Business Ethics: The Big Picture
  • Publication Date: August 15, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781554814305 / 1554814308
  • 325 pages; 7" x 9"
Exam Copy

Availability: Worldwide

Business Ethics: The Big Picture

  • Publication Date: August 15, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781554814305 / 1554814308
  • 325 pages; 7" x 9"

This anthology asks students to focus on the assumptions underlying the activity of business. Why does society provide special protections for businesses? What is the purpose of a corporation? What do businesses owe society? And are there some things that shouldn’t be distributed by the free market? These questions are addressed through classic readings from such central figures as Smith and Marx, as well as contemporary selections. A number of compelling real-world case studies are also discussed.

This table of contents is provisional and may change prior to publication.


I. Foundations

  • 1. From Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill
  • 2. Deontology: From Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant
  • 3. Contractarianism: From Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
  • 4. Virtue Ethics: From Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
  • 5. “On the Harmony of Feminist Ethics and Business Ethics”, Janet Borgerson
  • 6. “On the Disconnect Between Business and Professional Ethics”, Alan Tomhave and Mark Vopat

II. The Nature of Business

  • 7. From The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
  • 8. From The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
  • 9. “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits”, Milton Friedman
  • 10. “The Why’s of Business Revisited”, Ronald F. Duska
  • 11. “The Profit Motive”, Anthony Flew
  • 12. “Noxious Markets” Deborah Satz

III. The Conduct of Business

  • 13. “Is Business Bluffing Ethical”, Albert Z. Carr
  • 14. “The Business of Ethics”, Norman Chase Gillespie
  • 15. “Corporate Moral Agency”, Peter A. French
  • 16. “Corporate Moral Agency: The Case for Anthropological Bigotry”, John R. Danley
  • 17. “The Fourth Wave: The Ethics of Corporate Downsizing”, John Orlando
  • 18. “Decency Means More than ‘Always Low Prices’: A Comparison of Costco to Walmart’s Sam’s Club”, Wayne F. Cascio

IV. Business, the Individual, and Society

  • 19. “The Moral Significance of Employee Loyalty”, Brian Schrag
  • 20. “Beer and Free Lunches: What Is Behavioral Economics, and Where Are the Free Lunches?”, Dan Ariely
  • 21. “Managing for Stakeholders”, R. Edward Freeman
  • 22. “Social Responsibility and Economic Efficiency”, Kenneth J. Arrow
  • 23. “Business and Environmental Ethics”, W. Michael Hoffman
  • 24. “The Business of Boycotting: Having Your Chicken and Eating it Too”, Alan Tomhave and Mark Vopat

Case Studies

  • The Trolley Problem
  • The Ford Pinto
  • Enron
  • Craigslist
  • TransAm Trucking v. Department of Labor
  • Further Cases


Mark. C. Vopat and Alan Tomhave are professors of philosophy at Youngstown State University.

  • — A compact collection of readings, designed to fit the constraints of a one-term course.
  • — Focuses on “macro” level questions regarding the role of business in society and the obligations of the corporation.
  • — Includes classic readings on moral theory (Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant, Mill) and economics (Smith, Marx & Engels).
  • — Contemporary selections are accessible and lively – ideal for student readers.
  • — Several real-world case studies are provided in an appendix.

You may also like…