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COURSE NAME: "Business Ethics"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

INSTRUCTOR: Teresa Triglia
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 11:30-12:50 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Junior Standing

This course considers some of the most important ethical issues in business today. Students will examine such issues as businesses’ responsibilities to shareholders, workers and consumers, the pros and cons of a "free market," the challenges raised by globalization and environmental destruction, the idea of  "ethical" consumption, and the particular dilemmas faced by Western businesses working in foreign countries. Issues will be studied through a selection of contemporary cases, arguments, and broader theories, along with much class discussion, with the aim of helping students develop a familiarity with the issues and the ability to discuss and defend their own opinions.
This course is divided in four parts and within each part, we will analyze various case studies:
Part 1: An Overview of Business Ethics

The Importance of Business Ethics
Stakeholder Relationships, Social responsibility, and Corporate Governance
Part 2: Ethical Issues and the Institutionalization of Business Ethics

Emerging Business Ethics Issues
Part 3: The Decision Making Process
Ethical Decision Making
Individual Factors: Moral Factors and Philiosophies
Part 4: Implementing Business Ethics in a Global Economy
Developing and Effective Ethics Program
Ethics Leadership
1) Increase your awareness of the mutual ethical responsibilities existing between the contemporary business organization and its internal/external stakeholders
2) Analyze relevant cases along with positions and arguments regarding them
3) Analyze and emply broader theoretical approaches, concepts and debates in business ethics
4) Develop informed, reasoned positions regarding these issues and cases
5) Explain and analyze course material orally and in written form, both individually and in teams
6) Enable you to become critical of a powerful institution - Business - of which you are a part so that you can help to create positive change
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases, 12th EditionO.C Ferrell, John Fraedrich, Linda Ferrell cengage13: 978-1337614436 Certain select cases/readings from Harvard Business Publishing (https://hbsp.harvard.edu/home/) will be needed for class, including: • Vaccaro, Antonino and Potito Gianmichele. 2016. “Brunello Cucinelli: Ethical Luxury, the luxury of ethics or what?” IESE Publishing. Harvard Business Publishing, Product No. IES560, BE-196-E. • Soltes, Eugene & Byrnes, Nanette. 2014. “The Fall of the ‘Fabulous Fab.’” Harvard Business School. Harvard Business Publishing, Product No. 9-114-063. • Kirschner, Cheryl. 2007. “Zidane’s Last Red Card (A).” Babson College. Harvard Business Publishing, Product No. BAB132. Other required reading materials will be distributed in class.    

Class ParticipationClasses will involve a mixture of lectures, seminar discussions, group presentations, and other activities. The emphasis will be on helping you to develop your own opinions and arguments and your ability to discuss them with others, as well as your understanding of the materials, issues, and relevant ethical concepts and arguments. Your active involvement in discussions and other class activities, based on adequate preparation outside class, is therefore essential. 10
Mid TermClosed Book20
Case Studies/ Analysis PapersFor each chapter covered in the textbook, a relevant case will be assigned which will require the preparation of a short written analysis paper on questions posed and a discussion in class. In addition to the textbook cases, other cases will assigned. 35
Final ExamClosed Book25
PresentationsStudents will be asked to research, analyze and present a topic assigned in class.10

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.





Class Activities


Week 1-2 Introductions

Introduction to: course, instructor, students, ethics

·       Explain course structure & its purpose

·       Review topics & expectations

·       Teacher introduction

·       Student introductions using ice breaker

·       Complete Personal/Professional self-assessment Profile

·       Case: Uber Hits a Bump in the Road

·       Case: Zidane’s Last Red Card (A)


Chapter 1 of textbook:

The Importance of Business Ethics

Case 2 of textbook:  Uber Hits a Bump in the Road

HBP Case: Zidane’s Last Red Card (A)


Weeks 3 &4 -Stakeholder Relationships, Social Responsibility & Corporate Governance


Define stakeholders, identify issues in social responsibility and importance of corporate governance measures

·       Review chapter 2 materials

·       Case: Starbucks Venti Social Responsibility and Brand Strategy


Chapter 2 of textbook:

Stakeholder Realtionships, Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance

Case 6 of textbook: Starbucks Venti Social Responsibility and Brand Strategy

Weeks 5 & 6 The Decision Making Process

Discuss framework for ethical decision making, using ethical decision making models, and normative considerations

·       Review chapter 5 materials

·       Case: Lululemon: Turning Lemons into Lemonade


Chapter 5 of textbook:

Ethical Decision MakingCase 12 of textbook: Lululemon: Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Weeks 6 & 7 Mid Term Exam & Student Presentations




·       Case: Brunello Cucinelli

  •  Student Presentations

HBP Case: Brunello Cucinelli


Weeks 8 & 9 Moral Philosophies and Values


Discuss moral philosophies and application to ethical decision making, white collar crime, and other individual factors in business ethics

·       Review chapter 6 materials

·       Case: The Volkswagon Scandal: An Admission to Emission Fraud



Chapter 6 of textbook:

Individual Factors: Moral Philosophies & Values


Case 1 of textbook: The Volkswagon Scandal: An Admission to Emission Fraud


Weeks 10 & 11 Developing and Effective Ethics Program

Discuss the need for organizational ethics programs, codes of conduct, systems to monitor and enforce ethical standards

·       Review chapter 8 materials

·       Case: POM Wonderful: Crazy Healthy!


Chapter 8 of textbook: Developing and Effective Ethics Program


Case 4 of textbook: POM Wonderful: Crazy Healthy!

Weeks 12 & 13 Ethical Leadership

Discuss requirements and benefits of ethical leadership, organizational culture, employee empowerment and leadership styles

·       Review chapter 11 materials

·       Case: Enron: Not Accounting for the Future


Chapter 11 of textbook:

Ethical Leadership

Case 20 of the textbook: Enron: Not Accounting for the Future

Week 14 Review & Student Presentations

Wrap-up discussion and final case study

·       Review materials for final exam

·       Case: The Fall of the Fabulous Fab

  • Student Presentations

HBP Case: The Fall of the Fabulous Fab

Week 15 Final Exam




This schedule is subject to change.