Business Ethics








This course provides an introduction to business ethics. Part philosophy and part business, the course covers a wide array of ethical issues arising in contemporary business life. Major theoretical perspectives and concepts are presented, including ethical relativism, utilitarianism, and deontology. The lessons explore employee issues and responsibilities, leadership and decision making, morality, diversity, discrimination, and ethics in marketing and advertising. Corporate social responsibility is also examined, as are the topics of environmental responsibilities, global ethics, and regulation concerns in an era of increasing globalization.

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Course Objectives

Relate the market system to the need for ethics in business and distinguish it from the law and concepts of virtue and morality.
Explore ethics in the context of relativism, psychological egoism, utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics.
Examine the ideas of character ethic, female ethic, human rights, and ethical action.
Illustrate the factors influencing employee issues including the right to work, employment at will, due process and employee participation, health and safety standards, family responsibilities, the right to privacy, and substance abuse testing.
Examine the professional ethics and responsiblities of intermediaries, managerial responsibility and loyalty, and employee responsibilities to the community.
Illustrate how the traits of ethical leaders and the influence of the group affect moral responsibility.
Compare differentiation and discrimination, and examine issues involving diversity and discrimination including the work environment of women, preferential policies, and diversity policies.
Relate risk analysis in health and safety, responsibilities of the producer, products liability and accountability, and fair pricing to ethics in marketing.
Explore the ethical considerations that govern sales, advertising, and product placement in the context of regulation of sales and advertising, and target marketing.
Analyze international economic integration, labor in the global economy, and the regulation of global economic activities by international institutions.
Analyze methods of ensuring morality in business including Kohlberg’s method of assessing moral decision-making processes and James Weber’s modification, ethical corporate structures, and federal sentencing guidelines and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Analyze the classical model and its limitations, and evaluate modern theories of corporate social responsibility including the moral minimum framework and the stakeholder theory.
Define environmental pragmatism and relate it to environmental regulation and sustainable economics.
Relate eastern business philosophies, and Islamic and Jewish traditions to the intricacies of conducting ethical overseas business ventures.

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