We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $105.99

304 pp.
39 photos, 10 figures; 20 tables; 1 map, 8" x 10"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

With a Clear Conscience

Business Ethics, Decision-Making, and Strategic Thinking

W. Jim Jordan, Andrew Stumpf, Chris Wass, Vanessa Correia, Dylon McChesney, Jamie Sewell, and others
Edited by Gregory G. Andres

Your current and practical guide to the ethical reasoning process in business.

This innovative and engaging new text explores the question: Is it possible to be successful in business while maintaining personal and corporate integrity? With a Clear Conscience prepares students to make ethically informed decisions in the workplace through a balance of theory, contemporary examples, and Canadian and international case studies.

Readership : A core text for undergraduate business ethics courses at universities and colleges.


  • "[With a Clear Conscience] is well-laid out and extremely current. The text brings in content from other courses making it a good text for reinforcing topics as well as teaching Business Ethics. Interestingly enough, the text includes important content such as Corporate Governance, Social Actions, and the Power of Advertising."
    --Shawna DePlonty, Sault College

  • "...this text is very practical and offers a wide range of examples and useful activities/gaming options to apply theoretical knowledge. I also like how it is motivational and offers students the incentive to gain confidence in life skills and diminishing the need to feeling that you can only get ahead by being unethical."
    --Bill Reid, Lawrence Kinlin School of Business - Fanshawe College

List of Boxes and Case Studies
A Note to Instructors
From the Publisher
What This Text is About
Features of This Book
Being an Ethical Disruptor
A Note on Game Theory and Philosophy
Our Challenge to the Reader
1. Business Ethics and Ethical Business
A Modest Approach to Ethics
Ethics is More Than Opinion
Ethical Relativism
In Support of Ethical Relativism
Problems with Ethical Relativism
A Middle Way: Humble Objectivism
Humble Objectivism and Ethical Pluralism
The Place of Ethics in Business
Why Should Businesspeople Want to Be Ethical?
The Social Context of Business Activity
The Social Responsibilities of Business
The Market-Failures Approach to Ethics
Everyday Norms and Business Norms
The Ten Commandments of Business Ethics
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
2. Thinking in Ethical Terms
Deontological Ethics: Duty, Principles, and Rights
Kant's Categorical Imperative
Ross's Prima Facie Duties
Rights-Based Deontological Ethics
Virtue Ethics
Ethics of Care
The Capability Approach
Which Capabilities?
Summary of Ethical Theory
Living with Your Decisions: A Clear Conscience
Private and Public Domains
Accepting Moral Tragedy
The Light of Day and How to Sleep at Night
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
3. Ethical DecisionMaking
Private and Public Morality Revisited
Ethical Pluralism Revisited
Moral Disagreements
Stakeholders: Whose Interests Matter?
Value Conflicts
Making Ethical Decisions
Moral Intuition versus Moral Reasoning
Bias and Decision Making
An Ethical Decision-Making Model
Step 1: Identify Relevant Facts
Step 2: Identify Relevant Stakeholders and Ethical Issues
Step 3: Identify Stakeholder Values and Conflicts
Step 4: Create Resolution Strategies and Identify Consequences
Step 5: Assess the Strategies
Step 6: Recommend and Defend a Resolution Strategy
The Payoff
Dirty Hands
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
4. Corporate Social Responsibility
Profitability and Legality
Business as War
Strong Fiduciary Responsibility
Weak Fiduciary Responsibility
The Invisible Hand
Theories of Corporate Social Responsibility
Applying Stakeholder Theory: Triple Bottom Line
Pyramid of Corporate Responsibility
Three-Domain Model
An Argument for Corporate Social Responsibility
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
5. Fairness and Non-Discrimination
Equal Opportunity as Fairness
Rawls on Justice as Fairness
The Harms of Injustice
Workplace Inequalities
Wage Gap
Implicit Bias and the Workplace
Tips to Control for Bias
Barriers to Access
Religious Accommodation
Sexual Harassment
Ethnocentric Harassment
Why Should I Care?
Personal Affect
Corporate Profit
Moral Obligation
Personal Protection
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Human Rights Act
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Employment Equity Act (2010)
Federal and Provincial Accessibility Legislation
Occupational Health and Safety
International Labour Organization
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
6. Social Action Problems
The Social Contract and Enlightened Self-Interest
Social Action Problems
The Prisoner's Dilemma
The Free-Rider Problem
Moral Hazard
The Game of Chicken
Social Action Problems in the Wild
Unhealthy Competition
The Principal-Agent Problem
Dirty Dishes
Pre-Emptive Strikes
"But They're Doing It!"
Trust, Coordination, and the Benefits of Co-Operation
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
7. Environment, Ethics, and Business
The Value of Nature
Two Types of Value
Instrumental Value
Intrinsic Value
Whence Catastrophe?
Shared Study Space
Agriculture in Kansas
Reframing the Environmental Conversation
Light Green Approach
Market Green Approach
Stakeholder Green Approach
Dark Green Approach
Hybrid Strategies
Bargaining and the Coase Theorem
The Features of the Coase Theorem
Internalizing Externalities: An Application of the Coase Theorem
The Limits of the Coase Theorem
Climate Justice: Environmental Harm and Marginalized Peoples
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
8. The Power of Advertising
Ethical Issues in Advertising
Canadian Advertising Regulations
Bypassing Rationality
Framing Information
Appealing to Emotion
Priming and Deception
How Advertising Harms
Gender Roles
Body Image and Sexuality
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
9. Corporate Governance and Perverse Incentives
Corporate Structure
Directors or Trustees
Officers and Executives
Managers and Working Staff
Principals and Agents
The Principal-Agent Relationship
Principal-Agent Problems
Perverse Incentives
Setting Up for a Fall
Dodging the Consequences
When All Else Fails
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
10. Strategic Negotiations
Strategic Moves
Making Strategic Moves
Resisting Strategic Moves
Strategic Sanctions
Strategic Moves and Social Action Problems
Acing the Exam Strategically
Inflationary Incentives
Heavy Lifting and Heavy Metal
Ethical Disputes
Positions and Interests
Types of Bargaining
Skills and Attitudes
Applying the Concepts
Social Media and Privacy
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
11. Whistle-Blowing and Codes of Ethics
Professional Expectations and Codes of Ethics
Internal Reporting Mechanisms
Overcoming Internal Obstacles
How to Think about Whistle-Blowing
A Public Act
A Conflict between Public and Private Morality
A Matter of Public Duty
To Blow the Whistle or Not to Blow the Whistle?
What Are My Options?
Summing Up
For Discussion and Review
Further Reading
12. Concluding Thoughts
Pre-Market Ethics
Pro-Social Business
Strategic Co-Operation
From the Gallery into the World
For Discussion and Review
Appendix A: Ethical Decision-Making Model Worksheets
Appendix B: A Primer on Game Theory
Appendix C: Concept Check Answers

Instructor's Manual
For each chapter:
- Chapter overview
- Learning objectives
- Key concepts/terms
- 3-5 discussion or debate ideas
- 1-3 class assignments and activities
- 2 suggested lecture topics
- Teaching Aids
-- 5-6 further readings
--3-5 recommended videos and websites
Test Bank
For each chapter:
- 20-30 multiple-choice questions
- 15-20 true-or-false questions
- 3-5 short-answer questions
- Answer Key
Image Bank
- Photos, figures, and tables found throughout the text
- Alt-text included for all images
For each chapter:
- 20-25 lecture slides
Student Resource
- Links to online video demonstrations of how to read game tables (as per game theory)


Gregory G. Andres is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.


W. Jim Jordan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.

Andrew Stumpf is an assistant professor in Philosophy at St. Jerome's University in Waterloo.

Chris Wass is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.

Vanessa Correia is a faculty member at Conestoga College and a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo.

Dylon McChesney is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, where he has been teaching business ethics since 2015.

Jamie Sewell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.

Sara Weaver is a graduate from the PhD program in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.

Business Ethics - Damian Grace, Stephen Cohen and William R. Holmes
Business Ethics - Andrew Crane, Dirk Matten, Sarah Glozer and Laura Spence
Honest Work - Joanne B. Ciulla, Clancy Martin and Robert C. Solomon
Ethics Across the Professions - Clancy Martin, Wayne Vaught and Robert Solomon

Special Features

  • Comprehensive and unique coverage of key ethical concepts includes social action problems, ethical disruption, private versus public morality, and game theory.
  • Combines theory and practice by first exploring the conceptual framework of business ethics and then applying those concepts to contemporary business contexts.
  • Conversational tone and clear writing style make the material engaging and easy to follow for a wide range of undergraduate students.
  • Case studies-on such topics as autonomous vehicles, video-game development, and inclusivity in advertising-show students how businesses in Canada and around the world address ethical dilemmas.
  • Ethical decision-making worksheets in an appendix provide students with a valuable reference that outlines the steps for strategizing ethically informed decisions.
  • Student-friendly pedagogy supports student learning and critical thinking:
  • - Background boxes highlight important theoretical and topical concepts-such as ethical relativism, shareholders versus stakeholders, and the cost of being ethical.
  • - Concept Check questions provide students with multiple-choice questions to help them review their understanding of what they have just learned.
  • - Summing Up conclusions identify and examine the larger themes discussed in each chapter.
  • - Learning goals, key terms, a marginal glossary, discussion questions, and further reading suggestions enhance understanding and support further study.