How objective moral principles make decisions easier

A new semester, a new business ethics class. Although the students are self-selected—my course is an elective, I motivate them in various ways. For...

Altruism is not a guide for living—or for business

Most of us pursue self-interest every day: we eat nutritious food, engage in productive work (to have a purpose and to make a living),...

Are you a “people-pleaser”?

A graduate student once told me that he was feeling anxious about disagreeing with his supervisor about the direction of his thesis work, because,...

Why every business student needs to learn about rational ethics

We all need ethics, a set of moral principles, to guide our choices and actions. Since we have no automatic knowledge of the right...

How mistaken moral views explain bad economics

Morality poses the question: For what purpose should I live and how? Economics studies how to organize production and trade of goods and services...

Profit maximization is moral!

In the last class of my MBA business ethics course, a student commented that while he agreed that businesses must pursue profits to survive,...

Key to effective management: Objectivity

Management is commonly defined as the process of accomplishing common goals by working through or with people. According to Chester Barnard, American businessman and...

Businesses make the world a better place

Hollywood has a long history of businessman movie villains, from Mr. Potter in ‘It’s a wonderful world’ to ‘Wall Street’s’ Gordon Gekko and Lord...

Why business and force don’t mix

My recent post on the Pope’s misguided accusation of business for exploiting workers has received some reactions that indicate a misunderstanding of the role...

Why business people should be honest

In my years of teaching ethics to business students, I must have heard it all when it comes to justifying deception and lying in...

Does acting morally cost you?

I recently overheard on the radio  someone claim, discussing business ethics : “But of course, acting morally will cost you.” It gave me a...

Moral choices in business: altruism, cynical exploitation, or rational egoism?

Having recently concluded teaching an MBA business ethics course, I received unusual feedback from a student. He liked the course but told me that...