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Course Description
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Philosophy 310: Business Ethics
American Business School Paris
Paris, France

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Philosophy 300 English 3 45 None


Increasingly, emphasis is being placed by society on the need for the business community to behave in a "responsible" manner.  Does this lead necessarily to conflict with a firm's legitimate drive to earn profits?  This course will provide a forum to examine the principal ethical areas which impact business, such as insider information, deceptive advertising, public health and safety.  The discussion will focus on possible motivations behind "unethical" behavior, the legal environment, and the usefulness of internal measures to control this problem.



We will use a case-study approach, in conjuction with role-plays, debates and presentations to highlight the issues at hand.  As a consequence of the nature of the material, we will adopt a group approach is presentation of solutions to the problems assigned.  Teamwork as well as individual preparedness will be critical in successfully accomplishing the tasks required.  The cases covered will be :


-          Introduction & Perspective

-          Differences between moral/legal/conceptual/utilitarian/individual/corporate issues

-          Ethics in Finance – specific practices – encouragement or bribery ?

-          Monopolies & oligopolies

-          Environmental issues – corporate vs consumer responsibility

-          Employment & the workplace – discrimination ; harassment ; pressure

-          Child labor & forced labor

-          Conclusion


Business Ethics, Velasquez, Prentice-Hall, 5th Edition, 2002

50% of the final grade will be made up of a class participation (20%), a group project (20%), a mid-term exam (30%) and a final examination (30%).

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