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Über dieses Buch

This book considers ethical issues arising in professional and business settings and the role of individuals making decisions and coping with moral dilemmas. Readers can benefit from engagement in filmic narratives, as a simulated environment for developing a stance towards ethical challenges. The book starts by elaborating on critical thinking and on normative ethical theories, subsequently presenting the structure and cinematic elements of narrative film. These two avenues are tools for evaluating films and for discussions on various ethical problems in contemporary business, including: the corporate and banking financial machinations (greed, fraud, social responsibility); workplace ethical challenges (harassment, violence, inequity, inequality); professional and business ethical challenges (corruption, whistleblowing, outsourcing, downsizing, competition, and innovation); environmental and social issues; international business and human rights; and personal responsibility and identity challenges due to career pressures, loss of privacy and cyber harassment, and job structure changes in light of changing technology.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This chapter presents the structure of the book and the arguments for addressing professional and business ethical issues through reception and analysis of narrative films, as well as through discussions of relevant real-world cases. The task is to provoke discussions on film’s ethical import, on film’s artistic import, and on film’s business import. Following this introductory chapter, the book is organized in additional seven chapters. It starts by addressing normative ethical theories and critical thinking, and by presenting the elements of narrative film. Subsequent discussions include: the corporate and banking financial machinations, workplace harassment, corruption, whistleblowing, outsourcing and downsizing, innovation and competition, relation of businesses with stakeholders in society, personal responsibility and entity challenges due to career pressures, loss of privacy, and cyber harassment.
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 2. Ethical Positions and Decision-Making

Abstract
The first part of this chapter introduces elements of professional and business ethics, followed by definitions of various approaches to decision-making and thinking, including critical and creative thinking. This prepares the reader for a critical approach toward evaluating messages projected through the screen. The second part provides a concise yet relevant summary of moral agency, ethical dilemmas, applied ethics, and normative ethical approaches such as Virtue Ethics, Deontological (Duty) Ethics and Teleological (Consequentialist) Ethics. The ethical approaches are illustrated by discussing the Ford Pinto product safety case from 1977 and the Volkswagen emission scandal from 2015. Film discussions consider the two versions of Insomnia films, namely the original Norwegian film Insomnia (Eric Skjoldberg, 1997) and its American remake Insomnia (Christopher Nolan, 2002). We elaborate on the fragility of a moral decision-making, and on different ethical considerations presented in the two films.
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 3. Mythical Structure of Narration, Cinematic Elements, Film Genres

Abstract
The first part of this chapter presents the mythical structure of narration, based on the work of Carl Jung on archetypes and the structure of selfhood, applied by Joseph Campbell in writing on myths and by Christopher Vogler on the practical guide for screenplays. This is illustrated in discussions on Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Erin Brockovich (2000). The second part considers cinematic language and the difference between narrative and documentary films. Presented is Inside Job (Charles H. Ferguson, 2010), an influential documentary depicting the financial world. Some differences in approaching narrative and documentary films are illustrated by considering different narrative film adaptations of a stock-market manipulation (Boiler Room, 2000), (The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013), and a documentary on the same story (The Real Wolf of Wall Street, 2014). The third part of this chapter presents various approaches to narrative film, involving discussions on: Jaws (1975), The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Funny Games (1997, 2007), Noah (2014) and Arrival (2016).
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 4. Financial Machinations and Ethical Perspectives

Abstract
The first part considers business greed and the case of Enron collapse in 2001. Since greed often involves manipulation infringing on human rights, discussions involve films provoking thoughts on manipulating people, including Equity (2016), Arbitrage (2012), Trading Places (1983), and Hudsucker Proxy (1994). In relation to business fraud, we look at the RJR Nabisco 1988 Leveraged Buyout (LBO) which was adopted for the screen in Barbarians at the Gate (1993). We also look at the 1995 collapse of Barings Bank, adapted for the screen in Rogue Trader (1999). Other films discussed include Wall Street (1987) and Other People’s Money (1991). Greedy view of profit comes in contrast with social responsibility and led to the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–2008. Case discussion considers the Lehman Brothers 2008 collapse. Financial practices widening the gap between profit and responsibility are illustrated through films Margin Call (2011) and The Big Short (2015).
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 5. Workplace Harassment, Violence, Inequity, and Inequality

Abstract
The first part presents forms and types of workplace harassment and infringements of business and professional ethics. Cases include Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Company (1988), and some controversial psychological experiments involving human subjects (the Murray Experiments on mind control during 1959–1962, the Milgram Experiment on obedience during 1961–1963, the Stanford Prison Experiment on the psychology of imprisonment in 1971). We present feature film adaptations of some of those studies, such as North Country (2005), Stanford Prison Experiment (2015), and Experimenter (2015). Additional films include The Hunt (2012) addressing mob mentality, and Whiplash (2014) questioning the unorthodox measures of the teacher. The second part presents cases of workplace violence and film discussions on A Most Violent Year (2014), Money Monster (2016), Network (1976), and Rollerball (1975). The third part discusses workplace inequity and inequality, mentioning the case of the Ford sewing machinists strike in 1968, the basis for Made in Dagenham (2010), and the 2008 case of Peggy Young versus UPS in violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Additional films include Working Girl (1988) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 6. Professional and Business Ethical Challenges

Abstract
The first part looks at corruption and whistleblowing and presents the Wells Fargo accounting fraud (2016), the FIFA corruption scandal (2016) and the whistleblowing case Wigand v. Brown & Williamson (1996). Film discussions include the adaptation of the Wigand case in The Insider (1999), and the fictional scenarios in The Fugitive (1993) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994). The second part considers outsourcing and downsizing, including examples of General Electric and Levi Strauss & Co. Downsizing cases include corporations such as General Motors, Boing, and General Electric. The fictional scenarios are discussed in Outsourced (2006), Two Days, One Night (2014), Up in the Air (2009), and The Company Men (2010). The third part considers business competition and innovation. Presented cases include Mattel Inc. v. MGA Entertainment Inc. (2005–2008), Adidas America Inc. v. Payless ShoeSource Inc. (1994–2009), and Robert Kearns against Ford and Chrysler (1978–1992). The following films are discussed: an adaptation of Kearns’ case in Flash of Genius (2008), Tucker the Man and His Dream (1988), Joy (2015), and The Founder (2016).
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 7. Business, Environment, Society

Abstract
The first part looks at environmental issues. The cases include the Exxon Valdez oil spill case (1989), the Flint Michigan lead-tainted-water (2014–2017), and the water contamination case of Woburn, MA against W. R. Grace and Company and Beatrice Foods (1984). The following films are presented: A Civil Action (1998) based on the Woburn case, Michael Clayton (2007) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004). Resource takeover is illustrated in the film Leviathan (2014). Examples of human rights violations in the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India (1984) and in Dhaka, Bangladesh, garment industry tragedy (2013) are discussed, following with films The Constant Gardener (2005), and Blood Diamond (2006). The third part looks at societal challenges. Films with plots connecting disparate situations illustrate unforeseeable ethical consequences of decisions, e.g. Human Capital (2013), In a Better World (2010), and Babel (2006).
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Chapter 8. Career Pressures, Responsibility, Identity

Abstract
The first part looks at career challenges resulting with personal struggles testing one’s morality code. Films include Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), The Inheritance (2003), The Dinner (I nostri ragazzi) (2014), and Toni Erdmann (2016). The second part considers identity challenges due to job pressures, race, gender, and sexuality. The films include Office Space (1999), Reality (2012), Paterson (2016), and Moonlight (2016). The third part reflects on loss of privacy and cyber harassment, presenting some real cases, and following with film discussions on Disconnect (2012) and The Circle (2017). Science fiction films offer illustrations of our current fears and ethical concerns. Challenges due to the development of technology and artificial intelligence are discussed through films Sleep Dealer (2008) and Ex Machina (2015). The chapter ends with discussion on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece retaining relevance even after half a century.
Jadranka Skorin-Kapov

Backmatter

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