Copyright Year: 2018
ISBN 13: 9781947172579
Conditions of Use
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. ... read more
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.
The text is well researched by astute world renown faculty who use peer reviewed materials.
One reason to use this book is that it is up to date. It covers more recent business ethics dilemmas than print or print/digital texts because by virtue of being open source and fully digital, it is kept more up to date than other textbooks I have used.
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.
This textbook implements short case studies called "Cases from the Real World," opportunities for students to think and reflect on ethics questions as well as multiple headings/sub-headings for ease of division and assignment.
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.
Students really enjoy the option of buying a paper version of this book, which is made available on our campus for under $20. 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.
I am unaware of any grammatical errors in this text.
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 200-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... read more
The content is of the book is more than enough to support a full semester 200-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.
Text appeared to be consistent throughout. Clear organization and presentation.
I really liked how the book was organized with chapters and sections making it easy to assign partial chapters and/or specific sections and a manageable number of chapters and sections.
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.
I didn't notice any grammatical errors.
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.
At 367 pages, with 10 integrated, substantive chapters, constructive “end notes” and assessments on the evolution of ethical reasoning, leadership, and the challenges of “becoming an ethical professional” and “making a difference in the business... read more
At 367 pages, with 10 integrated, substantive chapters, constructive “end notes” and assessments on the evolution of ethical reasoning, leadership, and the challenges of “becoming an ethical professional” and “making a difference in the business world,” this is a comprehensive text, suitable for undergraduate business students and instructors not necessarily trained in philosophy. It is a great fit for single semester course, whether offered in conventional blocks of 15 weeks, 10 or eight. Topical case studies, video links, “what would you do” scenarios and assessments, chapter glossaries, and a helpful index reflect a breadth of industry, organizational, and cultural perspectives. The Preface, outlining the book’s purpose, architecture, contributing authors and student and instructor resources (i.e., “Getting Started” guide, test bank and PPts) appears responsive to both a student’s critical eye and an instructor’s operational check list. Moreover, the test banks (10) appear solid, with multiple choice and short essay answer questions linked to the Bloom’s Taxonomy grid (plus instructor’s answer guide). Power Point slides (15-25 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. 6, for example, minimum wages in every state rely upon 2017 data from “the National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Dept. of Labor and state websites” (Fig. 6.9), while in the next (Fig. 6.10), under the colorful graphic, we have this: “Right-to-work states have typically been clustered in the South and Southeast, where unions have been traditionally less prevalent.” That attribution references “Copyright Rice University, Open Stax, under CC BY 4.0 license,” sufficient for “educational use,” it would seem. Faculty also will appreciate the ease of flagging and correcting three kinds of errata: factual, typo, broken links.
As other reviewers have noted, this text – like most in “applied ethics” – relies on contemporary examples of business practice, including articles and video segments drawn from the business press and government oversight venues that may grow less compelling in another five years or so (think Enron and its accounting partner, Arthur Andersen, 2000-era exemplars of white collar crime not referenced here). Yet this text does a serviceable job of setting cases as old as Ford Motor Company’s fraught introduction of the Edsel (1958) and the “Chicago Tylenol Murders (1982) and as fresh as United Airlines forced removable of a ticketed passenger from a seat needed by an airlines employee (2017) amid sufficient historical, theoretical, and organizational context to grasp the key lessons of Unit 3.2: “Weighing Stakeholder Claims.” There is little danger of obsolescence, particularly since the open textbook network makes it so easy to correct errors and substitute current examples for the somewhat dated.
The clarity and quality of writing is superb, likely a reflection of lead collaborators Stephen Byars, who teaches “oral and written communication” as well as business ethics, and Kurt Stanberry, whose “legal and leadership” credentials are exercised in his continuing education seminars with CPA’s, attorneys, and business execs … nice fits for this subject. Students still ln high school, or in the growing cadre of “co-enrolled” in community college may struggle with this text, yet the publisher’s clear attention to content “building blocks” may comfort even the less mature and experienced student. For example, in any given chapter, readers 1) begin with an outline, learning objectives, and 500 – 1,000 word introduction, 2) encounter “cases from the real world” and “what would you do” tests of comprehension, and 3) close with a narrative summary, glossary of key terms, and short set of “assessment” questions. “Links to learning” include such clever questions as whether Coca-Cola’s soft pedaling of its huge demands for water in arid climates amounts to “greenwashing” (Ch. 3) or whether certain animals ought to be off limits for human consumption because of “sentience,” their ability to think and/or feel pain, (Peter Singer, Ch. 8). In addition “key terms” for every chapter are short and clear, i.e. “Integrity … because there is unity between what we say and what we do.”
Like two previous reviewers, I found the prose and organization to be coherent and consistent. Depth, attention to detail, terminology, and overall framework are consistent, linked by “key terms” and succinct introductions and summary reviews of each chapter. 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.
Yes, this material lends itself to modularity, this despite a carefully constructed progression from “why this subject matters” to “how our forebears have grappled with responsibility” to “who has a stake in these decisions” to “what we owe each other” in specific manifestations of corporate and professional enterprise. It appears that in every chapter, its major units could be assigned separately, within an instructor’s unique unifying paradigm. Individual “features” could backstop of enrich discussions in class or online. There are no “enormous blocks of text” to impede easy snipping, and thoughtful subheadings appear to break up the challenge to comprehension and endurance.
The inherent logic of this text is apparent. Authors move from a philosophical foundation (“Why ethics matters?” and approaches to “intention v. outcomes” over time) to exploration of the stakeholder theory to close examination of ethical issues in business, the professions, and organizations in the voluntary and public sectors. A unifying feature is the Introduction, key terms, “assessment questions” and “end notes” for each chapter. Personal interviews or video clips from business owners and other stakeholders, supplemented by relevant documents such as ethics policies, training materials, and previews of business development … such as New Belgium CEO Kim Jordan’s (and “contemporary thought leader”) rationale for an east coast brewery in Asheville NC (opened May 2016) help cement understanding of such integral topics in corporate social responsibility as “sustainability.”
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). While some are not fond of “text boxes interspersed with the main text” my students using other similar e-texts have not reported problems. That said, I did not experience the online version of this text on Kindle or my phone, which might be instructive. On the other hand, while not “distorted” I found some of the power points unhelpful, to the point of distracting or annoying the viewer. Some seem busy, with narrative text blocks under anecdotal photos or graphics in print too small for comfortable display in class. Moreover, the “what would you do?” questions in this mode seem to me presumptive, less helpful than, say, bullet references to facts, principles, or events. Instructors and overseers of “access and accessibility” may care to note that not all videos are followed by transcriptions. 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. 5, “The Impact of Culture and Time,” engages fundamental faith beliefs globally as well as the authority of religion tradition, and challenges students to explore the “universality “of values in business ethics. For instance this text does not shrink from illustrations of both “honor and shame” in business. In Appendix C, “A Succinct Theory of Business Ethics, the authors plainly and forcefully state their underlying thesis: that business ethics ought be grounded in deontology more than in utilitarianism, that “ends” are insufficient justification for questionable “means” in formulating and executing business strategy. Illustrations of demographic and behavioral diversity and inclusion – including animal rights and the implications for research and recreation – are plentiful, addressed in Ch. 8, “Recognizing and Respecting the Rights of All,” as well as the succeeding chapter on various professions.
This is an excellent “open educational resource” for business ethics and corporate social responsibility, one I intend to tap personally. The “closing parts” especially – including “Succinct Themes in Business Ethics” – are attractive guides to curriculum development and standalone discussion prompts in the classroom or online. “Lives of Ethical Philosophers (500 to 1,000 word summaries), and “Profiles in Business Ethics: Contemporary Thought Leaders,” adds a valuable philosophical heft that, for community and junior colleges especially, our accrediting and articulation partners will be pleased to see. I further value the selection of relevant supplemental material from independent consultants that range from the very basic, i.e., “Five Questions to Identify Key Stakeholders” to those that verge on the proprietary. These include descriptions of systems to monitor and “manage” customer and other stakeholder involvement, corporate codes of conduct … even a link to free personality test (Sec. 7.3), for which “bonus” I am grateful to Steve Custer of Oakland City University for pointing out.
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... read more
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. Chapter 10 on changing work environments and future trends is the chapter most likely to date quickly. The other applied sections will probably last 5-10 years; the ethical theory sections will remain relevant for a longer period of time.
I think this is appropriate for a general-education course in business ethics. I found it to be clear, although a student new to the subject or to philosophy may find that concepts are introduced at a quick pace. It does not suffer from unnecessary jargon; it is, as Aristotle said, as clear as the subject matter allows.
The prose and organization is consistent; it could have been single-authored.
It would be possible to use some portions of the text and not others, but it is not fully modular in that it was carefully constructed to provide the necessary philosophical and social context for business ethics prior to considering particular applied topics in business ethics. As it presents a sustained argument about business ethics (and this is a strength; philosophy is, after all, largely about making good arguments), it isn't the sort of thing that one could simply cut up and reassemble willy-nilly. However, I can easily see how an instructor could use various chapters to supplement or introduce other material. Chapters are internally divided into sections that could be read, assigned, or discussed separately.
Many business ethics textbooks combine three or four different courses in one: a book about ethics, a book about management and stakeholder theory, and a book about work and vocation, and give the impression of fairly disparate topics somewhat awkwardly and haphazardly stitched together. This book is logically organized to take students from basic moral theory through the application of those theories to key issues in business ethics, before circling back again to ethics in the epilogue. Rather than being organized into chapters according to common areas of ethical problems in business (finance, accounting, affirmative action, greed, advertising and marketing, sexual harassment, sustainability, stakeholder theory, etc.) with few connections made between, this book addresses those issues under a relatively small number of chapter headings, and presents them through an ethical and social framework that is developed in the early chapters. I find this to be a more cohesive approach to the subject than is present in other textbooks.
I experienced no problems with the interface. The book is professionally produced. I personally do not like the use of text boxes interspersed with the main text, but I recognize that this is a common textbook feature.
I saw no grammatical issues. This book has been professionally edited.
This book includes a Confucian look at virtue ethics and attends to the cultural context in which the philosophers worked. It also contains a chapter on business ethics across time, place, culture and religion, a more comprehensive approach than the usual "business in a global context" topical chapter of other books. A chapter on respecting the rights of all addresses disability, gender inclusivity, religious diversity, animal ethics, and income inequality. In the following chapter there is a section on the business of health care, which I have not seen in any other similar text.
This is an outstanding introductory text in business ethics, with a level of philosophical sophistication and organizational coherence that exceeds most comparable texts. The chapter summaries, glossaries, and review quizzes are helpful aids to student learning, and the embedded links to interviews, videos, and case studies make it easy to adapt to active learning or on-line instruction. The amount of philosophical context makes it a particularly good choice for instructors of business ethics whose primary training is in business, management, law, or a related field, rather than in ethics or philosophy, or for a philosopher whose primary area of expertise is outside business ethics. It does read as though it is a written version of excellent lectures in business ethics, which is not necessarily a weakness. The most significant drawback to this text, in my view, is that it includes no primary sources. As a philosopher teaching applied ethics, I know that business ethics may be the only course in philosophy that my students take. I also know this may be my students' primary or sole opportunity to read the classics of the western tradition. Therefore, I think this book could be enhanced by presenting some primary source readings. These could be added as an appendix or at the beginning or end of each chapter, or taken from other sources by the instructor. I currently use an Oxford anthology for my business ethics course. However, if I were to assign a traditional textbook, I would switch to this book without reservation, and I am very likely to try this book in future courses.
The Business Ethics textbook is comprehensive in that it covers a broad range of ethical issues as well as delving into the history of ethics. The online format enhances the easy of use for the index. read more
The Business Ethics textbook is comprehensive in that it covers a broad range of ethical issues as well as delving into the history of ethics. The online format enhances the easy of use for the index.
I found the textbook to be accurate. I did not find any outstanding errors in the book. It is very well written and easy to understand.
From Toyota to Samsung and Starbucks, excellent examples of business ethics abound. Additionally, this textbook is quite effective in bringing to life many current events.
The book exceeds expectations in clarity. The key terms and assessment questions at the end of each chapter give extra help to those seeking to know the material in depth.
The dictionary defines consistency as a "condition of adhering together." I feel that this textbook accomplished that purpose. Moreover, it brought together principles of business ethics in a well-developed manner.
The online format enhances this textbook's modularity. The online links to learning are a welcome addition and add a nice touch.
The book is organized very well, and the online format makes keyword searches very easy to navigate.
The Business Ethics textbook is easy to navigate and understand. Nothing is wasted that takes away from the material.
I found the Business Ethics textbook to be free of any outstanding grammatical errors.
There are many examples this book gives on cultural relevance: #metoo, transgender ethics, environmental ethics, animal ethics, and diversity and inclusion.
I really enjoyed the link to the free personality test. That was a great bonus feature. "It is nice to be important, but more important to be nice." What a powerful sentiment and an appropriate quote to be included! This is a great textbook and I plan to utilize it in an upcoming business ethics course.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Why Ethics Matter
- 1.1 Being a Professional of Integrity
- 1.2 Ethics and Profitability
- 1.3 Multiple versus Single Ethical Standards
Chapter 2: Ethics from Antiquity to the Present
- 2.1 The Concept of Ethical Business in Ancient Athens
- 2.2 Ethical Advice for Nobles and Civil Servants in Ancient China
- 2.3 Comparing the Virtue Ethics of East and West
- 2.4 Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number
- 2.5 Deontology: Ethics as Duty
- 2.6 A Theory of Justice
Chapter 3: Defining and Prioritizing Stakeholders
- 3.1 Adopting a Stakeholder Orientation
- 3.2 Weighing Stakeholder Claims
- 3.3 Ethical Decision-Making and Prioritizing Stakeholders
- 3.4 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Chapter 4: Three Special Stakeholders: Society, the Environment, and Government
- 4.1 Corporate Law and Corporate Responsibility
- 4.2 Sustainability: Business and the Environment
- 4.3 Government and the Private Sector
Chapter 5: The Impact of Culture and Time on Business Ethics
- 5.1 The Relationship between Business Ethics and Culture
- 5.2 Business Ethics over Time
- 5.3 The Influence of Geography and Religion
- 5.4 Are the Values Central to Business Ethics Universal?
Chapter 6: What Employers Owe Employees
- 6.1 The Workplace Environment and Working Conditions
- 6.2 What Constitutes a Fair Wage?
- 6.3 An Organized Workforce
- 6.4 Privacy in the Workplace
Chapter 7: What Employees Owe Employers
- 7.1 Loyalty to the Company
- 7.2 Loyalty to the Brand and to Customers
- 7.3 Contributing to a Positive Work Atmosphere
- 7.4 Financial Intergrity
- 7.5 Criticism of the Company and Whistleblowing
Chapter 8: Recognizing and Respecting the Rights of All
- 8.1 Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce
- 8.2 Accommodating Different Abilities and Faiths
- 8.3 Sexual Identification and Orientation
- 8.4 Income Inequalities
- 8.5 Animal Rights and the Implications for Business
Chapter 9: Professions under the Microscope
- 9.1 Entrepreneurship and Start-Up Culture
- 9.2 The Influence of Advertising
- 9.3 The Insurance Industry
- 9.4 Ethical Issues in the Provision of Health Care
Chapter 10: Changing Work Environment and Future Trends
- 10.1 More Telecommuting or Less?
- 10.2 Workplace Campuses
- 10.3 Alternatives to Traditional Patterns of Work
- 10.4 Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Workplace of the Future
Chapter 11: Epilogue: Why Ethics Still Matter
- 11.1 Business Ethics in an Evolving Environment
- 11.2 Committing to an Ethical View
- 11.3 Becoming an Ethical Professional
- 11.4 Making a Difference in the Business World
About the Book
Business Ethics is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester business ethics course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including case studies, application scenarios, and links to video interviews with executives, all of which help instill in students a sense of ethical awareness and responsibility.
About the Contributors