Business Ethics

Business Ethics

Business Ethics examines questions of moral right versus wrong in the context of business practice. Students explore the fundamentals of ethical decision making and the various theories of ethics while simultaneously applying this knowledge to real-world ethical scenarios involving workers, managers, and society at large. Students step into the role of individual business leaders, where they consider how organizations deal with the repercussions of unethical actions.

 

Topics covered in this course include theories of ethics and their application to business scenarios, the major ethical frameworks used in developing business ethics, key ethical challenges in the workplace, organizational ethics codes, ethical issues involved in the employer-employee relationship, ethics training, monitoring ethical performance in an organization, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), corporate governance,  Sarbanes-Oxley Act, U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, whistleblowing, ethics and leadership, common ethical issues and challenges in the workplace, capitalism, inequality, and justice, and globalization and ethics. 

 

The course includes pre-assessments, self-assessments, interactive exercises, videos, and games that appeal to a variety of learning styles. Narrative scenarios and case studies give students opportunities to use critical thinking skills and apply their knowledge to real-world ethical scenarios.

 

Module 1: Defining Business Ethics

  • Discuss the role of ethics in the workplace
  • Describe some of the major ethical frameworks used in developing business ethics
  • Discuss the Ethical Triangle and its three components: Individual Ethics,
  • Leadership Ethics, and Governance and Control
  • Recognize the varied influences involved in ethical decision-making
  • Outline ethical models and guidelines
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 2: Theories of Ethics

  • Define consequentialist and nonconsequentialist theories of ethics
  • Discuss utilitarianism and consider its application to an organizational context
  • Describe Immanual Kant’s approach to ethics and consider its application to an organizational context
  • Analyze the elements of moral decision making
  • Discuss the relationship between religion and morality
  • Define ethical relativism
  • Recognize the role individual integrity and responsibility
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 3: Ethical Decision Making

  • Discuss the process of making moral decisions
  • Compare moral versus nonmoral standards
  • Define and construct strong moral arguments
  • Describe various models for ethical decision making
  • Identify the fundamental ethical principles that guide our decision making
  • Consider the origins of our moral principles
  • Discuss the concepts of groupthink and diffusion of responsibility
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 4: Corporations and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Define a corporation
  • Discuss corporate responsibility for ethical conduct
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways ethical values benefit an organization
  • Explain the role of corporate governance in directing and controlling businesses
  • Define Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Describe CSR best practices
  • Define corporate sustainability
  • Identify the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), including SOX Section 406
  • Describe the practices that the U.S Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits, and explain how it applies to typical business situations
  • Explain the key factors involved in whistleblowing
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 5: Leadership and Organizational Ethics

  • Recognize the role of leadership in setting the ethical tone for an organization
  • Describe the principles for building an ethical culture
  • Explore how leadership requires setting an ethical example
  • Discuss how leaders can deal with ethical lapses
  • Describe the role of leadership during an ethical crisis
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 6: Building an Ethical Organization

  • Discuss how an organization establishes and maintains an ethical culture
  • Describe the role of Human Resources in hiring ethically-minded employees and in training them
  • Outline the relationship between ethics and internal controls
  • Describe the uses of corporate ethics codes
  • Explain the goals of ethics training
  • Describe how the human performance feedback loop and survey tools can be used to monitor ethical compliance
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 7: Issues in the Workplace

  • Discuss the concept of civil liberties in the workplace
  • Describe employee rights in the areas of employment at will (EAW), the Duty of Loyalty, and the Duty of Confidentiality
  • Discuss issues related to health, safety, and risk
  • Discuss concerns surrounding job discrimination and affirmative action
  • Describe ways to identify and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Explain ways that employers can help workers achieve a sense of work-life balance
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 8: Common Ethical Challenges

  • Define company loyalty and conflicts of interest
  • Discuss ways in which employees may abuse their official positions
  • Describe the ethical implications of bribes, kickbacks, gifts, and entertainment in the business setting
  • Discuss the legal and moral concerns surrounding product safety
  • Consider arguments for and against governmental regulation of suppliers and manufacturers
  • Identify examples of deception and unfairness in advertising
  • Describe the role of the Federal Trade Commission
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 9: Capitalism, Inequality, and Justice

  • Consider the nature of justice
  • Identify the rival principles of distributive justice
  • Discuss the libertarian view of distributive justice
  • Describe Rawls’s Theory of Justice
  • Define capitalism
  • Describe the moral justifications for capitalism as well as its criticisms
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios

Module 10: Globalization and Ethics

  • Define globalization and the Tragedy of the Commons
  • Discuss ethics, culture, and universal value
  • Describe global market failures
  • Identify ethical concerns surrounding supply chain, outsourcing, and working conditions
  • Discuss the harmonization of business ethics
  • Examine various emerging global issues
  • Apply ethical principles to workplace scenarios