Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter you should be able to:

  • Describe salient business ethics issues in precapitalist civilizations.
  • Summarize the ethical foundation of capitalism as argued by Adam Smith in the 1700s.
  • Explain ethical issues experienced in the United States since adopting capitalism.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the narrow and broad conceptions of social responsibility.
  • Appraise the historical shift back and forth between mandatory business regulations and voluntary ethical enhancements.
  • Apply the Optimal Ethics Systems Model to create a high-integrity work culture.