Business and Leadership Ethics is an introductory course to business, leadership and organizational ethics. The course offers and develops a holistic understanding what business ethics is and why it is important by defining related concepts and theories, and discussing practical case examples. The course supports specifically UN Sustainable Development Goals 8 Humane work and Economic Growth, 9 Sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructure, 12 Responsible Production and Consumption, 17 Global partnership for sustainable development. The course enhances analytical and critical thinking in terms of ethics, responsibility and sustainability in business context.
By the end of this course students will be expected to have developed a critical awareness of the complex range of ethical issues which can and regularly do arise in the conduct of contemporary international business. The emphasis throughout is on critical reflection rather than on the construction of formulaic answers or recipes for dealing with moral issues in business. Thus students will be expected to have developed their own ability at critical reflection on a range of social issues and ethical dilemmas affecting international business, informing this reflection through an awareness of the leading moral philosophers and manifesting an ability to see beyond merely ideological rationalisations to develop an authentic rational assessment of the issues. In particular students will be expected to have developed through discussion and reflection their own moral standpoints on such issues as the ultimate scope of company social responsibility, sustainability, ethical conduct in finance and marketing as well as ethics in government.
One of the most significant challenges to ethical conduct in many industries is the controversy associated with some of these spheres. For instance, alcohol industry can be regarded as the one that poses numerous threats to the public health and as any other business that offers products that can be potentially harmful if misused. Yoon and Lam (2013) note that alcohol companies should be strictly regulated, and corporate social responsibility standards should be imposed. Grant (2013) emphasizes that many businesses are tempted to use various marketing strategies aimed at the most vulnerable groups of customers. At the same time, Crane and Matten (2010) state that alcohol companies can be ethical citizens as they use numerous methods to make people aware of the harm associated with the use of alcohol. 1e1e36bf2d