Good Intentions Aside: A Manager's Guide to Resolving Ethical Problems

Front Cover
Harvard Business School Press, 1990 - Business & Economics - 259 pages
In recent years companies have become increasingly aware of the connection between ethical behavior and economic performance. Once viewed as a cost of doing business, corporate ethics today is more likely to be seen as an asset. As we enter the 1990s, the goal for management is to foster ethical thinking throughout the organization. Good Intentions Aside addresses the theoretical and practical issues of recognizing and responding to ethical problems. By looking at numerous examples of tough moral choices faced by managers, Laura Nash provides the reader with real-world dilemmas that emphasize the relationship between good ethics and good business. She shows managers how to get back in touch with their own common sense standards of integrity by offering a set of conceptual tasks and practical questions to help them take a fresh look at their business thinking. Drawing on extensive interviews with scores of managers, Nash identifies the two primary reasons why well-intentioned people do not always maintain high personal standards in the workplace: traditional management assumptions about the goals of business, and habitual patterns of problem solving that tend to obstruct ethical thinking. The solution, according to Nash, is for managers to adopt a new framework that focuses on providing value to others. By making social relationships the top priority in decision making, managers can act on their good intentions without sacrificing strong economic performance. Good Intentions Aside makes an eloquent case for the link between ethical thinking and good business. It is must reading for the manager who understands the importance of developing high ethical standards to succeed in today's business world.

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