Business Ethics Links

Business Ethics:

Wharton School of Business:

History of Business Ethics:

Cooperative Business Models

Business Ethics: Social Media

Jobs and Business

Marketing Statement of Ethics

Business and Environment

Buddhist Economics

Limits of Economic Growth

Sarbanes Oxley

Just Price



Business Ethics Films

TED talks:

  • The Future We Will Create
  • The Capitalism Paradox (several Episodes)
  • Environment: Project Makeover (several Episodes)

 Venture Capitalism

  • Something Ventured
  • Let’s Make Money
  • Unraveled
  • We’re Not Broke
  • The Flaw

Design and Environment

  • Farmageddon
  • Revolution Green
  • Urbanized
  • Addicted to Plastic
  • Dirty Business (About “clean coal”)(1:29:16)
  • Gasland
  • Tar Creek (53:36) (also property rights)


  • Somm
  • Three Stars


  • The Union: Business Behind Getting High

Reality TV Businesses

  • D.C. Cupcakes
  • Dirty Jobs
  • LA Ink
  • Miami Ink
  • Comic Book Men
  • Oddities
  • Construction Intervention
  • Kitchen Nightmares


  • Outsourced

Medical Business Ethics


Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (1:49:20)

GM Seeds

Environmental Ethics


Business Ethics Literary History

  • Ten Commandments
  • Buddhist Right Livelihood
  • Plato’s Republic
  • Aristotle’s Politics
  • Aquinas
  • Protestant Reformation – Luther, Calvin, John Wesley, R.H. Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
  • Locke, Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments,  Mill, Kant, Hegel
  • Marx, Lenin Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism
  • papal encyclicals on social justice: Pope Leo XIII 1891 Rerum Novarum,  Pope Pius XI  1931 Quadragesimo Anno, Pope John Paul II  Laborem Exercens (1981) and Centesimus Annus (1991). The U. S. Catholic Bishops in 1984 issued a Pastoral Letter on the U.S. Economy; “any system should not be contrary to Christian moral principles and should improve the conditions of the masses of humanity, especially of the poor and the least advantaged”
  • Protestants: Reinhold Niebuhr critique of capitalism Moral Man and Immoral Society; In 1993 the Parliament of the World’s Religions adopted a Declaration of a Global Ethic10 that condemned “the abuses of the Earth’s ecosystems,” poverty, hunger, and the economic disparities that threaten many families with ruin.
  • US: individual and corporate responsibility


History of Academic Field

  • “John Rawls… 1971, A Theory of Justice, had helped make the application of ethics to economic and business issues more acceptable to academic philosophers than had previously been the case. “
  • “Norman Bowie dates the birth of business ethics as November 1974, with the first conference in business ethics, which was held at the University of Kansas, and which resulted in the first anthology used in the new courses that started popping up thereafter in business ethics.”
  • “In 1979 three anthologies in business ethics appeared: Tom Beauchamp and Norman Bowie, Ethical Theory and Business; Thomas Donaldson and Patricia Werhane, Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach; and Vincent Barry, Moral Issues in Business. In 1982 the first single-authored books in the field appeared: Richard De George, Business Ethics; and Manuel G. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases.”
  • “Thomas Donaldson’s The Ethics of Business Ethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989) was the first systematic treatment of international business ethics, followed by Richard De George’s Competing with Integrity in Internal Business (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993)”


Business Ethics as a Movement:

  • Johnson & Johnson’s well-known Credo was written and published by General Robert Wood Johnson in 1943
  1. S. Civil Rights Act of 1964: prohibited discrimination of the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in public establishments connected to interstate commerce, as well as places of public accommodation and entertainment.
  2. S. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 enforced the mandate to take those aspects of workers’ rights seriously
  • 1970 Environmental Protection Act
  • 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • In 1978 General Motors and a group of other U. S. companies adopted what are known as the Sullivan Principles, which governed their actions in South Africa
  • In 1984 the Union Carbide disaster at its plant in Bhopal, India, which killed thousands of people and injured several hundred thousand, focused world attention on the chemical industry. This led to the chemical industry’s adopting a voluntary code of ethical conduct known as Responsible Care
  • 1986, in response to a series of reported irregularities in defense contracts, a special Commission Report on the situation led to the establishment of the Defense Industry Initiative (DII) on Business Ethics and Conduct, signed by thirty-two (it soon increased to fifty) major defense contractors.
  • 1991 U. S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Corporations
  • Corporate Ethics Officer, and in 1992 to the establishment of the Corporate Ethics Officer Association.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires, among other things, that the CEO and CFO certify the fairness and accuracy of corporate financial statements (with criminal penalties for knowing violations) and a code of ethics for the corporation’s senior financial officers, as well as requiring a great deal more public disclosure.
  • UN has developed a voluntary Global Compact for Corporations. The Compact, which was endorsed by all governments, contains nine guiding principles, which focus on human rights, labor standards, and the protection of the environment.
  • Here is why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical:
  • A new report finds 53% of financial services executives say that adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm. A former Wall Street trader describes why
  • What makes a good business?


Traditional Theories of Profit


Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement