Just Business: Business Ethics in Action introduces conceptual clarity to business ethics, and provides systematic, jargon-free arguments for rebutting unethical demands on business. Just Business argues that business can be true to its definitive objective of maximizing long-term owner value, and still be fully ethical. Combining business realism with analytical rigor, Just Business offers an Ethical Decision Model that is globally applicable, and can be used to manage businesses' ethical problems in all their real-life complexity and variety. Even more significantly, Just Business provides a powerful explanatory framework that unifies and justifies its answers.
Just Business offers detailed analyses of common concerns in business ethics and corporate governance, including 'If it's good for the business, can it really be ethical?', accountability, audits, bribery, buyouts, codes of conduct, competition, conflicts of interest, consultation, directors' responsibilities, dividends, executive pay, fairness, fiduciary responsibility, financial reporting, hiring and firing, honesty, insider trading, mixed motives, remuneration, restructuring, shareholder responsibilities, 'short-termism', takeovers, and whistle-blowing.
Unlike most books on business ethics, Just Business does not apply incoherent philosophical doctrines to misunderstood business practice. Nor is it a collection of anecdotal examples or a set of ad hoc responses to isolated questions. Rather, Just Business offers a systematic, reasoned argument grounded in Aristotelian realism about what constitutes ethical conduct for business. Just Business demonstrates that when properly understood, business ethics is not an extraneous anti-business option: it is a rigorous, analytical business tool.
Just Business's understanding of business derives from direct, practical experience of doing business in the 'real world'. It is intended for, and should be easily accessible to, active business stakeholders and formulators of public policy as well as academic philosophers. Now in its fourth edition, Just Business is essential reading for students of business, ethics, law, economics, and public policy, and can benefit everyone who has dealings with business, whether as employees or customers, lenders or investors, regulators or free-marketeers.
Financial Times: ..".a new book on business ethics that has something valuable to say is ... a rare event ... worth celebrating.... companies would be more profitable, the gross national product higher, and standards of behaviour better in a country where every manager read Just Business and took it to heart."
Philosophical Quarterly: "Just Business is clear, readable and witty... it may become a standard text before long... deserves to be read by everyone with an interest in business ethics, whether teacher, student or business professional."
The Independent: "Just Business is closely argued, logical and well written."
Business Ethics: A European Review: "Much is gained by the book's carefully reasoned, clear approach to ethical issues."
South China Morning Post: " ...very important... clear... logical... cogent... a first-class work. ...this book should be read by the officers, managers and owners of every major corporation..."
Elaine Sternberg was born and brought up in New York City, where she graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. As a Fulbright Fellow in London, she earned her doctorate in philosophy at the London School of Economics as Michael Oakeshott's last PhD student.. After teaching at the LSE, and at Imperial College (University of London) and Westminster University, she left academia to complete the Chase Manhattan Bank training program. At Chase, Dr Sternberg helped to establish Chase Manhattan Ltd in NYC and London. She then moved to an English merchant bank, Hill Samuel & Co. Limited, where she specialised in international corporate finance. Staying in the City, she worked next for the merchant bank of the National Westminster Bank. At County Bank Ltd, Elaine was part of a three member group that established County's post 'Big Bang' international equity broker/dealer business. She also created and ran County Securities' profitable business of underwriting and syndicating new issues of international equity, the first such operation in Britain. Elaine also established and ran the second such business in Britain, for Drexel Burnham Lambert Ltd. which head-hunted her to be its head of International Equity Syndicate. Concerned by what she saw in the firm made famous by its dominance of the junk bond market, Elaine left Drexel a year before Mike Milken was indicted for securities fraud. Her experience at Drexel supplemented what she had learned by considering CountyNatWest's involvement in the Blue Arrow scandal. Reflecting on what was commonly deemed unethical about the conduct of those firms, Elaine was struck by how mistaken most commentators were about the nature of both business and ethics. Just Business: Business Ethics in Action is her analysis of what business genuinely needs to do to be ethical. Dr Sternberg has applied the analysis of Just Business as principal of an international consulting firm. Analytical Solutions specialises in applying critical intelligence to solving business and organisational problems, especially those that cut across traditional professional boundaries and require financial sophistication and analytical rigor. Analytical Solutions also designs and provides customized courses on business ethics and corporate governance for businesses and academic users. In addition to giving guest lectures at many university in the UK and the US, Dr Sternberg has held a variety of Visiting Fellow positions. As a Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Leeds, she helped its Centre for Business and Professional Ethics develop the world's first MA in Business Ethics and Corporate Governance. She continues to be an Honorary Fellow of Leeds IDEA-CETL: Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied, a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. She also remains a Senior Visiting Fellow of the University of Buckingham, as well as the Philosophy and Corporate Governance Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and an advisor of Public Concern at Work (the UK's "whistleblowers' charity"). In the US, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center (at Bowling Green University), a Visiting Faculty Fellow at Tulane University's Murphy Institute Center for Ethics and Public Affairs, a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida (Gainesville), and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Miami (FL). Dr Sternberg's many publications besides Just Business include Corporate Governance: Accountability in the Marketplace, Mind Your Own Business! Establishing a market for corporate control, The Stakeholder Concept: A Mistaken Doctrine, and many articles on business ethics, corporate governance, ethics, and political philosophy.