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Business Ethics & Other Paradoxes

Contemporary businesspeople face extraordinary ethical challenges. Changes in physical environments, technologies and societies are rapid and hard to predict. Commercial practices, from new hiring imperatives to international trade in carbon credits, are complex and quickly evolving. Many business decisions have profound effects on people across the globe, and even on the earth itself. Amidst the intricacy, dynamism and uncertainty of twenty-first century business, it is difficult to know what is right. Since no list of rules or standards of best practice could cover all our ethical dilemmas, we have no alternative but to think them through for ourselves. At the same time, the ethical dimension of our business decisions is under increasing public scrutiny: we must be able to justify our actions to others.

Business Ethics & Other Paradoxes guides readers through the thicket of ethical issues in modern business. The authors, who jointly have a background in commerce and philosophy, begin with an extensive account of critical thinking, a set of tools useful not only for ethics but for all decision-making. They explain how to argue logically and why the pitfalls of poor reasoning can be so seductive. The book then tackles the relations between businesses and their customers, their employees and society as a whole, covering the most important areas of business ethics in Africa and the world - such as the ethics of economic systems, advertising, product safety and liability, meaningful work, affirmative action, employee rights, whistleblowing, and environmental and global business ethics. It also examines how we make wrong choices, and offers some practical advice for realising a more ethical firm. A final chapter offers a detailed discussion and several case studies about the ethics of accountants in particular.

Written in an engaging, accessible style, yet philosophically deep, Business Ethics & Other Paradoxes takes readers right to the heart of many real and pressing issues facing people in commerce today. It will fascinate anyone with an interest in business, an open mind, a love of learning, and a desire to answer that most ancient and urgent of question - how shall we decide the right thing to do?