MBA 527 Iss in Ethics & Social Responsib
F1P 2010 DL
Dr. Felicia Bridgewater
EDD, Nova Southeastern University - Organizational Leadership/HRMDual-MA, Webster University - Management/HRDBS, Morgan State University
Mon-Thurs 11am - 3pm
October 18, 2010 - December 12, 2010
Monday - Sunday
MG620 or equivalent approved by Program Director.
Gibson, Kevin. (2005). Business Ethics: People, Profits and the Planet. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Format: Textbook Hardcover, 696pp
Pub. Date: August 2005
Edition Number: 1
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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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, and are to be incorproated into class discussions and homework questions to allows the concepts to sink in so that you will be able to apply them in a business setting.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
Homework, Discussion, Team Project and Peer Review
Discussion (weekly points possible: 25)
Homework (weekly points possible: 25)
Team Project and Presentation (points possible: 225)
Details of the group project will be handed out in Week 2
Peer Review (points possible: 25)
Methods of evaluation:
Weekly homework assignments from chapters (25 pts each week) Weeks 2-7
Weekly Discussion activities (25 pts each week) Weeks 1-6
Team Project and Presentation
Total possible points
90% or more = A
80% - 89% = B
70% - 79% = C
less than 70% = not acceptable for consideration as graduate work.
Final grades will be based on performance on (a) homework, (b) Discussion participation, (c) team project.
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. Instructor will determine an applicable point deduction for lateness. Typically extensions are granted only for documented medical situations and military duty.
Week 1 Assignments:
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 “externalities”
3. Distinguish between “consumer choice” and “consumer sovereignty” as described in the reading.
4. Give a simple explanation of the invisible hand.
Week 2 Assignments:
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).
3. Consider the case of a remote Scottish coastal village that is the ideal place for an oil terminal. Building the terminal will irreparably damage the local landscape. There are only forty people who live in the village, and they have declared that they don’t want to move whatever the compensation. What should happen and why? Is it useful to use ‘rights’ terminology in a case like this?
Week 3 Assignments:
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?
4. The picture we get from Friedman is like someone fishing from a boat: Catching the fish is an individual endeavor, and what you catch you can do with what you like. There is no real feeling that one needs to do anything but harvest. The analogy with fishing can be continued, since it is possible to over-fish, which hurts everyone. In a more practical case, imagine that you own a franchise fast-food outlet in a run-down part of town. You visit once a week to check in with the manager, and collect the profits. Do you think you owe any duties to the community that supports your outlet? You could easily enhance the site by minor landscaping, but that wouldn’t bring you any profits. Again, you are routinely approached to donate to local good causes, but there is no prospect that doing so will increase your sales. Is your franchise a profit center, a member of the community or both?
Week 4 Assignments:
1. Answer the questions at the end of the following cases:
Case: Love Canal p. 644-645
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:
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 believe would be the result of an absolute ban on children’s advertising on television?
5. Compare the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 with the Hamlet, N.C. chicken factory fire 80 years later. In Hamlet, all but one of the doors were padlocked, apparently to stop employee theft. Were the demands on the employers higher in 1991? Do you think there was a greater public outcry in 1911 or 1991?
Week 6 Assignments:
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. Give a brief account of the notion of trust that Koehn derives from Watsuji Tetsuro.
3. "Lifnei ivver" is a form of proscribed behavior that is based on the Biblical injunction "You shall not put a stumbling block in the path of the blind." How is it used in the context of Green’s analysis of business ethics?
4. Conduct some independent research on the World Wide Web for CSR messages. They can be sorted by stakeholder groups or the kind of content they have. Find at least one message that apparently contradicts some of the company’s recent actions (e.g., finding a company recently fined for toxic dumping espousing environmental responsibility on the web).
Week 7 Assignments:
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?
Week 8 Assignments:
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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
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Last Updated:10/4/2010 2:46:50 AM