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BUSINESS ETHICS AND
2-2 What Is Ethics? (See PowerPoint Slide 2-1)
Use the opening “Consider” to pique students‟ interest.
Lance Armstrong stripped of titles for using PEDs
Lois Lerner and the IRS and targeting groups for audit
EPA employee who claimed that he was a CIA agent
Josephson data on students cheating in high school
2-2a“It‟s Just Not Right!”
Example – not waiting your turn in line
2-2b Normative Standards: How We Behave to Keep Order (See PowerPoint Slide 2-2)
Behaviors That We Frown Upon
2-2c On Line-Cutting and Ethics
Not Statutory Violations
Unwritten Rules of Conduct
Cheating in School
ANSWER TO CONSIDER 2.1: We worry because a grade and a diploma are evidence of
accomplishment and knowledge. For engineers, doctors, architects, the grades represent
knowledge that affects safety. The long-term effect is that we lose competence and
professionalism. If there is cheating, we have no way of knowing who has really mastered
materials, processes, and information. We use grading systems to evaluate abilities and if there is
pervasive cheating then those evaluation systems no longer work.
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 14
2-3 What Is Business Ethics?
Basic values (honest, keeping promises)
Notions of fairness (how we treat others)
Issues related to community, environment, neighbors
2-4 What Are the Basic Theories for Business Ethics? (See PowerPoint Slides 2-3, 2-4, and
2-4a Ethical Standards: Positive Law
Positive Law Is Codified Law
The Problem Is That Some Conduct May Not Rise to the Level of Criminal
Acquittals Do Not Mean That There Was Ethical Conduct
Use Enron Example on Legality of Off-the-Book Entities – FASB 1125
2-4b Ethical Standards: Divine Command or Natural Law
Moral Standard Is Established
Individual Moral Standards Differ; Example of Danica Patrick and Not Getting
Debate Over Sources of Moral Standards
Evaluate Moral Standards and Conflicts as New Data Appear
Example: Employee loyalty versus knowledge of employer‟s wrongdoing
Slavery Was Legal, But Not Moral
2-4c Ethical Standards: Moral Relativism and Ethics
Bribery Is Illegal in Most Countries, But Cultural Standards Have Taken Hold
and It Is an Accepted and Largely Unprosecuted Crime
Stealing Bread When You Are Starving
2-4d Ethical Standards: Religion and Ethics
Religious Beliefs or Divine Revelation (Bible, Koran)
Those Standards Are the Ethical Standards
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 15
2-4e Ethical Standards: Utilitarianism
The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number
Health Care Allocation
2-4f Ethical Standards: The Theory of Justice and the Social Contract
The Rules We Would All Agree to If We Sat Down to Negotiate the Rules for
2-4g Ethical Standards: Rights Theory
Behavior Is Restrained By the Inability to Violate Another‟s Rights
2-5 What Are the Categories of Business Ethics Dilemmas? (See PowerPoint Slides 2-6
2-5aTaking Things That Don‟t Belong to You
Example: Pens to postage to embezzlement; downloading copyrighted music from
the Internet without paying; the Taco Bell water cups
2-5bSaying Things You Know Are Not True
Example: Blaming others for your slip-ups; sales promises not honored
2-5cGiving or Allowing False Impressions
Example: Refer students back to the movie ads quoting reviews selectively to give
the false impression that the reviewer likes the movie; “All songs by „Original
Artists‟ example.” Use the subway/marathon issue discussed below.
ANSWER TO ETHICAL ISSUE (The Subway and the Marathon): The runners did not run
the race, but they represented, by showing up in Central Park at the finish line, that they had. The
situation is not governed by any laws, but those who took the subway and won their age
categories accepted the trophies under false pretenses. They also deprived the real winners of the
race of their victory and recognition at the time of the race. This is a form of cutting in line –
trying to get ahead using methods that are something other than good-faith effort and difficult
work. The parallels between business competition and this race are clear. We can always take a
shortcut and get ahead temporarily.
2-5dBuying Influence or Engaging in Conflict of Interest
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 16
Example: Those who award contracts accept perks from bidders; wife of attorney
general making $100,000 in cattle futures; university researchers who take funding
from those who benefit from positive results; elected official‟s spouse‟s foundation
receives donation from company or special interest group
ANSWER TO CONSIDER 2.2: Review the explanation and answers in the textbook (p. 47). To
help in your analysis, consider the following list of the parties affected by this dilemma:
Patients who took the drug Wellbutrin
Their family members
Other drug manufacturers
The public and public health – the decisions made might not have been the best for those
in these two groups
Many who followed Dr. Drew‟s recommendations, not knowing of his interests with the
Conflicts of interest is the category. Dr. Drew had a conflict. When you are recommending a
product, those to whom you are recommending that product need to know whether your
endorsement is scientific or if there is any compensation involved. He also took unfair advantage
– Dr. Drew had information that those making the decisions about the drugs did not have.
There are two ways to manage a conflict. You either do not take the money or you take the
money, but then disclose that you have taken the money. The fact that Dr. Drew‟s statements
were consistent with his clinical experience or that other doctors felt that he was honest and
straightforward in his answers are irrelevant. The fact that Dr. Drew had to justify his answers
after the fact is an indication of the conflict, not an excuse for not managing it properly, which
meant one of two choices: Don‟t or Disclose. A conflict is a conflict is a conflict and asserting
after the fact that you were not influenced does not change the fact that there was a conflict.
Conflicts matter because their nondisclosure affects those who are portrayed in a bad light as a
result. Further, a great deal of damage can come from relying on flawed studies, especially when
they are flawed due to a financial interest.
2-5e Hiding or Divulging Information
Example: In contract negotiations, failure to reveal important/material information;
with employees, revealing private information – hospital employees disclosing
medical information about famous patients
2-5f Taking Unfair Advantage
Example: Capitalizing on another‟s inexperience; credit card companies and
10:00a.m. cut-off (now addressed in Dodd-Frank bill)
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 17
2-5g Committing Acts of Personal Decadence
Example: Office parties that result in drunken behavior that harms others; HP CEO
and harm to HP
2-5h Perpetrating Interpersonal Abuse
Example: Harassment; sorority and fraternity hazing
2-5i Permitting Organizational Abuse
Example: Child labor issues, low wages
2-5j Violating Rules
Example: BP Deepwater Horizon rig and turning off the alarms
2-5k Condoning Unethical Actions
Examples: Disclosing problems and confronting violators – allowing someone else
to take the blame for something at work that he or she did not do; not speaking up
in their defense
2-5l Balancing Ethical Dilemmas
Examples: Downsizing – rights of employees vs. shareholder investment, doing
business in South Africa or China
2-6 How Do I Resolve Business Ethics Dilemmas?
2-6a Blanchard and Peale (See PowerPoint Slide 2-8)
Is It Legal?
Is It Balanced?
How Does It Make Me Feel?
2-6b The Front-Page-of-the-Newspaper Test
How Would the Story Be Reported? (Use Headlines From Salomon Situation)
Use an Objective and Informed Reporter‟s View
Warren Buffett‟s Warning to Employees
2-6c Laura Nash and Perspective (See PowerPoint Slide 2-9)
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 18
How Would I View the Problem If I Sat on the Other Side of the Fence? (JackIn-The Box and E-Coli)
Am I Able to Discuss My Decision With My Family, Friends, and Those
Closest to Me?
What Am I Trying to Accomplish?
Will I Feel as Comfortable Over the Long Term As I Do Today?
Forces Managers to Examine Additional Perspectives
2-6d The Wall Street Journal Model (See PowerPoint Slide 2-10)
Contribution (Herman Miller and Eames Chair)
2-6e Kant‟s Categorical Imperative (See PowerPoint Slide 2-11)
Are You Comfortable in a World That Uses Your Standards?
Discuss “The Golden Rule”
2-7 Why Do We Fail to Reach Good Decisions in Ethical Dilemmas? (See Exhibit 2.1 and
PowerPoint Slides 2-12 and 2-13)
2-7a “Everybody Else Does It”
ANSWERS TO ETHICAL ISSUES (The Cash Fishing Operations): Have the students discuss
whether there are risks in not following the laws, such as in paying taxes, even when you are able
to get away with it for as long as the Gulf fishers did. What were the costs of the fishers all
behaving in the same way? Is “everybody does it” a good business strategy model? Is following
the herd a good business model?
The Gulf Coast fishers had fallen into an „Everybody does it” trap, but it is not analysis. Who is
affected by your decision to not report income? Well, they are; other taxpayers are, with the
result being that they have no history of earnings, including for purposes of government benefit
programs such as unemployment and Social Security compensation. They were harming
themselves and missed that in their desire to fall into the pattern of “Everybody does it.”
Rationalizations such as these find us missing the consequences of our actions and decisions.
2-7b“If We Don‟t Do It, Someone Else Will”
Example: If we don‟t go into China, someone else will; the risks of human rights
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 19
Refer students to web for additional examples.
2-7c“That‟s The Way It Has Always Been Done”
Examples: Conflicts with student lenders and problems for universities
2-7d“We‟ll Wait Until the Lawyers Tell Us It‟s Wrong”
Examples: Peer-to-peer file sharing; complex instruments on Wall Street – legality
does not determine ethical conduct because hearings later showed that information
was withheld from buyers; although the information was withheld legally, the
ethical issue of false impression and withholding information remained
2-7e“It Doesn‟t Really Hurt Anyone”
Examples: Freeway rubberneckers, homeowners who walked away from their
2-7f “The System Is Unfair”
Example: Cheating does not improve the system
2-7g“I Was Just Following Orders”
Example: German border guards – sometimes morality requires disobedience
2-7h “If You Think This Is Bad, You Should Have Seen…”
Example: 35-day month was a lot worse than what we‟re doing now
2-7i “It‟s a Gray Area”
Example: HP and the pretexting
2-8 Social Responsibility: Another Layer of Business Ethics
Conflicts Among Business Interests (See PowerPoint Slide 2-14)
Shareholders – want profits
Employees – want safe and secure jobs
Dilemma: Does a company risk short-term profits by shutting down to install safety
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 20
Community – wants plant‟s economic base but does not want its environment
Dilemma: Should a company shut down to install state-of-the-art scrubbers on its
Friedman Perspective (See PowerPoint Slide 2-15)
Only answer to shareholders
Social responsibility takes money from shareholders
Should only undertake a project if it benefits the business; pollution control for
attracting workers is not for the community
2-9 Why Business Ethics?
2-9a Personal Accountability and Comfort: Business Ethics for Personal Reasons (See
PowerPoint Slide 2-16)
Not All Ethical Firms Are Profitable Firms
Not All Unethical Firms Are Unprofitable
Examples: Michael Milken and Boesky and their fates
Really a Personal Standard of Behavior – It Is the Correct Thing to Do
THE PARABLE OF THE SADHU
To assist in your discussion of the case with the students, ask the following and/or highlight
these key points.
1. Have the students list the business analogies:
a. Grueling course to reach goal
b. Only have limited time or window for reaching goal
c. Many challenges in achieving; rules of mountain climbing as survival of the fittest?
d. Ethical/moral issues often have short-term costs and inconvenience
2. Discuss with the students the cognitive dissonance that comes from one‟s personal standards
being in conflict with the rules of engagement in business.
3. Highlight what happened with McCoy on those previous climbs when he did not make it to
the top. Example: had a rich experience with the villagers that was more memorable than a
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 21
4. Note the regrets he had after the successful climb as he looked back not knowing what had
happened to the Sadhu and the resulting regrets.
ANSWER TO ETHICAL ISSUES (Am I My Brother’s Keeper?): Discuss with the students the
1. Perceived sunk cost is a pressure that drives the decision.
2. Desire to succeed drives the climbers.
3. Perception that rules are different for mountain climb vs. life.
4. Regard for human life.
2-9b Importance of Ethics in Business Success and the Costs of Unethical Conduct (See
PowerPoint Slide 2-17)
Short-Term Profitability Through “Ethical Shortcuts” Can Contribute to a
Executives Feel Ethical Behavior Strengthens a Firm‟s Competitive Edge
Johnson & Johnson Example of Tylenol Recall – Earned It High Respect and
Higher Earnings in Spite of Cost
Tylenol and the Recall of $100 Million in Inventory
Failure to smart-pig the oil pipelines
Saving money and not realizing safety issues
Production and profits down
Years to recover trust and market capitalization
2-9cEthics as a Strategy (See PowerPoint Slide 2-18)
Affords Opportunity for Planning and Ability to Answer Social Needs and
Cultural Changes; Use Union Carbide and Bhopal Example
Creates Goodwill Between Business and the Community; Absence of Goodwill
Can Be Costly
2-9dThe Value of a Good Reputation (See PowerPoint Slide 2-19)
Illegal or Unfair Conduct Stays in the Public Mind
Difficult for Firms to Recover Financially – Salomon‟s Lack of Recovery
2-9e Leadership‟s Role in Ethical Choices (See Exhibit 2.2 and PowerPoint Slides 2-20
Ethical Choices Are a Form of Voluntary Regulation
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 22
Remedying Problems Before Regulation Is Put Into Place
Examples of Abuses (Poor Ethical Choices) That Led to Regulation
Johns-Manville and asbestos
The Subprime lenders being regulated now
Self-regulation by music industry to avoid censorship of artists
Self-regulation on tamper proof would have helped
Use example of New Century and its collapse and lure of subprime money
2-10Creation of an Ethical Culture in Business (See PowerPoint Slide 2-22)
2-10a The Tone at the Top and an Ethical Culture
Those Who Lead Live Their Ethics Code
“Walk the Talk”
2-10b Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, Sentencing, and an Ethical Culture (See PowerPoint
Slides 2-23 and 2-24)
Sarbanes-Oxley Requires These Components in an Ethics Program Following
Collapses of WorldCom, Enron, Etc.
Dodd-Frank Elaborates on These Requirements and Expands Protections and
Compensation for Whistleblowers
Code of ethics
Follow-up on employee reports
Self-reporting of missteps
Sanctions and terminations for violators
2-10c Reporting Lines: An Anonymous Ethics Line for an Ethical Culture (See
PowerPoint Slide 2-25)
2-11Ethical Issues in International Business (See PowerPoint Slide 2-26)
Cultures, Laws, and Standards Vary
Issues of bribes, grease payments, and culture-related gifts
Problems of economic development where bribery is common
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 23
Lack of trust
Basic assumptions underlying economic model of capitalism don‟t exist and
make investment more difficult
Business Must Decide Whether to Operate Under One Uniform Set of Standards
Delicate Balancing of the Four Pillars of Trust in Economic Systems (Use Exhibit 2.3
and PowerPoint Slide 2-27)
Corruption in any breaks down investment
All four must be honest for markets to function
ANSWERS TO CHAPTER QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS
1. The court held that there was indeed a breach of the covenant not to compete that Ms. Miller
had agreed to and that what was done was wrong, but there could be no recovery unless the
college could show damages – they were unable to quantify their losses, so there was no
legal remedy. However, ethically, the conduct was clearly a disclosure of private
information or even taking the intellectual property of the potential student lists that
belonged to the college. In addition, Ms. Miller did not keep her word to not compete
directly if she left her employment, at least for a certain amount of time. [Stevens-Henager
College v. Eagle Gate College, 248 P.3d 1025 (Utah 2011).]
2. The gum is not yours. Title has not passed. You did not pay for it. It is not an intentional
crime, but you did take something that does not belong to you.
Most folks resist taking the gum back, even if they would drive back 20 miles to get their
fries if the restaurant forgot them at the drive-through. Here are some responses of students.
Go through each one and apply the rationalizations to them:
“It‟s not worth my time, trouble, and effort – not a big deal.”
“I have some experience in retail and it would cost them more to straighten it out than it
would for you to just keep it, so you should just keep it.”
“I walked out of a store once with a CD that I hadn‟t paid for and I didn‟t take that back,
so why would I take the gum back?”
“It‟s like this: Sometimes I don‟t pay; sometimes they overcharge me, but it all works
out in the long run.”
Bring them back to it‟s not their gum.
They have some flexibility – they could call the store and see what the store wants them to
do – store could make a gift. They could take care of things the next time they are in the
store. The store will survive if they don‟t take the gum back; however, this is a bright-line
exercise – you can see that you got something without paying.
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 24
3. BYU has established its values and has agreed to enforce them in order to create a culture
with its standards. BYU is not basing its decision on the immediate results – i.e., losing a
national championship opportunity. Rather, it is basing its decision on the long-term goal of
preserving its values. It may also enjoy unanticipated benefits in terms of recruitment,
4. The judge also reminded Mr. Scrushy that he is a convicted felon. Mr. Scrushy must now
wear a GPS tracking device, can no longer travel via private means of transportation, and
must provide probation officers with written summaries of his trips. This monitoring will
continue until he is sentenced or until his appeal of his conviction is decided.
The classic ethical issue here is giving a false impression – knowing what the terms of the
probation were and what the probation officer needed to know, Mr. Scrushy chose to hang
his hat on a technicality. Letter of the law vs. spirit of the law and could vs. should. Gray
area that netted him more punishment.
5. This type of cheating ring is fairly typical. When we were in junior high and had algebra
first period, we would walk out and find the students from 2nd through 6th period waiting
anxiously. We would say, “It was hard,” or “It was hard, but if you studied, you will be
okay.” Some folks evolved to, “Well, it was hard and you better know ________.” From
there others moved along to, “Well, it was hard, and you better know ________, and there
was this one question . . .” From there, students move along into assigning which questions
to memorize so that they can be passed along. Doctors who took the board certification
exam remembered exam questions, wrote them down, pooled their resources, and then sent
them off to their board-review course. The board-review course then included those
questions in their study materials for course participants. A comparison shows that the
questions are not identical, but they certainly did memorize the gist of them.
The doctors do pay for the courses and the doctors are dependent upon these courses
because, well, aren‟t we all a‟feared of just studying? We want a review course to take some
of that pain away. But, in the zeal to remove the pain some doctors and their review courses
have crossed over into just getting the questions. Hence, the ABIM scandal.
Stakeholders: exam takers who did not cheat; the testing company; the patients – suffer
because doctors may not understand medicine and treatment!
Ethical theory – would they want to be treated by doctors who could not pass an exam? If
they were setting up the rules, they would want certified doctors. There is rationalization –
everyone does it is not analysis of the problem and the implications for society. Integrity of
the doctors – can they be trusted? If they need the public on other issues, will they win them
with this kind of behavior?
INTERACTIVE/COOPERATIVE LEARNING EXERCISES
Have the students (in groups) use the ethical models presented to evaluate the ethics of the
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 25
1. The “Mommy-to-be-Doll” that features a teen-looking twelve-inch tall doll with a baby and
stomach that snap on and off. The doll is a top seller. Husband for the doll is an optional
2. “Crash-Dummy” action figures that break apart upon impact.
3. Bubble gum and candy cigarettes.
4. Quick-loss diet programs.
5. Radar detectors.
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Governance and Ethical Culture Failures,” CALIFORNIA WESTERN LAW REV. 39(2): 163-262 (2003).
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Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 26
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Governance – Restoration of Active Virtue in the Corporate Structure to Curb the „Yeehaw Culture‟ in
Organizations,” WYOMING LAW REVIEW 3(2): 387-511 (2003).
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Character,” CORPORATE FINANCE REVIEW 17(5): 41-44 (2013).
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Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 27
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FINANCE REVIEW 16(6): 40-42 (2012).
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Jennings, Marianne, “The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse,” EUROPEAN BUSINESS FORUM 25: 32-39
Jennings, Marianne, “The Sloppiness of Business Ethics,” REASON PAPERS 31: 109-124 (2009).
Jennings, Marianne, “The Story of Olympus: Missing Internal Controls and a Culture of Fear, Oddities, and
Reluctance on Governance Reforms,” CORPORATE FINANCE REVIEW 16(5): 34-36 (2012).
Jennings, Marianne, “We Don‟t Need Another Hero. Yes, Actually We Could Use More,” NEW
PERSPECTIVES 30(2): 13-14 (2011).
Jennings, Marianne, “What HP Missed About Ethical Culture in Acquisition of Autonomy,” CORPORATE
FINANCE REVIEW 17(4): 36-38 (2013).
Jennings, Marianne, “When in Rome?” EUROPEAN BUSINESS FORUM 31(4): 18-20 (2007).
Jennings, Marianne, “Why Do Smart Businesspeople Do Ethically Dumb Things?” CORPORATE FINANCE
REVIEW 11(3): 38-42 (2006).
Jennings, Marianne, “You Cannot Talk Your Way Out of a Situation That Your Conduct Got You Into:
Lessons in Ethics From the Murdoch Events,” CORPORATE FINANCE REVIEW 16(2): 37-41 (2011).
Jennings, Marianne, “You Get What You Reward,” NEW PERSPECTIVES 30(3): 22-23 (2011).
Jennings, Marianne, et al., “The Ethics of Worker Safety Nets for Corporate Change,” 12 J. OF BUS. ETHICS
Jennings, Marianne and Craig Carter, “The Role of Purchasing in Corporate Social Responsibility: A
Structural Equation Analysis,” JOURNAL OF BUSINESS LOGISTICS 25(1): 145-186 (2004).
Jennings, Marianne and Heather Canary, “Principle and Influence in Codes of Ethics: A Centering Resonance
Analysis Comparing Pre- and Post-Sarbanes-Oxley Codes of Ethics,” JOURNAL OF BUSINESS
ETHICS 80: 263-278 (2008).
Jennings, Marianne and Heidi L. Noonan-Day, “Disruptive Students: A Liability, Policy, and Ethical
Overview,” JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES EDUCATION 24(2): 291-324 (2007).
Jennings, Marianne and Stephen K. Happel, “An Economic Analysis of Academic Dishonesty and Its
Deterrence in Higher Education,” JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES EDUCATION 25(2): 183-214
Jennings, Marianne and Stephen Happel, “The Post-Enron Era for Stakeholder Theory: A New Look at
Corporate Governance and the Coase Theorem,” MERCER LAW REVIEW 54(1): 873-938 (2003).
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of Moral Reform,” 25 AM. BUS. L. J. 443 (1987).
Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 28
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“Stop the Madness: Just Do the Right Thing,” CORPORATE FINANCE REVIEW 9(2): 43-45 (2004).
“The Seven Deadly Sins of Corporate Ethics Programs,” CORPORATE FINANCE R