SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3N320451
Module Leader Sarah Laycock
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Risk
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module aims to provide students with the theoretical background to ethics and ethical behaviour in business while developing their analytical and critical thinking skills to equip them to deal effectively with ethical issues and dilemmas in their future professional activity. A key element of the module is to contextualise ethics as a risk management issue and to examine how poor ethical behavior can contribute and/or cause business failure.


-360 1. Business ethics and ethical behaviour - what are they and why do they matter" 2. Perspectives on ethics and theoretical approaches 3. Ethical issues in business 4. Ethics in an international context - global & local values 5. Why ethical business is good business 6. The relationship between risk management and ethics 7. Responses to ethical issues and dilemmas -360 a. Personal b. Whistleblowing c. Corporate -360 8. Case studies

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:Evaluate a range of theoretical approaches to ethics and ethical behaviour Recognise the need for and be able to make a case for ethics and ethical behaviour in a business context Demonstrate an understanding of a range of ethical issues that may arise in business at a personal and corporate level Contextualise ethics and ethical behavior as a risk management issue Exercise critical thinking and analytical skills in relation to a variety of ethical scenarios and dilemmas in order to formulate possible approaches to their resolutionAnalyse the role of poor ethics and unethical behaviour in a variety of case studies

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching/learning strategy has two interrelated elements. Lectures introduce topics and highlighting the issues involved. Tutorials/seminars provide opportunities for consideration and discussion of ethical problems within a number of dimensions of business activity to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the need for ethical behaviour in different contexts and the conflicting nature of the decisions that have to be made. The learning and teaching strategies are intended to introduce students to the conflicting pressures within the business environment and the need for ethical and socially responsible behaviour by company management. In addition, there is a particular focus on the responsibilities of managers as individuals. This strategy is achieved by introducing the issues in lectures and thereafter requiring students to consider case studies involving ethical dilemmas in different areas of company activity. Students will also be introduced to a number of theoretical approaches to ethical decision-making to offer a broader perspective on the subject. Blackboard VLE is used to support class activities. Feedback Strategy A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment Students will be asked to identify strengths and weaknesses in their own work in relation to the criteria set out in the marking template before handing the work in for marking. B: Encouraging teacher and peer dialogue The lecturer will review feedback at the tutorials where coursework and other work done by students will be handed back. In reviewing personal transferable skills such as presentation skills individually and in small teams the lecturer will provide constructive instant feedback in discussion with the rest of the class. Students will also be encouraged to discuss the comments they have been given with their peers and suggest strategies to improve their performance next time. C: Clarifying good performance A marking template is available for all student course and exam work, which will be handed out in advance and discussed with students in a tutorial prior to completion of the assignment. D: Providing opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance At feedback sessions in seminars students will be asked to identify their own action points, based on the feedback they have just received to involve students more in the generation and planned use of feedback. E: Delivering high quality information about their learning Feedback will be provided within three weeks of submission and will provide information on strengths, weaknesses and corrective action. F: Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self esteem Feedback give to students will always be positive and constructive, with action points for improvement. Opportunities will be provided for students to receive individual

Indicative Reading

The principal textbook will be "Business Ethics & Values", by Fisher and Lovell (2nd ed. 2006) published by Prentice Hall. The prescribed reading will be supplemented by professional journal, magazine and newspaper articles. Supplementary reading: "An Introduction to Business and Management Ethics" by Michael Harrison (2005) published by Palgrave MacMillan. Lovell, Alan, (2005) Ethics in business : a literature review, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland Crane, Andrew (2004) Business Ethics Oxford University Press Fritz Allhoff and Anand Vaidya (2005), Business ethics / Volume 1, Ethical theory, distributive justice, and corporate social responsibility. <>

Transferrable Skills

The student will develop effective written communication skills to include report writing, essay writing and written presentation skills. The module also develops individual learning and research skills through completion of the required coursework.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
135hrs independent learning split across two entries, 99 and 35. 99.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
135hrs independent learning split across two entries, 99 and 35. 35.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Examination 3.00 50.00 35% EX01- Examination (Exams Office) -3 hour unseen exam
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% COURSE01 Coursework 1- 2,000 word Essay due in Week 9