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Business Ethics Through Movies: A Case Study Approach



Business Ethics Through Movies: A Case Study Approach

Wanda Teays

ISBN: 978-1-118-94192-8 April 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 320 Pages

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Business Ethics Through Movies: A Case Study Approach examines a wide range of ethical dilemmas, principles and moral reasoning that arise in contemporary business through a series of popular films and real-world case studies.

  • Engages readers in learning about ethical theory by using movies and both national and international case studies in business as the vehicle for analysis and reflection
  • Facilitates comprehension of ethical issues by showing how characters in films confront issues, make choices, and face the consequences
  • Draws from a variety of actual cases in Business Ethics – from the 1982 Tylenol poisoning and the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster to recent examples such as the Foster Farms salmonella outbreak and the chemical spill in West Virginia
  • Reveals the important role that ethics plays in setting the moral foundation of a business or corporation
  • Develops critical thinking skills through applying analytical checklists to ethical dilemmas raised in films and in actual cases in Business Ethics

Introduction to the Text i

Acknowledgements ix


Moral Navigation: Business Ethics & Society 1

1.1 Tools for the Journey 2

Spotlight: A Hijacking

Ethics Codes: Apple; Google

1.2 The Moral Compass: Integrity in Business 18

Spotlight: Up in the Air; Michael Clayton

Case: The Tylenol Case

Ethics Code: Johnson & Johnson

1.3 Show Me the Money: Greed is Not Good 38

Spotlight: Wall Street; Big Men

Cases: Martha Stewart’s Insider Trading; Costco’s Tainted Berries

Ethics Code: Costco

1.4 Talk to Me: The Impact of Technology 57

Spotlight: Her; The Net; Disconnect

Cases: Edward Snowden and the NSA; Target’s Data Breach; Target’s Online Tracking

Ethics Code: Yahoo!


Moral Leadership: Ethical Theory 76

2.1 Aerial Surveillance: Ethical Theory 77

Spotlight: The Insider

2.2 The Ends Justify the Means: Teleological Ethics 96

Spotlight: Contagion; Park Avenue: Money, Power,  and the American Dream; Blue Jasmine

Case: The Ford Pinto

Ethics Code: Ford Motor Company

2.3 Duties Rule: Deontological Ethics 117

Spotlight: Shattered Glass; Arbitrage; Quiz Show; Food Inc.

Cases: Beech-Nut’s Apple Juice; Minute Maid Lemonade; Foster Farms’ Chickens

Ethics Codes: National Public Radio (NPR); Dole Food Company, Inc.

2.4 Moral Character: Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics 136

Spotlight: Erin Brockovich; Roger & Me; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Cases: Kellogg’s and Michael Phelps; The European Horsemeat Scandal

Ethics Code: GM’s Corporate Citizenship; Kellogg’s “K Values”

2.5 The Caring Community: Feminist Ethics 156

Spotlight: The Company Men; Erin Brockovich;

Under the Clear Blue Sky

Case: Film Recovery Systems, Inc.

Ethics Code: Microsoft


Moral Reflection: Thorny Questions 177

3.1 Finding the Balance: Addressing Environmental Disasters 178

Spotlight: Civil Action; Local Hero

Cases: WR Grace Co.; West Virginia Chemical Spill; Exxon Valdez

Ethics Code: Exxon Mobil Corporation

3.2 Going Postal: Addressing Workplace Violence 194

Spotlight: John Q; Polytechnique;

Murder by Proxy: America Goes Postal

Cases: Gunman at LAX; The Montreal Massacre;

Virginia Tech Rampage

Ethics Code: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)

3.3 Stand By Me: Addressing Workplace Inequities 213

Spotlight: Made in Dagenham; Matewan

Cases: UAW and H&M on Pay Equity; The Fast Food Workers Strike; H&M and Child Labor; Marriage Equality

Ethics Code: H&M

3.4 Enough Already: Addressing Workplace Harassment 230

Spotlight: North Country; The Invisible War; Disconnect

Cases: Eveleth Mines; Bullies in the NFL

Ethics Code:

3.5 Working for Change: Global Justice & Human Rights 245

Spotlight: Sleep Dealer, Darwin’s Nightmare, Fires of Kuwait

Cases: Bangladesh’s Sweatshop Collapse, Coca-Cola in Colombia, Pfizer in Nigeria, Dunkin’ Donuts Ad Campaign

Ethics Code: Dunkin’ Donuts

3.6 Transformation: The Art of Personal Power 263

Spotlight: Groundhog Day; Invictus

Cases: Kudumbashri’s Work Skills Program

Ethics Code: The Coca-Cola Company


4.1 Movies in this Book 277

4.2 Cases in this Book 278

4.3 Ethics Codes Cited in this Book 279