Boycott Basics: Moral Guidelines for Corporate Decision Making

Journal of Business Ethics 84 (S1):3 - 10 (2009)
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Abstract

When one addresses boycotts, the efforts of the Montgomery bus boycotts to end segregation likely come to mind. However, the moral merits of a boycott are not always so clearly determined and how a company reacts to a boycott can have long lasting repercussions for its public image. In this article, I will examine a number of boycotts including boycotts by the American Family Association of both Ford and Proctor & Gamble based on their advertising venue choices. In a politically and morally charged atmosphere, it can be difficult for companies to determine where their moral obligations lie while at the same time being mindful of the bottom line. I suggest a number of guidelines to aid in corporate moral decision making when faced with a boycott

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