Business Ethics and Law
Textbook: Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, by Ferrell, Fraedrich, and Ferrell, Cengage (South-Western), 10e, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-285-42371-5.
Student Companion Website
Go to this website for the PPT slides, videos, datasets, quizzes, study guides, and other important chapter-by-chapter information.
Chapter 1: The Importance of Business Ethics
This chapter provides an overview of the field of business ethics. It develops a definition of business ethics and discusses why it has become an important topic in business education. It also examines the evolution of business ethics in North America and explores the benefits of ethical decision making in business. Finally, the chapter provides a framework for examining business ethics in this text.
CHAPTER 2: Stakeholder Relationships, Social Responsibility, and Corporate Governance
In this chapter, first we identify stakeholders’ different roles in business ethics. We examine the relationships between businesses and various stakeholder groups and examine how a stakeholder framework can help us understand organizational ethics. Then we define social responsibility and examine the relationships between having a stakeholder orientation and social responsibility. Next, we delineate how a stakeholder orientation helps to create corporate social responsibility. We then examine corporate governance as a dimension of social responsibility and its role in structuring ethics and social responsibility in business. The ethical decision making process is covered in order to provide an understanding of the importance of oversight in responding to stakeholders. Finally, we provide the steps for implementing a stakeholder perspective in creating both social responsibility and ethical decisions in business.
CHAPTER 3: Emerging Business Ethics Issues
In this chapter, we consider some of the ethical issues that are emerging in business today in the context of organizational ethics. We look at how these issues arise from the demands of specific stakeholder groups. In the first part of the chapter, we explain certain universal ethical concepts that pervade business ethics, such as honesty, fairness, and integrity. The latter part of the chapter explores a number of emerging ethical issues, including misuse of company resources, abusive and intimidating behavior, lying, conflicts of interest, bribery, corporate intelligence, discrimination, sexual harassment, environmental issues, fraud, insider trading, intellectual property rights, and privacy. We then examine
the challenge of determining an ethical issue in business.
the challenge of determining an ethical issue in business.
CHAPTER 4: The Institutionalization of Business Ethics
In this chapter, we examine the boundaries of ethical conduct and focus on the voluntary, core practices, and mandated requirements for legal compliance—three important areas in developing an ethical culture. 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. We also discuss the 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and examine some of its major provisions. Additionally, we provide an overview of the FSGO for organizations and give recommendations and incentives for developing an ethical corporate culture. The FSGO, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, industry trade associations, and societal expectations support core practices. Finally, we examine voluntary responsibilities and cause-related marketing, along with how strategic philanthropy can be an important core competency to manage stakeholder relationships.
CHAPTER 5: Ethical Decision Making and Ethical Leadership
This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive framework for our current knowledge of ethical decision making in business. 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.
CHAPTER 7: Organizational Factors: The Role of Ethical Culture and Relationships
This chapter takes a look at corporate culture and the way a company’s values and traditions can affect employees’ ethical behavior. 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.
CHAPTER 8: Developing an Effective Ethics Program
This chapter first provides an assessment of the corporation as an entity in society, and then gives an overview of why businesses need to develop an organizational ethics program. It covers the factors that are requisite parts of an ethics program: a code of conduct, the role of ethics officers and the appropriate delegation of authority, effective ethics training, systems for monitoring and supporting ethical compliance, and the importance of continual efforts to improve the ethics program. Finally, the chapter discusses the common mistakes made in designing and implementing ethics programs.
Chapter 10: Globalization of Ethical Decision-Making
Advances in communication, technology, and transportation have further minimized the world’s borders, creating an ever more interconnected global economy. This chapter discusses how transactions across international boundaries define global business, and how the variety of cultures and expectations around the globe complicates the topic of business ethics. International businesspeople must understand the values, cultures, and ethical standards of his or her home country, as well as every country in which his or her firm conducts business. Formal codes of conduct are less common internationally, and the topics of principle concern shift between countries and across time. Major concerns today involve global risks, legal approaches to business ethics, and compliance measures. Insufficient understanding of the complexity of global business can destroy trust and do lasting damage to a firm. This chapter examines these topics, as well as the role of international organizations like the IMF, the UN, and the WTO in shaping international business. It will help students to learn about the cultural differences between nations and how they can affect common business practices, as well as to gain a general awareness of global ethical issues. This chapter aims to help students understand, and possibly avoid, the ethical quagmires that exist in the global business environment.