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2012/2013  KAN-CM_SU8N  Business, Society and Ethics

English Title
Business, Society and Ethics

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
NOTE: The course schedule is at the moment ONLY available at www.cbs.dk/summer
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Faculty - William R. Holmes, Simon Fraser University/Sheridan Institute of Technology
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management
Main Category of the Course
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
Last updated on 23-04-2012
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • apply effective issues management and decision-making criteria to current business problems
  • exhibit broad comprehension of concepts, theories, models and frameworks necessary to analyse the relations between stakeholders when addressing ethical dilemmas
  • discuss the evolution of corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship in light of the increasing level of globalization of business
  • recognize and describe the crucial role of corporate governance in corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility
  • critically analyse the ‘triple bottom line’ and ‘sustainable business’ as potential goals for corporate behaviour
  • critically evaluate the changing role of corporate citizenship in the context of globalization, current environmental issues and changing technologies
  • discuss and propose alternative solutions to current real world ethical issues and cases
Business, Society and Ethics
Project / home assignment (written individually), 15 A4 pages :
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
Mandatory Feedback Assignment
Please note that in order to write the exam, students must have successfully participated in the assigned group presentation.
Course content
This graduate level course in business ethics provides students with a broad based understanding of business ethics from both theoretical and applied orientations. Students are presented with a comprehensive overview of ethical theory and its development and then required to apply these theories to contemporary issues in business.  By using business cases illustrating specific ethical transgressions that have occurred in the recent past, the aim of this course is to train students to critically evaluate contemporary ethical issues and dilemmas through the lens of ethical theory.  Particular attention will be paid to the interrelationship between business ethics and Corporate Governance, Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability issues.
Groups of students will be assigned and tasked with presenting a case to the class.  This presentation will not be graded but satisfactory completion is a prerequisite for taking the final exam. 
The course will be tentatively structured as follows;
Lesson 1 Course overview / Introduction to ethical theory
Lesson 2 Introduction to ethical theory (continued)
Lesson 3 Corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility
Lesson 4 Corporate governance and responsibility in finance and accounting
Lesson 5 Corporate social responsibility in marketing and product liability
Lesson 6 Diversity, human rights and ethics in the workplace
Lesson 7 Ethics, globalization and environmental sustainability
Lesson 8 Cross cultural ethics in international business
Lesson 9 Issues management
Lesson 10 Reputation, ethical leadership and technological change 
Each lesson contains a lecture, case presentation and discussion. Students are expected to be active participants in the learning experience as opposed to passive receptacles for information.
The course’s development of personal competences:
Students are expected to be active participants in the learning experience as opposed to passive receptacles for information.  The importance of clear and concise written and verbal communication will be stressed throughout the course.  In addition to the material covered in the text, students will develop hands-on skills in case analysis, group dynamics and formal business presentations
Teaching methods
Lectures, seminars, case study discussions and presentations
Expected literature
Crane, A. and Matten, D., 2010, Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press, 566 Pages (exclusive of references).
Arnold, DG, Audi, R and Zwolinski, M 2010, ‘Recent Work in Ethical Theory and Its Implications for Business Ethics’, Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 20, iss. 4, pp. 559-581.
Asgary, N and Mitschow, MC 2002, ‘Toward a Model for International Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 36, pp. 239-246.
Donaldson, TJ and Preston, LE 1995, ‘The Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 20, pp. 65-90.
Garriga, E and Mele, D 2004, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Theories:  Mapping the Territory’ Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 53, pp. 51-71.
Matten, D Crane, A and Chapple, W 2003, ‘Behind the Mask; Revealing the True Face of Corporate Citizenship’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 45(1-2), pp. 109-120.
Van Marrewijk, E 2003, ‘Concept and Definitions of CSR and Corporate Sustainability:  Between Agency and Communion’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 44, pp. 95-105.
“Union Carbide’s Bhopal Catastrophe” in Hartley, Robert F., Business Ethics: Mistakes and Successes, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1st Edition, 2005. pp. 159-169., ISBN: 0-471-66373-5
Google in China – Ivey Case #906E19
Talisman Energy Inc. – Ivey Case #909M35
Hitting the Wall: Nike and International Labour Practices – Harvard Case #9-700-047
Accounting Fraud at WorldCom – Harvard Case #9-104-071
The Tip of the Iceberg: JP Morgan and Bear Stearns – Harvard Case 9-309-001
Merck and Co. Inc. – The Business Enterprise Trust, Case #9-991-021
The Lockheed Aircraft Corporation – A. Carl Kotchian, “The Payoff: Lockheed’s 70-day Mission to Tokyo”, in Saturday Review Magazine, July 9, 1977, pp. 7-12.
Last updated on 23-04-2012