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å››3408765746 - CHAPTER FOUR ETHICS AND...

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CHAPTER FOUR: ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OVERVIEW OF CHAPTER This chapter examines the nature of the obligations and responsibilities of managers and the companies they work for toward the people and society who are affected by their actions. First, the nature of ethics and the source of ethical problems are discussed. Next, the major groups of people, or stakeholders, who are affected by the decisions that companies make, are examined. Then, four rules or guidelines that managers can use to decide if a specific business decision is ethical or unethical are studied. Finally, the sources of managerial ethics and reasons why it is important for a company to behave in a socially responsible manner are discussed. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Understand the relationship between ethics and the law. 2. Appreciate why it is important to behave ethically. 3. Differentiate between the claims of different stockholder groups that are affected by managers and their companies’ actions. 4. Describe four rules that can be used to help companies and their managers act in ethical ways. 5. Identify the four main sources of managerial ethics. 6. Distinguish between the four main approaches toward social responsibility that a company can take. A MANAGER’S CHALLENGE: DIGITAL PIRACY, ETHICS, AND NAPSTER Today almost all written text, music, movies, and software are recorded in digital form and can be easily copied electronically. Because so many people now make copies of music instead of buying it, the music industry has lost over $10 billion in sales revenues and therefore desires to stop this practice. For this reason, the music industry officials decided to pursue Napster. Their efforts to obtain a legal injunction against Napster to shut it down were successful, since Napster was violating copyright laws. However, many other Internet sites still exist on which music and other digital media can be downloaded for free. Why do so many people continue downloading free music if it is illegal? The obvious answer is self-interest. Is such behavior unethical? Many believe that this is a ‘victimless’ crime, and since no one is harmed, it is all right. However, this argument is fallacious. By weakening the rights of artists to reap the benefits of their creative product, persons are also weakening their rights to their own property. Jones, Contemporary Management, Fourth Edition 75
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CHAPTER THREE MANAGING ETHICS AND DIVERSITY LECTURE OUTLINE I. THE NATURE OF ETHICS An ethical dilemma is the quandary in which people find themselves when they have to decide if they should act in a way that might help another person or group and that is the right thing to do, even though it might go against their own self-interest. An ethical dilemma may also arise when a person has to decide between two courses of action, knowing that whichever they choose will result in harm to one person or group while possibly benefiting another. The dilemma here is to decide between ‘the lesser of two evils.’ Ethics
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