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Honest Work

A Business Ethics Reader

Fifth Edition

Clancy Martin, Joanne Ciulla, and Robert Solomon

Publication Date - October 2023

ISBN: 9780197617052

720 pages
7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

The only business ethics reader that makes ethical issues personal by highlighting the relationship between doing business and living a good life


Designed for undergraduate, graduate, and executive business ethics courses, Honest Work: A Business Ethics Reader demonstrates that business ethics is primarily about the ethics of individuals. With a unique focus on the personal dimension of ethics, it challenges students to consider the relationship between the ways in which people do business and the kind of lives they want to live. It features 105 brief articles and 70 real-life case studies and poses study questions at the end of each reading and chapter. In addition, a chapter on leadership explores the relationship between leadership and ethical behavior in business.

New to this Edition

  • 39 new cases and articles including coverage of Artificial Intelligence, public speech, social media, and more
  • New and updated coverage of whistleblowing, including the case at Facebook
  • New coverage of brand ambassadors
  • New coverage of economic inequality and wage stagnation


  • Makes ethical issues personal by challenging students to think about the relationship between the way they do business and the kind of life they want to live
  • Features 105 readings on such topics as the financial crisis, employment issues, globalization, and the future of the free market
  • Contains 70 engaging cases that bring the chapter subjects to life, provide additional material for discussion, and allow instructors the flexibility to cover topics from a variety of angles

About the Author(s)

Joanne B. Ciulla is Professor and Director of the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School. Clancy Martin is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Robert C. Solomon, deceased, was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

    1 On the Job: Everyday Ethics at Work
    Box 1.1: “Sloth: The Noonday Demon”
    1.1 Norman E. Bowie “Respecting the Humanity in a Person”
    Box 1.2: “W. D. Ross on Prima Facie Duties”
    1.1 Arlie Hochshild“Exploring the Managed Heart”
    Box 1.3: “Robert C. Solomon, The Passions”
    1.3 Caitlin C. Rosenthal, A Cautionary Tale from a Slaveholder's Journal
    Box 1.4: “John Stuart Mill on the Greatest Good and Expediency”
    1.4 Jerry Goodstein and Kenneth D. Butterfield “Restorative Justice and the Aftermath of Unethical Behavior”
    1.5 Jobs with Justice Education Fund “The Changing Nature of Work”
    Box 1.5 Worthy Work
    1.6 Harvard Law Review “Facial Discrimination”
    1.7 J Brennan, W. English, J. Hasnas, & P. Jaworski, “How to Manage an Unethical Workplace”
    Box 1.6: The Most Common Types of Unethical Behavior at Work
    Case 1.1 Gregory Barber and Staff, The Turmoil over 'Black Lives Matter' and political Speech at Coinbase
    Case 1.2: Sloan Wilson, “The Job Interview”
    Case 1.3 Joanne B. Ciulla, “Sleazy or Stupid”
    Case 1.4 Sara Fioravanti, “Working Two Jobs”
    Case 1.5: Joanne B. Ciulla, “Does Home Life Matter at Work?”
    Case 1.6: Joanne B. Ciulla, “The Best Person for the Job?”
    Case 1.5: Joanne B. Ciulla, “Attraction or Business as Usual?”
    Box 1.7: “Sexual Harassment Guidelines”
    2 “The Check Is in the Mail”: Honesty and Trust in Business
    Box 2.1: “Aristotle, Kant, and Mill on Honesty”
    2.1 Albert Z. Carr “Is Business Bluffing Ethical?”
    Box 2.2: “Nietzsche on Honesty”
    2.2 Sissela Bok “Defining Secrecy-Some Crucial Distinctions”
    2.3 Harry G. Frankfurt “On Bullshit”
    2.4 Niccolò Machiavelli “The Prince”
    2.5 Paul Ekman and Mark G. Frank “Lies That Fail”
    Box 2.3: “Transparency International-USA Program”
    2.6 Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores “Building Trust”
    2.7 Tamar Frankel “Trust, Honesty and Ethics in Business”
    2.8 Plato “Ring of Gyges”
    Case 2.1: D. Anthony Plath, “The Curious Loan Approval”
    Case 2.2: Robert C. Solomon, “Willful Ignorance? Or Deception?”
    Case 2.3: Clancy Martin, “Blindsided by Bankruptcy”
    Case 2.4: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Testing for Honesty”
    3 Money, How We Get It, and Where It Goes: Accounting, Finance, and Investment Ethics
    Box 3.1 : “Accounting and Mergers”
    Box 3.2: “Six Principles of Ethical Accounting”
    3.1 Edward J. Balleisen “On Fraud”
    3.2 Carol J. Loomis “Lies, Damned Lies, and Managed Earnings”
    Box 3.3: “Learning to Cheat?”
    Box 3.4: “Ethical Decision Making”
    3.3 Ed Cohen “Arthur Andersen Refugees Reflect on What Went Wrong”
    3.4 Robert E. Frederick and W. Michael Hoffman “The Individual Investor in Securities
    3.5 Markets: An Ethical Analysis
    3.6 John R. Boatright “Finance Ethics”
    3.7 Jennifer Moore “What Is Really Unethical about Insider Trading?”
    Box 3.5: Roel C. Campos, “Ethics Matter”
    3.8 Frank Partnoy “F.I.A.S.C.O.”
    Box 3.6: “Aristotle on Money”
    3.9 Paul B. Farrell “Derivatives, the New 'Ticking Bomb'”
    3.10 Duff McDonald “The Running of the Hedgehogs”
    3.11 Niall Ferguson “Wall Street Lays Another Egg”
    Case 3.1: The Democratic Policy Committee, “A Modern History of 'Creative' Accounting”
    Case 3.2: Lisa H. Newton and David P. Schmidt, “Merger Mania”
    Case 3.3: Richard F. DeMong, “SNB Annual Conference”
    Case 3.4: D. Anthony Plath, “The Accidental Bank Robbery”
    Case 3.5: Kimberly Amadeo, “The Stock Market Crash of 2008”
    Case 3.6: Joanne B. Ciulla, David Kirshenbaum, Scott Stimpfel, “A Judgment Call”
    4 Who Gets What and Why?: Fairness and Justice
    Box 4.1: “Plato and Aristotle on Justice”
    4.1 Adam Smith “On Human Exchange and Human Differences”
    4.2 Joanne B. Ciulla “Exploitation of Need”
    Box 4.2: “Marx on Alienated Labor”
    4.3 John Rawls “Justice as Fairness”
    4.4 Michael Walzer “Tyranny and Complex Equality”
    4.5 Robert Nozick “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”
    4.6 Friedrich von Hayek “Justice Ruins the Market”
    4.7 Gerald W. McEntee “Comparable Worth: A Matter of Simple Justice”
    4.8 Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook, Winner-Take-All Markets and Inequality
    4.9 Peter Singer “The Obligation to Assist”
    Box 4.3: Effective Altruism
    Case 4.1: Joanne B. Ciulla, Mickey Mouse Wages
    Case 4.2: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Burger Beefs”
    Case 4.3 Nick Wadhams, “Bad Charity (All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt)”
    5 Is “The Social Responsibility of Business to Increase Its Profits”?: Social Responsibility and Stakeholder Theory
    5.1 Milton Friedman “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits”
    BOX 5.1: “Expensify and Joe Biden”
    5.2 Christopher D. Stone “Why Shouldn't Corporations Be Socially Responsible?”
    5.3 Peter A. French “Corporate Moral Agency”
    BOX 5.2: Four Types of Corporate Social Responsibility
    5.4 Kenneth J. Arrow “Social Responsibility and Economic Efficiency”
    5.5 Richard Parker “Corporate Social Responsibility and Crisis”
    5.6 Alexei M. Marcoux “Business Ethics Gone Wrong”
    5.7 Paul A. Argenti “Corporate Ethics in the Era of Millennials”
    Case 5.1: Ana G. Johnson and William F. Whyte, “Mondragon Cooperatives”
    Case 5.2: Rogene A. Buchholz, “The Social Audit”
    Case 5.3: Kelley MacDougall, Tom L. Beauchamp, and John Cuddihy, “The NYSEG Corporate Responsibility Case”
    Case 5.4: Thomas I. White, “Beech-Nut's Imitation Apple Juice”
    Case 5.5: Thomas I. White, “Sentencing a Corporation to Prison”
    Case 5.6: Brian Grow, Steve Hamm, and Louise Lee, “The Debate over Doing Good”
    Case 5.7: Jagdish Bhagwati, “Blame Bangladesh, Not the Brands”
    6 When Innovation Bytes Back: Ethics and Technology
    Box 6.1: “Locke on Property”
    Box 6.2: Richard De George, “Seven Theses for Business Ethics and the Information Age”
    Box 6.3: “Foucault and the Panopticon”
    6.1 Elizabeth A. Buchanan “Information Ethics in a Worldwide Context”
    6.2 Jonathan Shaw: Artificial Intelligence and Ethics
    BOX 6.4: Ethical Issues in Artificial Intelligence
    6.3 Victoria Groom and Clifford Nass “Can Robots Be Teammates?”
    Box 6.5: C. Kluckhorn, “An Internet Culture?”
    6.4 Clive Thompson “The Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be over the Mind”
    6.5 Bill Joy “Why the Future Doesn't Need Us”
    Case 6.1: Joel Rudinow and Anthony Graybosch, “The Digital Divide”
    Case 6.2: Joel Rudinow and Anthony Graybosch, “Hacking into the Space Program”
    Case 6.3: Joel Rudinow and Anthony Graybosch, “The I Love You Virus”
    Case 6.4: James Losey, “The Internet's Intolerable Acts”
    Case 6.5: Emily Bell, The Modern Dilemma of TikTok Journalism
    Case 6.6 Jodi Kantor, Karen Weise and Grace Ashford, Inside Amazon's Worst Human Resource Problem
    7 The Art of Seduction: The Ethics of Advertising, Marketing, and Sales
    7.1 Thorstein Veblen “Conspicuous Consumption”
    7.2 John Kenneth Galbraith “The Dependence Effect”
    Box 7.1: Plato on the Danger of Believing Bad Arguments
    7.3 Friedrich von Hayek “The Non Sequitur of the 'Dependence Effect'”
    7.4 Alan Goldman “The Justification of Advertising in a Market Economy”
    Box 7.2: Alexandra Gibbs and Nancy Hungerford, CNBC, “Marketing to Millennials”
    7.5 Leslie Savan “The Bribed Soul”
    Box 7.3: “Ask Me no Questions EL”
    7.6 Smith, Kendell, Knighton, and Wright, “Rise of the Brand Ambassador”
    Case 7.1: Rogene A. Buchholz, “Advertising at Better Foods”
    Case 7.2: Joseph R. Desjardins and John J. McCall, “Advertising's Image of Women”
    Case 7.3: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Hucksters in the Classroom”
    Case 7.4: Scott Croker, “Energy Drinks, Do They Really Work?”
    Case 7.5: Sophie Aubrey, “So Many Are Unethical”
    8 Things Fall Apart: Product Liability and Consumers
    8.1 Peter Huber “Liability”
    Box 8.1: Definition of Liability
    8.2 Stanley J. Modic “How We Got into This Mess”
    8.3 Warren E. Burger “Too Many Lawyers, Too Many Suits”
    8.4 Mark Dowie “Pinto Madness”
    8.5 Judith Jarvis Thomson “Remarks on Causation and Liability”
    BOX 8.2: Hume on Promises
    8.6 Adam Thierer “When the Trial Lawyers Come for the Robot Cars”
    Case 8.1: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “The Skateboard Scare”
    Case 8.2: Joseph R. Desjardins and John J. McCall, “Children and Reasonably Safe Products”
    Case 8.3: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Living and Dying with Asbestos”
    Case 8.4: Kenneth B. Moll and Associates, “Merck and Vioxx”
    Case 8.5: Claude Wyle, “The Top 10 Most Dangerous Toys of All Time”
    Case 8.6: Jack Bouboushian, “Ten More Deaths Blamed on Plavix”
    9 “You Know How to Whistle, Don't You?”: Whistle-Blowing, Company Loyalty, and Employee Responsibility
    9.1 Frederick Bruce Bird “Moral Muteness and Moral Blindness”
    Box 9.1: “Martin Luther King on Silence”
    9.2 Michael Davis, Some Paradoxes of Whistle-Blowing
    Box 9.2 Whistleblowing and Leaking
    9.3 George D. Randals Loyalty, Corporations, and Community
    Box 9.3: “How Some Employers Buy Loyalty”
    9.4 David E. Soles “Four Concepts of Loyalty”
    Box 9.4: Robert C. Solomon and Clancy Martin, “Blind to Earned Loyalty”
    Case 9.1 Jeff Horwitz, The Facebook Whistler
    Box 9.5: Jim Yardley, “The Upside of Whistle-Blowing”
    Case 9.2: Pat L. Burr, “Would You Blow the Whistle on Yourself?”
    Box 9.6: The Sarbones-Oxley Act and Whistleblower Rights
    Case 9.3: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Changing Jobs and Changing Loyalties”
    10 Think Local, Act Global: International Business
    10.1 Anthony Kwame Appiah “Global Villages”
    Box 10.1: “Isaiah Berlin on Values”
    10.2 Thomas Donaldson “Values in Tension: Ethics Away from Home”
    10.3 John T. Noonan Jr. “A Quick Look at the History of Bribes”
    Box 10.2: “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”
    10.4 Florian Wettstein “Silence and Complicity: Elements of a Corporate Duty to Speak Out Against the Violation of Human Rights”
    Box 10.3: “The Global Compact”
    10.5 Denis G. Arnold and Norman E. Bowie, “Sweatshops and Respect for Persons”
    Box 10.4: “A Defense of Sweatshops”
    10.6 Peter R. Woods and David A. Lamond, “What Would Confucius Do?”
    Case 10.1: Joanne B. Ciulla, “The Oil Rig”
    Case 10.2: Thomas Dunfee and Diana Robertson, “Foreign Assignment”
    Case 10.3: Karen Marquiss and Joanne B. Ciulla, “The Quandary at PureDrug”
    Case 10.4: Judith Schrempf-Stirling and Guido Palazzo, “IBM's Business with Hitler: An Inconvenient Past”
    Case 10.5: Emily Black and Miriam Eapen, “Suicides at Foxconn”
    Box 10.6: “Interns at Foxconn”
    11 Working with Mother Nature: Environmental Ethics and Business Ecology
    Box 11.1: “Native American Proverb”
    11.1 Aldo Leopold “The Land Ethic”
    11.2 Mark Sagoff “At the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima or Why Political Questions Are Not All Economic”
    Box 11.2: Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, “The Earth and Myself Are of One Mind”
    11.3 William F. Baxter “People or Penguins”
    Box 11.3: Milton Friedman, “On Pollution”
    11.4 Norman Bowie “Morality, Money, and Motor Cars”
    Box 11.4: Vine Deloria, “Land as a Commodity”
    Box 11.5: “Who Owns the Earth?”
    11.5 Peter Singer “The Place of Nonhumans in Environmental Issues”
    11.6 UNESCO “The Ethical Principles of Climate Change”
    Box 11.6: Luther Standing Bear, “The Tame Land”
    11.7 PBS “Should We Grow GMO Crops?”
    11.8 Elliott Hyman, “Who's Really Responsible for Climate Change”
    Case 11.1: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Made in the U.S.A.- And Dumped”
    Case 11.2: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “The Fordasaurus”
    Case 11.3: Denis G. Arnold, “Texaco in the Ecuadorean Amazon”
    Case 11.4: Cheryl Davenport, “The Broken “Buy-One, Give-One” Model: 3 Ways to Save Toms Shoes”
    Case 11.5: Morgan Carroll and Rhonda Fields, “Protect Us from Fracking”
    Case 11.6: Bommier, Renouard, Fitzpatrick, Polefrone: Three Brief Discussions of Corporate Responsibility in the Climate Crisis”
    12 When the Buck Stops Here: Leadership
    12.1 Niccolò Machiavelli “Is It Better to Be Loved than Feared?”
    Box 12.1: “Lao Tzu and Tao-Te-Ching”
    12.2 Joanne B. Ciulla “The Moral Pitfalls of Being a Leader”
    Box 12.2: “Messed Up Leaders”
    12.3 Al Gini “Moral Leadership and Business Ethics”
    12.4 Joanne B. Ciulla “Why Business Leaders' Values Matter”
    12.5 The Globe Project
    12.6 Dean C. Ludwig and Clinton O. Longenecker “The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders”
    12.7 Robert Greenleaf “Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness”
    Case 12.1: George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”
    Case 12.2 Ruth Capriles, “Rags to Riches to Rags”
    Case 12.3: Mary Ann Glynn and Timothy J. Dowd, “Martha Stewart Focuses on Her Salad”
    Case 12.4: Joanne B. Ciulla, “Merck and Roy Vagelos: The Values of Leaders”
    Case 12.5: Katherine Burton and Saijel Kishan, “How Raj Rajaratnam Gave Galleon Group Its 'Edge'”
    13 Who's Minding the Store?: The Ethics of Corporate Governance
    13.1 Ralph Nader, Mark Green, and Joel Seligman “Who Rules the Corporation?”
    13.2 Irving S. Shapiro “Power and Accountability: The Changing Role of the Corporate Board of Directors”
    Box 13.1: Immanuel Kant, “Advice for Corporate Directors”
    Box 13.2: Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Corporate Governance
    13.3 Rebecca Reisner “When Does the CEO Just Quit?”
    Box 13.3 Major Provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002
    13.4 Thomas W. Dunfee “Corporate Governance in a Market with Morality”
    13.5 John J. McCall “Employee Voice in Corporate Governance: A Defense of Strong Participation Rights”
    Box 13.4: Warren Buffett, “Advice to Outside Auditors”
    13.6 Eric Jackson “Why Corporate Governance Is So Important to China”
    Case 13.1: Michael Lewis, “Selling Your Sole at Birkenstock”
    Case 13.2: Dennis Moberg and Edward Romar, “The Good Old Boys at WorldCom”
    Case 13.3: Robert Reich, “Corporate Governance and Democracy”
    Case 13.4: Lefteris Pitarakis, “Fight Corporate Crimes with More Than Fines”
    14 Is Everything for Sale?: The Future of the Free Market
    14.1 Aristotle “Two Kinds of Commerce”
    14.2 Adam Smith “The Benefits of Capitalism”
    14.3 Karl Marx “Commodity Fetishism”
    14.4 Robert Heilbroner “Reflections on the Triumph of Capitalism”
    14.5 John Stuart Mill “Laissez-Faire and Education”
    14.6 John Maynard Keynes “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren”
    14.7 E. F. Schumacher “Buddhist Economics”
    14.8 Amartya Sen “The Economics of Poverty”
    14.9 Daniel Bell “The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism”
    14.10 Thomas Frank “Too Smart to Fail: Notes on an Age of Folly”
    14.11 Robert Kuttner “Everything for Sale”
    14.12 Dave Davies and Sheelah Kolhatkar “Another Insider Trading Scandal...”
    Case 14.1: William H. Shaw and Vincent Barry, “Blood for Sale”
    Case 14.2: Owen Jones, “Eat the Rich”
    15 The Good Life
    15.1 Robert C. Solomon “Strategic Planning-For the Good Life”
    15.2 Aristotle “On the Good Life”
    15.3 Epicurus “On Pleasure”
    15.4 Plato, One the Wants and Needs for a Good Life
    Box 15.1: “Adam Smith on Capitalism”
    15.5 Joanne B. Ciulla “Work and Values”
    Box 15.2: Viktor Frankl, “Tragic Optimism”
    15.6 Solomon Schimmel “Greed”
    Box 15.3: Why We Make Ourselves Miserable
    15.7 Joanne B. Ciulla “Meaningful Work and Meaningful Lives”
    15.8 Lynne McFall “Integrity”
    Box 15.4: “Leisure and Business”
    15.9 Bertrand Russell “Impersonal Interests”
    Case 15.1: Justin Bariso, Netflix's Unlimited Time Off
    Box 15.5: “A Happiness Box”
    Case 15.2: Arthur Miller, “A Life Badly Lived”
    Case 15.3: Bowen H. McCoy, “The Parable of the Sadhu”