The Balanced Company: A Theory of Corporate Integrity

Paperback | July 1, 2002

byMuel Kaptein, Johan Wempe

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The Balanced Company provides a coherent overview of the most important theories and insights in the field of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. This is an area of growing concern for corporations today - many have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) personnel and useethical codes in areas such as performance appraisals, staff induction programmes, supplier contracts, and so forth. Corporations are driven by more than a sense of ethical duty and idealism, however. There is clear evidence that the implementation of ethical codes can help to minimize legal fees,improve staff morale, ward off bad press, improve public image, empower stakeholders, and boost profits. But what of the situations where ethical decisions come at the cost of profits?Accessible and up-to-date, The Balanced Company presents criteria that can be used to measure, assess, improve, and report on corporate integrity. Tailoring the main ethical theories to the situations in which organizations function, the book also provides in-depth case studies at the end of eachchapter. These include coverage of Shell, KPN Telecom, and the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster amongst others. Part I describes the rise of business ethics in practice. General misconceptions about the field are discussed and a summary of common ethical theories is presented. It concludes with a discussion of the concept of integrity. Part II provides the theoretical foundation for the ethics of business anddiscusses the question of whether the notion of integrity is applicable to organizations and whether an organization can be viewed as an autonomous entity. Part III formulates practical applications based on the preceding analyses and arguments. For academics, this book sets out a unique framework for the development of theories and critieria; for students, it provides a clear explanation of business ethics, sustainable development, and compliance; and for managers, it presents a practical framework that can be used to develop theirorganization. The Balanced Company will be widely used on courses and training programmes in corporate social responsibility and business ethics. The book is supported by a website containing further information about the cases and questions for discussion (www.ethicsmanagement.org).

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From the Publisher

The Balanced Company provides a coherent overview of the most important theories and insights in the field of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. This is an area of growing concern for corporations today - many have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) personnel and useethical codes in areas such as performance apprai...

Dr Muel Kaptein and Dr Johan Wempe have been active as consultants in the field of corporate ethics, integrity, social responsibility, and compliance since the early 1990s. They assist profit and non-profit organizations in developing and implementing business codes by providing training sessions, conducting integrity audits, and sett...

other books by Muel Kaptein

Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.72 inPublished:July 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199255512

ISBN - 13:9780199255511

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Table of Contents

Invitation to DialoguePart I: Business Ethics1. Why Business Ethics?2. General Theories of EthicsPart II: Ethics of Business3. The Corporation as Moral Entity4. The Corporate Condition5. The Corporation as Social ContractPart III: Ethics in Business6. co-authored with P. Heugens and J. H. van Oosterhout: Ethical Criteria for Corporations7. Incorporating Corporate Ethics

Editorial Reviews

`The Balanced Company delivers valuable insight for twenty-first-century leadership in a new age of global business practice. Business organizations wishing to succeed over the long term will increasingly govern themselves by the universal principles of integrity; creating corporate culturesthat are defined by values that set a strong and clear ethical tone for employees.'Stephen G. Butler, Chairman, KPMG