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Business Ethics & Management in a Global Context Politics, Economics & Business Program Fall 2019 Semester - Rome

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Business Ethics & Management in a Global Context

Business Ethics & Management in a Global Context Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: CEA CAPA Rome Center
Location: Rome, Italy
Primary Subject Area: Business
Instruction in: English
Course Code: BUS351
Transcript Source: TBD
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: One introductory course in Ethics and/or Business & Management


In general, companies must today grapple with highly complex and broad societal concerns that far exceed the pursuit of a satisfactory bottom-line - and do so in a highly interconnected, instantly informed, 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, dramatic levels of inequality both within and among countries, stratified and sometimes contradictory legal requirements, weak global institutions, and a rampant resource and environmental crisis.

Business Ethics raises questions about a host of widely diverse issues: corporate governance, executive behavior, accountability, and compensation, covert monopolies, delocalized production and outsourced labor, unmet or distorted health standards, the use of political action committees by business to influence the outcome of legislation the actual transparency of financial institutions - along with the macro-theme of the overall sustainability of current production and consumption patterns.

The course will apply fundamental concepts in ethical theory to business practice. It will begin with a focus on the notion of reputation. A good reputation emerges from the records of behaviors that companies and managers can offer. These behaviors must be decent and acceptable in at least three domains: the economical, the social, and the environmental. These are the dimensions of sustainability broadly understood. Consonant with these premises, the course relies throughout on stakeholder analysis, and then considers the responses that morally decent and ethically virtuous managers should give to stakeholders' claims. 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, property rights, the notion of externalities, and philosophical conceptions of responsibility. You will refer to a selected number of texts, independently research real-world business cases, analyze and give presentations on selected subsidiary readings, and engage in class discussions over specific topics. The final paper will be a critical juxtaposition of Aristotle's virtuous agent with two classics on leadership coming from two very different cultures: Machiavelli's The Prince and Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

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