Business in Action: Chapter 4 – Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

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ethics
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the rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or group
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transparency
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the degree to which affected parties can observe relevant aspects of transactions or decisions
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insider trading
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the use of unpublicized information that an individual gains from the course of his or her job to benefit from fluctuations in the stock market
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code of ethics
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a written statement that sets forth the principles that guide an organization’s decisions
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whistle-blowing
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the disclosure of information by a company insider that exposes illegal or unethical behavior by others within the organization
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ethical lapse
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a situation in which an individual or a group makes a decision that is morally wrong, illegal, or unethical
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ethical dilemma
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a situation in which more than one side of an issue can be supported with valid arguments
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conflicts of interest
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a situation in which competing loyalties can lead to ethical lapses, such as when a business decision may be influenced by the potential for personal gain
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justice
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treat people equally or at least fairly in a way that makes rational and moral sense
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utilitarianism
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choose the option that delivers the most good for the most people
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individual rights
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to the greatest possible extent, respect the rights of all individuals, particularly their right to control their own destinies
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individual responsibilities
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focus on the ethical duties of the individuals involved in the situation
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the common good
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emphasize qualities and conditions that benefit the community as a whole, such as peace and public safety
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virtue
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emphasize desirable character traits such as integrity and compassion
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corporate social responsibility (CSR)
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the idea that business has obligations to society beyond the pursuit of profits
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philanthropy
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the donation of money, time, goods, or services to charitable, humanitarian, or educational institutions
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strategic CSR
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social contributions that are directly aligned with a company’s overall business strategy
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minimalist CSR
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the only social responsibility of business is to pay taxes and obey the law
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defensive CSR
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company takes positive steps to address a particular issues only because it has been embarrassed into action by negative publicity
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nongovernmental organizations (NGUs)
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nonprofit groups that provide charitable services or promote social and environmental causes
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cynical CSR
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a company accused of irresponsible behavior promotes itself as being socially responsible without making substantial improvements in its business practices
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greenwash
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publicity efforts that present companies as being environmentally friendly when their actions speak otherwise
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proactive CSR
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company leaders believe they have responsibilities beyond making a profit, and they back up their beliefs and proclamations with actions taken on their own initiative
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benefit corporation
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a corporate structure which builds proactive CSR into a company’s very foundation and legally obligates it to pursue a social or environmental goal
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cap and trade
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a type of environmental policy that gives companies some freedom in addressing the environmental impact of specified pollutants, by either reducing emissions to meet a designated cap or buying allowances to offset excess emissions
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sustainable development
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operating business in a manner that minimizes pollution and resource depletion, ensuring that future generations will have vital resources
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consumerism
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a movement that pressures businesses to consider consumer needs and interests
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identity theft
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a crime in which thieves steal personal information and use it to take out loans and commit other types of fraud
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social commerce
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buyers help educate one another
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discrimination
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in a social and economic sense, denial of opportunities to individuals on the basis of some characteristic that has no bearing on their ability to perform in a job
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affirmative action
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activities undertaken by businesses to recruit and promote members of groups whose economic progress has been hindered through either legal barriers or establish practices

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