MMM066-Ethics in 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:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Kleio Akrivou


Summary module description:
An introduction to the moral norms of international management, the ethical choices to which they give rise and the resources on which such choices can be based.

Business has its own moral norms, which often differ from those in society at large, while both business and social norms evolve over time and vary between cultures. This module aims to equip students with the intellectual foundations for negotiating the moral world that ensues. It is divided into two parts:

Part 1 aims to equip students with a critical understanding of moral norms. This includes an understanding of how moral norms vary between countries and between business, home and other social settings; of their social and psychological foundations; and of the social and political processes through which they evolve.

Part 2 aims to equip students with a basis for making ethical choices, in cases where moral norms conflict or are in tension - for example where the moral practices of a business organisation conflict with what one would consider moral in a domestic or social context, or where the moral practices of a culture in which managers operate differ from those of their home culture. This includes an introduction to ethical reasoning and an understanding of the relationship between reason, emotions and tradition.

Throughout the course applications to real-world situations are used both to develop students’ analytical, reflexive and decision skills and to introduce them to the range of moral issues and contexts encountered in international management.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Knowledge of
-The moral norms prevailing in a variety of cultures and contexts
-Contemporary theories of the foundations of morality and of moral change
-Contemporary debates in relation to the field of study, and the arguments put forward in those debates
-The basic principles of ethical reasoning in different cultural traditions
-The main schools of philosophical ethics, including the strengths and limitations of their arguments

Ability to
-Identify the moral elements of complex business and management situations
-Analyse these elements from a variety of perspectives
-Construct a reasoned ethical argument for responding in a particular way, including responses to possible criticisms, from both moral and economic perspectives

Additional outcomes:
Ability to
-Conduct a reasoned debate with people from different cultures and perspectives on complex and emotively laden issues

Outline content:
The institution of morality
Variations of moral norms across time, across societies, across contexts
Schools and traditions of ethical reasoning: their achievements and limitations
Corporate Codes of Ethics
Business and moral cultures
The moral norms of international management; challenges for ethical decision making in business; Descriptive ethics
Ethical and moral traditions of the main world cultures
Social and psychological foundations of morals
Ethics and life choices, distinction between ethics and morals

Applications of ethical reasoning to international management

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
At the core of this module are case study analysis and class discussion, using a mixture of written and video case material. Emphasis is given in harmonically blending current and core theory lines, cases involving ethical challenges for international management and storytelling, with the aid of mini cases. These will be supported by lectures, to direct reading and expound and clarify key points, and small group discussion in tutorials, to monitor learning progress and identify and resolve difficulties. Role-play exercises may also be included.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 25
Tutorials 3
Project Supervision 2.5
Demonstration 10
Work-based learning 10
Guided independent study 149.5
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 40

Other information on summative assessment:

First Essay, partly formative, of 1,500 words20%

Second Essay of 2,000 - 3,000 words40%

Group Project: Presentation and Report (of 1000 words)40%

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

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:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of one essay (3000 words), with new topic set.

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: 21 December 2016

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