A Strategic Approach to Social Responsibility & Ethics

by Ferrell, Thorne, Ferrell

ISBN: 978-1-948426-22-0 | Copyright 2021

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Digital Exam/Desk Copy Print Exam/Desk Copy Ancillaries

Provides a strategic framework that integrates business and society into organizational strategies,

Demonstrates and helps the instructor prove that social responsibility is a theoretically grounded yet highly actionable and practical field of interest.

New thirteen chapter organization.

Fifteen cutting-edge cases.

The latest coverage of how technology, including artificial intelligence and its enablers, such as block chain, drones, and robotics, is impacting the world we live in.

Important Changes to the Seventh Edition

The seventh edition has been revised to include new examples, vignettes, and cases. A new full-color design is more engaging and helps the student better understand the visual supports in the book.

Each chapter of the text has been updated to include recent social responsibility issues related to the economy, ethical decision-making, and concerns about corporate governance. Chapter 4 has been broken out into two chapters: Chapter 4, Business, Government, and Regulation and Chapter 5, The Impact of Business on Government and the Political  environment. This allowed us to expand the content and include more real-world examples to help students better understand the concepts. Chapter 11, Technology Issues, has been updated to include a new section on artificial  intelligence, introducing key terms such as machine learning and deep learning.

Opening cases at the start of each chapter address a variety of issues related to the chapter content, including strategic philanthropy, fraud, corporate culture, and sustainability. Companies featured in these cases include IKEA, the NFL, Cascade Engineering, and Alibaba. Additional real-world examples of corporate social responsibility are provided in the Ethical Responsibilities and The Earth in Balance boxed readings. The Ethical Responsibilities boxed readings include ethical challenges in different areas of business, including human resources, marketing, banking, and technology. Topics discussed in these vignettes include blockchain technology, the legalization of marijuana, and minimum wage. The Earth in the Balance boxed readings focus on social responsibility related to sustainability issues. These vignettes discuss green initiatives at companies such as Evrnu and Patagonia.

The Responsible Business Debate exercise at the end of each chapter introduces a business-related issue and presents two competing perspectives. The debate is positioned so that class teams can defend a position and analyze topics, giving students the opportunity to engage in active learning. Topics discussed include the U.S.-China trade war, the sustainability of nuclear energy, and the downside of technology.

We have provided 15 case studies at the back of book for use as assignments and for class discussion. All of the cases are new or significantly updated. They include Google and privacy solutions, Volkswagen and sustainability, and ethics at Apple.

Chapter Opening Cases and Real Company Examples

Company examples and anecdotes from all over the world are found throughout the text. The purpose of these tools is to take students through a complete strategic planning and implementation perspective on business and society concerns by incorporating an active and team-based learning perspective. Every chapter opens with a vignette and includes examples that shed more light on how social responsibility works in today’s business. In this edition, all boxed readings focus on managerial and global dimensions of social responsibility. Chapter opening objectives, a chapter summary, boldfaced key terms, and discussion questions at the end of each chapter help direct students’ attention to key points.

Experiential Exercises

Experiential exercises at the end of each chapter help students apply social responsibility concepts and ideas to business practice. Most of the exercises involve research on the activities, programs, and philosophies that companies and  organizations are using to implement social responsibility today. These exercises are designed for higher-level learning and require students to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate knowledge, concepts, practices, and possibilities for social  responsibility. At the same time, the instructor can generate rich and complex discussions from student responses to exercises. For example, the experiential exercise for Chapter 1 asks students to examine Fortune magazine’s annual list of the Most Admired Companies. This exercise sets the stage for a discussion on the broad context in which stakeholders, business objectives, and responsibilities converge.

“What Would You Do?” exercises depict people in real-world scenarios who are faced with decisions about social responsibility in the workplace. One exercise (see Chapter 5) discusses the dilemma faced by a nutritional supplement company that hired an advertising agency to promote its products. The agency and the supplement company came under fire of the Federal Trade Commission for making unsubstantiated claims. At the end of the exercise, students are asked to examine liability and damage control.

A new debate issue is also located at the end of each chapter. The topic of each debate deals with a real-world company or dilemma that is both current and controversial. Many students have not had the opportunity to engage in a debate and to defend a position related to social responsibility. This feature highlights the complexity of ethical issues by creating a dialog on the advantages and disadvantages surrounding various issues. The debates also help students develop their critical thinking, research, and communication skills.


So that students learn more about specific practices, problems, and opportunities in social responsibility, 15 cases are provided at the end of the book. The cases represent a comprehensive collection for examining social responsibility in a multidimensional way. The 15 cases allow students to consider the effects of stakeholders and responsibility expectations on larger and well-known businesses. These cases represent the most up-to-date and compelling issues in social responsibility. All of the cases used in this book are original and have been updated with all developments that have occurred through 2019. Students will find these cases to be pivotal to their understanding of the complexity of social responsibility in practice.


A pre-built online course of assets and auto-graded assignments that easily integrates with Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, or any other LMS.

Expand/Collapse All
Preface (pg. i)
CHAPTER 1 Social Responsibility Framework (pg. 2)
CHAPTER 2 Strategic Managment of Stakeholder Relationships (pg. 36)
CHAPTER 3 Corporate Governance (pg. 64)
CHAPTER 4 Business, Government, and Regulation (pg. 94)
CHAPTER 5 The Impact of Business on Government and the Political Environment (pg. 120)
CHAPTER 6 Business Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making (pg. 146)
CHAPTER 7 Strategic Approaches to Improving Ethical Behavior (pg. 178)
CHAPTER 8 Employee Relations (pg. 212)
CHAPTER 9 Consumer Relations (pg. 248)
CHAPTER 10 Community Relations and Strategic Philanthropy (pg. 274)
CHAPTER 11 Technology Issues (pg. 306)
CHAPTER 12 Sustainability Issues (pg. 340)
CHAPTER 13 Social Responsibility in a Global Environment (pg. 378)
CASE 1 Uber (pg. 399)
CASE 2 Home Depot (pg. 405)
CASE 3 Walmart (pg. 412)
CASE 4 Google (pg. 425)
CASE 5 CVS (pg. 439)
CASE 6 Volkswagen (pg. 448)
CASE 7 Wells Fargo (pg. 453)
CASE 8 New Belgium Brewing (pg. 460)
CASE 9 Starbucks (pg. 468)
CASE 10 TOMS (pg. 478)
CASE 11 Apple (pg. 486)
CASE 12 Hershey (pg. 498)
CASE 13 Patagonia (pg. 508)
CASE 14 Johnson & Johnson (pg. 512)
CASE 15 Herbalife Nutrition (pg. 520)
GLOSSARY (pg. 531)
NOTES (pg. 539)
INDEX (pg. 573)
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