MBA-695 Business Ethics

MBA 695  - Business Ethics & Society

Course Description :   Business ethics is the moral analysis of business activity and practices.  In business ethics, we consider business actions and decisions in the light of moral principles and values, and ask whether ethical motives in business activity would make business better and more successful.  Today's managers must necessarily concern themselves with ethical issues, because unethical behavior creates legal risks and damage to businesses as well as employees and consumers. There is no course prerequisite.

Course Format:  This course utilizes Moodle and employs many different formats, including lecture presentations by the instructor, podcasts, power points, news and movie clips, directed group discussion, in-class activities, including role-playing activities and prepared debate.    

Course Objectives:  This course has four general goals

(1) to expose students to the important moral issues that arise in various business contexts;

(2) to provide students with an understanding of the moral, social, and economic environments within which heose problems occur;

(3) to introduce students to the ethical and other concepts that are relevant for resolving those problems; and

(4) to assist students in developing the necessary reasoning and analytical skills for doing so.  

Student Learning Outcomes:  Students taking this course will learn to

(1)  Identify the moral questions that business activity specifically creates;

(2)  Distinguish between ethical and other types of values;

(3)  Recognize ethical considerations and values relevant to business activity;

(4)  Evaluate common beliefs about ethics - especially common beliefs about the role of ethics in business;

(5)  Reflect on the nature of business, realize alternative models for conducting business;

(6)  Apply moral reasoning to specific situations and defend the conclusions of that reasoning;

(7)  Evaluate the ethics of particular business decisions and general practices in business; and

(8)  Appreciate the role of ethics in business and social life


Our Book:  Business Ethics & SocietyBusiness Ethics:  A Textbook with Cases, 8th Edition by William H. Shaw (2014).  ISBN -10:1133943071; ISBN-13: 9781133943075

Available at SMU bookstore, Cengage, or Amazon

Individual Chapter Summary Power Points available here:  Chapters 1-11


Please complete the following surveys prior to our first class meeting:

Syllabus and all other course material will be posted in MBA 695 Moodle page:  SMU Moodle


Statement to Students concerning Academic Dishonesty: 

Acts of academic dishonesty, plagiarism and cheating are considered unethical actions and a violation of university’s academic policy (SMU Catalog). Sanctions and procedures are included in the SMU Academic Catalog.

Statement to Students with Disabilities:

Students wishing to request appropriate accommodations are responsible for initiating contact with the SMU Office of Disability Support Services located at 214 OM [phone 438-4580; lpuryear@stmartin.edu]. The office will access the individual needs of each student, assist him or her in communicating those needs to faculty and staff and help the student obtain the materials, services, and the assistance necessary to successfully pursue their higher education.

University Mission and Academic Values (SMU Catalog - Selected Excerpts)

University Mission: To know, to care, to serve – to educate
University Academic Values: Knowledge, Spirituality, Hospitality, Service, Creativity, Communication, Inquiry, Discovery, Holistic Education.

Business Division Philosophy (SMU Catalog)

Built on the General Education foundation informed by Saint Martin’s Catholic, Benedictine heritage and values, Business and Economics offers a unified business program that integrates the separate functional areas of business. Acknowledging the technologic innovation, ever-changing global marketplace and challenged ecosystems currently shaping the world, the Business Administration Program offers students an opportunity to learn and practice general management skills, discover the need for ethical decision-making and acquire functional business area expertise. Through practice and active learning, students also gain the ability to work cooperatively in diverse teams. They become effective writers and speakers, and they demonstrate sharpened critical thinking skills and professional judgment. Students graduate with a broad perspective on the business world and its place in our culture. Saint Martin’s graduates have the ability to work across business functions, adjust quickly to new situations, accept change and ambiguity as a natural part of life, and become enthusiastic lifelong learners. National or State Standards consistent with AACSB and AICPA

Course Grading Scale:  as stated on current syllabus.


I expect students to come to class ready to engage: discuss the readings, participate in weekly forum discussions and raise current events of legal interest. 

Class participation can and does make a difference!!

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Syllabus will be
 on Moodle - log in here