Business Ethics

University e-Prep Course 

by Nanyang Technological University 
Learning Outcomes

Chapter 1 The Business and Society Relationship

  1. Describe and explain business and society as foundational concepts. Describe how society is viewed as the macroenvironment.
  2. Explain the characteristics of a pluralistic society. Describe pluralism and identify its attributes, strengths, and weaknesses.
  3. Define a special-interest society and describe how it evolves.
  4. Identify, discuss, and illustrate the factors leading up to business criticism and corporate response. What is the general criticism of business? How may the balance of power and responsibility be resolved? What is the changing social contract?
  5. Highlight the major focuses or themes of the book: managerial approach, business ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management.

Chapter 2 Corporate Social Responsibility, Citizenship, and Sustainability

  1. Describe some early views of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Explain how CSR evolved and encompasses economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic components. Explain the Pyramid of CSR.
  2. Articulate the traditional arguments both against and for CSR. Explain how the business case for CSR has strengthened the concept’s acceptance.
  3. Describe how the concept of corporate social responsiveness differs from CSR.
  4. Summarize how corporate social performance (CSP) became more popular. Describe how it is different than CSR. Elaborate on how it differs from corporate social responsiveness.
  5. Describe how corporate citizenship is a valuable way of thinking about CSR. Explain its broad and narrow views. Explain how corporate citizenship develops and proceeds in stages.
  6. Summarize the three perspectives on the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP).
  7. Explain how sustainability is a broad concept that embraces profits, people, and the planet. Describe how the triple bottom line is a vehicle for implementing sustainability.
  8. Elaborate on the ages and stages of CSR. Define CSR Greenwashing and how it may lead to misleading reputational profiles of companies.
  9. Describe and characterize the socially responsible investing movement. Differentiate between negative and positive screens that are used in investment decisions.

Chapter 3 The Stakeholder Approach to Business, Society, and Ethics

  1. Identify origins of the stakeholder concept by explaining what a stake is and what a stakeholder is.
  2. Explain who business’s stakeholders are in primary and secondary terms.
  3. Differentiate among the three stakeholder approaches—strategic, multifiduciary, and synthesis.
  4. Identify and explain the three values of the stakeholder model.
  5. Name and describe the five key questions that capture the essence of stakeholder management.
  6. Explain major concepts in effective stakeholder management to include stakeholder thinking, stakeholder culture, stakeholder management capability, and stakeholder engagement.
  7. Describe the three strategic steps toward global stakeholder management.

Chapter 4 Corporate Governance:  Foundational Issues

  1. Link the issue of legitimacy to corporate governance.
  2. Discuss the problems that have led to the recent spate of corporate scandals and problems in corporate governance.
  3. Discuss the principal way in which companies can improve corporate governance.
  4. Discuss the role of shareholders and the idea of strengthening shareholder voice. What are some of the mechanisms that enable this?
  5. Discuss the role of the SEC in protecting investors.
  6. Discuss the principal ways in which shareholder activists exert pressure on corporate management to improve governance.
  7. Discuss investor relations and the concept of shareholder engagement.
  8. Compare and contrast the shareholder-primacy and the director-primacy models of corporate governance. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Which do you prefer and why?

Chapter 5 Strategic Management and Corporate Public Policy

  1. Describe the concepts of strategic management and corporate public policy.
  2. Articulate the four major strategy levels and explain enterprise-level strategy, social entrepreneurship, and the benefit corporation.
  3. Explain the strategic management process and the role that sustainability reports and integrated reports play in the process.
  4. Link public affairs with the strategic management function.
  5. Describe the public affairs function today, and enumerate the different activities and functions that comprise it.

Chapter 6 Issue, Risk, and Crisis Management

  1. Distinguish between risk management, issue management, and crisis management.
  2. Describe the major categories of risk and some of the factors that have characterized risk management in actual practice.
  3. Define issue management and the stages in the issue management process.
  4. Define Crisis management and identify four crisis stages.
  5. List and discuss the major stages or steps involved in managing business crises.

Chapter 7 Business Ethics Essentials

  1. Describe the public’s opinion of business ethics.
  2. Define business ethics, explain the conventional approach to business ethics and identify the sources of ethical norms in individuals.
  3. Analyze economic, legal, and ethical aspects of a decision by using a Venn model.
  4. Identify, explain, and illustrate three models of management ethics.
  5. In terms of making moral management actionable, describe and discuss Kohlberg’s three levels of moral development and Gilligan’s ethics of care.
  6. Identify and discuss six major elements of moral judgment.

Chapter 8 Managerial and Organizational Ethics

  1. Identify and explain the different levels at which business ethics may be addressed.
  2. Enumerate and discuss the principles of managerial ethics and ethical tests for guiding ethical decisions.
  3. In terms of managing organizational ethics, identify the factors affecting an organization’s ethical culture and provide examples of these factors at work.
  4. Describe the best practices that management may adopt to improve an organization’s ethical culture.
  5. Identify and explain concepts from “behavioral ethics” that affect ethical decision-making and behavior in organizations.
  6. Explain the cascading effect of moral decisions, moral managers, and moral organizations.


Chapter 9 Business Ethics and Technology

  1. Identify and describe what the new world of Big Data is all about and the implications it holds for business.
  2. Explain how social media have changed the world of business and technology.
  3. Discuss how surveillance is a new dimension to being a consumer and an employee and what its implications are for stakeholders.
  4. Articulate an understanding of technology and the technological environment.
  5. Identify the characteristics of technology to include their benefits, side effects, and challenges in business.
  6. Comment on the relationship between technology and ethics.
  7. Define information technology and discuss the issues relating to e-commerce in business.
  8. Define biotechnology. Identify the ethical issues involved in genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Chapter 10 Ethical Issues in the Global Arena

  1. Describe the ethical and social challenges faced by multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in the global environment.
  2. Summarize the key implications for managers of the following ethical issues: infant formula controversy, Bhopal tragedy, factory collapses, sweatshops, and human rights abuses.
  3. Define corruption and differentiate between bribes and grease payments, and outline the major features of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  4. Identify and discuss strategies companies may employ for improving global business ethics.

Chapter 11 Business, Government, and Regulation

  1. Articulate a brief history of the changing nature of the government’s role in its relationship with business.
  2. Appreciate the complex roles of government and business.
  3. Identify the elements in the complex interactions among business, government, and the public.
  4. Identify and describe the government’s nonregulatory influences, especially the concepts of industrial policy and privatization.
  5. Identify and describe the government’s regulatory influences on business, including the major reasons for regulation, the types of regulation, and issues arising out of deregulation.

Chapter 12 Business Influence on Government and Public Policy

  1. Describe the evolution of corporate political participation, including the different levels at which business lobbying occurs.
  2. Discuss corporate political spending and the arguments for and against it.
  3. Describe the different types of political action committees (PACs), in terms of their historical growth, and the magnitude of their activity.
  4. Describe the agency issues involved with corporate political spending and some of the contexts where these might arise.
  5. Discuss the issues of corporate political accountability and disclosure.
  6. Outline the types of strategies for corporate political activity.

Chapter 13 Consumer Stakeholders: Information Issues

  1. Describe the consumer movement and identify the consumer’s Magna Carta and explain its meaning.
  2. Identify product information issues that are affected by business’s social and ethical responsibilities. Identify major abuses of advertising and discuss specific controversial advertising issues.
  3. Describe the role and functions of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  4. Explain recent consumer-related legislation that has been passed—Credit Card Act (CARD) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  5. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of self-regulation of advertising.
  6. Identify the three moral models and their likely perspectives on consumer stakeholders.

Chapter 14 Consumer Stakeholders: Product and Service Issues

  1. Describe and discuss the two major product/service issues-quality and safety.
  2. Explain the role and functions of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  3. Explain the role and functions of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  4. Outline business’s responses to consumer stakeholders, including customer service programs, and quality initiatives such as Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen, and ISO 9000

Chapter 15 Sustainability and the Natural Environment

  1. Discuss the concept of sustainability and its imperative.
  2. Describe the natural environment, the impact of business on the natural environment, and the ten major natural environment issues.
  3. Identify and discuss the issues that arise for businesses in their responsibility for the environment and sustainability.
  4. Discuss the role of governments in environmental and sustainability issues.
  5. Describe other environmental stakeholders, including interest groups, employees, and investors.
  6. Discuss business environmentalism, sustainability goals, and the future of the business/environment relationship.

Chapter 16 Business and Community Stakeholders

  1. Discuss reasons for community involvement, various types of community projects, and management of community stakeholders.
  2. Explain the pros and cons of corporate philanthropy, provide a brief history of corporate philanthropy, and explain why and to whom companies give.
  3. Differentiate between strategic philanthropy, cause-related marketing, and cause branding.
  4. Characterize the loss of jobs in the contexts of offshoring, reshoring, and plant closings

Chapter 17 Employee Stakeholders and Workplace Issues

  1. Outline the characteristics of the new social contract between employers and employees.
  2. Explain the concept of employee engagement and the actions companies are taking to make the workplace friendlier.
  3. Explain the employee rights movement and its underlying principles.
  4. Describe what is entailed with the right not to be fired without cause and discuss the employment-at-will doctrine and its role in employee rights.
  5. Discuss the right to due process and fair treatment.
  6. Elaborate on the freedom-of-speech issue and whistle-blowing.

Chapter 18 Employee Stakeholders: Privacy, Safety, and Health

  1. Articulate the concerns surrounding the employee’s right to privacy in the workplace.
  2. Understand the issues surrounding workplace monitoring, including concerns with technology and the effects of being monitored.
  3. Elaborate on the right to safety and health in the workplace, with particular reference to violence in the workplace, smoke-free workplaces, and family-friendly workplaces.

Chapter 19 Employment Diversity and Discrimination

  1. Discuss the concept of diversity management in the workforce and the evolution of its current paradigm.
  2. Chronicle the U.S. civil rights movement and minority progress in the past 50 years.
  3. Outline the essentials of the federal discrimination laws.
  4. Define and provide examples of the expanded meanings of employment discrimination, including disparate treatment and disparate impact, and issues in employment discrimination relating to race, color, nation origin, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, and disability.
  5. Discuss the concept of affirmative action and current issues related to diversity management.

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