Business Ethics Outline

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Business Ethics Outline
Number of Aston Credits: 10

Number of ECTS Credits: 5

Staff Member Responsible for the Module:

Carole Parkes, Work & Organisational Psychology Group
South Wing, Room 8016, Extension 3195
Availability: see office hours
Or contact the Work and Organisational Psychology Group Administrator Mrs Jenny Thompson, SW 802, Extension 3257

Pre-requisites for the Module:


Mode of Attendance:

On Campus and Off Campus

Module Objectives and Learning Outcomes:

The Institute of Business Ethics defines business ethics as ‘the application of ethical values to business behaviour.’ As Aristotle recognised, ethics is not an ethereal abstraction but is a practical aid to business problem solving. This module takes ideas from a range of disciplines (including some of the greatest thinkers of all time) to help understand, analyse and resolve ethical dilemmas in management. There has been a growing interest in the ethics of business and what is generally referred to as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Sustainability. Whilst these terms have a number of synonyms and a variety of different uses, they all relate to issues about society, the economy and the environment.


• To distinguish between ethics, morals, codes of conduct and the law.
• To understand the ethical dilemmas facing managers.
• To explore models that supports ethical decision making and their limitations.
• Be aware of different philosophies and their implications.
• To study a series of cases focusing on contemporary issues.
• Examine the evolution of governance and its practice.
• To understand corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.
• To explore the concept of sustainability.
• To consider the role of business in relation to ethics, CSR & sustainability.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

• Understand ethical components of managerial decision making
• Develop thinking and

Bibliography: Blowfield, M. & Murray, A. (2008) Corporate Responsibility – a critical introduction Oxford University Press. Burchell, J. (2008) The Corporate Social Responsibility Reader. Routledge Cadbury Adrian., (2002) Corporate governance and chairmanship, A personal view OUP. Chryssides George (1996) Essentials Of Business Ethics. McGraw Hill Crane, A; Matten, D; & Spence, L; (2007) Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context Ferrell O.C., Fraedrich J., & Ferrell L., (2000) Business Ethics, Ethical Decision Making and Cases. Houghton Mifflin Fisher, C Hendry J., & Sorrell T., (2000) Business Ethics, Butterworth-Heinemann. Pinnington, A, Macklin, R & Campbell, T. (2007) Human Resource Management. Ethics and Employment. Oxford University Press..

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