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Online classes

Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

MGMT 368: Business Ethics

Course Description

Analysis of principles used to evaluate ethical issues facing today's business community as well as to formulate possible solutions. This course satisfies the General Education Ethics requirement for Business Administration, Management Information Systems and Computer Information Systems majors.

Prerequisite: MGMT 330

Proctored Exams: None

Syllabus Contents



  • Shaw, William H. Moral Issues in Business. 13th ed. , 2016.
    • ISBN-978-1-285-87432-6

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit

Course Overview

This course will focus on issues and perspectives of right and wrong in American business.  The course begins with a survey of philosophical approaches to ethics and morality and continues in an application of these approaches to real world cases drawn from the functional areas of business.

Each week we'll focus on the understanding and application of philosophical ethical perspectives to actual business situations through our online discussions, which are based on your reading of the text and cases.

Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe widely accepted consequential and non-consequential theories of ethics in a business context.
  2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of major theories of ethics.
  3. Analyze ethical dilemmas in business.
  4. Evaluate the economic approach and critiques of capitalism.
  5. Describe and critique various competing theories of justice.


Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 240 24%
Case Studies (5) 200 20%
Quizzes (2) 160 16%
Exams (2) 400 40%
Total 1000 100%

Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion: Introduction -- Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 1 30
Case Study 1 40 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 30 Wednesday/Sunday
Quiz 1 80 Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 30 Wednesday/Sunday
Case Study 2 40 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 30 Wednesday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 200 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 30 Wednesday/Sunday
Case Study 3 40 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 30 Wednesday/Sunday
Case Study 4 40 Sunday
Quiz 2 80
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 30 Wednesday/Sunday
Case Study 5 40 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview


All discussions must take place in the Discussions area, meaning that uploading an attachment as your post will not count. Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Sunday, except for Week 8 which ends on Saturday, with your initial post due by 11:59 PM Central Time (CT) on Wednesday and two responses to classmates due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday. During Week 8, the two responses are due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday.

Each discussion is set so that you must post your original thoughts before reading the posts of your classmates. Your initial response to the discussion question should be a full paragraph of 8-10 sentences; all of the sentences should support your main claim (your topic sentence). The entire paragraph should be written in your own words, without quoting any other sources. If you are writing about a reading from our text, be sure to include the author and title in the first sentence or two so others know what piece you are referencing.

Your responses to others’ posts should also be well developed, fully explaining your response to the classmates’ posts. Make responses that add to the conversation and take it further; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas. For maximum learning and point benefits, respond to at least two students’ posts.

Case Studies

Case studies require your analysis of real world situations. Your work should be a minimum of 2 pages in length, double-spaced, 12-point sans serif font, with 1 inch margins all around. All papers must be in a .doc, .pdf, or .rtf format. You must use three references, this includes the textbook and two outside reliable sources. When citing resources, you must adhere strictly to MLA style (although you will not be required to provide an abstract for any writing assignment in this course).

You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, developing your topic and providing solid examples from our readings, your own research, or your own experiences to back up your statements. All assignments must be your own original work and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that you have used previously for another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session). All case studies are due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of the week they have been assigned.


There are two quizzes, one in Week 2 and the other in Week 6. Each quiz is 20 multiple-choice questions with Quiz 1 covering chapters 1-3 and Quiz 2 covering chapters 6-7. You will have 30 minutes to complete the quiz and you will only receive one attempt. You may use your book to help you find the answers, but your time is limited so you must be very familiar with your textbook to find the answers quickly. Each question is worth 4 points and each quiz is due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of the week it is assigned.



You will take a non-proctored, comprehensive midterm exam during Week 4 which will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 1-5 in the textbook. You will have 75 minutes to complete the exam and will be limited to 1 attempt. The exam will open Monday of Week 4 at 12:01 AM CT and is due by 11:59 PM Sunday.


You will take a non-proctored, comprehensive final exam during Week 8 which will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 6-10 in the textbook. You will have 75 minutes to complete the exam and will be limited to 1 attempt. The exam will open Monday of Week 8 at 12:01 AM CT and is due by 11:59 PM Saturday. 

Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to Ethics
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 1 and 2
  • Case 2.1 “Hacking into Harvard” on page 83 in text.
  • Reading 2.2 “When Is “Everybody’s Doing It” a Moral Justification” on page 96 in text.
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion: Introduction

Introduce yourself. Please give us more than your name. Include your work activities, hobbies, interest in the course, and any other information that can help us get to know you.

This is an ungraded assignment

Discussion 1

After reading: “When Is “Everybody’s Doing It” a Moral Justification?” in the text, consider "How common is it for people to try to justify their conduct with the argument that “Everybody’s doing it”? Provide examples from your own experience. How does the justification of “Everybody’s Doing It” align with Kant’s Categorical Imperative? In your responses to other students, consider how your answers and experiences compare with others.

Case Study 1

Read Case 2.1 “Hacking into Harvard” on page 83 of the text. Write a two page paper answering the following question: Suppose that you had been one of the MBA applicants who stumbled across an opportunity to learn your results early. What would you have done, and why? Would you have considered it a moral decision? If so, on what basis would you have made it?

Week 2: Justice and Economic Distribution
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 3
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 2

Inequality of income is greater in the United States than in other capitalist countries. What do you think explains this? Is there something unjust about extreme inequality?

Quiz 1

This quiz consists of 20 multiple choice questions from Chapters 1-3. Access the quizzes in the Quizzes area of D2L. Your quiz will be automatically graded. You have 30 minutes from the time you begin the exam to complete it. After completion, you will see the questions you missed.

Week 3: The Nature of Capitalism
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 4
  • Case 4.4 on page 181 in text.
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 3

What do you see as the major economic challenges facing our society today and, in particular, your generation?

Case Study 2

After reading Case 4.4 on page 181 in the text, answer the following question: How typical are the attitudes that Sheehy reports? Does his description of a new work ethic tally with your own experiences?

Week 4: Corporations
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 5
  • Case 5.1 on page 228 in text.
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 4

Are corporations moral agents? Do they have moral responsibilities? What do you think companies should do to make themselves more moral organizations?

Midterm Exam

This exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions from Chapters 1-5. Access the midterm in the Quizzes area of D2L. Your quiz will be automatically graded. You have 75 minutes from the time you begin the exam to complete it. After completion, you will see the questions you missed.

Week 5: Consumers
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 6
  • Case 6.3 on page 300 in text.
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 5

Is business meeting its responsibilities to consumers with regard to the safety, quality, pricing, and labeling and packaging of its products? If not, how might it do better? Provide examples.

Case Study 3

After reading Case 6.3 on page 300 in the text, answer the following question: What are H. B. Fuller’s moral obligations in this case? What ideals, effects, and consequences are at stake? Have any moral rights been violated? What would a utilitarian recommend? A Kantian?

Week 6: The Environment
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 7
  • Case 7.2 on page 358 in text.
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 6

Do only human interests matter morally, or is the natural world intrinsically valuable? In your view, is our current treatment of animals, in particular, factory farming, morally legitimate?

Case Study 4

After reading Case 7.2 on page 358 in the text, answer the following question: Some say, “Pollution is the price of progress”? Who in fact pays the price? Explain the moral and the economic issues raised by the assertion. What are the connections between economic progress and development, on the one hand, and pollution controls and environmental protection, on the other?

Quiz 2

This quiz consists of 20 multiple choice questions from Chapters 6-7. Access the quizzes in the Quizzes area of D2L. Your quiz will be automatically graded. You have 30 minutes from the time you begin the exam to complete it. After completion, you will see the questions you missed.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: The Workplace
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 8 and 9
  • Case 9.2 on page 459 in text.
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 7

When it comes to a company’s personnel policies and procedures – that is, how it handles the hiring, firing, promoting, and paying of the people who work for it – what do you see as the most important moral principles for it to bear in mind?

Case Study 5

After reading Case 9.2 on page 459 in the text, answer the following question: Describe how you’d feel if you had to take a psychological test or an honesty test either as an employee or as a precondition for employment. Under what conditions, if any, would you take such a test?

Week 8: Moral Choices Facing Employees
Learning Resources
  • Chapter 10
  • Instructional Materials
Discussion 8

Have you ever experienced a conflict of interest or been tempted to do something that you thought went against your job responsibilities? Describe an employment or business-related situation where your self-interest diverged from what you believed to be morally right.

Final Exam

This exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions from Chapters 6-10. Access the midterm in the Quizzes area of D2L. Your quiz will be automatically graded. You have 75 minutes from the time you begin the exam to complete it. After completion, you will see the questions you missed.

Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted. No late Quizzes or Midterm and Final Exam will be accepted.

If no prior arrangements are made with the instructor, case studies submitted after the Sunday they are due will be assessed a penalty of 10% each day they are late.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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