Excellence in business depends on "integrity, values and virtues" as much as profits, says philosopher Robert C. Solomon. In A Better Way to Think About Business
, Solomon says that business leaders shouldn't be torn between doing what is right and doing what is necessary to make money. "This is not only personally painful, but it is also bad for business. It leads to inefficiency and distrust. It leads to poor morale, bitterness and cynicism. And it results in a diminished reputation, both of one's own business and of business in general." A good corporation fosters an environment that encourages people to develop their skills and their values. A bad corporation, on the other hand, is a "white-collar version of hell" that ultimately pays for its sins through disgruntled employees and unhappy customers, says Solomon, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Solomon spends a chapter debunking the Machiavellian myths that now dominate business. He argues in another for integrity in free enterprise. He devotes a third section of the book to describing 45 business virtues, including compassion and trust, and the importance of each. He also provides a historical and philosophical context, citing Aristotle and Adam Smith, among other great thinkers. A Better Way to Think About Business is persuasive reading for employers, employees, and those concerned about corporate behavior. --Dan Ring
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"In this brief, readable addition to the business ethics literature, Solomon offers a clear and pragmatic exposition.... This concise account is recommended for public, academic, and practitioner library collections. It will be particularly useful to readers with limited time."--Choice