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Good Corporation, Bad Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Economy

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Description: This textbook provides an innovative, internationally-oriented approach to the teaching of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and business ethics. Drawing on case studies in- volving companies and countries around the world, the textbook explores the social, ethical and business dynamics underlying CSR in areas such as: global warming, genetically-mod- ified organisms (GMO) in food production, free trade and fair trade, anti-sweatshop and living-wage movements, organic foods and textiles, ethical marketing practices and codes, corporate speech and lobbying, and social enterprise. The book is designed to encourage students and instructors to challenge their own assumptions and prejudices by stimulating a class debate based on each case study.

Author: Guillermo C. Jimenez, Elizabeth Pulos; SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology

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Adoption (faculty): Contact us if you are using this textbook in your course

Adaptations: Support for adapting an open textbook

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1. Reviewed by: Kira Tomsons
  • Institution: Douglas College
  • Title/Position: Instructor
  • Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

While the text does cover a great number of areas, they tend to be clumped into certain areas, with a greater emphasis on environmental issues that I would normally look for in a survey course in business ethics. It also does not have any introductory material on ethics at the theoretical level. Indeed, most of the book is ethical theory 'light'.

It does not contain an index or glossary.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The material seems quite accurate. The writers have done an impressive job of identifying case studies and accurately representing them. Because it is an ethical text book, I do not expect it to be unbiased, as one inevitably comes at this type of material from a particular perspective. However for the most part, both sides are represented in the text and the writers spend a hefty portion at the beginning talking about how to engage in debate and avoid things like bias. The reading excerpts and suggested readings are likewise nicely balanced in the points of view provided.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

A selling point of this text is that it would be very easy to keep it updated. The writers give a nice historical view point (for example in the section on sweat shops, they detail the history of the movement against sweatshops) and include a great number of historical and contemporary examples. This makes it feel comprehensive in scope when it comes to being up to date. (I will admit, this is not the highest concern I have when it comes to philosophy text as the ideas tend to endure...but the case studies are well chosen in the sense that students would be able to recognize many of the brands/companies and will likely continue to be able to do so)

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

What I very much like about this text and will likely be the greatest force in convincing me to adopt it will be its very clear writing. I value this above all else, particularly given my student demographic. The writing is clear and avoids jargon pretty much altogether. And where special terms are used they are always well defined. This is an excellent feature of the text.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The book is consistent in that the flow of each chapter is similar and provides the same structure to how the material is presented. This is a very nice feature of the text. The reason that I gave it a 3/5 is that I would prefer an internal narrative to be joining it all together, from a more theoretical perspective. The topics jump around a bit, whereas I would have grouped the issues of environmental concerns together, for example. The lack of a theoretical framework makes it less holistic. However that actually works in this particular case for me, as my thoughts about how I would use this would be to take it as a supplement for the theoretical material I provide my class. Being able to pick and choose the chapters I want make it much easier when there is not an overarching narrative that would be disrupted otherwise. So this is a bit of a contradictory assessment (sorry).

Consistency Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

From my previous answer to the framework question, this one can easily be answered. It would be extremely easy to take out chapters and reorder them if necessary. Internally pieces in chapters can be removed as well. Overall, great for customization.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The most important progression in the text happens in the first two chapters, where the authors need to lay out the basic notions of corporate social responsibility and how to debate ethics, and then move on to apply these things. This order is important and is done well in the text. The ordering in the other chapters is not as vital. I would have lumped the environmental issues together, but there is nothing egregious in the ordering of the text as is.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

One of the nice features of the text is that it very simply presented and the images and tables are well integrated into the text. Easy to read and navigate.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I am normally quite cognizant of spelling errors in the writing of others (I make no claims of perfection for this review!!) I did not see any that jumped out at me. As I mentioned earlier, the writing was clear and straightforward.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The text is very relevant to American Culture (its is heavily weighted to students in the United States) but it shows an awareness and sensitivity to issues on a global scale.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

As someone who prefers Canadian content where possible, this text was a bit lacking. The writers, quite understandably given their location, focus on US politics and laws (particularly the section on business and politics) and many of the case studies are with companies in the US. That said, it does have an eye to the global context, so it is not entirely insular.

I think that it could use some ethical theory to help bolster the content (which would be required in any of the courses I teach). I note that the writers are not philosophers, however, and recognize that this may be difficult. (I also tend to think that business ethics text need to be significantly informed by philosophers, but recognize that is not always possible....)

I really do like the approach it takes, and the debate format I think is very innovative and useful for thinking about how to approach business ethics pedagogically.

I probably will adopt it (at least in part) to supplement another text which is much more theory driven and will hopefully be quite pleased with the result!