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Business Ethics
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Table of Contents

Introduction. Overview: What is an Ethical Dilemma? UNIT I: BASIC CONCEPTS. Overview: How do People Respond to Ethical Dilemmas? 1. Outcome-Based Decisions: Egoism and Utility. 2. Scope of Utility: Selecting Relevant Groups. 3. Kant and "Unique Human Dignity." 4. Kant's Duty Ethics. UNIT II: PURPOSE OF THE CORPORATION. Overview: History of Incorporation Law from Ford v. Dodge Era to Present. 5. Stakeholder Ethics. 6. Milton Friedman and Shareholder Ethics. 7. Stakeholder Focus: Employees. 8. Stakeholder Focus: Plant Closing. 9. Stakeholder Focus: Communities. 10. Stakeholder Focus: Customers and Dangerous Products. UNIT III: SELLING, MARKETING, AND ADVERTISING. Overview: Fraud and the 1st Amendment. 11. "Best Case Scenario Ads." 12. Quickly Flashed Fine Print. 13. Exaggerated Environmental Friendliness. 14. Celebrity Endorsements: What if the Celebrity Does Not Use the Product? 15. Marketing Unhealthy Food to Children. 16. Children and Violent Video Games. 17. Using Sex to Sell: Digitally Enhanced Images. 18. Ethical Selling: Labeling Sleight-of-Hand. 19. Marketing in the Public Schools. 20. Continuing to Market Products Found to be Dangerous. UNIT IV: OFFICE ETHICS: TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES. Overview: The Employment-at-Will Doctrine. 21. Discrimination Against Obese Workers. 22. "Don't Be a Hero" Policies. 23. Layoffs in Good Economic Times. 24. Sexual Harassment Policies and Workplace Dating. 25. The Family and Medical Leave Act and "Fake Illnesses." 26. Firing Workers Responsible for a "Big Problem." 27. Firing Employees who are Part of a Chain that Leads to a "Big Problem." 28. Employee Behavior Away from the Office. 29. Workplace Diversity. 30. Non-Compete Agreements and Arbitration Clauses. 31. Layoffs and Health Care. UNIT V: WORKPLACE PRIVACY. Overview: Privacy: Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Current Issues. 32. Monitoring Software. 33. Email Surveillance. 34. Drug Testing and Polygraph Testing. 35. Workplace Dating, Sexual Harassment, and "Love Contracts." 36. Background Checks and Social Networking Websites. 37. Job Applicants and Credit Reports. UNIT VI: EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION. Overview: The Ever-growing Gap Between Pay for Executives and "Line Workers." 38. CEO Compensation. 39. Taxes and Salaries: Egalitarian and Libertarian Policies. 40. Rawls' Veil of Ignorance and Fair Compensation Systems. UNIT VII: ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. Overview: History of Environmentalism from the Creation of the EPA to Present. 41. Dumping. 42. Cap and Trade and Pollution Credits. 43. Cars: Hybrids, Plug-ins, Hydrogen and Break-Even Costs. 44. Wind and Solar Power. 45. "Green" Buildings. 46. Corporate Donations to Support Environmental Initiatives. 47. "Perfectly Good Items": Wasteful Business Practices. UNIT VIII: SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS TO CUSTOMERS. Overview: Retaining Market Share, Lawsuits, and Legislation. 48. Customer Deception: Who's to Blame? 49. Credit Cards and Payday Loans. 50. "Microinsurance." 51. Using "Bad" Things to Boost Profits. 52. Store Cards, Search Engines, and Customer Data. 53. "Least Profitable Customers." UNIT IX: INTERNATIONAL ETHICS. Overview: The Global Economy. 54. Overseas Working Conditions. 55. Outsourcing Jobs and "In-sourcing" Jobs. 56. Subsistence Wages. 57. Fair Trade Programs. 58. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Bribes. UNIT X: ENRON AND "THE LAST BIG MESS." Overview: Sarbanes-Oxley, Audits, and Accounting Reform. 59. Intentional Misrepresentations. 60. Investors who are Given Faulty Information. 61. Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Disaster. 62. CFOs Pressuring Auditors. UNIT XI: THE GREAT RECESSION AND THE "LATEST BIG MESS." Overview: Root Causes of the Current Recession and a Comparison to the Depression. 63. Mortgage-Backed Securities and Root Causes of the Great Recession. 64. The Mortgage Meltdown: Big Investors. 65. "Outsourcing Yourself." 66. The Making Home Affordable Program. 67. "Strategic Defaults" and Foreclosures. UNIT XII: GOVERNMENT ACTIONS AND CORPORATE INFLUENCE. Overview: Branches of Government, Responsibility of Officials, and Lobbyists. 68. Politics and The Supreme Court. 69. Citizens' United Case: Free Speech, Corporations, and Participation in Elections. 70. Long-Term Unemployment. 71. Immigration Policy. 72. Health Care Legislation.

Introduction. Overview: What is an Ethical Dilemma? UNIT I: BASIC CONCEPTS. Overview: How do People Respond to Ethical Dilemmas? 1. Outcome-Based Decisions: Egoism and Utility. 2. Scope of Utility: Selecting Relevant Groups. 3. Kant and "Unique Human Dignity." 4. Kant's Duty Ethics. UNIT II: PURPOSE OF THE CORPORATION. Overview: History of Incorporation Law from Ford v. Dodge Era to Present. 5. Stakeholder Ethics. 6. Milton Friedman and Shareholder Ethics. 7. Stakeholder Focus: Employees. 8. Stakeholder Focus: Plant Closing. 9. Stakeholder Focus: Communities. 10. Stakeholder Focus: Customers and Dangerous Products. UNIT III: SELLING, MARKETING, AND ADVERTISING. Overview: Fraud and the 1st Amendment. 11. "Best Case Scenario Ads." 12. Quickly Flashed Fine Print. 13. Exaggerated Environmental Friendliness. 14. Celebrity Endorsements: What if the Celebrity Does Not Use the Product? 15. Marketing Unhealthy Food to Children. 16. Children and Violent Video Games. 17. Using Sex to Sell: Digitally Enhanced Images. 18. Ethical Selling: Labeling Sleight-of-Hand. 19. Marketing in the Public Schools. 20. Continuing to Market Products Found to be Dangerous. UNIT IV: OFFICE ETHICS: TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES. Overview: The Employment-at-Will Doctrine. 21. Discrimination Against Obese Workers. 22. "Don't Be a Hero" Policies. 23. Layoffs in Good Economic Times. 24. Sexual Harassment Policies and Workplace Dating. 25. The Family and Medical Leave Act and "Fake Illnesses." 26. Firing Workers Responsible for a "Big Problem." 27. Firing Employees who are Part of a Chain that Leads to a "Big Problem." 28. Employee Behavior Away from the Office. 29. Workplace Diversity. 30. Non-Compete Agreements and Arbitration Clauses. 31. Layoffs and Health Care. UNIT V: WORKPLACE PRIVACY. Overview: Privacy: Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Current Issues. 32. Monitoring Software. 33. Email Surveillance. 34. Drug Testing and Polygraph Testing. 35. Workplace Dating, Sexual Harassment, and "Love Contracts." 36. Background Checks and Social Networking Websites. 37. Job Applicants and Credit Reports. UNIT VI: EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION. Overview: The Ever-growing Gap Between Pay for Executives and "Line Workers." 38. CEO Compensation. 39. Taxes and Salaries: Egalitarian and Libertarian Policies. 40. Rawls' Veil of Ignorance and Fair Compensation Systems. UNIT VII: ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. Overview: History of Environmentalism from the Creation of the EPA to Present. 41. Dumping. 42. Cap and Trade and Pollution Credits. 43. Cars: Hybrids, Plug-ins, Hydrogen and Break-Even Costs. 44. Wind and Solar Power. 45. "Green" Buildings. 46. Corporate Donations to Support Environmental Initiatives. 47. "Perfectly Good Items": Wasteful Business Practices. UNIT VIII: SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS TO CUSTOMERS. Overview: Retaining Market Share, Lawsuits, and Legislation. 48. Customer Deception: Who's to Blame? 49. Credit Cards and Payday Loans. 50. "Microinsurance." 51. Using "Bad" Things to Boost Profits. 52. Store Cards, Search Engines, and Customer Data. 53. "Least Profitable Customers." UNIT IX: INTERNATIONAL ETHICS. Overview: The Global Economy. 54. Overseas Working Conditions. 55. Outsourcing Jobs and "In-sourcing" Jobs. 56. Subsistence Wages. 57. Fair Trade Programs. 58. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Bribes. UNIT X: ENRON AND "THE LAST BIG MESS." Overview: Sarbanes-Oxley, Audits, and Accounting Reform. 59. Intentional Misrepresentations. 60. Investors who are Given Faulty Information. 61. Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Disaster. 62. CFOs Pressuring Auditors. UNIT XI: THE GREAT RECESSION AND THE "LATEST BIG MESS." Overview: Root Causes of the Current Recession and a Comparison to the Depression. 63. Mortgage-Backed Securities and Root Causes of the Great Recession. 64. The Mortgage Meltdown: Big Investors. 65. "Outsourcing Yourself." 66. The Making Home Affordable Program. 67. "Strategic Defaults" and Foreclosures. UNIT XII: GOVERNMENT ACTIONS AND CORPORATE INFLUENCE. Overview: Branches of Government, Responsibility of Officials, and Lobbyists. 68. Politics and The Supreme Court. 69. Citizens' United Case: Free Speech, Corporations, and Participation in Elections. 70. Long-Term Unemployment. 71. Immigration Policy. 72. Health Care Legislation.

About the Author

Currently in his fifteenth year on the faculty of the University of Texas, Professor Bredeson specializes in business ethics, business law, and discrimination law and has received several rare teaching awards including the Lockheed Martin Excellence Award for three years running. He is also among the youngest recipients of the Board of Regents Teaching Award and was UT's nominee for the Carnegie Foundation's United States Professor of the Year Award in 2010. Professor Bredeson recently published the STUDENT GUIDE TO THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT with Robert Prentice and is the co-author of BUSINESS LAW AND THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT with Jeffrey Beatty and Susan Samuelson. He earned his undergraduate degree from the McCombs School of Business and J.D. from the School of Law at the University of Texas.

Reviews

Introduction. Overview: What is an Ethical Dilemma? UNIT I: BASIC CONCEPTS. Overview: How do People Respond to Ethical Dilemmas? 1. Outcome-Based Decisions: Egoism and Utility. 2. Scope of Utility: Selecting Relevant Groups. 3. Kant and "Unique Human Dignity." 4. Kant's Duty Ethics. UNIT II: PURPOSE OF THE CORPORATION. Overview: History of Incorporation Law from Ford v. Dodge Era to Present. 5. Stakeholder Ethics. 6. Milton Friedman and Shareholder Ethics. 7. Stakeholder Focus: Employees. 8. Stakeholder Focus: Plant Closing. 9. Stakeholder Focus: Communities. 10. Stakeholder Focus: Customers and Dangerous Products. UNIT III: SELLING, MARKETING, AND ADVERTISING. Overview: Fraud and the 1st Amendment. 11. "Best Case Scenario Ads." 12. Quickly Flashed Fine Print. 13. Exaggerated Environmental Friendliness. 14. Celebrity Endorsements: What if the Celebrity Does Not Use the Product? 15. Marketing Unhealthy Food to Children. 16. Children and Violent Video Games. 17. Using Sex to Sell: Digitally Enhanced Images. 18. Ethical Selling: Labeling Sleight-of-Hand. 19. Marketing in the Public Schools. 20. Continuing to Market Products Found to be Dangerous. UNIT IV: OFFICE ETHICS: TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES. Overview: The Employment-at-Will Doctrine. 21. Discrimination Against Obese Workers. 22. "Don't Be a Hero" Policies. 23. Layoffs in Good Economic Times. 24. Sexual Harassment Policies and Workplace Dating. 25. The Family and Medical Leave Act and "Fake Illnesses." 26. Firing Workers Responsible for a "Big Problem." 27. Firing Employees who are Part of a Chain that Leads to a "Big Problem." 28. Employee Behavior Away from the Office. 29. Workplace Diversity. 30. Non-Compete Agreements and Arbitration Clauses. 31. Layoffs and Health Care. UNIT V: WORKPLACE PRIVACY. Overview: Privacy: Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Current Issues. 32. Monitoring Software. 33. Email Surveillance. 34. Drug Testing and Polygraph Testing. 35. Workplace Dating, Sexual Harassment, and "Love Contracts." 36. Background Checks and Social Networking Websites. 37. Job Applicants and Credit Reports. UNIT VI: EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION. Overview: The Ever-growing Gap Between Pay for Executives and "Line Workers." 38. CEO Compensation. 39. Taxes and Salaries: Egalitarian and Libertarian Policies. 40. Rawls' Veil of Ignorance and Fair Compensation Systems. UNIT VII: ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. Overview: History of Environmentalism from the Creation of the EPA to Present. 41. Dumping. 42. Cap and Trade and Pollution Credits. 43. Cars: Hybrids, Plug-ins, Hydrogen and Break-Even Costs. 44. Wind and Solar Power. 45. "Green" Buildings. 46. Corporate Donations to Support Environmental Initiatives. 47. "Perfectly Good Items": Wasteful Business Practices. UNIT VIII: SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS TO CUSTOMERS. Overview: Retaining Market Share, Lawsuits, and Legislation. 48. Customer Deception: Who's to Blame? 49. Credit Cards and Payday Loans. 50. "Microinsurance." 51. Using "Bad" Things to Boost Profits. 52. Store Cards, Search Engines, and Customer Data. 53. "Least Profitable Customers." UNIT IX: INTERNATIONAL ETHICS. Overview: The Global Economy. 54. Overseas Working Conditions. 55. Outsourcing Jobs and "In-sourcing" Jobs. 56. Subsistence Wages. 57. Fair Trade Programs. 58. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Bribes. UNIT X: ENRON AND "THE LAST BIG MESS." Overview: Sarbanes-Oxley, Audits, and Accounting Reform. 59. Intentional Misrepresentations. 60. Investors who are Given Faulty Information. 61. Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Disaster. 62. CFOs Pressuring Auditors. UNIT XI: THE GREAT RECESSION AND THE "LATEST BIG MESS." Overview: Root Causes of the Current Recession and a Comparison to the Depression. 63. Mortgage-Backed Securities and Root Causes of the Great Recession. 64. The Mortgage Meltdown: Big Investors. 65. "Outsourcing Yourself." 66. The Making Home Affordable Program. 67. "Strategic Defaults" and Foreclosures. UNIT XII: GOVERNMENT ACTIONS AND CORPORATE INFLUENCE. Overview: Branches of Government, Responsibility of Officials, and Lobbyists. 68. Politics and The Supreme Court. 69. Citizens' United Case: Free Speech, Corporations, and Participation in Elections. 70. Long-Term Unemployment. 71. Immigration Policy. 72. Health Care Legislation.

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