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ETH400 - Contemporary Ethics Issues

Subject Title 
Contemporary Ethics Issues

Subject Description 
Every day of our personal and business lives we are confronted with numerous choices about what is right and what is wrong and, therefore, how to conduct ourselves. This subject introduces the student to the basic principles of decision making, with a focus on ethical considerations. While one focus of the course is business decisions, an examination of personal values and ethics form the foundation of the course. The course contains theories and concepts, however the student will concentrate on applying ethical concepts and principles to everyday, real-life issues and problems.

Learning Outcomes 
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Discuss common terminology related to the study of ethics and to understand that exercising ethics is a skill on which they can improve and to apply such skill to their everyday life decisions.

2. Discuss ethical issues faced by an individual and an organization, including corporate social responsibilities, and selected recent major corporate cases involving ethical actions.

3. Distinguish between values and principles and give examples; to discuss whether values ever change, to describe how even the Golden Rule can lead to conflicts in its applications, and to discuss reasons for and give examples of the need to rank values.

4. Give examples of how cultures and sub-cultures influence standards and values and discuss whether law determines what is morally right or morally wrong, and discuss the relationship of law and morality.

5. Discuss the different approaches, such as the 3-Question approach, the 5-Question approach, and the Moral Standards approach, that can be used for the ethical evaluation of an action.

6. Discuss the concept and the relationship of justification, rationalization and excuse and give examples.

7. Discuss and list a set of all-purpose procedures, including the "Gut Test", for the decision making process and to define alternatives.

8. Discuss how our training and habits influence our responses to situations.

9. Define character, virtues, integrity and honour, and give examples and describe character development and how it can be enhanced.

10. Describe the various leadership roles and the role of leadership in supporting development of good character and the tasks of leadership with regard to an organization`s values.

11. Describe how ethical decision making affects international business operations and the environment.

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