The Ethical Enterprise

Doing the Right Things In The Right Ways, Today and Tomorrow

by James W. Forcade , Jay J. Jamrog

Number of pages: 87

Publisher: The American Management Association

BBB Library: Corporate Success

ISBN: 243598453

About the Authors

James W. Forcade : James W. Forcade retired from PepsiCo with 30 years of human


Jay J. Jamrog : Jay is a futurist. As the Senior Vice President of Research


Editorial Review

If you put the words history of business ethics into a search engine on the Internet, you can come up with more than 34,000,000 hits in 0.18 of a second. Most of those hits would focus on the scandals that occurred in the last 30 years only. That’s when the idea of what we now call business ethics truly emerged. But its theoretical history goes back far more in time. In the 1700s century, moral philosopher Immanuel Kant stated that “Ethical law is a product of reason and must be obeyed”. Kant refused to judge laws according to their results or utility, but only according to their morality. At the same time, came Adam Smith, and called for liberalizing businesses to enable them to freely pursue profits. Then came the utilitarianism and it is advocates who said: “The useful is the good; only the result of an act determines whether it is right”. So businesses were constantly moving away from ethics and heading towards profits and freedom. It was no surprise then, that in the 1800s many thinkers considered most businesses unethical. But in the 1900s, many thinkers tried to teach businesses how to act ethically.

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

A business must only make or sell merchandise of reliable quality for the lowest possible practicable price, provided that merchandise is made and sold under just conditions.

Corporate accountability is the legal obligation to behave in a socially acceptable way or face criminal and/or civil penalties. CSR, on the other hand, is voluntary and not mandated by any law.

Improvements in the ethical environment can be most effectively driven from the top of the organization.

Many global companies lack effective programs to boost their reputations for being socially responsible to the local people. That must change in the coming years.

“If you have integrity, you can never fail. If you lose your integrity, you can never succeed.”