2019-2020 / GEST3753-1

Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility


24h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Master en droit, à finalité spécialisée en gestion4 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en droit et gestion3 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en droit4 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité4 crédits 
 Master en ingénieur de gestion, à finalité4 crédits 
 Cours supplémentaires destinés aux étudiants d'échange - Erasmus5 crédits 
 Master en gestion des ressources humaines, à finalité3 crédits 
 Cours supplémentaires destinés aux étudiants d'échange - Erasmus3 crédits 


Virginie Xhauflair

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue anglaise

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au premier quadrimestre, examen en janvier


Horaire en ligne

Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

Les unités prérequises ou corequises sont présentées au sein de chaque programme

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement

Each day, news spotlights intolerable, deviant and unfair organizational behaviors. In response to numerous scandals and controversies, managers cannot ignore the « ethical phenomenon » anymore.Notions such as corporate social responsibility, conscious capitalism, shared value, etc. confirm this tendency. Business ethics management practices demonstrate the extent to which ethics is taken seriously by current managers. The implementation of particular management tools (certification, standardization, ethical codes, etc.) does remind us of the sometimes concrete and material embodiment of the ethical question. Finally, close examination of workers experiences and practices highlight how philosophical and political considerations are very often connected to technical ones.
The purpose of this course is to allow students to capture the fourfold nature (discursive, philosophical, organizational and political) of the ethical phenomenon.It is indeed crucial for each decision-maker to understand this complexity, grasp the role he/she is playing in this global world as well as the sociological dynamics which (s)he will experience. By paying attention to firms responsibilities, businesses regulations and decision-making practices, students will also learn how to deal with inescapable philosophical debates and assumptions.
Detailed course outline

  • Business Ethics: An introduction - Lecture 1
  • Critical Inquiry: What is it to ask a proper research question (in a Business Ethics Class)? How to investigate the « ethical phenomenon »? - Lecture 2
  • Corporate Scandals, Ethical Turn and New Discourses: Ethics as a Meta-Discursive Phenomenon - Lecture 3
  • Business Practitioners Experience - Lecture 4
  • Ethics, Ethical Theories & Worlds: Ethics as a Philosophical Phenomenon - Lecture 5
  • Business Practitioners Experience - Lecture 6
  • Business Ethics Management: Ethics as an Organizational Equipment - Lecture 7
  • Business Practitioners Experience - Lecture 8
  • Influence and Power in the Workplace: Ethics as a Political Engagement - Lecture 9
  • Business Practitioners Experiences - Lecture 10

Acquis d'apprentissage (objectifs d'apprentissage) de l'unité d'enseignement

Objectives of the course:

From an analytical point of view, this course aims to

  • introduce students with core Business Ethics' concepts
  • capture the fourfold nature of the ethical phenomenon: discursive, philosophical, organizational and political
  • support students' ability to perceive and address the ethical nature of everyday business and social life
  • support the development of investigative, reflexive and analytical competencies

From a managerial point of view, this course aims to
  • shed new lights on decision-making and conflict-management
  • familiarize students with multi-disciplinary thinking, especially regarding the ethical phenomenon
  • support students' ability to perceive and address the ethical nature of everyday business (and social) life
From a pedagogical point of view, this course aims to sensitize students with proactive and interactive teaching/learning methods
At the end of this course, students can expect to have developed problem-making, empirical research, ethical reasoning and debating skills.
Learning outcomes of the course:
  In coherence with the Intended Learning Outcomes of the Master in Business Engineering 120 ECTs, the course will enable students to:
  • Tackle some ethical dilemmas they might face in their professional life
  • Critically think about concrete cases
  • Understand different ethical framework and tools that will help them to address ethical issues
  • Based on case studies of ethical issues, assess, discuss and develop reasoning on these issues

This course contributes to the following Intended Learning Outcomes :

  • ILO-5: Capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal management problem,
  • ILO-6: Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose, either individually or as part of a team, original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems whether real or simulated.
  • ILO 7: Providing concrete solutions to a management problem, integrating modelization methods and/or a dimension of technology, innovation or production.
  • ILO-11: Developing a critical sense (arguing)
  • ILO-12: Developing a transversal, global vision
  • ILO-16: Faced with a management problem, suggesting solutions that are ethical and socially responsible and that respect the principles of good governance.

Savoirs et compétences prérequis

none required

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

Due to the size of the group, classes will be mostly taught ex-cathedra (virtual lessons).

  • Theoretical and conceptual presentations by the teacher, using virtual lessons
  • Empirical illustrations, brought by the teacher, in the form of case studies, videos, testimonials by guest speakers (business practitioners).
  • Group works investigations (a 4-step Critical Inquiry)
We recommend that students bring a laptop and a smartphone to be able to interact with the teacher and the group when using online tools. However, this is not compulsory and won't prevent you from following the course.

Mode d'enseignement (présentiel ; enseignement à distance)

This course is delivered by virtual lectures as well as classroom tutorials. It isfullytaughtin English and requires a good level of English.

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

The course is based on diverse theoretical material, mainly published scientific articles. The portfolio will be given throughout the course (at the end of each PPT presentation).

Modalités d'évaluation et critères

Each class period, students will be expected to discuss the topics, analyze related issues, evaluate the situations described in cases and participate notably via online interactive exercises.
Students will also be evaluated based on one group work (55%), one final written exam (30%) and a Peer Evaluation Form (15%).


Remarques organisationnelles

Course schedule
Q1 - Mondays- 1-4 pm
Amphi Wilmotte (A2) (24 september and 8 october)
All other classes in Amphi Pousseur (Opera)


Teaching assistant: Thomas Pongo : thomas.pongo@ulg.ac.be