Business Ethics & CSR

Business (Corporate) Ethics

Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and business organizations as a whole. Applied ethics is a field of ethics that deals with ethical questions in many fields such as medical, technical, legal and business ethics. (Tawanda Vaughan from Business Ethics)

opensuny logoGood Corporation, Bad Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Economy provides an innovative, internationally-oriented approach to the teaching of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and business ethics. Drawing on case studies involving companies and countries around the world, the textbook explores the social, ethical and business dynamics underlying CSR (from OpenSuny). Full Text.


Examples of Scholarly Journals

Journal of Business Ethics
“Original articles and reviews concerning ethical issues related to business, and analyses of systems of production, consumption, marketing, advertising, social and economic accounting, public relations and organizational behavior from a moral viewpoint.” Full Text Nov 1987 – present.

Journal of Corporate Citizenship
“Aims to publish ideas integrating the theory & practice of corporate responsibility in a format that is readable, accessible, engaging & useful for readers in business & academia.” 1 year embargo


Full-Text Books @ the Library

book cover imageHow They Got Away with It : White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown

Teaching Ethics
“This book examines critical issues facing business, including hostile takeovers; conflicts of interest; failures in, and remedies for, the global banking system, as well as Ethics in the context of corruption prevention”

Ethics, Governance and Corporate Crime : Challenges and Consequences

Corporate ethics (print Stacks HF 5387 .F738 1995)

Encyclopedia of Business Ethics & Society (print Reference HF 5387 .E53 2008)


Educational Films (streaming)

fod logoGender Inequality (10:21)
Talks about how gender equality at the highest levels benefits companies, how they can achieve this balance, and how women can push for higher positions.

fod logoBehavioral Economist Dan Ariely on Lies, Cheating, and Creativity (7:14)
” An individual’s penchant for cheating, Ariely says, is determined by the balance between two conflicting desires: wanting to gain an edge versus not thinking of oneself as immoral.”

fod logoLeague of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis (1:55:35)
This FRONTLINE investigation details how, for years, the league denied and worked to refute scientific evidence that the violent collisions at the heart of the game are linked to an alarming incidence of early onset dementia, catastrophic brain damage, and CTE.

Ted Talks logo

Michael Porter—Why Business Can Be Good at Solving Social Problems (16:25)


Recommended Sites

Ethics Resource Center (ERC)
An 88-year old nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to independent research that advances high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions, ERC is the home of the biennial National Business Ethics Survey, the most exacting longitudinal research effort examining organizational ethics from the employee perspective.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
An independent, international nonprofit organization which features information on over 4,000 companies, more than 180 countries, and hundreds of issues and topics. The website provides links to thousands of publications, reports, and guides, including reports of corporate misconduct as well as extensive lists of related sites

Eldis: Ethical Business publications
Eldis provides news, reports and information on international development issues and maintains an excellent resource guide on corporate responsibility. Eldis, formerly the Electronic Development and Environment Information System, is one of a family of knowledge services from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex (UK).

The Ethical Enterprise: Doing the Right Things in the Right Ways Today and Tomorrow [PDF]
A global study of business ethics 2005-2015 in the form of an 87 page report from the American Management Association (2006).

International Organizations

International Labour Organization- Themes
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues.

United Nations Global Compact
A strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.


An ethics blog written by Chris MacDonald at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics – here is the latest news:


Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (“CSR” for short, and also called corporate conscience, citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. The goal is embrace responsibility for, an encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honouring of a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. (Excerpt from Tawanda Vaughan’s Business Ethics, 2012)

IBM Study: Corporate Social Responsibility


Streaming Films

fod logoThe Responsibility Revolution (47:06)
Today’s corporate leaders increasingly recognize that doing good is good for business. But how does innovation fit into the 21st-century framework of social and global responsibility? This program looks at green business practices and management as springboards for achievement and profit.

fod logoThe New CSR: Collaborative Social Responsibility (45:30)
“If a company searches out connections with other organizations, it will likely achieve greater awareness of its role in society—and that benefits everyone. This CNBC program offers fascinating examples, from partnering with non-profits to assisting with medical outreach to helping create sustainable supply chains.”

Ted Talks logo TED Talks: Social Good, Inc.  Businesses have the resources to make contributions to the collective good. Here, TED Talks on what can happen when corporations make saving the environment and helping people a priority, plus talks on how business principles might even be more effective for creating change than non-profit models.


A leading source of CSR and sustainability news, reports, events and information is Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire (CSRwire):