The University of Southampton
Courses

MANG2041 Management Ethics

Module Overview

This module discusses issues related to business ethics. It covers philosophical foundations of ethical theories, and applications of ethical theory to real-life case studies and hypothetical dilemmas. It also discusses causes and consequences of unethical behaviour and develops skills and knowledge in ethical management practices.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This is an interactive module which makes use of a wide variety of teaching methods. The module aims to enable students to recognise the impacts of managerial decisions, both positive and negative, upon other people that together form the core of an ethical problem. Ethical problems are complex, because different individuals and groups are affected in different ways. The aim of this module is to convey a means of analysis to identify a solution that, on balance, can be considered to be “right” and “just” and “fair". The second goal of the module is to introduce students to a logical, structured decision process, drawing on the work of key moral philosophers with practice in application to common business scenarios. The theoretical approach is supplemented with a series of mini case studies to illustrate ethical issues in context. A further aim is to give students confidence in their understanding of the problem, their proposal for the solution, and their ability to convincingly express their views to others.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • ethical theories and concepts relevant to organisations;
  • some of the causes and consequences of unethical behaviour in individuals and organisations;
  • how to avoid unethical business behaviour.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • recognise the impacts of managerial decisions, both positive and negative, upon other people;
  • gain the confidence to convincingly express your decisions to others;
  • develop skills of problem definition, analysis, problem solving and decision taking;
  • recognise the mixture of benefits distributed and harms allocated, of rights exercised and rights denied, that constitute an ethical problem;
  • apply a logical and structured form of ethical analysis;
  • to be familiar with some ethical concepts and distinctions.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • attain confidence in presenting your conclusions in public;
  • develop experience of working in groups, and negotiating group decisions communicate complex issues in a clear and coherent manner.

Syllabus

History of Management Ethics. Ethics and the law. Codes of conduct, ethics policy, guidelines. Moral basis of economic theory – assumptions and externalities. Critique of ‘classical’ perspectives against business ethics (e.g. the view of Milton Friedman). Stakeholder perspective, stakeholder analysis. Examples of issues in Business Ethics e.g. bribery, taxation, pricing, environmental practices, human rights, corruption. Ethical theories and moral philosophers: Deontological ethical theories e.g. Kant; Consequentialist theories e.g. Utilitarianism; Justice theories e.g. Rawls; Rights theorists; Virtue theorists e.g. Aristotle. Modern ethical theories e.g. post modern ethics, feminist ethics and discourse ethics. Ethical Absolutism vs. Ethical relativism. Hypernorms vs cultural norms. Application of ethical theories to case studies. Causes and consequences of unethical behaviour. How to make an organisation more ethical. Giving Voice to Values.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Lectures - Tutorials - Case studies - Games - Simulations - Videos - Online discussions - Group work Learning activities include: - Individual and group assignments (group or individual) - Case study - Problem solving activities - Private study - Reflective learning

TypeHours
Lecture24
Seminar12
Completion of assessment task30
Wider reading or practice12
Preparation for scheduled sessions72
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Goodpaster, K. E. (2007). Conscience and Corporate Culture. 

Crane, A. and D. Matten (2004). Business Ethics. 

Hartley, R. F (2005). Business Ethics: Mistakes and Successes. 

Hosmer, L. T. (2008). The Ethics of Management, McGraw-Hill. 

Crane, A. and D. Matten (2004). Business Ethics. 

Assessment

Formative

Set exercises - non-exam

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Class verbal responses 10%
Individual Coursework  (2400 words) 70%
Oral presentation with supporting report 10%
Worksheet 10%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework  (2400 words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework  (2400 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Textbooks

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/recommended text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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