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Business Ethics: A Managerial Approach - How to Learn and Apply Ethical Principles in Business


Business Ethics: A Managerial Approach by Andrew C. Wicks




Business ethics is a topic that has gained increasing attention and relevance in the contemporary business world. With the rise of globalisation, digitalisation, and social responsibility, businesses face new ethical challenges and opportunities that require careful analysis and decision-making. How can managers and employees navigate the complex moral dilemmas that arise in their daily work? How can businesses balance their economic objectives with their social and environmental impacts? How can businesses foster a culture of ethical excellence that enhances their performance and reputation?




Business Ethics A Managerial Approach Wicks Pdf Download



These are some of the questions that are addressed in the book Business Ethics: A Managerial Approach by Andrew C. Wicks, R. Edward Freeman, Patricia H. Werhane, Kirsten E. Martin, and Bidhan L. Parmar. The book is a comprehensive and engaging introduction to business ethics that emphasises the role of ethics as a critical part of management success. The book covers a wide range of topics, from ethical theory and decision-making to corporate culture, governance, leadership, strategy, innovation, sustainability, and globalisation. The book also features numerous real-world examples and cases that illustrate the ethical issues and dilemmas faced by businesses in various industries and contexts.


In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the main themes and contents of the book, as well as some key takeaways and recommendations for readers who are interested in learning more about business ethics.


Introduction




What is business ethics?




Business ethics is the study of the moral principles and standards that guide the behaviour and decisions of businesses and their stakeholders. Business ethics is not a separate or optional branch of ethics, but rather an integral part of general ethics that applies to all human activities. Business ethics is also not a fixed or universal set of rules or codes, but rather a dynamic and context-dependent process of moral reasoning and judgement.


Business ethics recognises that businesses are not only economic entities that pursue profit and efficiency, but also social entities that interact with various stakeholders, such as customers, employees, suppliers, investors, regulators, competitors, communities, and society at large. Business ethics also acknowledges that businesses have multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives and responsibilities, such as creating value, satisfying needs, ensuring quality, complying with laws, respecting rights, promoting fairness, enhancing welfare, protecting the environment, and contributing to the common good.


Why is business ethics important?




Business ethics is important for several reasons. First, business ethics is essential for the survival and success of businesses in the long term. Businesses that act ethically can gain competitive advantages, such as customer loyalty, employee engagement, investor confidence, supplier cooperation, regulatory compliance, social licence to operate, innovation potential, risk management, crisis prevention, and reputation enhancement. Businesses that act unethically can face serious consequences, such as customer boycotts, employee turnover, investor divestment, supplier disruption, regulatory sanctions, legal liabilities, social backlash, innovation stagnation, risk exposure, crisis escalation, and reputation damage.


Second, business ethics is vital for the well-being and development of stakeholders and society in general. Businesses that act ethically can create positive impacts, such as satisfying needs, ensuring quality, respecting rights, promoting fairness, enhancing welfare, protecting the environment, and contributing to the common good. Businesses that act unethically can create negative impacts, such as harming interests, compromising quality, violating rights, undermining fairness, reducing welfare, degrading the environment, and detracting from the common good.


Third, business ethics is important for the personal and professional growth of managers and employees. Businesses that act ethically can provide opportunities for learning, reflection, dialogue, collaboration, empowerment, creativity, and fulfilment. Businesses that act unethically can pose challenges for moral awareness, judgement, action, and courage. Business ethics can help managers and employees develop their ethical competence and character, as well as their managerial skills and performance.


What are the main themes of the book?




The book Business Ethics: A Managerial Approach has four main themes that run throughout its chapters. These themes are:


  • The stakeholder perspective. The book adopts the stakeholder perspective as a framework for understanding and managing business ethics. The stakeholder perspective views businesses as networks of relationships among various stakeholders who have legitimate interests and expectations from the business. The stakeholder perspective also emphasises the importance of creating value for all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and of balancing and integrating the multiple objectives and responsibilities of businesses.



  • The managerial approach. The book adopts the managerial approach as a method for applying and practising business ethics. The managerial approach focuses on the role and responsibility of managers as ethical agents who make decisions and take actions that affect the ethical performance and impact of businesses. The managerial approach also highlights the skills and tools that managers need to identify, analyse, resolve, and communicate ethical issues and dilemmas in their work.



  • The practical relevance. The book adopts the practical relevance as a criterion for selecting and presenting business ethics topics and cases. The book covers a wide range of topics and cases that reflect the current and emerging ethical challenges and opportunities that businesses face in various industries and contexts. The book also features numerous examples and exercises that illustrate the practical implications and applications of business ethics concepts and theories.



  • The critical thinking. The book adopts the critical thinking as a goal for developing and enhancing business ethics knowledge and competence. The book encourages readers to think critically about business ethics issues and dilemmas from multiple perspectives and sources, such as ethical theory, stakeholder interests, business objectives, legal requirements, social norms, and personal values. The book also challenges readers to think creatively about business ethics solutions and alternatives that are feasible, effective, and responsible.



Summary of the book




Chapter 1: Ethics and Business




The nature and goals of business ethics




This chapter introduces the basic concepts and definitions of business ethics, such as morality, ethics, business ethics, ethical issues, ethical dilemmas, and ethical decision-making. It also explains the nature and goals of business ethics as a field of study and practice that aims to understand and improve the moral behaviour and impact of businesses and their stakeholders.


The ethical decision-making process




This chapter describes the ethical decision-making process as a systematic and rational method for making ethical choices and actions in business situations. It also outlines the steps and factors involved in the ethical decision-making process, such as identifying the ethical issue or dilemma, gathering relevant information and facts, evaluating alternative courses of action and their consequences, choosing the best course of action, implementing the chosen action, and monitoring and evaluating the outcomes and feedback.


The role of stakeholders in business ethics




This chapter discusses the role of stakeholders in business ethics as a key concept and framework for understanding and managing the ethical performance and impact of businesses. It also identifies the main types of stakeholders in business situations, such as customers, employees, suppliers, investors, regulators, competitors, communities, and society at large. It also analyses the interests and expectations of different stakeholders from businesses, as well as the potential conflicts and trade-offs among them.


Chapter 2: Ethical Theory and Business




The sources and principles of ethical theory




The application of ethical theory to business cases




This chapter applies the ethical theory to business cases as a way of illustrating and evaluating the ethical arguments and perspectives that can be used to address and resolve business ethics issues and dilemmas. It also compares and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of different ethical theories and perspectives, such as deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, rights theory, justice theory, common good theory, and social contract theory.


The challenges and limitations of ethical theory




This chapter discusses the challenges and limitations of ethical theory as a source of guidance and justification for business ethics decisions and actions. It also explores some of the possible responses and solutions to these challenges and limitations, such as pluralism, pragmatism, relativism, contextualism, and integration.


Chapter 3: Corporate Culture, Governance, and Ethical Leadership




The influence of corporate culture on business ethics




This chapter examines the influence of corporate culture on business ethics as a factor that shapes and reflects the values, norms, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours of businesses and their stakeholders. It also explains how corporate culture can be assessed and measured using various tools and methods, such as surveys, interviews, observations, audits, and indicators.


The principles and practices of corporate governance




This chapter explains the principles and practices of corporate governance as a system of rules, processes, structures, and relationships that governs the direction and control of businesses. It also analyses the roles and responsibilities of different actors in corporate governance, such as boards of directors, managers, shareholders, auditors, regulators, and other stakeholders.


The characteristics and responsibilities of ethical leadership




This chapter describes the characteristics and responsibilities of ethical leadership as a style and skill of leading and influencing others in an ethical manner. It also identifies the traits and behaviours of ethical leaders, such as integrity, accountability, transparency, fairness, respect, care, and courage. It also discusses the benefits and challenges of ethical leadership for businesses and their stakeholders.


Chapter 4: The Meaning and Value of Work




The meaning of work




This chapter explores the meaning of work as a human activity that has various dimensions and implications for individuals, organizations, and society. It also examines the different perspectives and theories on the meaning of work, such as work as a curse, work as a calling, work as a contract, work as a career, work as a craft, and work as a community.


The value of work




This chapter evaluates the value of work as a human activity that has various outcomes and impacts for individuals, organizations, and society. It also considers the different criteria and measures of the value of work, such as productivity, quality, efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, well-being, dignity, autonomy, creativity, and contribution.


The ethics of work




This chapter discusses the ethics of work as a human activity that involves various moral rights and obligations for individuals, organizations, and society. It also addresses the key ethical issues and dilemmas related to work, such as discrimination, harassment, diversity, inclusion, privacy, health, safety, wages, benefits, contracts, unions, whistleblowing, loyalty, conflict of interest, and corporate social responsibility.


Chapter 5: Moral Rights in the Workplace




The concept and sources of moral rights




and protecting the moral rights of individuals and groups in the workplace. It also discusses the sources and types of moral rights, such as natural rights, legal rights, human rights, contractual rights, and stakeholder rights.


The scope and limits of moral rights




This chapter examines the scope and limits of moral rights as a criterion for evaluating and resolving the ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in the workplace. It also considers the different arguments and perspectives that support or challenge the existence and validity of moral rights, such as utilitarianism, libertarianism, egalitarianism, feminism, and communitarianism.


The application of moral rights to workplace cases




This chapter applies the moral rights to workplace cases as a way of illustrating and assessing the ethical claims and conflicts that involve the moral rights of workers and employers. It also analyses the key ethical issues and dilemmas related to moral rights in the workplace, such as privacy, freedom of expression, due process, whistleblowing, discrimination, harassment, diversity, and affirmative action.


Chapter 6: Employee Responsibilities




The concept and sources of employee responsibilities




This chapter introduces the concept and sources of employee responsibilities as a basis for understanding and fulfilling the moral obligations and duties that workers have towards their employers and other stakeholders. It also discusses the sources and types of employee responsibilities, such as contractual responsibilities, fiduciary responsibilities, professional responsibilities, social responsibilities, and environmental responsibilities.


The scope and limits of employee responsibilities




This chapter examines the scope and limits of employee responsibilities as a criterion for evaluating and resolving the ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in the workplace. It also considers the different arguments and perspectives that support or challenge the extent and validity of employee responsibilities, such as loyalty, obedience, dissent, autonomy, integrity, and conscience.


The application of employee responsibilities to workplace cases




This chapter applies the employee responsibilities to workplace cases as a way of illustrating and assessing the ethical choices and actions that workers have to make in their work. It also analyses the key ethical issues and dilemmas related to employee responsibilities in the workplace, such as conflict of interest, insider trading, moonlighting, corporate espionage, sabotage, theft, fraud, bribery, corruption, and corporate social responsibility.


Chapter 7: Employer Responsibilities




The concept and sources of employer responsibilities




This chapter introduces the concept and sources of employer responsibilities as a basis for understanding and fulfilling the moral obligations and duties that employers have towards their employees and other stakeholders. It also discusses the sources and types of employer responsibilities, such as contractual responsibilities, fiduciary responsibilities, legal responsibilities, social responsibilities, and environmental responsibilities.


The scope and limits of employer responsibilities




liberalism, socialism, feminism, and multiculturalism.


The application of employer responsibilities to workplace cases




This chapter applies the employer responsibilities to workplace cases as a way of illustrating and assessing the ethical choices and actions that employers have to make in their work. It also analyses the key ethical issues and dilemmas related to employer responsibilities in the workplace, such as hiring, firing, promoting, compensating, training, motivating, supervising, evaluating, and rewarding employees.


Chapter 8: The Ethics of Job Discrimination




The concept and types of job discrimination




This chapter introduces the concept and types of job discrimination as a form of unfair and unjust treatment of workers and applicants based on their personal characteristics that are irrelevant to their job performance. It also discusses the types and bases of job discrimination, such as direct and indirect discrimination, intentional and unintentional discrimination, individual and institutional discrimination, and discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds.


The arguments for and against job discrimination




This chapter examines the arguments for and against job discrimination as a way of understanding and evaluating the ethical reasons and rationales that support or oppose job discrimination. It also considers the different perspectives and theories that justify or condemn job discrimination, such as utilitarianism, rights theory, justice theory, common good theory, social contract theory, libertarianism, egalitarianism, feminism, and multiculturalism.


The laws and policies against job discrimination




This chapter describes the laws and policies against job discrimination as a way of regulating and preventing job discrimination in the workplace. It also explains the main features and functions of the laws and policies against job discrimination at different levels, such as international laws and conventions, national laws and regulations, state laws and statutes, local laws and ordinances, corporate policies and codes, and affirmative action programs.


Chapter 9: Business Strategy: Innovation and Sustainability




The concept and types of business strategy




This chapter introduces the concept and types of business strategy as a plan and action that businesses use to achieve and sustain their competitive advantage and performance in the market. It also discusses the types and levels of business strategy, such as corporate strategy, business unit strategy, functional strategy, operational strategy, global strategy, and emergent strategy.


The ethics of business strategy: Innovation




This chapter examines the ethics of business strategy: Innovation as a way of creating and delivering new or improved products or services that meet or exceed the needs and expectations of customers and stakeholders. It also analyses the key ethical issues and dilemmas related to innovation in business strategy, such as intellectual property rights, research ethics, product safety, quality assurance, customer privacy, and social impact.


The ethics of business strategy: Sustainability




This chapter examines the ethics of business strategy: Sustainability as a way of ensuring and enhancing the long-term viability and value of businesses and their stakeholders in relation to their economic, social, and environmental impacts. It also analyses the key ethical issues and dilemmas related to sustainability in business strategy, such as resource efficiency, waste management, pollution prevention, climate change mitigation, social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and reporting.


Chapter 10: The Ethics of Information Technology




The concept and types of information technology




and process of collecting, storing, processing, transmitting, and using information and data in various forms and formats. It also discusses the types and categories of information technology, such as hardware, software, networks,


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