The proposition that business ethics actually matter, because, if ignored, they have a potentially fatal impact on any organisation, is a simple one to argue, and indeed everyone should agree that is it “a good idea”. What is more difficult to achieve, is the demonstration to a sceptical reader, of an understandable and justifiable assessment of why that actually is.
In this text, the authors state early that they never have any intention of competing with the wealth of volumes containing theoretical posturing on the beginnings, morality or philosophy of business ethics. Rather they seek to provide a practical, down to earth assessment of what each and every company or organisation can do to incorporate ethics into their day to day operations, and the likely consequences of not doing so.
Written in “textbook” style, it has short clear chapters, and is well supported by international best (and worst) practice examples, models, diagrams, and case studies.
Although featuring 19 different contributors, each with their own individual expertise and vision, their thoughts are drawn together into a highly readable and concise text.
Some critics may suggest that many of the book’s chapters state the obvious but this is helpful in clearly establishing what is required and how it is beneficial to be an ethical organisation, and in some cases the profound and inherent danger of ignoring the book’s advice.
As a general introduction and helpful guide to the area of business ethics for a non-expert, the book represents excellent value, and has persuaded me to delve deeper into the topic, and discover more about the theoretical posturings I mentioned earlier!
Alan Rankin is senior employee relations adviser at British Nuclear Fuels, Sellafield