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Masters of Business Administration

Syllabus Copyright 2010 Associate Professor and Chair, School of Management Studies


Course Description: This course on applied ethics deals with the relationship between moral behavior and business issues. Classroom discussions will focus on ethical dimensions of business decision making and provide a forum for developing skills in moral reasoning that will be useful in practical business settings. The emphasis will be on exploring moral problems facing people in business, build the analytical skills necessary to critically assess and act on a situation, and understand the impact of the values each of us brings into business situations. We will consider ethical theory an essential tool for solving business problems. We will examine philosophical theories and apply them to specific business issues presented in cases. It is in the analysis of case studies that we will view morally charged business issues through the lens of the corporation, general managers and employees. Through discussion, we will exercise and build skills required to assess these issues and develop well reasoned solutions to these problems. Each week we will explore a case, frame the issues, evaluate them from various philosophical approaches and recommend a course of action. Course Objectives: 1. Familiarize you with ethical issues that arise in business settings at the level of the organization, management and employees. 2. Provide you with an understanding of philosophical theories and their application in a business context. 3. Encourage you to gain a broader perspective of organizational responsibilities. 4. Become familiar with case methodology and analyzing problems and drawing conclusions through observation and discussion. 5. Improve ability to think on your feet, to communicate (written and verbal) your ideas clearly and to persuade others to follow your recommendations. 6. Strengthen your ability to function as a team member.

Required Readings: Texts: Donaldson, T. & Werhane P. H. (1999) Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach, Eighth Edition, Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Course Requirements: Your grade will be determined as follows: 10% from class participation discussion questions. It is essential that you come to class prepared to discuss that days reading. 30% from two short assignments (1-2 pages double spaces, 12 pt type, 1 margins) 30% from ethical theory paper (maximum 6 pgs, double spaced, 12 pt., 1 margins). 30% from justice paper (maximum 6 pgs, double spaced, 12 pt., 1 margins). A further note on class participationAs you will quickly discover, discussions about ethics can become very personal and passionate. During our conversation, I can fairly predict that you will 1) hear a position presented by another person that you think no sensible human being could possibly support, and 2) say something that you yourself can scarcely believe youve said sometime after you said it. This is so because we touch upon nothing less than what life means to people. Given this dimension, the class needs to remember certain rules of the game. I have adopted Professor Timothy Forts following Rules for Moral Debate: 1. State your position as accurately as possible. 2. Listen to and respect the other, however different or however other. 3. Be willing to correct or defend your opinion if challenged by a colleague. (Changing ones mind is not a weakness.) 4. Be prepared to endure conflict and ambiguity.

Assignment Standards
Analysis in Class Discussions, Papers and Presentations All assignments will be evaluated at the end of term based on the following guidelines. A Excellent: Demonstrates exceptional analysis and the ability to integrate concepts and relate them to practical experience, published research and other material (other theories, facts, work experiences). Focused analysis, thoughtful responses, and questions enable student to contribute in a significant way to the analyses of strategic issues in the current business environment. B Very Good: Demonstrates good analysis and the ability to integrate concepts and relate material to practical experience, published research and other material (other theories, facts, work experiences). Analysis including interpretations and points of view enables student to contribute constructively to the analysis of strategic issues in the current business environment. C Adequate: Demonstrates fair analysis and limited ability to integrate concepts and relate concepts to practical experience, published research and other material (other theories, facts, work experiences). Analysis including limited interpretations and more than just a reiteration of the facts enables student to participate to the discussion of strategic issues in the current business environment. 3

D Inadequate: No Ds are given to graduate students. F ZERO: Demonstrates little or no analysis or work has been done. The highest standards of grammar and clearly articulated analyses are expected on oral and written assignments. Assignments that do not meet these standards will not receive an A grade regardless of the quality of the analysis. Footnotes or other appropriate means of citation are always required when you refer to others work used in your written and oral assignments. This specifically includes material that you paraphrase or access via the Internet. All written and oral assignments that do not appropriate cite sources will receive an F regardless of the quality work. It is considered cheating to take a paper from the internet and put your name on it. Should this be the case, you will receive an F for the course and appropriately disciplinary action will be taken.

Grading Scale
The official grading scale for all courses in SMS (graduate & undergraduate) is as follows:
Revised 4/29/09

96 100

A grades represent: (1) Superior understanding of course material and evidence of ability to analyze critically and synthesize creatively; (2) Excellent techniques of scholarship in all projects; (3) Creativity, imagination, sound judgment, and intellectual curiosity in relating the course material to other areas of intellectual investigation.


90 95 87 89 83 86
B grades represent: (1) Evidence of ability to produce viable generalizations and insightful implications; (2) Good techniques of scholarship in all projects; (3) Sustained interest and the ability to communicate the ideas and concepts which are part of the subject matter of the course.


80 82 77 79 73 76
C grades represent: (1) Understanding of course material demonstrated by few errors in fact and judgment when discussing the materials; (2) Fair techniques of scholarship; (3) Satisfaction of the minimum related requirements for the course in preparation, outside reading, and class participation. (Bachelor students are required to retake core courses in which they earn a C-. Nevertheless, this grade may be assigned if appropriate.)

C*D+ *D *DF

70 72 67 69 63 66 60 62 below 60

(Undergraduate Only) (Undergraduate Only) (Undergraduate Only) F grades represent: (1) A lack of understanding of the course material demonstrated by many errors in fact and judgment when discussing the material; (2) An inability to use sound techniques of scholarship; (3) Failure to meet the standard and fulfill the requirements of the course.

*NOTE: There are no D grades in Easterns graduate programs. Any grade below C- will be recorded as an F.

Course Calendar
Session 1: Course Overview Discussion Questions: 1. Describe your personal ethics. 2. How does your personal ethics apply to business? 3. What is your definition of business ethics? Readings: Sen, Amarta. Does Business Ethics Make Economic Sense? (DW p. 256) Friedman, Milton. The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits (DW p. 34) Smith, Adam. Benefits of the Profit Motive (DW p. 163) Study Questions: 1. What is the purpose of the firm? 2. What role does trust play in our economy? 3. What role do corporate values play in business decisions? How does this relate to trust? 4. What values are important for an organization in todays business environment? Session 2: Moral Behavior of Managers Case: The Enron Collapse, by Stewart Hamilton (DW 294) Case Study Questions: 1. What would you have done if you were working for Enron? Why? 2. What was the conceptual scheme of the management team at Enron? 3. How did they think that they could get away with it? 4. What alternatives were available to them? 5. What happens if everyone breaks the rules? Readings: Bok, Sissea. Whistleblowing and Professional Responsibility (DW p. 128) Jackall Robert. Moral Mazes: Bureaucracy and Managerial Work. (DW p. 317) Bird, F. B. & Waters, J. A. The Moral Muteness of Managers (DW p. 334) Legislative Summary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (DW p. 348) Readings Study Questions: 1. According to Jackall, what leads to success in the business world? Is this ethical? Is it a game you wish to play? 2. Why dont managers speak in moral terms? What conceptual scheme is at work? 3. How does Sarbanes-Oxley alleviate some of the issues at Enron? Is it enough Session 3: Values and Self Interest Short Assignment: Prepare a written summary of your personal ethics (1-2 pages double spaced, 12 pt type 1 margins) to be turned in at the beginning of class and discussed during class. Attach a letter to shareholders from an annual report. Study Questions: 1. What are the core values of the company that are addressed in the letter? 2. How do your personal ethics fit into the values of the company? 3. Why is this question an important one? (Refer to Enron) 6

Case: McCoy, Bowen H. Parable of the Sadhu (DW p. 287) Study Questions: 1. What would you have done if you encountered the Sadhu? Why? 2. Who, if anyone, was responsible for the Sadhus well being? 3. What role does local custom play in determining the right thing to do? 4. What is the relationship between ethics and business customs? Session 4: Ethical Theories Readings: Donaldson & Werhane. Human Nature Ethics (DW p. 1) Solomon, Robert C. Corporate Roles, Personal Virtues: An Aristotelean Approach to Business (DW p. 66) Study Questions: 1. Does a corporation constitute a community? If so, who are and are not members? 2. What is your view on Aristotles comments on parasites? 3. These theories focus on cultivating people? Is this an appropriate role for business? Why or why not? 4. Revisit the Sadhu discussion. How would these ethical theories lead us to arrive at a different conclusion? Reading: Gustafson, Andrew. Utilitarianism and Business Ethics (DW p. 78) Study Questions 1. How does one determine what constitutes the greatest good for the greatest number in Mills utilitarianism? Readings: Kant, Immanuel. Ethical Duties Towards Others: Truthfulness (DW p. 110) Bowie, Norman. A Kantian Approach to Business Ethics (DW p. 56) Study Questions: 1. What are Kants categorical imperatives? 2. If everyone followed the rules, what type of world would we live in? 3. When is it ethical to lie, according to Kant? Session 5: International Business Assignment: Ethical Theory Paper Due by 6 p.m. on 3/22 Readings: Rachels, James. The Challenge of Cultural Relativism. (DW p. 438) Donalston and Dunfee. A Social Contracts Approach to Business Ethics (DW p. 448) DeGeorge, Richard. International Business Ethics and Incipient Capitalism: A Double Standard? (DW p. 463) Donaldson, Thomas. Values in Tension: Ethics Away From Home (DW p. 476). Study Questions: 1. Are there any universal moral principles? 2. What is the role of background institutions in DeGeorges argument? How might these work? 3. According to Donaldson, when is it permissible for a manager to engage in an action that violates his/her values and ethics?

4. Do companies have an ethical obligation to bring ethical practices into markets that do not have such practices? Session 6: Profit and Property Readings: Locke, John. The Justification of Private Property (DW 128-133) Marx, Karl Alienated Labour (DW 133-137) - Plus article on reserve Carnegie, Andrew. Wealth (DW 142-147) Note: It is very important that you master each theory. Please read carefully, think about and discuss with each other. Study Questions: 1. How does Locke justify private property? 2. What does Marx mean by alienated labor? 3. What does Carnegie say about Social Darwinism and Profit? Session 7: Justice Discussion of Profit and Property Short Assignment: Prepare a written summary of the following statement: Life isnt fair. (1-2 pages double spaced, 12 pt type 1 margins to be turned in at the beginning of class and discussed during class). Readings: Rawls, John. Distributive Justice. (DW 190-200) Nozick, Robert. The Entitlement Theory. (DW 200-206) Study Questions: 1. Is Rawls veil of ignorance a useful technique to determine what is just? If so, should we employ this technique in business situations? 2. How does Nozick deal with the less fortunate (i.e., those born without, say, intelligence, wealth, opportunity)? Session 8: The Environment Justice Debate

Course Policies
The following policy information is by no means exhaustive. Therefore, students should consult Eastern Universitys Degree Completion Handbook for specific information regarding policies. Academic Dishonesty
The student is responsible to become familiar with acceptable standards for research and documentation and to abide by them. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: 1. Plagiarism or presenting words, pictures, ideas, or artwork, that are not your own, as if they were your own, in spoken, written, or visual form. 2. Submitting a paper written by another student or another person as if it were your own. 3. Submitting a paper written by you for another course or occasion without the explicit knowledge and consent of the instructor. 4. Fabricating evidence or statistics that supposedly represent your original research. 5. Cheating of any sort on tests, papers, projects, reports, and so forth. 6. Falsification of any materials submitted for admissions or grading purposes.

Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. Cheating is the claiming of credit for work not done independently without giving credit for aid received, or any unauthorized communication during examinations. A student's name on any written exercise (theme, report, notebook, paper, examination) shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the student's own thought and study, stated in the student's own words and produced without assistance, except as quotation marks, references and footnotes acknowledge the use of other sources of assistance. Occasionally, students may be authorized to work jointly, but such effort must be indicated as joint on the work submitted. Submitting the same paper for more than one course is considered a breach of academic integrity unless prior approval is given by the instructors. In preparing papers or themes, a student often needs or is required to employ sources of information or opinion. All such sources used in preparing to write or in writing a paper shall be listed in the bibliography. It is not necessary to give footnote reference for specific facts which are common knowledge and have obtained general agreement. However, facts, observations and opinions which are new discoveries or are debatable shall be identified with correct footnote references even when restated in the student's own words. Material taken word for word from the written or oral statement of another person must be enclosed in quotation marks or otherwise clearly distinguished from the body of the text and the source cited. Paraphrasing or summarizing the contents of another's work usually is acceptable if the source is clearly identified but does not constitute independent work and may be rejected by the instructor. Notebooks, homework and reports of investigations or experiments shall meet the same standards as all other written work. If any work is done jointly or if any part of an experiment or analysis is made by someone other than the writer, acknowledgment of this fact shall be made in the report submitted. Obviously, it is dishonest to falsify or invent data.

Written work presented as personal creation is assumed to involve no assistance other than incidental criticism from others. A student shall not knowingly employ story material, wording or dialogue taken from published work, motion pictures, radio, television, lectures or similar sources. In writing examinations, the student shall respond entirely on the basis of the student's own capacity without any assistance except that authorized by the instructor. Academic Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
When academic honesty is violated, according to the definition adopted by the faculty and whatever additional definition the instructor has published to his/her students, the instructor may choose one of the following penalties according to his/her assessment of the severity of the infraction and any extenuating circumstances: 1. Assign a grade of F or zero on the paper, project, or examination but allow re-submission, resulting in a maximum grade of C. 2. Assign a grade of F or zero on the paper, project, or examination without the opportunity for re-submission. 3. Assign a grade of F in the course. In all cases the instructor will forward, in writing, evidence of the academic dishonesty and the academic penalty to the Dean of GPS.

Class Attendance
Because of the accelerated schedule and cohort learning model of SMS at Eastern University, attendance at all class sessions of each course is considered a critical element in the accomplishment of learning outcomes. Furthermore, attendance records are maintained and are essential to comply with government regulations for recipients of Veteran Administration benefits and other scholarships, as well as accreditation standards. Therefore, students are expected to attend all class sessions of their undergraduate courses in the School of Management Studies. Nevertheless, it is recognized that class absences are sometimes necessary for extenuating professional or personal reasons. It is for these reasons that the following policy and procedures are established. A student is considered absent if s/he has missed at least one quarter of a class session (e.g. one hour of a four hour class).

Class Lateness
Because of the accelerated schedule of the Degree Completion Programs, it is important that classes begin and end on time, making full use of all available class time. Therefore a student is required to arrive prior to the time of class start and remain until the end of class. Failure to fulfill either of these requirements will affect the class participation component of the course grade. Please remember, as indicated in the Class Attendance section, that after one hour a student is considered absent.

Late Submission of Assignments

Due to the accelerated curriculum format, submission of assignments by stated due dates is critical as this allows students to receive the full benefit of learning from instructor feedback. In cases where students


submit assignments late, the course instructor may exact a penalty in the form of points deducted from the assignment grade.

Students with Disabilities

Eastern University will make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The purpose of accommodations is to provide equal access to educational opportunities to students with disabilities, and it is not intended that academic standards be lowered or essential elements of programs or courses be changed. Students requesting accommodations on the basis of disabilities must fill out a request form that is available from the Cushing Center for Counseling and Academic Support (CCAS) and the Student Development Office of Eastern University. If students require assistance in completing the form, they should request it from CCAS.

Students should provide documentation of the disability by a professional qualified to evaluate disabilities in the areas specific to the student.

Classroom Climate
Classroom climate will be established that promotes a business-like, respectful learning environment with the role of the instructor that of facilitator in the learning process. The learning process involves a cohort of business professionals (students) interacting with each other during class discussions and breakouts. As such, students are expected to attend class, participate in discussions on a regular basis, and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Disruptive behavior will result in failing grades on in-class assignments or in a one letter grade reduction. Disruptive behavior includes leaving early or arriving late, stepping in and out of class during class time, sleeping or reading in class, chatting directly to a classmate or to others on the internet or cell phones, or any other behavior that is inconsiderate of other students or disruptive to the learning process. Any student engaged in disruptive behavior will be asked to leave the class and will not be allowed to return until the next scheduled class period. To ensure a business-like, respectful learning environment, students will be required to Put all of their personal belongings (cell phones, ipods, blackberry, etc.) away except items including text book, course preparation assignments, and notebooks relevant to this class relevant to the class discussions. Take responsibility for understanding assignment guidelines provided by the instructor in the class that the assignment is discussed. Remain up to date on the course material and manage their assignments so that questions can be anticipated when material is reviewed in class.

Professor reserves the right to change the syllabus based on the progress of the class.