MBA527 Iss in Ethics/Social Responsibil

for F1P 2011

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


MBA 527 Corporate Ethics & Social Responsibilities


F1P 2011 DLA


Walker, Stephanie L.


Adjunct Faculty


MBA - Park University
B.S. - Park University

Office Hours

Available as needed by appointment


Semester Dates

Aug. 15 - Oct. 9

Class Days


Class Time



MG620 or equivalent approved by Program Director

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

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

 All course submissions must be compliant with MLA format. 

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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 legal implications. Prerequisite: MG 260 or equivalent approved by Program Director. (Formerly MG 527)

Educational Philosophy:

The facilitator's educational philosophy centers around readings, case studies, and discussion questions. Lectures and outside resources will supplement the readings to highlight important concepts.  Class discussion and group interaction will be the main method of learning in order to allow the students to learn to apply concepts in a practical business setting. The most effective way to learn the topic is through application.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the importance and rationale of ethical decision making in business environment.
  2. Recognize the importance developing high ethical standards of personal conduct and recognize the consequences that result from meeting and/or exceeding the minimum ethical standard required by the business profession.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to high levels of integrity and ethics in professional relationships with all stakeholders.
  4. Demonstrate highly of competency, objectivity and confidentiality in the working environment.
  5. Demonstrate a valued oriented business approach with a better understanding of legal implications.
  6. Analyze current business ethical issues, such as tobacco marketing, advertising and children, child and slave labor, and corporate justice.
  7. Demonstrate, through discussion and written responses to case study assignments, an awareness of sound ethical values and principles.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Weekly Participation/Discussion
  • Discussion points cannot be made up if you miss class or do not complete discussion posts without prior approval at Instructor's discretion.
  • Half of the discussion points are based on posting your responses to the Discussion question by the deadline (Thursday midnight CST) and the quality of that post.  The other half based on quality participation in discussion with other students under both topics.  A minimum of 2-3 discussion posts under each topic to other students in addition to your original post would be considered good participation.
  • When referring to the textbook and other sources, they must be properly cited within your discussion post using MLA format, including page #(s). The use of sources and references in Discussion is encouraged.

Weekly Assignments

  • Points for assignment accuracy, thoroughness and thoughtfulness, relevancy to course, article relevancy to assignment,  and proper spelling and grammar.
  • Use the textbook and other resources to support your answer, and properly cite them. 
Article Reviews
  • Points for article relevancy to course, article relevancy to assignment, accuracy of content, thoroughness and thoughtfulness, appropriate research and supporting citation, and proper spelling and grammar.

Team Project/Group Presentation
  •  Points for project relevancy to assignment, accuracy of content, thoroughness, appropriate research and supporting citation, professional presentation, and proper spelling and grammar.
Peer Review
  •  Students will assess their teammates project contribution to the team project. 


Points Schedule:

Weekly Assignments
7@ 25  pts 175 pts
Article Reviews 2@ 35 pts 70 pts
Weekly Participation Discussion 7@ 25 pts 175 pts
Team Project/Group Presentation 1 @ 225 pts 225 pts
Peer Review 1 @ 25 pts 25 pts
Total Course 670 pts 670 pts


Grade Range:

 90%-100% A
80%-89% B
70%-79% C
60-69% D
50-59% F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Coursework is considered late if not submitted in the Park online classroom dropbox by 5:30 p.m. CST on the date it is due.  Late submissions will not be accepted without prior approval from the Instructor.  The acceptance of late work and applicable point deduction will be determined by the Instructor on a case by case basis.  Work must be submitted in Microsoft Word format, with student name and ID at the top of the page.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Week 1 Assignments: 

  • Read 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 “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:

  • Read Chapter 2 of the textbook
  • Homework: 

         1.  There are some standard questions about utilitarianism including:

               a. What about the welfare of future generations – can potential people have moral consideration?
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:

    • Read Chapters 3 and 4 of the textbook
    • Article Review 1 Due
    • Homework: 

      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:

    • Read Chapters 5 and 6 of the textbook;
    • Read Cases: Love Canal pp. 644-645; Exxon Valdez pp. 627-628; Challenger p. 651
    • Homework: 

                   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:

    • Read Chapters 7 and 9 of the textbook
    • Team Project First Draft
    • 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 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:

    • Read Chapters 10 and 11 of the textbook
    • Article Review 2 Due
    • 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.  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:

    • Read Chapters 12 and 13 of the textbook
    • Read Case:  Bhopal Disaster
    • 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?

    Week 8 Assignments:

    • Team Project and Presentations (225 points)

    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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


    Plagiarism is 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

    Attendance Policy:

    Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

    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:8/3/2011 10:47:38 PM