Ethics and ethical issues surround our lives, and libraries abound with great thinkers' attempts to understand them. Business ethics is no exception. In recent years, some of the finest minds from philosophy, business, and management have converged to explore the forces at work in the ethics of business. These scholars presently provide more useful and interesting approaches to business ethics than at any point in our history.
This book attempts to add to and (I hope) to improve on that pool of knowledge. It is a book for organizational and management scholars, philosophers, students, and, yes, even managers, interested in thinking aboutand thinking differently about -- business ethics.
As with many new projects, this book arose from a small and personal frustration. As I have become more involved in research on business ethics during the past several years, like others, I have been troubled by what seems to be a two camp approach to thinking about and researching ethical issues. On the one hand, management scholars -- armed with impressive empirical skills and a penchant for addressing concrete real-world problems -- explore the practical ethical concerns of today's managers. On the other hand, moral philosophers -- equipped with sophisticated theories of human nature and a broad worldview -- develop and refine theoretical models of ethical development and decision making. Business ethics represents the interface of these two camps and teems with current and potential insightful, intriguing research. However, most of what we do falls into one camp or the other, rather than both. That is, we often produce sound business