SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN222568
Module Leader Alec Wersun
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

360 Credit Points or equivalent

Summary of Content

The Institute of Business Ethics ( <> ) defines business ethics as 'the application of ethical values to business behaviour.' This module takes the stance that ethics is not an abstraction, but a practical aid to business problem solving in all contexts, and particularly in the context of international business and management, where managers and leaders of international organisations are faced with high levels of complexity and a wide range of managerial dilemmas (see parallel Level IV module "Issues in the World Economy"). Special attention will be paid to how ethics can inform managerial and corporate approaches to sustainability and corporate responsibility. Managers and business leaders in international firms face unprecedented challenges in terms of the intensity of global competition, the expectations of customers, employees, governments and other stakeholders, and the risks posed by environmental change. Understanding and responding to these challenges in an ethical manner is not merely necessary for responsible management, but is also essential to running successful and sustainable international enterprises. The module will use a range of concepts, theories and frameworks to inform discussion, analysis and decision-making in an international context: for example Freeman's (1984) "stakeholder engagement", Mackey and Sisodia's (2013) "conscious capitalism" Josephson's (1999) "principled decision-making", and Gentille's (2010) "Giving voice to values". Students will be asked to use these and other 'lenses' when faced with a range of ethical dilemmas that managers of international firms may encounter when doing business across national boundaries. Summary of how PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module : As an Honours Year module, SCoRE pulls together, and reinforces, accumulated learning on the degree programme in topics central to PRME by focussing entirely on issues of sustainability (economic, social and environmental), corporate responsibility, and ethics. The primary method used in the class will be one of case study discussion, designed to develop students' sensitivity to SCoRE issues in an international context.


-284b7 Using case studies as a form of experiential learning b7 Framing business ethics in IB: sustainability and corporate responsibility b7 Responsible Management Guides and Indices (UNGC, Dow Jones, Rainforest All.,) b7 Tools and techniques of business ethics management b7 Stakeholder engagement in an international context b7 Concept of "Giving Voice to Values" b7 Principled decision-making and the concept of "Moral Imagination" Conscious Capitalism - a road map for the future? Concept - 'Firms of Endearment'

Learning Outcomes

On succesful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1 Demonstrate critical awareness of international indices that measure 'responsibility'2 Identify and critically evaluate ethical aspects of managerial decision-making.3 Draw upon a range of ideas, concepts and models to aid ethical decision-making.4 Apply knowledge of ethics to managerial dilemmas in international business.5 Critically evaluate alternative responses to challenges facing international businesses.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy is focussed on student-centred learning, and is designed with a view of enacting the concept of the 'flipped classroom', where students are provided with a variety of materials to be discussed in the classroom. Contact hours come in a combination of lectures (18 hours) and student-led and tutor-led seminars (18 hours). Lectures will be made more interesting with the use of at least two guest speakers from the world of business (WOB), and media clips from a variety of sources (e.g use of the bob box of broadcasts, WOB will be brought in to the classroom with the aid of interactive case study discussion 'Harvard Style'. Emphasis is placed on 'adding value' during contact time, and bridging the gap between theory and practice. Students are introduced to a range of concepts, analytical tools and frameworks via videocasts and readings, and then given the opportunity to discuss and apply these in the context of case studies. The use of case studies is designed to give students responsibility for learning through their joint efforts, with the teaching team acting as facilitators. The case method is a form of experiential learning, and its use on the module is designed to encourage students to acquire knowledge through research, develop skills in evaluating a problem using analytical tools and frameworks from the SCoRE 'toolbox', practice how to make principled decisions, and present and justify a particular course of action. The use of cases set in different contexts is intended to promote 'situated learning' and allows students to put themselves in the position of managers and companies confronted with (ethical) challenges, choices and decisions in an international context - thereby preparing them for the world of work (WoW). By doing so, students will be encouraged to reflect on their own values and how these affect the decisions they make. Contact time as follows: 9 Lectures (2 hours) weeks 1-9 5 tutor-led seminars (each of 2 hours), 4 student-led seminars (each of 2 hours) - weeks 1-9 Learning will be supported with the use of technology and the GCU Managed Learning Environment (MLE) in a number of ways: -360 1. As a repository for all course materials (module handbook, assignment details, mini-lecture podcasts, etc.). 2. Group discussion boards will be used to facilitate learning for module assignments and case discussions. Provision of links to useful research resources, readings, video clips (e.g.bob-box of broadcasts,, Khan Academy). GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books and articles: Abergene, P. (2005), Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism. Hampton Roads Publishing Company (September 2005). Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2010), Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in an Age of Globalisation , Oxford University Press, 3 rd Edition. Easton, G. (1994), Learning from Case Studies , Prentice Hall Trade. Freeman, R.E., (1984), Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. -567 Gentille, M.C. (2010), Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right , Yale University Press. Ghoshal, S. (2005), Bad Management Theories Are Destroying Good Management Practices , Academy of Management Learning and Education, Vol.4, No. 1. Pp.75-91 -567 Lasserre, P. (2012), Global Strategic Management, Palgrave, 3 rd Edition. Mackey, J., Sisodia, R. (2013) Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business . Harvard Business Press (January 2013) Peng, M.W. (2013), Global Strategy, South-Western/Cengage Learning, 3rd Edition. Som, A. (2009), International Management: Managing the Global Corporation, McGraw-Hill. -567 Sisodia,R., Wolfe, D., Sheth, J. (2007), Firms of Endearment: How World-class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose . Wharton School Publishing, New Jersey, Pearson Education. Verhezen, P. (2010), Giving Voice in a Culture of Silence: From a Culture of Compliance to a Culture of Integrity , Journal of Business Ethics, 96: 187-206 Werhane, P.H., Moriarty, B., (2009), Moral Imagination and Management Decision-Making, Business Roundtable, Institute for Corporate Ethics, available at <> Journals Business & Society California Management Review Corporate Social Responsibility & Environmental Management Ethical Corporation International Business Review International Marketing Review Management International Review Journal of Business Ethics Journal of Management for Global Sustainability Organization: The Critical Journal of Organization, Theory and Society -567 SI Magazine - Online sources: -567 Ed Freeman's Course: New Models of Business in Society - Coursera available at <> -567 Ethical Practice and Responsible Management Guides and Indices B Corp - Business in the Community UK - <> Dow Jones Sustainability Index - Ethical Trading Initiative - FTSE4Good - -567 Rainforest Alliance Eco-Index - <> PRME - <> UN Global Compact - <>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following areas: Academic and intellectual skills : Identifying and analysing issues that pose ethical challenges to int'l businesses Exercising critical capacity and evaluation skills Case study analysis skills Personal Developmen t: Capacity for independent and team working Critical self-reflection on leadership and management decision-making Problem-solving through analysis of case studies situated in the 'real world' Awareness of and sensitivity to issues related to sustainability, responsibility and ethics Enterprise or Business skills : Effective time management: organising tasks to meet deadlines Using ICT to access and manage information Effective communication: using appropriate writing styles & oral presentation techniques

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Seminars (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 94.00
Assessment (FT) 70.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 70.00 n/a Individual 2000 word case study analysis and evidence portfolio (week 13)
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 n/a Group case study in the context of the debate on "Business as an Agent of World Benefit" (Week 8)