From Library Journal
While there have been many books pub lished recently on business ethics--perhaps as a reaction to the moral shoddiness of the 1980s--this is the first one to base a large part of its conclusions on interviews with chief executive officers (125 in all) of major U.S. corporations. One clear conclusion emerges from Watson's investigations: it is possible to succeed and be ethical at the same time. There is much in the book to think about--perhaps too much. It could have been shorter, but this defect is of a minor order. It remains essentially a skillful study and at its best is full of luminous comment and incisive epigrams. For a briefer introduction to the topic, see O.C. Ferrell and Gareth Gardiner's In Pursuit of Ethics ( LJ 5/1/91). See also Ethics, Leadership and the Bottom Line: An Executive Reader, reviewed in this issue, p. 157.--Ed.- A.J. Anderson, Graduate Sch. of Library & Information Science, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
?Watson explores the relationship between ethics and profits in American businesses. From interviews with 125 CEOs, the author develops the thesis that profitability and "doing what is right" form the nucleus of the contemporary business model. The work is filled with quotations, anecdotes, and examples of the daily conflicts that business executives face in trying to make business decisions that are ethical. Watson's study suggests that American business leaders do act with integrity. The volume is both enticing and refreshing, so much so that its organization and style tend to make the reader forget the less favorable (ethical) decisions made by these same businesses and their leaders. If, as the foreword suggests, the purpose of the volume is to inspire readers, then the presentation is a success, serving as much to proselytize as to report. Despite this limitation, this book belongs in every library as a model of the practices of the majority of today's businesses, and as a positive balance to much current literature critical of US business management. A subject index, name and company index, list of business leaders interviewed, bibliography, and notes. College and public library collections.?-Choice