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:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Ms Ceren Erdem


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to develop students’ awareness and a refined critical understanding of the key approaches and theories of ethics and the understanding of key issues, and dimensions which reflect relationships in business and in society. It’s practically applied to relations involving business and broader stakeholders in international business and management contexts with a focus on ethical complexities in international management.  


This module aims to develop students’ awareness and a refined critical understanding of the key approaches and theories of ethics. Accordingly it 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:

Intended learning outcomes:

A critical and refined understanding of key normative approaches and theories of ethics. A higher level understanding of what is meant by the notion of the good and how “value” is captured by various normative philosophies. A more confident capacity for applying critically ethical theory for  the evaluation, decision making and the debating of alternative action courses in business, government and society with a focus on international business and management contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

(1) an in depth and critical understanding of and comparison of various ethical frameworks beyond ethical relativism, a refined understanding of key theories and terms (which were taught in more introductory ethics courses) involved in ethical evaluation and decision making.

(2) confident analytic capacity and expert terminology demonstrating evaluative, synthetic and comparative thinking applied to (a) appreciating the complexity and the apprehension of purely  economic versus ethical dimensions of action involved in business and management in international contexts,  and (b) applying different ethical perspectives, concepts and concerns in evaluating business, government and societal problems and alternative ways involved in international business and management,

(3) An apprehension of how some of the key theory concepts are being contextualised in specific business and society international contexts.

(4) A more confident capacity for applying critically ethical theory for  the evaluation, decision making and the debating of alternative action courses in business, government and society with a focus on international business and management contexts.

These will involve:

• 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 working individually and as a team ;

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

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 via teaching, debates and class discussion. There will also be three tutorial sessions with specific topics/case studies for discussion and learning methods involving teamwork and peer learning.

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

Summative assessment- Examinations:
None required

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework 1: One individual essay (plan) of 1000 words, with a weight of 20% in the overall assessment of the module – (partly formative). Due by Week 25 (w6 spring term)

Coursework 2: One group written report of 1000 words, and an orally performed presentation (delivered in an interactive seminar). This combined coursework has a weight of 30% in the overall assessment of the module (slides and report are equally weighted subcomponents). Due by Week 29 (W10 spring term)

Coursework 3: One individual essay of 3,000 words with a weight of 50% in the overall assessment of the module.  Due by Week 30 (W11 of the spring term)

Formative assessment methods:

The first essay is an essay plan and its formative feedback with a weight of 20% Due by Week 25 (w6 spring term) aims to help students develop skills for improving the structure and the flow and content of argument in coursework 2 and in the final individual third coursework of this module.

Groups and group members  work towards the preparation of the second coursework (e.g. via a group wiki) which enables peer learning and peer formative feedback.  Student teams are invited to meet the module convener for formative feedback  prior to the final submission of the second coursework.  

The formative feedback while performing the group presenation (coursework 2) will enable groups to reflectively learn from their peers and the lecturer(s), which may be utilised as another formative feedback point towards coursework 3 content and argument effective writing planning.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

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

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment arrangements (During the August University Resit Period):

An individual essay (capped at 50 percent).

Alternative Assessment: An essay of 3000 words (topic tbc by convenor) – non capped

Re-submission as part of the overall arrangements of the MSc programme.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):



Required text books

All readings and referenced books are provided online via our UoR TALIS electronic online reading listing system and the TALIS and Blackboard interface. Also the University electronic databases are to be used for retrieving extra literature teams or students may need to complete their coursework. Therefore it is not required of students in this module to purchase textbooks. We have also planned for enough paper print and electronic copies of the textbook in the University Library.

However, if students wish to purchase the main textbook by M. Sandel it is available at the university bookstore and online for £10 pounds each paperback copy.  If students wish to do so they may look for used and second hand copies via Amazon and the university bookstore in the campus.

Printing and binding

All marking is done online so students in this module shouldn’t have any extra costs for printing coursework.

However if students wish to print their documents at their own costs the following apply:

1. Students can bind their work for free in the ARC in HBS.

2. Multifunctional devices (MFD) which can print, copy or scan are available on the subject floors of the Library Building and on the Ground Floor of the URS Building. Send your printing from any PC and pick it up on any MFD across campus by logging in using your Campus Card.

Printing costs general information can be found via

Costs for 2018-9 are:

  • 5p for A4 black and white

  • 10p for A3 black and white

  • 30p for A4 colour

  • 60p for A3 colour

Computers and devices with a particular specification

The following, which  are available on the Ground Floor of the URS Building:

145 PCs


Last updated: 7 September 2018


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