LS311_Chapter_1 - 95735_01_Ch01_001-032.qxp 2:52 PM Page 1...

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UNIT CONTENTS The Legal and Constitutional Environment of Business Traditional and Online Dispute Resolution Ethics and Business Decision Making 3 2 1 95735_01_Ch01_001-032.qxp 11/5/08 2:52 PM Page 1
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he law is of interest to all persons, not just to lawyers. Those entering the world of business will find them- selves subject to numerous laws and government regulations. A basic knowledge of these laws and regulations is beneficial— if not essential—to anyone contemplating a successful career in today’s business world. Although the law has had and will continue to have differ- ent definitions, they all are based on the general observation that, at a minimum, law consists of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society. These “enforceable rules” may consist of unwrit- ten principles of behavior established by a nomadic tribe. They may be set forth in an ancient or a contemporary law code. They may consist of written laws and court decisions created by modern legislative and judicial bodies, as in the United States. Regardless of how such rules are created, they all have one thing in common: they establish rights, duties, and privi- leges that are consistent with the values and beliefs of their society or its ruling group. In this introductory chapter, we first look at an important question for any student reading this text: How does the legal environment affect business decision making? We next describe the basic sources of American law, the common law tradition, and some general classifications of law. We con- clude the chapter with a discussion of the U.S. Constitution as it affects business. As those entering the world of business will learn, laws and government regulations affect virtually all business activi- ties—hiring and firing decisions, workplace safety, the man- ufacturing and marketing of products, and business financing, to name just a few. To make good business deci- sions, a basic knowledge of the laws and regulations govern- ing these activities is beneficial, if not essential. In today’s world, though, a knowledge of “black-letter” law is not enough. Businesspersons are also pressured to make ethical decisions. Thus, the study of business law necessarily involves an ethical dimension. Many Different Laws May Affect a Single Business Transaction As you will note, each chapter in this text covers a specific area of the law and shows how the legal rules in that area affect busi- ness activities. Although compartmentalizing the law in this fashion facilitates learning, it does not indicate the extent to which many different laws may apply to just one transaction. Suppose that you are the president of NetSys, Inc., a company that creates and maintains computer network systems for its clients, including business firms. NetSys also EXAMPLE 1.1 BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT T 2 AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 1 What is the Uniform Commercial Code?
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LS311_Chapter_1 - 95735_01_Ch01_001-032.qxp 2:52 PM Page 1...

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