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History of business ethics and stakeholder theory

The first part of your reading in Daniel Terris’ book will include an overview of Lockheed Martin’s organization and will lay out the research plan that Terris used to obtain information necessary for his work. This will be followed by a general overview of the evolution of business ethics in America.

Case Assignment

Based on your readings, describe what you consider to be the responsibility of top leadership in a large organization with respect to reaching a balance between profits and stakeholder concerns. Please support your position by giving some examples from the text or from other sources where CEOs did a good or poor job of finding this balance.

Terris discusses the history of business ethics in America since the late 1800s with respect to anti-competitive practices, seeking unfair advantage through immoral arrangements with suppliers and public officials, failing to adhere to laws and regulations, and lack of transparency. Discuss to what extent you believe things to be better or worse in the present day for businesses in general.

Describe welfare capitalism and its role as a forerunner of the contemporary business ethics movement.

On page 41, Terris discusses the ideas of Howard Bowen regarding the evolution of social responsibility of businesses. To what extent do you think his predictions held true since 1953?


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