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A Primer on Organizational Behavior

Bowditch, James L. and Anthony F. Buono. A Primer on Organizational Behavior. Sixth Edition. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

Business ethics constitute a way of translating values into appropriate behaviors that respond to the realities of daily life.

There also seems to be an ethical theory to justify virtually every form of behavior–from teleological ethics that examine the consequences of an act to deontological ethics that look at the extent to which a behavior conforms to certain universally accepted guiding principles.

As a way of thinking through these issues in an applied framework, the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College has formulated six simple questions about a behavior or act for the “practical philosopher” that are used in its corporate train- ing programs: Is it right? Is it fair? Who gets hurt? Would you be comfortable if the details of your decision were reported on the front page of your local newspaper? What would you tell your child to do? How does it smell?

As researchers began to focus on the interaction between the structural and behavioral dimensions of organizations and the influence of the external environment, the concept of a business firm as a system began to dominate organizational theory. According to this perspective, an organization is conceptual- ized as a system composed of subunits or subsystems that continually interact with and are mutually dependent on each other. 4 ‘ Actions that occur within one part of the system not only affect that particular unit but can have a “ripple effect” through other organizational subsystems as well. The impli- cation of Systems Theory, therefore, is that things do not simply happen, but rather they evolve from multiple pressures and can entail multiple outcomes. …