Top Blog Entries of 2010

Here are my 10 most popular blog entries of the year.* Not surprisingly, the top end of the list is dominated by 2 entries about the BP oil spill fiasco.

  • #1. BP and Corporate Social Responsibility. This entry used the BP oil spill as an example to illustrate what I take to be the proper scope of the term “CSR” — i.e., something considerably more narrow than most people take its scope to be.
  • #2. Boycotting BP is Futile and Unethical. The title of this one is self-explanatory. I argued that the call to boycott BP was perhaps well-intentioned, but a bad idea. The boycott of BP’s retail outlets was much more likely to do serious damage to innocent franchisees than it was even to be noticed at BP’s head office. (Say, how did that whole boycott thing turn out, anyway?)
  • #3. Wall Street (1987) — “Greed is Good.” This one was basically a debunking of the standard assumptions about the significance of Michael Douglas character, Gordon Gekko’s, famous “Greed is Good” speech in the original Wall Street movie. Turns out, if you listen to (or read) the whole speech, most of it isn’t about greed, it’s about good corporate governance and crazy executive salaries.
  • #4. Should Trapped Miners Be Paid? This one brought together hard questions about employee safety, social justice, and whether the government (i.e., the public) ought to clean up a corporation’s mess when that corporation is unable to do so.
  • #5. Can Employers Tell Employees What to Eat? This one (about a Montreal handbag company that wants employees not to eat meat on the premises) struck a nerve, and brought out very different intuitions from different readers.
  • #6. Business Ethics in China. This entry explores the relationship between ethics and economic growth, in the context of an economy that is both struggling, and at the same time one of the world’s largest.
  • #7. Ethics of Hiring Illegal Immigrants. This entry was bound to draw fire, given that it’s about an issue at the intersection of business and politics.
  • #8. Facebook and Dangerous Ideas. This blog entry was about the ideas that drive companies, and which ideas are dangerous ones. Plenty of people assume that the dangerous idea is the idea that companies must maximize profits. Here, I argue that there are other ideas, including some that seem to drive Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, that are far more dangerous.
  • #9. Competence, Ethics & HP’s Board. It was a rough year for Hewlett-Packard board of directors. This blog entry explores the extent to which a board’s failure to do a good job at governance becomes a matter of ethical failure. And finally…
  • #10. Chilean Miners: What is Rescue Worth? A mine rescue is heart-wrenching, and expensive. And every dollar spent on rescue is a dollar not spent on something else — perhaps spent more efficiently on achieving other socially-good objectives. In that context, how much it is worth spending is a difficult ethical question.

*Actually, it’s not quite true that this is a list of the year’s top 10. I moved my blog from one blogging service to another in the summer, and so I lost stats for the first part of the year. I’m pretty sure my January blog entries on the crisis in Haiti are among my most popular of the year, but the data are lost. Here they are:

Thank you all for reading and commenting in 2010, and for your continued support. Suggestions for improvement are always welcome. You can email me at chris@businessethicsblog.com. Happy New Year!

2 comments so far

  1. southwerk on

    The Google cache has all your January posts. jp

  2. Chris MacDonald on

    JP: yes, the blog entries are still there (that’s how I was able to link to them) but the *stats* are gone.
    Chris.


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