Debates on business ethics are not new, but more recently the subject has attracted the attention of major corporations, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international agencies, trade union federations, consulting firms and global civil society. This module will introduce ideas and controversies that are central to business ethics. In essence, business ethics is concerned with what is considered to be morally right and wrong in terms of the way business conducts itself. This is particularly so, in terms of how the more powerful players – TNCs – impact social and environmental conditions in the countries they source product from and the markets in which they operate. One of the key questions raised in this module is whether business should be held accountable for ethical responsibilities beyond the maximisation of profit, and indeed, whether it is possible to be a business operating in a competitive market and still be ethical. The teaching sessions will focus on the ethical issues that affect business management in a globalised world. The key objective of the module is to enhance the students’ capacity to recognize ethical dilemmas which such organizations face. Drawing on examples from global businesses, the module will develop the students’ ability to manage the ethical decisions that they are likely to encounter in their professional careers.
10 x 1 hour lectures, 8 x 1 seminar classes, 4 hours of engagement through ‘ethical dilemmas’ blog
Assessment: 1 individual assignment (3000 words)