Ethics in business is not a new topic and has been intensely discussed since the emergence of the so-called limited companies. However, privatization, technological and digital innovation, changes in moral perception, economic and financial crises and globalization stir a more recent debate on how companies should behave in our societies.

This book starts from the position that ethics in business should imply an open debate on norms and values, using a sound methodology to get there. Ethics should cross borders: not only the borders of a country, but also the borders of someone’s moral imagination. Ethics should not only be about harmony but also about conflict (and how to deal with that). Ethics should be realistic and well substantiated by academic research. Ethics should be used to understand the complexity of the world, and the challenges companies struggle with on various levels.

Therefore, this book is composed of three parts in which ethics is discussed at different levels. In part one we discuss ethics at the level of the individual. In part two we discuss ethics and business. In the third part, ethics is discussed in the context of a globalized world.

In each chapter, we discuss the ethical complications of each topic from various – and preferably opposing – perspectives. Each perspective is methodologically and academically substantiated. Each chapter ends with an extensive literature list in which the original sources are listed for further reading. Furthermore, at the end of each chapter, a summary is written in which the most important definitions and viewpoints are highlighted. The frequent use of colorful and bold examples make this an accessible read for bachelor and master students at business schools and professionals in international business.

chapter |1 pages


part 1|100 pages

Ethics and the individual

chapter 1|36 pages

What is ethics?

chapter 2|19 pages


chapter 3|29 pages

Normative ethics

chapter 4|12 pages

A model for ethical decision-making

part 2|182 pages

Business and ethics

chapter 5|24 pages

A short history of ethics in business

chapter 6|62 pages

Social values

chapter 7|32 pages

Ecological values

chapter 8|25 pages

Economic values

chapter 9|36 pages


part 3|50 pages

Ethics in a globalized world

chapter 10|21 pages

Cultural diversity

chapter 11|27 pages

Globalization: does the system work?