PHIL 260 Business Ethics • 5 Cr.
Introduction to ethical theories relevant to issues and problems in business. Explores ethical concerns in marketing, race/gender bias, economics, the natural environment, employee-employer duties, and civic relations. Same as BUS 260. Either PHIL 260 or BUS 260 may be taken for credit, not both.
After completing this class, students should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of ethical theories (e.g., Utilitarianism, Relativism) relevant to contemporary business practice by explaining in short essays what each theory claims and what those claims would entail in business practice.
- apply comprehension of ethical theories to specific cultural considerations (e.g., race bias in employment practice, breast-feeding policies in the workplace), and articulate how these theories can be consistently and coherently applied.
- demonstrate ability to evaluate and assess ethical theories by appealing to realistic business scenarios (e.g., criticize Rule Utilitarianism by creating a business scenario in which the morally right thing to do fails to maximize benefit for everyone involved). This ability may be demonstrated orally or in a brief essay.
- demonstrate comprehension of the issues raised in the course (e.g., a corporation’s ethical relation to employees, society, the environment, customers) and their relation to each other (e.g., conflict resolution between environmental needs and stockholder requirements). This can be demonstrated by discussion in small seminar groups or by written essays.
- analyze a realistic business case study, show awareness of more than one ethical approach in the analysis, and make a strong argument for a good way of resolving the problem illustrated in the case. For example, students can be given an assignment to write a 4-5 page paper demonstrating this ability. Their papers will indicate competency if they conform to a college sophomore level of writing, the interpretation of the ethical theories is accurate, and their arguments are sound (or cogent).
- demonstrate a mastery of relevant vocabulary by answering 90% or more questions accurately on brief vocabulary recognition quizzes.