Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach

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NEW EDITION, REVISED AND UPDATED
This is a pragmatic, hands-on, up-to-date guide to determining right and wrong in the business world. Joseph Weiss integrates a stakeholder perspective with an issues-oriented approach so students look at how a business’s actions affect not just share price and profit but the well-being of employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, the larger society, other nations, and the environment.

Weiss uses a wealth of contemporary examples, including twenty-three customized cases that immerse students directly in recent business ethics dilemmas and ask them to consider how they would resolve them. The recent economic collapse raised ethical issues that have yet to be resolved—there could not be a better time for a fully updated edition of Weiss’s classic, accessible blend of theory and practice.

New to the Sixth Edition!

New Cases! Fourteen of the twenty-three cases in this book are brand new to this edition. They touch on issues such as cyberbullying, fracking, neuromarketing, and for-profit education and involve institutions like Goldman Sachs, Google, Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, Ford, and Facebook.

Updated Throughout! The text has been updated with the latest research, including new national ethics survey data, perspectives on generational differences, and global and international issues. Each chapter includes recent business press stories touching on ethical issues.

New Feature! Several chapters now feature a unique Point/Counterpoint exercise that challenges students to argue both sides of a contemporary issue, such as too-big-to-fail institutions, the Boston bomber Rolling Stone cover, student loan debt, online file sharing, and questions raised by social media.

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Case Authorship

ePub

Editing help was provided by Laura Gray, Lu Bai, and Matt Zamorski.

Case 1 Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC: Wall Street Trading Firm

Alba Skurti, Bentley University, under the direction of Professor Joseph W. Weiss, Bentley University.

Case 2 Cyberbullying: Who’s to Blame and What Can Be Done?

Roseleen Dello Russo and Lauren Westling, Bentley University, under the direction of Professor Joseph W. Weiss, Bentley University.

Case 3 Ford’s Pinto Fires: The Retrospective View of Ford’s Field Recall Coordinator

Dennis A. Gioia, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, provided the personal reflections in this case. Michael K. McCuddy, Valparaiso University, provided background information and discussion questions.

Case 4 Jerome Kerviel: Rogue Trader or Misguided Employee? What Really Happened at the Société Générale?

Steve D’Aquila, Bentley University, under the direction of Professor Joseph W. Weiss, Bentley University.

Case 5 Samuel Waksal at ImClone

 

Chapter 1 Business Ethics, the Changing Environment, and Stakeholder Management

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1.1 Business Ethics and the Changing Environment

Point/CounterPoint

1.2 What Is Business Ethics? Why Does It Matter?

1.3 Levels of Business Ethics

Ethical Insight 1.1

1.4 Five Myths about Business Ethics

1.5 Why Use Ethical Reasoning in Business?

1.6 Can Business Ethics Be Taught and Trained?

1.7 Plan of the Book

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemma

Cases

1. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC: Wall Street Trading Firm

2. Cyberbullying: Who’s to Blame and What Can Be Done?

Notes

OPENING CASE

Blogger: “Hi. i download music and movies, limewire and torrent. is it illegal for me to download or is it just illegal for the person uploading it. does anyone know someone who was caught and got into trouble for it, what happened them. Personally I dont see a difference between downloading a song or taping it on a cassette from a radio!!”1

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), on behalf of its member companies and copyright owners, has sued more than 30,000 people for unlawful downloading. RIAA detectives log on to peer-to-peer networks where they easily identify illegal activity since users’ shared folders are visible to all. The majority of these cases have been settled out of court for $1,000—$3,000, but fines per music track can go up to $150,000 under the Copyright Act.

 

Chapter 2 Ethical Principles, Quick Tests, and Decision-Making Guidelines

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2.1 Ethical Reasoning and Moral Decision Making

2.2 Ethical Principles and Decision Making

Ethical Insight 2.1

2.3 Four Social Responsibility Roles

2.4 Levels of Ethical Reasoning and Moral Decision Making

2.5 Identifying and Addressing Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical Insight 2.2

2.6 Individual Ethical Decision-Making Styles

2.7 Quick Ethical Tests

2.8 Concluding Comments

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemma

Cases

3. Ford’s Pinto Fires: The Retrospective View of Ford’s Field Recall Coordinator

4. Jerome Kerviel: Rogue Trader or Misguided Employee? What Really Happened at the Société Générale?

5. Samuel Waksal at ImClone

Notes

OPENING CASE

Louise Simms, newly graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, was hired by a firm based in the United States. With minimal training, she was sent to join a company partner to negotiate with a high-ranking Middle Eastern government official. The partner informed Simms that he would introduce her to the government contact and then leave her to “get the job done.” Her assignment was to “do whatever it takes to win the contract: it’s worth millions to us.” The contract would enable Simms’s firm to select and manage technology companies that would install a multimillion-dollar computer system for that government. While in the country, Simms was told by the official that Simms’s firm had “an excellent chance of getting the contract” if the official’s nephew, who owned and operated a computer company in that country, could be assured “a good piece of the action.”

 

Chapter 3 Stakeholder and Issues Management Approaches

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3.1 Stakeholder Theory and the Stakeholder Management Approach Defined

3.2 Why Use a Stakeholder Management Approach for Business Ethics?

3.3 How to Execute a Stakeholder Analysis

3.4 Negotiation Methods: Resolving Stakeholder Disputes

3.5 Stakeholder Management Approach: Using Ethical Principles and Reasoning

3.6 Moral Responsibilities of Cross-Functional Area Professionals

3.7 Issues Management, Integrating a Stakeholder Framework

Ethical Insight 3.1

3.8 Managing Crises

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemma

Cases

6. The BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill: Crisis and Aftermath

7. Mattel Toy Recalls

8. Genetic Discrimination

Notes

OPENING CASE

The oil company BP (formerly British Petroleum) leased/licensed the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, operated by Transocean and contracted by Halliburton, that exploded in flames in the Gulf of Mexico on the night of April 20, 2010.1, 2 The result was 11 deaths, 17 injured, and hundreds of miles of beaches soiled. A “blowout preventer” (specialized valve) designed to prevent crude oil releases failed to activate.3

 

Chapter 4 The Corporation and External Stakeholders: Corporate Governance: From the Boardroom to the Marketplace

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4.1 Managing Corporate Social Responsibility in the Marketplace

Ethical Insight 4.1

Point/CounterPoint

4.2 Managing Corporate Responsibility with External Stakeholders

Ethical Insight 4.2

4.3 Managing and Balancing Corporate Governance, Compliance, and Regulation

Ethical Insight 4.3

4.4 The Role of Law and Regulatory Agencies and Corporate Compliance

4.5 Managing External Issues and Crises: Lessons from the Past (Back to the Future?)

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemma

Cases

9. Conscious Capitalism: What Is It? Why Do We Need It? Does It Work?

10. Goldman Sachs: Hedging a Bet and Defrauding Investors

11. Google Books

Notes

OPENING CASE

When you read “The TJX Companies, Inc. V.A.L.U.E. Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2013” and see Carol Meyrowitz’s letter, you would never believe the crisis that rocked the company in 2008 ever happened. This case illustrates one difference between companies that learn, change, and grow, and those that do not.

TJX seems to practice its VALUE proposition, “Vendor Social Compliance, Attention to Governance, Leveraging Differences, United With Our Communities and Environmental Initiatives.” Forbes reported in 2013 that the TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) has taken over the #95 spot from Capital One Financial Corp (NYSE: COF). Although the company, as with several other retailers, could improve its customer satisfaction index score, it has recovered from the 2008 crisis recounted here.1

 

Chapter 5 Corporate Responsibilities, Consumer Stakeholders, and the Environment

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5.1 Corporate Responsibility toward Consumer Stakeholders

5.2 Corporate Responsibility in Advertising

Ethical Insight 5.1

5.3 Controversial Issues in Advertising: The Internet, Children, Tobacco, and Alcohol

Ethical Insight 5.2

5.4 Managing Product Safety and Liability Responsibly

Ethical Insight 5.3

5.5 Corporate Responsibility and the Environment

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemma

Cases

12. For-Profit Universities: Opportunities, Issues, and Promises

13. Fracking: Drilling for Disaster?

14. Neuromarketing

15. WalMart: Challenges with Gender Discrimination

16. Vioxx, Dodge Ball: Did Merck Try to Avoid the Truth?

Notes

OPENING CASE

U.S. health care spending related to obesity in 2013 was $190 billion. The newly released United Nations (UN) report on global nutrition does not make for very uplifting reading: amid an already floundering global economy, the reality of a fattening planet is dragging down world productivity rates, while increasing health insurance costs to the tune of $3.5 trillion per year—or 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP).1 Obesity in the workforce leads to expensive health care, interruptions in productivity, and days absent from work. Obesity and overall weight gain in the American population changed from a problem to a crisis when it was made an issue of public concern by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). A survey conducted from 2007–2009 indicated that 34.4% of the U.S. adult population was overweight or obese.2 An even more striking statistic is found in the weight increase experienced by children and adolescents in the United States. Current research estimates that 17% of children and adolescents (12.5 million children), ages 2 to 19, are overweight or obese. Higher prevalences of adult obesity were found in the Midwest (29.5%) and the South (29.4%). Lower prevalences were observed in the Northeast (25.3%) and the West (25.1 %).3 Carrying excess weight causes an increased risk for medical conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, sleep apnea, and some forms of cancer. The rise in obesity comes despite efforts by First Lady Michelle Obama to promote healthy eating, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s size restriction on sugary drinks. The problem has become so profound that the U.S. Health and Human Services Department actually declared obesity a disease affecting the population in 2004. On June 18, 2013, the nation’s largest physicians’ group classified obesity as a medical “disease,” despite the recommendations of a committee of experts who studied the issue for a year.4

 

Chapter 6 The Corporation and Internal Stakeholders: Values-Based Moral Leadership, Culture, Strategy, and Self-Regulation

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6.1 Leadership and Stakeholder Management

Ethical Insight 6.1

Ethical Insight 6.2

6.2 Organizational Culture, Compliance, and Stakeholder Management

6.3 Leading and Managing Strategy and Structure

6.4 Leading Internal Stakeholder Values in the Organization

6.5 Corporate Self-Regulation and Ethics Programs: Challenges and Issues

Ethical Insight 6.3

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemmas

Cases

17. Kaiser Permanente: A Crisis of Communication, Values, and Systems Failure

18. Social Networking and Social Responsibility

Notes

OPENING CASE

Two Leaders’ Ethical Styles

Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway

Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett has taken unprecedented steps in recent years to ensure that his messages about investing, ethics, and philanthropy reach an audience that will survive him. He didn’t invent the light bulb, but he’s had lots of bright ideas. He didn’t devise the mass-production assembly line, but his companies have sold masses of goods. And Warren Buffett didn’t originate the concept of money, but he has more of it than most-he has been listed as the second most wealthy business person by Forbes for several years. So what will be the Omaha investor’s legacy? Or, rather, his legacies? Observers say the 83-year-old’s ideas and philosophy of business and life will last far beyond his own. “Somebody from this group will learn something that will affect their lives,” Buffett told a group of graduate students during a 2005 visit to Omaha.

 

Chapter 7 Employee Stakeholders and the Corporation

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7.1 Employee Stakeholders in the Changing Workforce

Ethical Insight 7.1

Point/CounterPoint

7.2 The Changing Social Contract between Corporations and Employees

7.3 Employee and Employer Rights and Responsibilities

Ethical Insight 7.2

7.4 Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

Ethical Insight 7.3

7.5 Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

7.6 Whistle-Blowing versus Organizational Loyalty

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemma

Cases

19. Preemployment Screening and Facebook: Ethical Considerations

20. Women on Wall Street: Fighting for Equality in a Male-Dominated Industry

Notes

OPENING CASE

Two Profiles

Profile of the New (Younger) Workforce

“Stand back all bosses! A new breed of American worker is about to attack everything you hold sacred: from giving orders, to your starched white shirt and tie. They are called, among other things, ‘Millennials.’ There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995 [others say between 1982 and 2003], and they’re rapidly taking over from the Baby Boomers who are now pushing 60.”1 “We are beginning to see increasingly younger people come in and ask long-term questions; five years down the road, where can I grow in this company? This was not necessarily the case with Gen X [people born between 1964 and 1981]. There is also a greater emphasis on bonding within an institution. Some companies are actually having camps and retreats where they immerse people into living with one another 24/7 (like Accenture), learning the lore of the company. This would not have gone well with Gen X. This would have caused a riot with the Boomers, and Gen X simply wouldn’t have been interested. . . . Employers hate the parental presence, but it is now extending into the workforce. . . . Excessive parental involvement was originally the single biggest complaint among teachers several years ago, then it predictably moved into colleges, and now it is becoming a pervasive issue in HR [human resource] departments with parents doing everything from helping fill out applications to actually coming to their children’s interviews. . . . Many employers are working with this trend . . . employers are now working on co-marketing to parents.”2

 

Chapter 8 Business Ethics and Stakeholder Management in the Global Environment

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8.1 The Connected Global Economy and Globalization

Ethical Insight 8.1

8.2 Managing and Working in a “Flat World”: Professional Competencies and Ethical Issues

Ethical Insight 8.2

8.3 Societal Issues and Globalization: The Dark Side

8.4 Multinational Enterprises as Stakeholders

8.5 Triple Bottom Line, Social Entrepreneurship, and Microfinancing

8.6 MNEs: Stakeholder Values, Guidelines, and Codes for Managing Ethically

8.7 Cross-Cultural Ethical Decision Making and Negotiation Methods

Chapter Summary

Questions

Exercises

Real-Time Ethical Dilemmas

Cases

21. Google in China: Still “Doing No Evil”?

22. Sweatshops: Not Only a Global Issue

23. The U.S. Industrial Food System

Notes

OPENING CASE

The new global economy is no longer comprised of separate economies per country or region; instead, it has become a complex grid of interconnected networks of resources. Advances in technology have made it possible for “money, goods, data, and people to cross borders in huge volumes and at unprecedented speed. Since 1990, trade flows have grown 1.5 times faster than global GDP. Cross-border capital flows have expanded at three times the rate of GDP growth.”1 Consider that now “only one in ten US dollars in circulation today is a physical note – the kind you can hold in your hand or put in your wallet. The other nine are virtual. Estimates by Cisco Systems suggest that in 2009, global data flows expanded by nearly 50 percent. In China alone, more than 150 million new people connected to the Internet in 2009, giving that country a digital population almost as large as the world’s biggest socialnetworking site, Facebook.” Emerging markets—like Brazil, China, and India—are strongly impacted by this new global grid. “The explosion of mobile networks is giving billions of people their first real entry point into the global economy, helping them become more informed consumers, connecting them with jobs, and providing much better access to credit and finance.”2

 

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