MBA527 Iss in Ethics & Social Responsib

for F1P 2010

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Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


MBA527 Issues in Ethics and Social Responsibility


F1P 2010 MB


Mayer, Robert D.


Adjunct Instructor/Executive in Residence - School Of Business


MA Goddard College
BA Bethel College

Office Location

Library/ Adjunct Office

Office Hours

By Appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Semester Dates

August 17, 2010 - October 5, 2010

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours



Gibson, Kevin. (2005). Business Ethics: People, Profits and the Planet. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Product Details
ISBN: 0072998725
ISBN-13: 9780072998726
Format: Textbook Hardcover, 696pp 
Pub. Date: August 2005
Edition Number: 1

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Course Description:


MBA 527 Issues in Ethics and Social Responsibility: This course explains the importance and rationale of ethical decision making in business environment as well as the skills and analysis necessary to succeed in professional careers. Ethical standard such as competency, integrity, objectivity, confidentiality and professionalism will be addressed from a valued oriented business approach with a better understanding of the political, social and moral implications. Prerequisite: MG 260 or equivalent approved by Program Director. (Formerly MG 527).

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy centers around readings, cases, and review questions because the best way to learn the topic is through application and discussion.  Lectures and outside resources will supplement the readings to highlight important concepts, but class discussions and questions will be the main method which allows the concepts to be remembered so that you will be able to apply them in a business setting.  It is critical that all assignments be completed to the best of your ability before coming to class, and you are prepared to discuss your answers with the class.

Class Assessment:
Homework, Discussion, Case study and Research papers.


Homework (weekly points possible: 20) – Overall Total is 140 pts.

  1. 10 points for answering the correct questions and submitting by start of class each week (email or paper).
  2. 10 points for effort, thoughtfulness, and thoroughness of the responses, including application to weekly subject matter and documentation of sources.

Discussion (weekly points possible: 15) – Overall total is 120 pts.

  1. Discussion points cannot be made up if you miss class without prior approval at Instructor's discretion.

Other grading tools:

  • Two 3 page research papers (20pts./40pts. total)
  • Quiz (30 pts.)
  • Draft outline of Research Paper (40 pts.)
  • Final Research paper and PowerPoint (140 pts.)


Methods of evaluation:



Weekly homework assignments from chapters (15 pts each week) Weeks 1-8


Weekly Discussion activities (15 pts each week) Weeks 2-7


Two 3 page Research Report ( 20 pts. each)




Draft outline of Research Paper


Final Research Paper and Presentation


Total possible points


Method of conversion of points to grade at end of term:

500-410 pts,90% or more  = A
409-310 pts,80% - 89%  = B
309-200 pts, 70% - 79%  = C
199-0 pts, less than 70% = not acceptable for consideration as graduate work.

Final grades will be based on performance on (a) homework, (b) Discussion participation, (c) research project, (d) quiz, (e) research outline (f) two research reports.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
 As a general rule late assignments are not accepted. At instructor's discretion late assignments may be accepted if you contact the instructor prior to the due date and request permission to turn in late must be significant reason. Instructor will determine an applicable point deduction for lateness. Discussion points can be made up if absent only one time with prior approval and make-up written project.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1 Assignments (To be Completed before first class): August 17, 2010 

  • Read Introduction, Part 1, Chapter 1 of the textbook
  • Homework

1.  Look up the terms “free market” and “capitalism” in a dictionary or encyclopedia. What are your thoughts on free markets and capitalism?2.  Define “stewardship”.

3.Distinguish between “consumer choice” and “consumer sovereignty” as described in the reading.

Week 2 Assignments – August 24, 2010



·         Read Chapter 2 of the textbook

·         Do 3 page Research Report with 4 references

·         Do oral presentation of the report

·         Read cases: Enron – p. 624; Dupont and Benlate – p. 622

·         Do homework.

1.  There are some standard questions about utilitarianism including:

      a. What about the welfare of future generations – can potential people have moral consideration?
      b. To what extent do we have to make others happy? What if that endeavor conflicts with our present life plans? 
      c. Do intentions matter, or is it really the case that ‘all’s well that ends well’?
      d. There is a concern about minority interests – if we could live luxuriously if some anonymous person was tortured (or if we get cheap gas at the expense of an Amazonian tribe we’ve never heard of) where is the problem? Presumably, there would be an overall diminishment of utility if we all knew that our rights might be taken away if it suited the majority, and so overall utility supports a robust sense of rights. However, that may not be a convincing argument to many.
      e. Do animals and the environment count in the calculus, or is it just humans?
      f. Why can’t I favor those I know and love?

2.  Historically, discussions of rights were largely about negative rights – not allowing the government to force you to house soldiers or not make disparaging political speeches. However, in the last fifty years or so the tone has changed more to issues of entitlements, and these are harder to deal with since they require action and resource allocation. What positive rights, then, should we fund? (We already fund lawyers for the poor and certain kinds of health care).

 Week 3 Assignments: August 31, 2010

  • Read Chapters 3 and 4 of the textbook
  • Read case : Hooters Restaurant. p. 639.
  • Homework: Review Questions on  Johnson & Johnson and The Tylenol Poisonings, p. 640
  • Do 3 page Research Paper.
  • Answer homework questions below:

1.  High motivation and emotional strength may be a necessary condition of being a good leader. On the other hand, there may be many individuals in the world who have these characteristics without being ethical. Could you be ethical without demonstrating these qualities? What do you understand by the term “emotional strength?”

2.  Describe a) The illusion of control and b) Risk framing with examples.

3. What does Jackall say about putting in more time at the office?  

 Week 4 Assignments: September 7, 2010

  • Read Chapters 5 and 6 of the textbook;
  • Identify Final Research Paper
  • Read Cases: Love Canal pp. 644-645; Exxon Valdez pp. 627-628; Challenger p. 651
  • Homework:  See below
  • Study for September 14 Quiz Chapters 1 – 6

1.  Answer questions 1 and 4 at the end of the following: 

                          Case: Exxon Valdez pp. 627-628

2. What sort of problem did Lee Iaccoca think he had on his hands with the Pinto?

3.  What does Davis think about whether a whistleblower needs a wealth of documentation to support his or her case? 

   Week 5 Assignments: September 14, 2010

  • Read Chapters 7 ,8, 9 of the textbook
  • Quiz chapter 1-6
  • Homework: 

1.  Find and attach a copy of a corporate code and examine it for the elements that Murphy outlines.

2.  What is the effect of making some corporate actions criminal instead of civil offenses?

3.  What do Mills and MacLean mean that life is sacred? How is this manifested?

4.  What does Kang Choi believe would be the result of an absolute ban on children’s advertising on television?

  Week 6 Assignments: September 21, 2010

  • Read Chapters 10 and 11 of the textbook
  • Case studies: Nike, p. 655; Worldcom, p.660
  • Identify a local company and their approach to corporate responsibilities
  • Hand in draft outline of Final Research paper with draft and bibliography
  • Homework: 

1.      Do firms have any obligations at all to the community? Are their actions consistent with the public claims they make about good citizenship? Should they be held accountable in any way for not living up to the promises they make when fishing for incentives?

2.      Describe definition of corporate responsibility and responsibilities companies have to the public

         3. Give a brief account of the notion of trust that Koehn derives from Watsuji Tetsuro.

Week 7 Assignments: September 28, 2010

  • Read Chapters 12, 13 and 14 of the textbook
  • Read Case:  Bhopal Disaster, p. 620
  • Homework: 

1.      What effect did the repeal of the ‘Eckhardt Amendment’ have on the FCPA?

2.      What does Donaldson mean by the term “moral free space”?

3.      What problem does Werhane see with the Sullivan principles for multinational companies?

        4.     Describe the various shades of green referred by Freeman.

Week 8 Assignments: October 5th, 2010

 Presentation with Final Research Project and PowerPoint

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20

Attendance Policy:

Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 24

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:7/30/2010 10:58:30 AM