William C. Frederick

Professor Emeritus of Business Administration


Organizations and Entrepreneurship


PhD Economics and Anthropology, University of Texas, 1958
BA Economics and Anthropology, University of Texas, 1950

Research Interests

Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Ethics, Natural Corporate Management


William C. Frederick's professional career spans a half century, following doctoral studies in economics and anthropology at the University of Texas-Austin. His principal scholarly work has been teaching, research, and writing about the social and ethical dimensions of business corporations.

Much of his work has been devoted to multidisciplinary approaches employing economics, anthropology, socio-economics, moral development, philosophy, complexity science, and the natural sciences of evolutionary biology, physics, cognitive neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. Reflecting these interests are his 1995 book Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation; and his 2006 book Corporation, Be Good! The Story of Corporate Social Responsibility.

He coauthored five editions of Business and Society, a market-leading textbook. He was dean of the business schools at the University of Kansas City (now the University of Missouri at Kansas City) and the University of Pittsburgh. He has been president of The Society for Business Ethics, the Society for Advancement of Socio-Economics, and chair of the Social Issues in Management division of The Academy of Management.

Research Interest Areas

Managers' values, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, biogenetic determinants of business behavior

Recent Publications

A continuing series of current book reviews in the fields of corporate social responsibility and business ethics, posted to Professor Frederick's website: www.williamcfrederick.com

Review of Business, Integrity, and Peace by Timothy L. Fort. Business Ethics Quarterly, 20, 1 (January) 2010, 134-137.

Review of Business Ethics and Ethical Business by Robert Audi. Journal of Business Ethics Education, 6 (2009), 201-202.

"The Business Schools' Moral Dilemma." In Diane L. Swanson & Dann G. Fisher (eds.), Advancing Business Ethics Education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2008, pp. 25-42

"Corporate Social Responsibility: Deep Roots, Flourishing Growth, Promising Future." In Andrew W. Crane, Abagail McWilliams, Dirk Matten, Jeremy Moon, & Donald S. Siegel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 522-531

Corporation, Be Good! The Story of Corporate Social Responsibility. Indianapolis, IN: Dog Ear Publishing, Inc., 2006

“Denial and Leadership in Business Ethics Education.” In Business Ethics: New Challenges for Business Schools and Corporate Leaders, R. A. Peterson & O. C. Ferrell (eds.) Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2005. (Coauthor: Diane L. Swanson.)

"The Evolutionary Firm and Its Moral (Dis)Contents," Business, Science, and Ethics, The Ruffin Series No. 4, Society for Business Ethics, 2004. (The Ruffin Lecture delivered at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia, April 2002.)

"Emergent Management Morality: Explaining Corporate Corruption,” Emergence, 5 (1), 5-35, 2003

“Evolutionary Social Contracts,” Business and Society Review, 107:3, 283-308, 2002. (Coauthor: David M. Wasieleski.)

Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Recent Working Papers

"Invitation to Eden: The Natural Potentials and Cultural Limitations of Corporate Strategy", 2008. Available at www.williamcfrederick.com Click on Explorations.

"The Business School in a Geo-Political Context". 2009. Available at www.williamcfrederick.com Click on Explorations.

“T² + D² + E³ = ISCT-II (Move Over Einstein): A Biocultural Guide to Social Contract.” Presented to a conference on Contractarian Approaches to Business Ethics: The Evolution of Integrative Social Contracts Theory, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, November 12-13, 2004

Awards and Honors

Best Book Award, 2009, for "Corporation, Be Good! The Story of Corporate Social Responsibility." Awarded by Social Issues in Management Division, Academy of Management.

Annual Book Award for Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation, Social Issues in Management division of The Academy of Management, 2001

Sumner Marcus Award, for contributions to the Business and Society field, by the Social Issues in Management division of The Academy of Management, 1984

External Service and Assignments

Editorial Board, Academy of Management Review, 1988–93

Editorial Board, Business Ethics Quarterly, 1990–2006

Editorial Board, Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 1999–present

Chair, Social Issues in Management division, The Academy of Management, 1975–76

President, Society for Business Ethics, 1990–91

President, Society for Advancement of Socio-Economics, 1993–94

Consulting Activities

As consultant to Ford Foundation, 1967-1973, conducted field studies of management education in Spain, Italy, Egypt, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. As consultant to Giovanni Agnelli Foundation and Confederazione Generale dell’ Industria Italiana, 1973, developed a 10-year plan for management education in Italy.

As consultant to The Commonwealth Government of Australia, 1970, developed recommendations leading to establishment of the Australian Graduate School of Management.

As consultant to various U.S. corporations, 1964–1985, designed and taught executive education programs.

Personal Interests

Bill Frederick has personal interests ranging from symphonic music to Egyptology to photography to cooking, pastry baking, and rose gardening.

His political affiliation is Democratic. A native of Arkansas, he is an army veteran of the Second World War, with active service in Europe.