Facing Public Interest: The Ethical Challenge to Business Policy and Corporate Communications

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Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as private business since business activities have widespread and sometimes far-reaching impacts on the community. The side-effects of entrepreneurial decision making - increasing unemployment, for instance, or pollution - increasingly expose corporations to the public gaze, with management in the limelight. Facing Public Interest opens up new vistas on business policy and corporate communications facing public interest. The relationship between private enterprise and public interest is subjected to an ethical examination, highlighting the role of the general public as a locus of morality for business and the guiding concept of a corporate dialogue between management and the concerned public. Instructive case studies are also presented. The volume not only proposes corporate dialogue: it puts into practice. Business leaders, representatives of citizens' groups, public affairs consultants, and academics discuss the topics thoroughly and thoughtfully in the best contributions to the seventh conference on the European Business Ethics Network, held at the University of St. Gallen in September 1994.