to provide accurate terms, case facts, and presentations of arguments as well as a narrative viewpoint on what this means. One suggestion for improvement is to pair the section on Rawls on fairness with Nozick (who provides a more libertarian notion that is a standard alternative to Rawls). The decision to include only Rawls deviates from other texts, but this is not an indefensible choice - just a choice that leans a particular direction. This texts falls within the acceptable range I expected.
This text is relevant to anyone going into business. The cases include recent events. In some sense the classic theories and cases will always be up to date and many are included here. Current events are less about new knowledge and more about connecting cases to things the students are familiar with.
The text was written in a student friendly style. It largely avoids long blocks of text and favors at times a bullet point style that is especially effective for business students (the target audience). The use of jargon is minimized to what is essential for conveying ethical theory.
The text is consistent with appropriate variations tied to how terms are used by different source authors. With regards to the formatting there are consistent uses that I would question (see comments on modularity).
This text is modular in that particular case sections or topics can stand alone. There are formatting issues such as extra white space in places, the tabbing of bullet-points, and single word lines in the text that are probably intended as section headings. For example, see the use of "Conclusion." on pg 10, 13, and 26. While done consistently this could be done better (bold perhaps?).
Starting with argument structure, moving through ethical theory, and then to topical areas is a standard structure for this subject matter. However, the decision to place union topics at the end was rare. Other texts might end with applied international business ethics or a broad unit on social and economic justice (Rawls Nozick Singer etc..). Union issues would be placed within the earlier chapters on employer/employee relationships or workplace culture. This represents a choice by the author but it is one that deviates from what classic textbooks have done. A fair move, but one that presents a challenge for those who have their classes set up to work with other textbooks. IE the transition to this text may be more difficult.
There are many instances where some tabbing should be implemented to break up the text. Paragraphs in the PDF often have no tab on the first line making it more difficult to follow. The inclusion of more images would also help break up the text and bullet list routine.
I do not recall any grammar errors.
I do not recall anything here being insensitive or offensive. However, these days it seems anything could offend someone. I would have liked, for my institutional purposes, a more internationally focused text with even more examples from other cultures. This is not necessarily a fault of the text, but it would add value for those of us with global student learning goals.
The purpose of a text for me is to prime students to discuss topics in class. To that end, this offers significant value for the price of free. Whatever it lacks can be filled in with other sources. The ability to utilize free resources for students and free my time from having to update and reorder my course just because a publisher wanted more money from a new edition is huge. This is worth a look for anyone teaching business ethics.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: What Is Business Ethics?
- Chapter 2: Theories of Duties and Rights: Traditional Tools for Making Decisions in Business When the Means Justify the Ends
- Chapter 3: Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional Tools for Making Decisions in Business when the Ends Justify the Means
- Chapter 4: Theories Responding to the Challenge of Cultural Relativism
- Chapter 5: Employee's Ethics: What's the Right Job for Me?
- Chapter 6: Employee's Ethics: Getting a Job, Getting a Promotion, Leaving
- Chapter 7: Employee's Ethics: Making the Best of the Job You Have as You Get from 9 to 5
- Chapter 8: Manager's Ethics: Getting, Promoting, and Firing Workers
- Chapter 9: Manager's Ethics: Deciding on a Corporate Culture and Making It Work
- Chapter 10: The Tense Office: Discrimination, Victimization, and Affirmative Action
- Chapter 11: The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work
- Chapter 12: The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection
- Chapter 13: The Responsible Office: Corporations and Social Responsibility
- Chapter 14: The Green Office: Economics and the Environment
- Chapter 15: The Domination Office: The Star System and Labor Unions
About the Book
Ethics is about determining value; it's deciding what's worth doing and what doesn't matter so much.Business ethics is the way we decide what kind of career to pursue, what choices we make on the job,which companies we want to work with, and what kind of economic world we want to live in and thenleave behind for those coming after. There are no perfect answers to these questions, but there's adifference between thinking them through and winging it. The Business Ethics Workshop provides aframework for identifying, analyzing, and resolving ethical dilemmas encountered through working life.
About the Contributors
James Brusseau (PhD, Philosophy) has taught ethics at the Mexican National University, California State University, and the Pennsylvania State University. He is author of Decadence of the French Nietzsche and Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze and the Solitudes of Reversed Platonism. Currently, he teaches at Pace University near his home in New York City.