Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation

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Oxford University Press, 1995 M09 21 - 336 pages
In Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation, distinguished ethicist William Frederick explores issues of fundamental importance to all who aspire to conduct their business affairs ethically. He begins with an examination of the three value systems in business that are basically incompatible, and therefore in constant tension. The first is the need for managers to efficiently allocate resources for maximum profits. The second is the natural tendency for managers, in pursuit of the first goal, to accumulate power for its own sake. The third is the desire for people in the community to create relationships that will perpetuate these communities. Frederick brings in a range of ideas and concepts from the social sciences as well as the natural sciences to illuminate his discussion. In the final section of the book he explores a range of issues of current concern to managers, including corporate culture and technology.

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Contents

Prologue
3
1 Values in Business
5
2 The Original Values of Business
27
3 The PowerAggrandizing Values of Business
57
4 The Structure of Corporate Values
79
5 The Values of Managers
101
6 Ecologizing Values and the Business Dilemma
134
7 The Values Within Technology
168
8 The Business Ethics Question
209
9 A New Normative Synthesis
245
10 Business and the Moral Process
277
Epilogue
301
Bibliographic Note
303
Name Index
305
Subject Index
309
Copyright

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Page 3 - O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest in little place a million; And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work.
Page 16 - A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of ''conduct or end-state of existence. A value system is an enduring organization of beliefs concerning preferable modes of conduct or end-states of existence along a continuum of relative importance.
Page 3 - But pardon, gentles all, The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'd On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth So great an object; can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France?
Page 94 - ... rhetoric, the subordinate must extend to the boss a certain ritual deference. For instance, he must follow the boss's lead in conversation, must not speak out of turn at meetings, must laugh at his boss's jokes while not making jokes of his own that upstage his boss, must not rib the boss for his foibles. The shrewd subordinate learns to efface himself, so that his boss's face might shine more clearly. In short, the subordinate must symbolically reinforce at every turn his own subordination and...
Page 94 - A superior may share some credit with subordinates in order to deepen fealty relationships and induce greater efforts on his behalf. Of course, a different system obtains in the allocation of blame. Because of the interlocking character of the commitment system, a CEO carries enormous influence in his corporation. If, for a moment, one thinks of the presidents of operating companies or divisions as barons, then the CEO of the corporation is the king. His word is law; even the CEO's wishes and whims...
Page 94 - ... than stylized diversion. Because he stands at the apex of the corporation's bureaucratic and patrimonial structures and locks the intricate system of commitments between bosses and subordinates into place, it is the CEO who ultimately decides whether those commitments have been satisfactorily met. The CEO becomes the actual and the symbolic keystone of the hierarchy that constitutes the defining point of the managerial experience. Moreover, the CEO and his trusted associates determine the fate...

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