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Liberal Arts & Cultural Heritage
Fall 2021 Semester Rome

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Course Overview

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Business Ethics & Management in a Global Context

Business Ethics & Management in a Global Context Course Overview

OVERVIEW

CEA Partner Institution: CEA Rome Center
Location: Rome, Italy
Primary Subject Area: Business
Instruction in: English
Course Code: BUS351FCO
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: Prior to enrollment, this course requires you to have completed either one introductory course in the following subject areas: Ethics and/or Business & Management.

DESCRIPTION

For decades now, news stories have brought to public attention the countless social and ethical issues raised by the operations of all kinds of businesses. The latest wave of criticism began with the rash of scandals first brought to light in late 2001, when the Enron fraud was exposed: the Enron debacle was an ethical tsunami that redefined business's relationships with society and the global community. Since then, other corporate names have been publicly shamed: Martha Stewart, Rite Aid, ImClone, HealthSouth, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Microsoft, Monsanto, Wal-Mart, Facebook, Tyco, Adelphia, Boeing, and many others. The global economic crisis that began in 2008 has added also banks, financial operators, and insurances to the list of ethically controversial business actors. In general, companies must today grapple with highly complex and vast societal concerns that far exceed the pursuit of a satisfactory bottom-line - and do so in a globalized, highly interconnected, instantly informed, and socially conscious environment.

We shall be discussing the role of business in society, and whether business without ethics can be sustained in a world characterized by great economic uncertainty, financial insecurity, dramatic levels of inequality both within and among countries, fast-paced technological progress, stratified and sometimes contradictory legal requirements, weak global institutions, and a rampant environmental crisis.

Business Ethics raises questions about a host of widely diverse issues: executive powers, corporate governance, covert monopolies, delocalized production and outsourced labor, unmet or distorted health standards, the commercial implications of genetic research, the patents and copyrights regime, the accountability of financial institutions, businesses' employment of political action committees to influence the outcome of legislation - along with the macro-themes of galloping technological development and the overall sustainability - ecological, economic, and social - of current production and consumption patterns.

The course will apply fundamental concepts in ethical theory to business practice, investigate methods of stakeholder analysis, introduce some rudiments of behavioral economics, explore specific ethically and socially sensitive topics in business and management, and lay out the ethically problematic structure of representative real-life cases. To assess such claims, the course selects real-life problematic cases and applies to them moral theories such as Consequentialism and Deontology, and most importantly Aristotle's Virtue Ethics as configured in his Nicomachean Ethics. Also of interest will be justifications and critiques of market capitalism, economic rationality as opposed to moral reasonableness, justice, property rights, the notion of externalities, and conceptions of responsibility. You will refer to a selected number of texts, research real-world business cases, analyze and give presentations on selected subsidiary readings, and engage in class discussions over specific topics.

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