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Edited by Deborah Poff and Wilfrid Waluchow.

Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, 1987. 447pp, paper, $16.00, ISBN 0-13-095621-X.CIP

Reviewed by David Chadwick

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

Insider-trading scandals, real estate flips, the collapse of Western Trust companies and banks, coupled with wide-scale mergers and resulting plant closures have tarnished the image of business for many Canadians. The rise of paper entrepreneurs who amass wealth but create nothing of real value have further increased the cynicism of a populace who increasingly see business as motivated by greed. Not surprisingly, many business leaders are starting to call for a return to ethics in practice, and a teaching of such in business schools. Such courses are fairly new in Canada but they are increasingly being offered.

This is the first Canadian text on the subject. It wisely stresses the interdisciplinary nature of the topic and makes use of case studies to show the practicality of the subject. Social responsibility of business is viewed from a variety of sources and examples. Topics such as health and safety in the workplace, employee equity, environmental effects, and advertising are covered with contrasting views and suggested further readings.

Whether the new interest in ethics courses will result in a change in priorities for businesses remains to be seen. Certainly the growth in public relations departments and imagemakers will continue. With two executives being jailed last year for ignoring environmental laws, the days of laissez faire capitalism may be ending.

This particular book is too much of a textbook to be of much use in libraries. Other more general books on the topic, more appropriate for libraries, are likely to become available within the next year.

David Chadwick, Winnipeg, Man.
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