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Business Ethics: A Case Study Approach



Business Ethics: A Case Study Approach

Stephen K. Henn

ISBN: 978-0-470-45067-3 May 2009 192 Pages

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An important guide for senior management on structuring an organization to promote ethical behavior and enhance performance

Designed for senior leaders of organizations–boards of directors; C-level executives; trustees; managing partners; government officials; and anyone tasked with a duty–Business Ethics: A Case Study Approach provides readers with an understanding of the human elements that drive ethical and unethical behavior and how to recognize indicators–both bad and good–of an organization's ethical make-up. Topics featured include: what drives individual decision making; how groups and environments influence decision making; the role of leadership; and much more.

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CHAPTER 1 Introduction.


Case Study: A CFO’s Dilemma.

CHAPTER 2 Why Are Ethics Critical?

What Is the Objective?

The Research.

Stakeholder Approach.

All Animals Are Equal, but ...

A Two-Way Street.

Uncle Sam.

Toward a Workable Model.

CHAPTER 3 Why ‘‘Business’’ Ethics Is Not Just about Corporations.

Case Study: The Duke University Lacrosse Scandal.

20/20 Hindsight.

The Burden of Expectations.

Case Study: The United Way.

A Broad Impact.

CHAPTER 4 A Historical Review.

The Ancient World.

Greek Citizens’ Code.

Military Codes.

Cardinal Virtues and Vices.

Business Ethics in Times Past.


Case Study: Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Case Study: Arthur Andersen.

The Nature of Man.

CHAPTER 5 Why Do People Behave Badly?

Moral Development.

Fraud Triangle.


Hierarchy of Needs.

Case Study: Walt Pavlo.

There but for the Grace of God.

Broken Windows.

Rending Moral Fabric.

CHAPTER 6 Work Environment and Group Dynamics.

Social Animals.

Relative Ethics.

Social Control Theory.

Case Study: The Stanford Prison Experiment.

Elements of Social Bonding.

Case Study: The Milgram Experiment.

Power, Authority, and Proximity.

Positive Peer Pressure.

CHAPTER 7 Leadership.

Tone at the Top.


Case Study: Václav Havel.

Outside Perspectives.

Case Study: The Smithsonian Institution.

Leadership Bonding.

CHAPTER 8 The Common Element—Trust.

Prisoners’ Dilemma.


The Cost of Trust.

Case Study: The Tylenol Poisonings.

A Well of Goodwill.

Case Study: Firestone–Ford Tire Recalls.

Two Approaches.

CHAPTER 9 Building an Army of Davids.

Herding Cats.

1 Samuel 17.

Breaking the Chains.

Basic Principles.


Case Study: Jordan’s Furniture.

Back to Maslow.

Moral Hazard.

Causes and Culture.

CHAPTER 10 The Positive Power of Peer Pressure.

The Gentleman at Dinner.


I Fly SWA.




In the Trenches.

Why Are We Doing This?

The Whole Picture.

CHAPTER 11 How to Develop Leadership.


Case Study: Whirlpool and Leadership Development.

Investing in the Future.

Emerging Leaders.

A Bias.

CHAPTER 12 The Logic of William of Ockham.

Law of Parsimony.

Is It the Means or the Ends?

The Whole View.

All Organizations Are Businesses.

Case Study: University versus Nation.

All about Me.

Case Study: Charles Ponzi and His Scheme.

Enjoying the Kool-Aid.

CEO and Trust.

Feeding the Wolf.


"Written for busines leaders, policymakers and anyone "tasked with a duty", this book examines the key elements of ethical and unethical business behaviors and outlines some of the psychological factors that may influence decision-making." (Book News, August 2009)