The course will be divided into 4 sessions each of about 3 hours. Indicative headings for each of the four blocks are as follows : 1. Basic concepts and logic of the subject ; introduction to the idea of company social responsibility. 2. Leading contemporary themes and issues in the subject ; globalisation ; sustainability ; ethical issues that relate to the financial sector in the contemporary period, moral hazard, interest and usury etc. 3. Stakeholder theory ; the European Social Model and a comparison of North American and European approaches to the subject 4. Leading approaches to moral philosophy which are of relevance to discussions in Business Ethics ; comparison of their contrasting implications in relation to selected controversial issues.
In the contemporary setting of globalised business managers increasingly find themselves having to face ethically based criticisms and to grapple with ethical dilemmas. The importance of ethical conduct in business has been brought sharply into focus by a series of high profile business scandals such as that of ENRON. This module aims to develop the students awareness of the ethical issues which can confront an international and/or multicultural business and their ability to analyse these and deal with them in a critically informed manner. The course begins with an examination of basic concepts and shows how ethical issues and actions cannot be avoided in contemporary business. This leads into a discussion of the major macro level themes of the subject : company social responsibility and its extent, globalisation and its impact, sustainability and development, stakeholder theory and the European social model. A selection of micro level issues are also dealt with through the medium of case studies. Since in the final analysis a manager’s decisions in respect of ethical issues and business dilemmas will be informed by their own moral code, the module rounds off with a review of a range of the leading moral philosophies which are of relevance to business ethics.
Basic text for the course HARTMAN L (2005) 3rd international edition “Perspectives in Business Ethics” Mc Graw Hill, Maidenhead. This text is a very good reference work for all sorts of topics in Business Ethics, both theoretical and practical.
Further reading BEAUCHAMP T (2004) 5th ed. “Case studies in Business Society and Ethics”, Pearson, London. This is a good collection of case studies to whet the appetite CRANE A and MATTEN D (2006) 2nd ed, “Business Ethics”, Oxford University Press. A fairly comprehensive textbook ; Chapters 1,2,3 are the most relevant
DONALDSON T et alii (2002) 7th ed. “Ethical issues in Business : a philosophical approach”, Pearson Prentice Hall, Harlow
ECONOMIST, the : “The Good Company : A Special Look At Corporate Social Responsibility”, January 22nd-28th 2005.
FISHER C and LOVELL A (2009) 3rd ed. “Business Ethcis and Values”, Prentice Hall, Harlow. This is an excellent and very up to date textbook.
VELASQUEZ M (2005) 6th ed “Business Ethics ; Concepts and Cases” Prentice Hall London. Again a good basic textbook