2017-2018 / GEST3761-1

Business Ethics


18h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en droit et gestion3 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en droit3 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité3 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion3 crédits 
 Master en gestion des ressources humaines, à finalité3 crédits 


Virginie Xhauflair

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue anglaise

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au deuxième quadrimestre

Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

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

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement

Course rationale:

Each day, news spotlight unethical behaviors in organizations. Beyond undemanding condemnations of the numerous unethical practices in any industry, we must admit that ethical decision making processes have become very complex in the 2.0 global business world. Every decision we will make in the course of our professional life may potentially affect the life of many other individuals, as the latter's decisions and behaviors may also impact strongly our lives, our communities, and our environment.
It is thus crucial for each decision-maker to understand this complexity, to grasp the role he/she is playing in this global world, and to improve his/her ability to make ethical decisions.
The purpose of this course is to allow students to enhance this ability by providing them with a pragmatic framework that they can use to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical issues in business decision making. Students will also learn how to deal with conflicts between their personal values and those of the organization. They will finally consider the specific ethical issues they may be confronted with when interacting with the various stakeholders of the corporation.

Detailed course outline:
Introducing business ethics

  • What is the difference between morals and ethics?
  • What is an ethical dilemma?
  • What is business ethics important?
  • What is the difference between ethics and the law?
Framing business ethics
  • What is the relationship between morals, ethics and ethical theories?
  • What is the point of having different ethical theories?
  • How can we adopt a pluralistic perspective when confronted with an ethical dilemma in business?
Managing business ethics
  • Mapping stakeholders and identifying salient stakeholders
  • Accounting and reporting ethics and CSR
  • What is the difference between ethics and compliance?
The nature of the corporation's responsibilities
  • Going beyond Friedman's arguments
  • From corporate philanthropy to shared value and inclusive business
Specific issues linked to stakeholders' types
  • Shareholders as stakeholders and ethical finance
  • Employees and workplace ethics
  • Ethics in global supply chains
  • ...

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

  • Introducing core business ethics concepts relevant to resolving moral issues and ethical dilemmas in business
  • Presenting various analytical frameworks used to address ethical dilemmas
  • Applying these frameworks to case studies and identifying ethical issues specific to business
  • Examining and assessing the social and natural environments within which moral issues in business arise
  • Exemplifying the relevance and resolution of ethical concerns in the management of companies, with the presentation of different systems and tools implemented by organizations to deal with ethical issues and manage stakeholders
  • Making students aware that individual decisions and personal choices matter
  • Enhancing the students' critical thinking ability
  • Developing students' capacity for global and systemic analysis and anticipation as well as an attitude oriented towards problem solving
Learning outcomes of the course:

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-4 : To acquire the capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal management problem, 
  • ILO-5 : 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, taking into account, when necessary, the human, social and legal context.
  • ILO-9 : Developing a critical sense (arguing)
  • ILO-10 : Developing a transversal, global vision 
  • ILO-14: 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

no prerequisites

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

Due to the size of the group, classes will be mostly taught ex-cathedra, using online educational tools to boost interactivity with students

  • Theoretical and conceptual presentations by the teacher, using powerpoint slides
  • Empirical illustrations, brought by the teacher, in the form of case studies, videos, testimonials in invited experts, etc.
I recommend that students bring a laptop or 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 face-to-face fully in English and requires a good level of English.

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

The course is based on the textbook Business Ethics (3rd edition), by Andrew Crane and Dirk Matten, 2010, Oxford University Press
We recommend students to get this book, as the only supports provided by the teacher are the powerpoint files presented during lectures. A few books will be available at the university libraries.
All other relevant resources will be provided by the teacher via Lol@
For students in Master in management with professional focus on Banking and Asset Management ONLY
Because this master is part of the CFA university recognition program, this requires to incorporate the reading of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct (http://www.cfainstitute.org/learning/products/publications/ccb/Pages/ccb.v2014.n4.1.aspx)
This compulsory reading (only for students in banking and asset management) is supported by an online course composed of 7 modules which can be accessed for free on the CFA website (http://www.cfainstitute.org/learning/products/onlinelearning/Pages/62901.aspx?WPID=AlsoViewedProducts)
Students in banking and asset management will receive a specific assignment based on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics, and linked to the class focusing on shareholders as stakeholders and ethical finance.

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.
  • The final exam will be a written exam, comprising a set of multiple-choice questions and 2 to 3 open questions. The final exam account for 100% of the final grade.


Remarques organisationnelles

The course is organized during Q2. 
+- 12 classes of 1h30
Scheduled on Friday afternoon, 1-2.30 pm


Virginie Xhauflair (B33 - Trifac)