BUS 132: Business, Ethics and Society

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: C2. Humanities
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This course will examine ethical issues in business using an interdisciplinary approach drawing from philosophy and business management. This course will analyze the empirical and normative factors involved in choice, types of ethical theory, and the nature of moral standards and judgments in business. Topics will include environmental concerns, the distribution of wealth, informational ethics, privacy and autonomy, affirmative action and "social problems." These will be discussed in the context of moral theories such as utilitarianism, deontology, and ethical egoism. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic ethical theories, including ethical egoism, consequentialism/utilitarianism, deontological/Kantian ethics, Marxist and pragmatist ethics.
  • Evaluate the theories, arguments, and doctrines of particular business ethicists.
  • Examine many of the major theories and key concepts of business ethics.
  • Distinguish between philosophical and non-philosophical questions.
  • Compare and contrast the positions of various business ethicists on particular issues.
  • Criticize particular philosophical positions by raising objections to them.

Major Course Content

  1. Business Ethics
    1. Aims and methods
  2. Moral and Political Philosophical Theories
    1. Ethical egoism
    2. Ethical relativism
    3. Utilitarianism
    4.  Deontology
    5.  Rights theories
    6.  Virtue ethics
  3. Distribution of Wealth
    1. Issues
      1. How should limited resources be distributed?
        1. Various case studies
  4. Environmental Ethics
    1. Issues
      1. Should we respect nature?
      2. Do animals have rights?
        1. Various case studies
  5. Information, Privacy and Autonomy
    1. Issues
      1. Does one have privacy in the workplace?
      2. Should customer information be a commodity?
        1. Various case studies
  6. Affirmative Action
    1. Issues
      1. Should preferential treatment be given to certain groups based on historical and current detrimental treatment?
        1. Various case studies

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Bowie, N. E. (2013): Business ethics in the 21st Century. Springer.
Collins, D. (2009): Essentials of business ethics: Creating an organization of high integrity and superior performance. John Wiley & Sons.
Jennings, M. M: (2008): Business Ethics_ Case Studies and Selected Readings, Sixth Edition. South-Western College_West.
Moriarty, J. (2016): "Business Ethics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/ethics-business/ .
Newton, L. (2014): Business Ethics in the Social Context_ Law, Profits, and the Evolving Moral Practice of Business. Springer International Publishing.
Painter-Morland, M. (2008): Business Ethics as Practice. Ethics as the Everyday Business of Business. Cambridge University Press.
Velasquez, Manuel G.(2006): Business Ethics: Concepts & Cases, Prentice Hall.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Individual guided research/writing project (1,500-2,500 words) to develop and demonstrate critical thinking skills in the context of the guided Business-Government-Society relationship, and to practice and demonstrate the art of persuasion through scholarly writing.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Required reading from the textbook and supplemental sources.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

4. Social and Behavioral Sciences