Friday, March 26, 2010
Well it's been in gestation for a while, but we're pleased to announce that the 3rd edition of our business ethics textbook has been published today by Oxford University Press. Once more subtitled 'Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization' it's a continuation of our efforts to provide an integrated approach to the subject of business ethics and corporate responsibility ... and this time we've gone for a fully international perspective. Or as we nicknamed it during development, a "rest-of-the-world perspective" - i.e. one that offers a real alternative to a subject still dominated by parochial US textbooks.
This is the pre-publication proof of the front cover, showing an Angolan fruit seller supported by a microfinance scheme in Luanda. We thought it not only helped to highlight this global orientation but also worked well with a new case on microfinance we feature in the text titled "Targeting the poor with microfinance: hype or hope for poverty reduction?" It's a positive picture about an exciting development in business ethics ... but as you'd expect from Crane and Matten, the case itself eschews any easy answers.
Along with microfinance, we've got quite a bit of new content on social enterprise in general, and specifically on the ethical challenges of poverty reduction, affordable water access, and other development issues. Also new to the edition is extended analysis of the financial crisis, including new sections on the ethics of rating agencies and hedge fund ethics. No great surprises there we suppose, given the timing, but it was fun to put together a book that managed to include the intricacies of the ethics of finance along with content on ethcial sex shops, ethics in modelling, and the search for a treatment for "female sexual dysfunction" among others. As you might imagine we enjoyed researching some of these new parts.
There's also a whole lot of other new stuff in there, which you can read about on the publisher website and on the book's online resource centre which will be launched any day now. The biggest change in format though, apart from the extension of our international perspective, is a new feature called "Ethics online". This talks about some of the ways that digital technologies and new social media are reshaping business ethics practice, for example through CSR blogs, on-line diversity forums, ethical consumption sites, and web-based tools to assess your carbon footprint. This is something that nine years ago, when we started writing the first edition, we didn't even consider remarking on as a phenomenon in itself, but which now is pretty much a central part of the business ethics world.
Well anyway, that's probably enough from us talking about the new book (like all new parents, we can get a little over indulgent in praising our perfect little baby). But if you have any comments about it, good or bad, do let us know. Feedback of all kinds, is always welcome. And who knows, before we know it, we'll probably be worrying about all its little imperfections and planning a fourth edition. Roll on 2013!