Ethics and Business

Ethics and Business

Year: 2018-19
Course code: MGT4028
Course credits: 15
Taught: Semester 2
Course co-ordinator
: To be confirmed
Pre-requisites: Normally admission to an honours programme in Business & Management
Available to visiting students: Yes
Contact for more informationCherisse McLaren

Course description

The course introduces students to the ethical dimensions of business activities in contemporary capitalism and of competing ethical claims relating to such activities.


This course aims to:

  1. Introduce students to concepts of ethics and morality
  2. Enable students to critically identify distinctive ethical approaches, particularly in the context of the conduct of business
  3. Enhance students’ awareness of ethical issues in various domains of contemporary capitalism: society and business, consumption, and the workplace (production)
  4. Enhance students’ transferable skills by affording them the appreciation of the dimensions of ethical and moral issues in the context of business activities

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Define meanings of ethics and morals in the context of business and management
  2. Identify the principal competing ethical approaches in contemporary capitalist relations
  3. Analyse the importance of ethical considerations of business and commercial activities
  4. Analyse and critique notions of corporate social responsibility and accountability
  5. Critically examine the relationships between business and wider society in contemporary capitalism

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures: 2hrs x 10 weeks
Seminars: 1hr x 3 weeks

Please refer to MyCampus for timetable.

Course texts

There are a host of texts on ethics and business. The course has no recommended text as no one text covers the course’s contents. However, the following textbooks will be drawn upon to varying degrees during the course. These texts will be placed in the short loan collection of the library.

Crane, A. and Matten, D. (2010) Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, Oxford University Press: Oxford.

DesJardines, J. (2011) An Introduction to Business Ethics, (4th edition), McGraw-Hill: New York

Griseri, P. and Seppala, N. (2010) Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, South-Western CENGAGE Learning: Andover.

Harrison, M. R. (2005) An Introduction to Business and Management Ethics, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke.

Harrison, R., Newholm, T., and Shaw, D. S. (2005) The Ethical Consumer, Sage: London.  


A group essay of 2,500 words (30%)
A 2-hour degree exam (April/May) (70%)