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     Volume 2 Issue 9 | March 11, 2007|


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Book Review

Business Ethics

Dr. A. R. Khan

Reviewer: Dr. Muhammad Mahboob Ali, Chairman and Associate Professor, School of Business Administration, The People's University of Bangladesh.

Eminent educationist Prof. Dr. A. R. Khan has written a magnificent book on "Business Ethics". The book consist of total eleven chapters which includes: Introduction to Business; Theories and tools of Business; Pluralism; Social Responsibility of Business; Managerial Ethics; Corporate Ethics; Code of Ethics and Social Audit; Ethical Expectations: Employers and Employees; Ethical Expectations: Buyers and Sellers; Environmental Ethics; International Business Ethics. Morever, in Appendix:A author has discussed Ethics in Banking-The case of Bangladesh, and in Appendix: B, author has given seventeen case studies related to ethics. Appendix:C describes selected Terms and Concepts and selected books and references are given in Appendix: D. Ethical standards in business sector are deteriorating sharply everywhere.

Actually ethics in business depends on human values. Unethical activities in business are related to both national and international activities. First chapter of the book is entitled" Introduction to Business Ethics" .The author argued that ethics which is a branch of philosophy deals fundamentally with the rules of human conduct from moral point of view (Page:1). The author gives extensive argument to describe History and development of business ethics, Ethics and morality, Morality and Etiquette, Business ethics in Islam etc.

In the chapter;4 of the book ,the author has tried to explain social responsibility of Business. He covers Legal measures for social responsibility, Historical process of the Development of Social responsibility, Government Business Influences, Social responsibility of Business in Islam etc. The author rightly observed that any organization which is serious about social responsibility must ensure that its efforts are producing the most wanted benefits (Page:62).

Corporate Ethics is described in the Chapter: 6 .This chapter covers Corporate Moral decisions, Opposing views of Corporate responsibility, Ethical rationale of restructuring and takeovers, Corporate ethical environment, Corporate ethics in Islam etc. The author observes that Corporation creates an environment in which unethical practices are more likely when they focus solely on profit and intense competition; when top management gives lip services only to ethical behaviour and fails to establish clear policies and adequate controls, and when they are intensive to the customer's best interests and public concerns about ethics (Page:87).

Chapter:11 covers International Business ethics. Unethical practices occurs in the International Business .This chapter covers Rationales of International Business, Misunderstanding about MNCs, Impact of operations of multinationals, Internet Business, International Business in Islam etc. The author argues that multinational corporations are not immoral in themselves. Following are the key issues: (1) MNCs operate immorally in the less developed countries by exploiting workers, by exploiting natural resources, and by reaping exorbitant profit; (2) MNCs compete unfairly in the LDCs , to the determine of the host countries; and (3) MNCs are major cause of the impoverishment of the LDCs , and of the unrest found there.

Currently more emphasis is being given to establish business ethics. Corporate social responsibility is getting momentum. Actually unethical business ethics creates distortion in the market and loss of producer surplus as well as consumer surplus. According to Professor Milton Friedman (1989), business should be involved in making profits which is a corporate social responsibility as along as they are within the law and following appropriate ethical standards which best serves the society and the economy at large (Source: Friedman, Milton (1989):”Social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”, New York Times).

Prof. A. R. Khan takes superb initiatives to write a book on "Business Ethics". I expect that this book will be suitable to both students and personnel of different organizations.

Dr. A. R. Khan
Rubi Publishers,
Dhaka, Price:Tk.200,
USD 25, Pages: VIII+ 207


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