Chapter 2 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
Chapter Outline Introduction
Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
The Role of Ethics in Business
Recognizing Ethical Issues in Business
Improving Ethical Behaviour in Business
The Nature of Social Responsibility
Social Responsibility Issues
Objectives After reading this chapter, you will be able to:
• Define business ethics and examine its importance.
• Detect some of the ethical issues that may arise in business.
• Specify how businesses can promote ethical behaviour.
• Define social responsibility and explain its relevance to business.
• Debate an organization's social responsibilities to owners, employees, consumers, the environment, and the community.
• Evaluate the ethics of a business's decision.
Enter the World of Business The Leopard Did Change His Spots-They Grew
The son of a wealthy brewery executive, Conrad Moffat Black was born August 25, 1944, in Montreal. After leaving home at age 18, he earned a history degree at Carleton University, a law degree at Laval, and an MA from McGill. An avid student of history, he has written several books (including an autobiography) about politi- cal figures such as Maurice Duplessis, Napoleon, and most recently, Franklin Roosevelt.
Mr. Black purchased his first newspaper, the Sherbrooke Record, when he was 25 years old. Two years later, he added about 20 Canadian newspapers to his belt with the acquisition of the Sterling Company chain. Five years later, at age 33, he gained control of Argus Corporation (the parent company of Massey-Ferguson, a then prominent maker of farm machinery) and Domtar mining, and he acquired other interests including of course, more newspaper companies.
The audacious, and some say ruthless, businessman followed a system of buy- ing up titles in trouble, and then selling assets and downsizing until at one point he controlled more than half of Canada's newspaper companies.
In a well-publicized disagreement with former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Black renounced his Canadian citizenship to allow for his induction into the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour on October 31, 2001.
Two years later, Lord Black faced disgrace and financial loss when on November 17, 2003, he stepped down as CEO of US-based newspaper conglom- erate Hollinger International. The resignation followed the findings of a special committee that accused Black and other senior Hollinger executives, including COO David Radler, of receiving $31.15 million in unauthorized payments. Denying any wrongdoing, Black described his departure as a "retirement."
Numerous other allegations of financial malfeasance have resulted in a num- ber of legal actions in both Canada and the US totalling hundreds of millions of dollars. As of early 2004, the suits have not been settled and the allegations remain unproven.
It is said that those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Conrad...