Lecturer: Dr Daniel W. Skubik, PhD JD MDiv
Tel: +1.909.640.9381 / Fax: +1.909.637.9872
Ethics & International Business
Course Syllabus for MBAX Unit
This unit is designed to heighten students' awareness of the ethical dimensions of economic theory and international business practices. Based on our study of several broad ethical frameworks, derived from different cultural and philosophical roots, for how one ought to act, consideration will be given to how individual managers and corporate bodies can both recognise and resolve the ethical dilemmas that frequently confront them in the international business arena. Discussion of case studies and role plays will be used to highlight ethical problems and their resolution.
Supplementary Readings [SR] (photocopy packet of edited materials prepared for this unit)
Other recommended readings and key Internet links are available on my Web site. Details and passwords to protected areas will be provided during the first class session of the Unit.
Assessment will be based on aggregation of points for
- 20% - general attendance & discussion participation
- 35% - case study #1 presentation & discursive outline (presentation - 10% + outline - 25%)
- 45% - case study #2 presentation & discursive outline (presentation - 10% + outline - 35%)
Wednesday, 10th Apr:
- Introduction to Unit & Applied Ethical Theories
- Discussion of SR, Items #1 & 2 + Discussion of Pinto case (memo details here)
- Discussion of SR, Items #3 & 4 + Further details concerning various ethical frameworks (see summary of utilitarianism here; deontology here; and virtue here.)
Friday, 12th Apr:
- Presentation of first group case study results
- Discussion of SR, Item #7 & 8
- Second group case study
Wednesday, 17th Apr:
- Presentation of second group case study results
General Attendance & Discussion Participation
You are expected to attend each session during the four days the course is scheduled to meet. Unexcused absences have a negative impact not only on your ability to absorb the material, but keeps you from participating with and learning from your peers. Participation in the group case studies is essential to successful completion of the unit. You are likewise responsible to read the assigned materials before each scheduled discussion session, and to participate in the discussions and role play exercises that comprise these sessions.
Each student will take part in two formal case studies, plus formal presentations, which require your participation and cooperation in group workshops. The case studies are derived from several hypothetical or actual international business scenarios, and thereby provide students the opportunity to put into practice the range of ethical theories for recognising and resolving problems covered in our readings and discussion sessions.
You will be assigned to represent key actors in two separate international business dilemmas. [Detailed information for each hypothetical and the parties involved will be provided.]
The first case study places you within a group for purposes of general discussion, but then will require you to produce an individual discursive outline detailing all of the ethical factors that can be identified in the scenario.
The second group project will require you to prepare a single group discursive outline revealing all the ethical factors in the second scenario, then describing how the identified dilemma(s) ought to be resolved, and why. I will take into account group member feedback when assigning shared marks in the second case study scenario.
Contents Page to Supplementary Reading Materials
- Miscellaneous Items
- T.J. Rodgers vs. Sister Doris Gormley: compilation of documents
- WSJ Article, 15-7-96
- Form letter from Gormley to Rodgers which sparked debate
- Rodgers' reply, dated 25-5-96 (subsequently published by WSJ and Reason magazine)
- Gormley's private reply, dated 18-6-96
- Letters to WSJ editor responding to original article
- Gormley's second reply (subsequently published in Business & Society Review)
- Trying Out One's New Sword, by Mary Midgley
- The Book of Leadership Wisdom: Classic Writings by Legendary Business Leaders, by Peter Krass (ed.); with selected essays by Robert Haas (Levi Strauss), Sir Adrian Cadbury (Cadbury Schweppes), An Wang (Wang Laboratories), Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry's), and Akio Morita (Sony)
- "Integrity in International Business: A Contradiction in Terms?", by Richard T. De George, in Competing with Integrity in International Business, chapter 1
- "Ethics in Confucian and Christian Management Behavior," by Liu & Rarick, in International Journal of Value Based Management
- "Ethics and Australian International Business," by D.W. Skubik, in Journal of Business Ethics
- Global Ethics: Wrestling with the Corporate Conscience, by Gene R. Laczniak and Jacob Naor
Addendum: Sample case and discussion from Uncompromising Integrity: Motorola's Global Challenge (1998), as model for individual and group case study work