MM359B-Business Ethics for International Management

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MM359A Business Ethics 1
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Kleio Akrivou


Summary module description:


This module aims to develop students’ awareness and understanding of the ethical issues which reflect relationships with key business and non business stakeholders in contexts of international business with an emphasis on potential tensions between economic and ethics concerns and the need to ethically inform and balance economic and business aims with a focus on acting for the good in business and in society. The module will focus on the ethical complexities facing and affecting the relations of business and society and how to apply different ethical perspectives, concepts and concerns in evaluating business, government and societal problems and alternative pathways of action. Finally, the module with focus in theory on individual and contextual factors which impact / impede capacities for ethical decision making and action and decision making in contexts of international managers, particularly within an alien foreign context. Using a combination of ethical theory and case study analysis, the module aims to enable students to analyse ethical challenges issues that corporate decision-makers face in trying to successfully do their business.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of this module, students should have developed:

  • An indepth and critical understanding of and comparison of various ethical frameworks, theories and key terms involved in ethical evaluation and decision making.

  • How the notion of the good and “value” is captured by various normative philosophies and how to apply them in evaluation, decision making and the choice of action courses in business, government and society.

  • How to think with complexity evaluating economic versus ethical dimensions of action and how to apply different ethical perspectives, concepts and concerns in evaluating business, government and societal problems and alternative ways to act

  •  An understanding of some of the key concepts in and theoretical approaches to individual and contextual factors enabling addressing business issues ethically.

  • A critical awareness of the range of ethical issues arising in international management contexts when business interests clash with local political, community and other stakeholder interests

  • The ability to construct and present a rigorous ethical argument regarding the relationship between business and society and between business norms and (local) cultural norms;

  • The ability to analyse cases of business dilemmas in international settings ethical perspectives which balances business goals and key stakeholders rights;

  • The relationship between context and ethical norms

  • The ability to approach business situations from a critical ethical as well as an economic perspective, combining moral and instrumental forms of reasoning;

Additional outcomes:
Through taking this module, students should gain a greater insight into a variety of topics that have an ‘ethical’ or moral aspect for international managers and other agents working in international firms to exercise their own ethical judgement and often their wisdom to negotiate business goals while taking into account the interests and rights of other local business and non business stakeholders. They should be able to discuss in depth both practical and theoretical issues relating to ethics and ethical decision-making in international management contexts, that particularly relate to the relationship between business and society. They should be able to appreciate the importance of harmonizing between a global business ethics vs local ethical cultural insights to ensure long term viability of their business in its broader social and economic context. They should also have developed their teamwork and presentational skills.

Outline content:

1. Introduction- Doing the Right Thing date

2. Capitalism, Markets, Morals and Corporate Moral Agency

3. Critical review of consequential and deontological ethics

4. The case for Equality and Justice

5. The Common Good, the Firm and the notionof"character" in virtue ethics.

6.. Descriptive Ethics: Individual and Contextual Factors

7. Moral Choices, Loyalty and Agency

8. Ethics in the Business and Politics Relationship

9. Ethics regarding Business Implications to Communities

10. Ethics in the Business vs. Environment Relationship


Core texts: • The syllabus for this module is defined in detail in each year’s course outline.

The two main core text is Michael Sandel’s book (2009): Justice- What’s the right thing to do? By Penguin, UK: Clays Ltd (first printed in England by Allen Lane, 2009) • Kline, J. (2010). Ethics for International Business: Decision-making in a global political economy. Routledge. This will be used in two lectures, but no need to purchase it. It is available in the ARC and in the Library.

Use will also be made of journal articles that focus on theory and case studies and of library resources such as the Journal of Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quarterly, Business Ethics: A European Review and the Harvard Business Review.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught through a two hour lecture session each week, combining elements of lectures, DVDs and case analysis. There will also be three tutorial sessions with specific topics/case studies for discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 3
Project Supervision 4
Work-based learning 33
Guided independent study 140
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

One essay plan of 1000 words, with a weight of 20% in the overall assessment of the module – (partly formative).

One essay of 3,000 words with a weight of 50% in the overall assessment of the module.

One group presentation in a seminar with a weight of 30% in the overall assessment of the module.

Group presentations take place in seminars.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    None required

    Requirements for a pass:
    A weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    A resubmission of an individual essay under a new topic set by the module convener

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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