Course Overview

This course explores the concept of business ethics and responsibility from a societal perspective. It suggests that corporate sustainability is better executed as a system of related strategies, as opposed to a series of piecemeal initiatives. It will allow students to reflect upon the ethical implications of their decisions, and to analyze and evaluate the economic, social, and environmental responsibilities of their organization.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • identify business social/ethical responsibilities to society
  • integrate knowledge of ethical frameworks and social responsibility concepts into managerial decision making
  • apply stakeholder theory to explain the forces that exert pressure on an organization
  • use conceptual frameworks to analyze and understand the ethics of business and related social responsibility issues
  • demonstrate that economic and social responsibilities are not mutually exclusive by explaining why they are both legitimate outcomes that society should expect from organizations
  • discuss practical examples of how to apply ethical and social responsibility considerations to individual and organizational decision-making

Course Outline

The course is divided into eight lessons.

  • Lesson 1:  Ethics and Responsibilities in the Business and Society Context
  • Lesson 2:  Stakeholder Theory and Relationships with Business
  • Lesson 3:  Theoretical and Applied Ethics of Business
  • Lesson 4:  Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Lesson 5:  Regulation and Ownership Influence on Business
  • Lesson 6:  Governance and Societal Influence on Business
  • Lesson 7:  Environmental and Global Ethics and Responsibilities
  • Lesson 8:  The Relationship of Ethics and Responsibilities to Strategy 

Student Evaluation

Your grade will be based on the completion of one major case study, one analysis of social and economic responsibilities, and participation in weekly group discussions.