• You can describe (practical) and conceptualise (theoretical) the complex role of ethics in business decisions at the workplace and relate both theory and practice to actual cases.
• You are able to describe the main ethical theories and apply their different insights to a variety of moral dilemmas in business
• You are able to recognize and discuss, by means of proper arguments, the moral issues in a business context.
Employees, (team) leaders and CEOs, whether in a SME or a large multinational corporation, all face ethical decisions throughout their careers. These may entail operational issues, ranging from personnel issues to financial concerns, where the boundary between right and wrong is blurry, in flux, or hotly debated. Often the most difficult (and therefore interesting) cases are those where conflicting obligations, all legitimate, are at stake. This course will use the case-based approach (or case method pedagogy), created at Harvard Business School, to investigate the field of business ethics. |
When students are presented with a case, they place themselves in the role of the decision maker as they read through the situation and identify the problem they are faced with. The next step is to perform the necessary analysis—examining the causes and considering alternative courses of actions to come to a set of recommendations, these skills will be presented in the first four classes of this course. The outstanding virtue of the case system is that it is suited to inspiring activity, under realistic conditions, on the part of the students; it takes them out of the role of passive absorbers and makes them partners in the joint process of learning and furthering learning. When such cases, especially when selected by students themselves, are read and analysed in class, students and teachers alike learn from one another's perspectives.
We will select (in week 1) which cases we should analyse this year. This way the cases are of particular interest to the students. We can also certainly select cases that relate to your thesis research. Here are some of the possible topics we can discuss: labour-management trust, product liability, foreign child labour, business e-ethics, the oil industry and climate control, CSP, environmental concerns, nudging, diversity management, corruption, etc.