BUSINESS ETHICS

Optional Module (7,5 ECTS)

Description

Since at least Max Weber, we know that capitalist economy owes a lot to the values of protestant ethics. Furthermore, in today’s post-industrial societies the role of social networks and, subsequently, of social morality cannot be underestimated. Hence, the growing interest in business ethics understood as the study of the ethical dimensions of the production, distribution, marketing, sale, and consumption of goods and services.


Objectives

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to

  • understand the basic concepts of business ethics
  • apply general moral principles to particular cases
  • analyze the moral presuppositions and aspects of business
  • formulate arguments for tackling moral disputes in business life
  • understand the rationale for the interpretation and application of codes of business ethics.

Contents

Topics discussed in this module comprise:

  • An Introduction to Morality (Utilitarianism vs. Deontology)
  • The Relationship between Justice and our Economic System (“Is Capitalism Moral, Immoral or Amoral?”)
  • Theories of Corporate Responsibility: Shareholders and Stakeholders
  • Codes of Business Ethics and Self-Regulation
  • Acceptable Risk and Its Forms (Consumer Risk, Risk to the Environment, Investment Risk)
  • Advertising and Truth
  • Employers and Employees (Discriminating, Confidentiality, Whistle-blowing)
  • International Business

Academic Requirements

Participants are required to have at least some basic previous knowledge of Philosophy and/or Philosophy of Law. 


Teaching method

The course will run under seminar format, which requires a high degree of student participation. Materials shall be distributed in electronic form. Students are expected to have studied each session’s material before class and to actively participate during class. 


Lecturers

The module will be taught by Associate Professor Vassilis Voutsakis.


Assessment and testing

Open library written exam at the end of the course (2 hours).