Course Number and Title: SOC 215 Business Ethics
This course examines the philosophical foundation of morality and ethics. Theory is applied to a variety of business situations using examples and case studies. Situations are viewed from the perspectives of businesses, employees, consumers, and society. The student develops an appreciation for the complexities of moral dilemmas.
- Define business ethics, and describe its relevance and importance to organizations in an international context. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5; PGC 1, 2)
- Evaluate the arguments from Adam Smith that examine the relationship between market capitalism and the utilitarian goal of maximizing net social benefits. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5; PGC 1, 2)
- Examine the competitive marketplace, and identify ethical issues faced by management and business executives. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5; PGC 1, 2)
- Examine the decision support model for making ethical decisions. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5; PGC 1, 2)
- Apply the moral principles used to decide when an ethical dilemma exists in a business context. (CCC 1, 2, 4, 5; PGC 1, 2)
- Apply ethical theories using an ethical decision making process to oral and written case study evaluations. (CCC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; PGC 1, 2, 6)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Define business ethics, and describe its relevance and importance to organizations in an international context.
- Define business ethics.
- Define and discuss various ethical theories.
- Discuss opposing ethical theories and their limitations.
- Define and discuss ethical dilemmas.
- Explain the role of values in ethical decision making.
- Define the ethical issues arising in global business.
- Describe a process for ethically responsible decision making.
- Explain the reasons why "good" people might engage in unethical behavior.
- Explain the impact of managerial roes on the nature of our decision making.
- Define corporate social responsibility.
- Explain the role of corporate branding and reputation as one possible motivation behind corporate social responsibility.
- Evaluate the arguments from Adam Smith that examine the relationship between market capitalism and the utilitarian goal of maximizing net social benefits.
- Summarize the history of business ethics.
- Describe and explain corporate social responsibility.
- Distinguish between instrumental and social contract approaches to corporate management.
- Examine the competitive marketplace, and identify ethical issues faced by business executives.
- Identify and discuss ethics in manufacturing.
- Discuss the ramifications of product safety.
- Discuss the ramifications of product liability.
- Describe the concept of acceptable risk.
- Apply an ethical decision-making framework to issues in marketing and sales.
- Describe the key concerns of ethical analysis of marketing issues.
- Debate the influence of advertising on customers and society.
- Identify and discuss ethics in human resources.
- Explain the concept of due process in the workplace.
- Define diversity as it applies to the workplace.
- Define employment at will.
- Discuss whether it is possible to downsize a business in an ethical manner.
- Describe the nature of an employer’s responsibility with regard to employee health and safety.
- Describe the ethical sources of privacy as a fundamental value.
- Discuss the concept of a reasonable expectation of workplace privacy.
- Discuss recent developments in connection with employee monitoring.
- Explain why monitoring employee work has many implications.
- Discuss the ethics of employment drug testing.
- Explain the interest of an employer in regulating an employee’s activities outside of work.
- Discuss the issues pertaining to excessive executive compensation.
- Identify and discuss ethics in organizational finance.
- Outline the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
- Explain common ethical issues involving accounting and financial professionals.
- Identify and discuss the implications of technology on ethics.
- Examine the decision support model for making ethical decisions.
- Explain the ethical tradition of utilitarianism and how it applies to economic and business decision making.
- Explain how free markets might serve the utilitarian goal of maximizing the overall good.
- Explain the strengths and weaknesses of utilitarian decision making.
- Summarize egoism as it pertains to moral and ethical decision making.
- Explain the strengths and weaknesses of egoistic decision making.
- Explain principle-based, or deontological, ethical traditions.
- Explain the concept of moral rights.
- Distinguish moral rights from legal rights.
- Describe how conflicts of interest can arise for business professionals.
- Distinguish between primary and secondary stakeholders related to ethical decisions.
- Apply the moral principles used to decide when an ethical dilemma exists in a business context.
- Define corporate culture.
- Explain how corporate culture impacts ethical decision making.
- Discuss the differences between a compliance culture and a values-based culture.
- Discuss the role of corporate leadership in establishing the culture.
- Discuss the role of mission statements and codes of conduct in creating an ethical corporate culture.
- Develop the key components of an ethics policy.
- Explain how various reporting mechanisms, such as ethics hotlines and ombudsmen, can help integrate ethics within a firm.
- Identify the key components of a job description for an ethics officer.
- Discuss the role of assessing, monitoring, and auditing the culture and ethics program.
- Identify various rewards for ethical behavior used by organizations.
- Apply ethical theories using an ethical decision making process to oral and written case studies.
- Analyze various case studies and develop strategies for resolving the situation in question by applying an ethical decision-making process.
Students must demonstrate proficiency on all CCPOs at a minimal 75 percent level to successfully complete the course. The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
3 Exams (summative), equally weighted
2 Business Ethics Analyses
Formative Assessments (Activities/Discussion Boards/Quizzes, etc.)
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Integrate professional, ethical, and legal standards into business practice.
- Employ the various theories of management and marketing in a business.
- Develop integrated sales presentations.
- Utilize graphic design elements to develop professional hard-copy and electronic marketing/advertising materials.
- Apply e-Marketing techniques to create a competitive presence.
- Analyze the marketing strategic planning process of an organization.
- Evaluate the actions taken to acquire and retain customers.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.