Business Ethics

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Business Ethics
An Introduction to Business Ethics
and Social Responsibility

Lecture Etiquette
• Try to be on time
• Quietly enter and leave the lecture theatre
• Be respectful to lecturers and other stude•

Lecturers:

Course objectives
 To introduce students to ethical and political debates
regarding the social responsibilities of businesses and
corporations
 To introduce students to ethical concerns that surround
businesses and their treatment of a variety of
stakeholders (e.g. consumers, investors, employees,
suppliers…)
 To introduce students to managerial concerns that relate to business ethics and corporate social responsibility
(e.g. corporate reporting practices…)

Lecture Schedule
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Introduction (RC)
Ethical Theory and Business (GW)
The Role of the Corporation (GW)
Descriptive Ethics (GW)
Shareholders, CSR and Firm Performance (RC)
Tools and Reporting (CH)
Employees (JM)
Consumers (RC)

Easter Break
9. Suppliers and Competitors (RC)
10. Civil Society and the Non-Market Environment (RC)
11. Revision Lecture (All Staff)

Exam: Overview
 Individual Examination (60%)
 90 Minute Exam.
 Answer 2 questions from a choice of 5.
-The two questions carry equal weighting (50/50) so you should divide your time equally (i.e. 45mins each)
-Each question will clearly relate to one lecture.
-It is important that materials from the lecture of relevance are referred to.
*Revision seminars are available to support your preparation for the exam (sign up from week 5)

Group Poster Assessment: Overview
• Work as consultants in groups to a specific brief
• Produce a poster document (A2 size/4 x A4)
• Delivered through series of Mentored Workshops:
Week 3: ‘Orientation Session’ (LM: outline task)
Week 5: ‘Mentored Session’
Week 7: ‘Poster Session’

• Groups
• Academic mentors
• Signing up…

Group Poster Assessment: Overview
• Sign up ONCE to a specific timeslot that you stay in for weeks 3, 5 & 7. FOR EXAMPLE:
• You decide to sign up for the 9-10.30 slot on Tuesdays




WEEK 3 ‘Orientation Session’
WEEK 5 ‘Mentored Session’
WEEK 7 ‘Poster Assessment’

9-10.30 (Tuesday 12th Feb)
9-10.30 (Tuesday 26th Feb)
9-11.00 (Tuesday 12th March)

• Must sign up between now and end of week 2 (next week!!) • Can’t sign up twice (or swap halfway)

Main Text
Crane, A. and Matten D. 2007.
Business Ethics. Oxford
University Press, Oxford.
 If you want to buy the book, you can
(it overlaps the content of the previous
edition and adds more new materials;
there is also a newer addition that is more
or less the same).
 The previous edition is also available in the
library is similar in terms of content.

Course Reading
• Students are required to read the first 10
chapters of the C&M Text
• Each lecture refers to one chapter
• There is one other required reading for each
lecture; and two further readings
• All readings and other web-resources are found
on Moodle or in the Module Outline
• Questions...

Getting Down to Business (Ethics)

What is Business Ethics?
According to Crane & Matten business ethics:
• Is the study of business situations, activities, and
decisions where issues of right and wrong are
addressed;
• Can be said to begin where the law ends; and/or
• Relates to the “grey areas” of business: i.e.
where values are in conflict

Ethics and the Law

Ethics

grey
area

discretionary / obligatory

Law

Why do Grey Areas – i.e. ethical
concerns regarding business – Emerge?
1. Because, in a
Globalized World
Corporations can
operate in
different countries
with different
cultures and legal
systems; and…

Why do Grey Areas – i.e. ethical
concerns regarding business – Emerge?
2. People have different ideas of right and wrong

What types of issues can fall into this
grey area?
Issues relating to:
• Stakeholders: e.g. issues relating to laying off...
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