PH308 Business Ethics

for S1AA 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

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.


PH 308 Business Ethics


S1AA 2013 LC


Orsak, Larry


Adjunct Faculty


MA - Management & Human Resources Development (Webster University)
BS - Psychology (University of Maryland, European Division)
AA - Paralegal Studies

Office Location

Lackland AFB, TX (Hallway outside of classroom)

Office Hours

15 - 30 minutes after class

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

14 January - 10 March 2013

Class Days


Class Time

4:45 - 10:10 PM

Credit Hours



Human Resource Management, Mathis and Jackson
Edition/Copyright 13th - 11
Publisher - South-Western Publishing Company
ISBN:  13978-0-538-45315-8

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Course Description:
PH 308 Business Ethics An inquiry into the role of ethics in business situations. Topics considered include: the justice of various economic systems, corporate rate responsibility, conflict of interest, government regulation versus self-regulation, the ethics of investment, responsible advertising, discrimination, affirmative action, and sexual harassment. Emphasis is put upon the application of ethical theory to specific cases with attention to the sometimes conflicting demands of profit maximization and societal well-being. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The degree of concentration, material covered and specific methodology to be utilized in each area will be determined by the amount of classroom time available.  Methods used to achieve these learning objectives will include lecture, reports self-study, and most importantly, class discussion and student participation.  All methods of teaching are designed to transfer new material by clarifying and emphasizing subject areas presented in the text.  The lecture relies on the fact that you have read the assigned materials and have completed any assignmnents relating to them prior to class meetings.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss ethics in general, with an analysis of various approaches
  2. Analyze issues as they appear in the business arena.
  3. Recognize the strengths, weaknesses and fallacies of particular ethical arguments.
  4. Outline the particulars of vocabulary, assumptions and points of difficulty in ethical arguments.
  5. Identify ethical behaviors in both personal and professional situations.
  6. Distinguish and develop the requisite skills for making ethical decisions and engaging in transactions ethically.
  7. Research the dynamics and concerns of any given issue, speaking and writing knowledgeably about one particular issue in business ethics.
  8. Recognize and assess factors in the multicultural, socio-economic, legal, and political environments in which moral issues impacting organizations arise.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Discuss ethics in general, with an analysis of various approaches.
  2. Analyze issues as they appear in the business arena.
  3. Recognize the strengths, weaknesses and fallacies of particular ethical arguments.
  4. Outline the particulars of vocabulary, assumptions andpoints of difficulty in ethical arguments..
Core Assessment:

PH 308 Core Assessment Assignment

The main portion of the semester grade will derive from student presentations of the various issues in their complexity, and a derivative paper arguing an ethical position on one issue.  

Semester Project and Paper 

It is a truism that one learns by doing. This is certainly true in the application of ethical theory. To facilitate learning about ethics and its role and function in business issues, the major portion of the grade will derive from the handling of one specific ethical issue related to business. 

In coordination with the instructor, students will present to the class a topic concerned with business ethics, with the expectation that they will teach the topic: review the text material; draw in current news and current debate, as appropriate; raise the questions which emerge from such news and debate; present the various prominent arguments, identify their proponents and highlight the most important points; critique the arguments, giving reasons for perceived weaknesses, and so on.  

The text may be the beginning point, but it is expected that students will look further to discover more which might enhance the discussion. At minimum, the student will facilitate a class discussion of the questions raised by the chosen topic. The presentation will be strengthened, however, with the structuring of a debate, or a mock “battle of wits”, or some exercise for the class to experience the complexity and challenge of the topic. 

Any materials generated for class dissemination or for display will strengthen the presentation. Any local resources the student discovers may be utilized in the presentation. 

Finally, out of this experience, the student will write a 10-12 page paper which functions both as a research paper and a position piece. If the presentation is well prepared, the student will have the research portion accomplished and need only put it in written form. From there, the student is challenged to take a stand on the topic: What is your position? Why? On what do you base your position? What are the issues? Who is in the fray? Who stands to gain? Remember that while opinion certainly enters into any position, the essay is expected to be a carefully reasoned and clearly explained argument. The point is not whether or not the instructor agrees with the position, but whether it is clearly and solidly articulated utilizing the language and tools of business ethics. 

Specific standards about style, research resources, formatting and such will be determined by the instructor.


Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

It is recommended but not mandatory to select a topic that will directly relate to the chapters we will be reviewing during the course.  Research or other materials previously used for course credit cannot be used for this course.  This effort must be original for this particular course.  The subject of your paper must be chosen no later than week two of the semester to ensure time enough to complete the project as well as time to grade it.  As stated above, the paper will be 10-12 pages in length, double-spaced, grammatically correct (not including cover sheet, references, or attachments).  The American Psychological Association (APA) publication style is required.  Your references should be noted at the end of the paper.  Plastic report covers and separate folders will not be accepted.  A single staple is the preferred method of binding.  Please include a cover sheet with your written document.  ALL PAPERS ARE DUE BY WEEK #7 (NO EXCEPTIONS).  The final will be week #8 and I would like to return your papers for your review on that night.  Students are encouraged to use the internet's search tools.  The World Wide Web is a section of the internet that offers easy access to text, graphics and other multi-media resources.  An Oral presentation of 5 to 10 minutes is required over the same topic as your written research paper.  Half of the class will present their oral presentations on the date of the mid-term examination and the remainder will be presented on the date of the final.


Midterm Exam:               200points         20%
Final Exam:                     300 points        30%
Presentation:                   200 points        10%
Written Project               200 points        30%
Class Participation:         100 points         10%
Total                             1000 points       100%
Grading:     A = 90 - 100         1000 - 900 Points
                  B = 80 - 89             899 - 800 Points
                  C = 70 - 79            799 - 700 Points
                  D = 60 - 69            699 - 600 Points
                  F = < 60                 599 or Less

Late Submission of Course Materials:

The instructor will not accept assignments late.  Assignments not submitted on the due date will be penalized one letter grade. 
MAKE-UP EXAMINATIONS:  There will be 2 examinations, each of which will be taken with your class.  Any individual missing an exam must have an acceptable excuse in order for a make-up exam.  No exam will be taken early.  Failure to take a make-up exam will result in a zero for that particular examination.  Any make-up exam must be completed prior to the class's next meeting.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Turn off all cell phones.  Make arrangements to arrive on time so class can start on time.  In order to succeed in this course, the student must first and foremost be in class for all meetings.  The student must conscientiously prepare for class by reading the text prior to class.  Taking notes on the reading assignments would also be to the student's benefit.  The student must be prepared to answer questions and solve problems in class.  The student must also satisfactorily complete all examinations and homework during the duration of the course.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week              Date         Assignment
    1               1/16/13      Discuss syllabus and assignments
                                       Chapter 1 - Ethical Theory and Business Practices                                                             Chapter 2 - Purpose of The Corporation
    2               1/23/13      Research Topics Due
                                       Chapter 2 - Purpose of The Corporation
                                       Chapter 3 - Ethical Treatment of Employees
    3               1/30/13     Chapter 4 - Diversity, Discrimination
                                      Chapter 5 - Marketing and Disclosure                                       
                                      Review for Mid Term Exam 
    4               2/6/13       Chapter 5 - Marketing and Disclosure
                                      Oral Presentation
                                      Mid Term Exam
    5               2/13/13      Chapter 6 - Ethical Issues In Finance & Accounting
                                       Chapter 7 - Emerging Technologies
    6               2/20/13      Chapter 7 - Emerging Technologies
                                       Chapter 8 - Natural Environment
    7               2/27/13      Chapter 9 - Ethical Issues in International Business
                                       Chapter 10 - Social & Economic Justice
                                                            Research Papers Due
                                                            Review for Final Exam
    8               3/6/13                             Final Exam
                                                            Remaining Oral Presentations

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Defines the problem goals-methods using 4 or more goals & 6 or more methods based on a lit review of 11 or more articles that address the identified research problem. Uses 3 goals and 5 methods and a lit review of 10 articles to complete the proposal and written literature review. Research proposal is presented with less than 3 goal and 5 methodologies and less than 10 articles for the written lit review; items are not well organized or are haphazard. Problem is not well defined and goals and methodologies are not logically presented with no  lit review. 
Research proposal reflects an extension of existing knowledge and is logically presented; lit review identifies major issues clearly. Personal learnings statement is systematically stated, 4+ pages. Project proposal and lit review trace the readily available factors/elements that are associated with the  identified problem.  Personal learnings statement is adequate—uses three pages. Project proposal meets less than the required elements and/or the lit review is minimally done.  Personal learnings statement is 2 pages or less. Research proposal not done and/or lit review not completed and /or personal learnings statement not provided/ 
Learner provides accurate and extensive interpretations of the data gathered in the lit search and methodically uses it to write the proposal; personal learnings summaries clearly stated with depth of insight. Learner accurately summarizes lit review results and poses a project proposal reflecting the summary; personal learnings summary listed as assigned. Learner neglects relevant data in the lit review and/or shows no cohesion in the project proposal and/or shows limited application of learnings to personal understanding of the self. Lit review and project proposal show no connections and/or personal learnings summary not tied to project proposal process. 
Learner uses terms relevant to the topic in a manner consistent  with a clear understanding of  concept relationships. Basic meanings of terms appropriately used. Meanings of terms not clearly connected to discussions provided No specialized terminology used. 
Learner provides an astute project proposal that extends the relationships and application of ethics to business problems in ethics. Learner provides a research question-proposal fitting to the application of business ethics Learner provides a topic beyond the realm of research or the filed of business ethics. Research problem/question with project proposal and lit search not provided. 
1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Learner demonstrates extended knowledge of research relationships  and extension/applications. Learner structures proposal and lit review in a workable manner. Research methodologies and goals not related and/or not related to lt review data. No knowledge of research design. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
APA standards applied with 4 errors or less. APA standards used  with 5-9 errors present. APA style used with 10 or more errors. APA style not used. 
1, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Text of document is 11 pages or longer with proper headings and organization with 1 inch margins, text double spaced and 12-point fonts. Body of text is 10 pages with proper headings and organization with 1 inch margins, text double spaced and 12-point fonts. Body of text is 8-9 pages with proper headings and organization with 1 inch margins, text double spaced and 12-point fonts. Body of text is 7 pages or less and/or  with improper headings and organization with odd inch margins, text line spacing or fonts. 
Learner provides transdisciplinary insights into related multicultural issues embedded in the research proposal project; poses interventions promoting diversity resources/skills. Learner addresses the multicultural issues within the field of the research topic/question chosen. Multicultural issues are mentioned but not related to the topic at hand. Multicultural issues not mentioned. 


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Last Updated:11/27/2012 11:22:48 AM