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The Moral Organization Interdisciplinary Studies Program Summer 2024 July 4-Week - Amsterdam

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The Moral Organization

The Moral Organization Course Overview

OVERVIEW

CEA CAPA Partner Institution: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Primary Subject Area: Philosophy
Instruction in: English
Transcript Source: Partner Institution
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45

DESCRIPTION

Scandals in public and private organizations are an everyday occurrence. Money laundering by banks, sexual abuse by employees of NGO's, the marketing of unsafe products, are just a few of reoccurring events that harm society. At the same time, many organizations are undertaking corporate social responsibility activities, with the clear intention to contribute positively to society. It is important for both scientists and the general public to better understand why organizations often want to act morally, yet fail to do so, and why others could be regarded as exemplary organizations.

We will discuss insights from moral psychology, grounded in Social Identity Theory (SIT), to explain (im)moral behaviour in and by organizations. SIT argues that individuals derive their identity from (ideally positive) group memberships, and that their behaviour usually follows from their self-definition as group members. For most people, the organization they work for is a very important 'group', with which they can identify, and which contributes to their self-image.

Our students will learn that many issues regarding (im)moral behaviour in and 'by' organizations stem from high levels of identification with the organization, leading to a disregard for societal outcomes, sometimes even leading to negative outcomes for their own organization. They will also learn to understand how organizations may change - or can be helped to change - to avoid such detrimental outcomes and become a moral organization.

Our interactive course teaches students the latest insights in moral behaviour in and by organizations, through interactive lectures, movies, short cases, discussion sessions and in-class team assignments. Guest lectures by experts from organizations that have a special interest in moral behaviour or visits to one or two organizations will also be part of the program.

Course Topics:
- Morality and social identity
- Moral leadership
- Motivating moral choices
- Diversity and inclusion
- Whistleblowing
- The human factor in organizational change
- Relating to stakeholders
- Power of ethical climates

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- understand and discuss the intricacies of moral behavior in organizations
- contribute to solutions to moral issues in organizations and present them verbally and in writing
- (begin to) support well-intentioned organizations in becoming exemplary organizations

Students will be taught through interactive lectures (usually in the morning), work groups and discussion sessions.

Assessment will be based on a short individual essay (100% of the course grade). Each student will give a short presentation based on individual or group work. One bonus point can be gained by making exceptional contributions to discussions or by giving an exceptionally good presentation. Absences from class can be compensated by answering essay questions. Grades cannot exceed a 10.

Contact hours listed under a course description may vary due to the combination of lecture-based and independent work required for each course. CEA's recommended credits are based on the contact hours assigned by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam): 15 contact hours equals 1 U.S. credit

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