Business Ethics and Sustainability (MNG239)

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Course goals

The course Business Ethics and Sustainability (BES) aims to introduce students to the main concepts and frameworks of (business) ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development. The global financial crisis in the late 2000s, together with other social-economic and geopolitical events, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic, have increased the spotlight on ethical matters, and has raised the question of how the economic and social environment have to be designed in order to contribute to the needs of the society. Whereby the idea of self-regulation and CSR plays an important role in Anglo-Saxon countries, regulation by the state is emphasized more in the European context. Most business representatives prefer the idea of strengthening the concept of CSR, as it shifts decision-making power from the states towards corporations. On the other hand, many NGOs and representatives by the society favour a more active role by governments. The course will not follow any ideology but will discuss various approaches. Moreover, a focus will be put on the stakeholder theory – the role of staffs, consumers, and society in general – in a globalized world.

Course results

  • Introduce students to the core concepts of business ethics and social responsibility in practice.
  • Discuss and analyse issues within the area of ethics in economics and business.
  • Assess and analyse ethical dilemmas.
  • Develop a general orientation in social and moral business dilemmas of our times.
  • Understand ethics as a key of the soft skills elements in an international context.
  • Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a changing environment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and ability to evaluate and assess ethical theories by appealing to realistic scenarios.
  • Explain the relevance of modern ethical theory towards business managers and economists as a tool that guarantees that business serves primarily the interests of society.