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 Email: c. l. [email protected] ac. uk 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: None 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. Objectives 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 analytical skills using ethical frameworks • Draw upon a range of models to aid ethical decision-making. • Apply their knowledge of ethics to some of the great international ethical debates • Apply the knowledge of ethics to everyday • Be sensitive to the influence of culture on ethics. Module Content: Week 1Introduction. Why ethics? Why now? Why does it matter? Perspectives on ethics. Models, concepts and frameworks for decision making Week 2Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy – why bother?
Week 3What is the role of the law in regulating corporate behaviour? Week 4Corporate Governance – How far have we come, how far have we to go? Corporate Social Responsibility – A personal view. Sir Adrian Cadbury Week 5Sustainability. What do we mean by sustainability and what are the issues for business? Week 6What are the issues for multinational operations in the global arena? Consumerism and cross cultural communications Week 7How far does the rhetoric match up to the reality? Workshop and case studies with business professionals. Week 8Review of ethical issues/cases and the role of ethical codes.
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Exploring issues through case studies and current events. Week 9No lecture: Individual Assignment work Week 10 Final Assignment Hand in Corporate Connections: The recent banking crisis and the collapse of economic markets have brought questions about the ethics and responsibilities of organisations sharply into focus The Birmingham Centre for Business Ethics is a registered charity and is run by an elected Council of Management drawn from business organisations in the West Midlands. Drawing members from the corporate world, its members use the opportunity to explore live cases based on their own experience with students during the module.
Other outside speakers are also used to share their experience with students. International Dimensions: The foundation of ethics goes beyond national borders. The interconnectedness between global events and the impact they have on peoples lives has given further impetus to calls for a re examination of the role of business in society. Many of the dilemmas facing managers occur because of developing world issues, such as the globalisation of trade and climate change. International issues become central when comparing Eastern and Western cultures and the module will use case studies and speakers that highlight international issues.
The module will also draw upon the experiences of students to explore comparative issues from different cultures. Contribution of Research: This is an interdisciplinary module and each of the contributors incorporates research from their own area of expertise. For example; Carole Parkes incorporates research from the Institute of Business Ethics and her research on Ethics, CSR and HRM, Margaret Harris is well known for her research in the voluntary sector, Robert Goddard in the area of Corporate Governance and Stuart Cooper on Sustainability. Method of Teaching: This is an interdisciplinary module and the module leader co-ordinates inputs from a team drawn from across and outside the business school and industry • Highly interactive teaching methods are used to explore the main concepts with case based syndicate work and plenary sessions using topical business problems. • Sessions will be led by people from the appropriate discipline who will present concepts and facts but not judgements. • Some case studies will be live using practitioners to present and discuss problems they face. • Directed reading will present alternative views of issues covered and focus upon process rather than answers.
Method of Assessment and Feedback: In course assignment work consists of two pieces of work. The first requires students to use the frameworks and models explored in this module to critically analyze problems and dilemmas encountered in the workplace. Students are also required to submit a personal reflection of their own values and approach to ethical dilemmas (see separate assignment brief posted on Blackboard during first week for details). Included in the assignment brief is the marking scheme for both pieces of work. Students receive a feedback sheet with individual comments.
There is also a group summary provided on Blackboard of general comments from all the assignments highlighting areas of good practice and areas for improvement. Information for Distance Learning Students: All lectures are provided on DVD. Any additional material required will be posted on Blackboard. The scheduled study day session for this module part way through the term will focus on a discussion of the assignment and associated queries. Learning Hours: Contact Hours24 Directed Learning28 Private Study/Group Work30 Assignment18 Total100 Essential Reading:
The core text for the module is; Crane A. & Matten D. (2010) Business Ethics. Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, 3rdnd Edition. Oxford University Press. Readings from this book are suggested by contributors to the module together with any additional recommended reading which is provided under topic headings. However, the following texts provide additional material for the areas to be studied. Indicative 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. Routledge Ferrell O. C. , Fraedrich J. , & Ferrell L. , (2000) Business Ethics, Ethical Decision Making and Cases. Houghton Mifflin Fisher, C. and Lovell, A. (2006) (Second Edition) Business, Ethics and Values. Individual, Corporate and International Perspectives.
Pearson Education Ltd 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.. Smith R K. M. & van den Anker C (2005)The Essentials of Human Rights Hodder Arnold There are also a number of academic journals in the area of Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability available through electronic resources of the Library[pic] ———————– BHM305 BUSINESS, ETHICS, RESPONSIBILITY & SUSTAINABILITY