UoPeople Online Syllabus Repository (OSR)

MBA

BUS 5115 Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility

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BUS 5115: Business Law, Ethics, and Social Responsibility


Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None.

Recommended: An undergraduate business law course.


Course Description: Leaders and managers are accountable to shareholders, they are economically, financially, and legally responsible for what happens with their organizations.  Ethical and social responsibility is similarly ascribed to those in charge.  The course covers how an organization’s values and actions affect internal and external constituencies.  It introduces reasons to promote responsible behavior on the part of organizations, and their employees.  Students study real-world dilemmas and gain experience analyzing competing positive values, choosing among fully legal options, and navigating the grey area that frequently surrounds key management decisions.  Studying classical cases of business failures will alert students to the ethical steps needed to protect young ventures and the consequences of failing to act ethically in the ongoing conduct of commerce.


Required Textbook and Materials: UoPeople courses use open educational resources (OER) and other materials specifically donated to the University with free permissions for educational use. Therefore, students are not required to purchase any textbooks or sign up for any websites that have a cost associated with them. The main required textbooks for this course are listed below, and can be readily accessed using the provided links. There may be additional required/recommended readings, supplemental materials, or other resources and websites necessary for lessons; these will be provided for you in the course's General Information and Forums area, and throughout the term via the weekly course Unit areas and the Learning Guides.

This course will use selected chapters from this book.  This information is available in the unit learning guides.

Business Ethics (2012). This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license. Retrieved from: http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/business-ethics/index.html


Software Requirements/Installation: No special requirements.


Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Develop a framework, through the study of various ethical concepts and cases, to employ ethical decision-making as a tool across multiple domains.
  2. Examine underlying assumptions, as well as the implications of behaviors of both individuals and organizations through a lens of ethical and social responsibility.
  3. Conduct analyses that apply and integrate relevant ethical concepts to various cases.
  4. Explore ethical dilemmas and questions toward the development of individual ethical perspectives that will inform future managerial decision-making.

Course Schedule and Topics: This course will cover the following topics in eight learning sessions, with one Unit per week.

Week 1: Unit 1 - Introduction to Ethics in Business

Week 2: Unit 2 - Ethics in Accounting

Week 3: Unit 3 - Ethics and Environmental Concerns

Week 4: Unit 4 - Ethics in Finance

Week 5: Unit 5 - Ethics in the Law

Week 6: Unit 6 - Ethics in Marketing

Week 7: Unit 7 - Ethics in Management

Week 8: Unit 8 - Ethics in Corporate Planning


Learning Guide: The following is an outline of how this course will be conducted, with suggested best practices for students.

Unit 1: Introduction to Ethics in Business

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Unit 2: Ethics in Accounting

  • Peer assess Unit 1 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment

Unit 3: Ethics and Environmental Concerns

  • Peer assess Unit 2 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Prepare to participate in the Group Activity

Unit 4: Ethics in Finance

  • Peer assess Unit 3 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Participate in the Group Activity
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Unit 5: Ethics in the Law

  • Peer assess Unit 4 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Post finalized Group Activity (review and comment in Final Group Activity Forum)
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Unit 6: Ethics in Marketing

  • Peer assess Unit 5 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment

 Unit 7: Ethics in Management

  • Peer assess Unit 6 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment

Unit 8: Ethics in Corporate Planning

  • Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity
  • Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation

Course Requirements:

Discussion Assignments & Response Posts/Ratings
Some units in this course require that you complete a Discussion Assignment. You are required to develop and post a substantive response to the Discussion Assignment in the Discussion Forum. A substantive response is one that fully answers the question that has been posed by the instructor. In addition, you must extend the discussion by responding to at least three (3) of your peers’ postings in the Discussion Forum and by rating their posts. Instructions for proper posting and rating are provided inside the Discussion Forum for each week. Discussion Forums are only active for each current and relevant learning week, so it is not possible to contribute to the forum once the learning week has come to an end. Failure to participate in the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum and responding to peers as required may result in failure of the course.

Written Assignments & Assessment Forms
Most units in this course require that you complete a Written Assignment, which may come in many forms (case study, research paper, etc.). You are required to submit your assignments by the indicated deadlines and, in addition, to peer assess three (3) of your classmates’ assignments according to the instructions found in the Assessment Form, which is provided to you during the following week. During this peer assessment period, you are expected to provide details in the feedback section of the Assessment Form, indicating why you awarded the grade that you did to your peer. Please note that each assignment grade is comprised of a combination of your submission (90%) and your peer assessments (10%). Failure to submit Written Assignments and/or Assessment Forms may result in failure of the course.

Group Activities
During this course you will be required to complete work as part of a small group. Group work is an important component of your coursework, as it allows you to deepen relationships with classmates, and gain a more thorough understanding of the topics presented in this course. Further, group work mimics the business environment in which projects are often conducted in small teams across different departments. You will be randomly assigned to your groups and are expected to work with your teammates throughout the term for all group activities.

Portfolio Activities
Portfolio Activities are tools for self-reflection and evaluation within the context of the course. These activities are designed as a means to document and reflect upon your learning process and critical thinking skills. Ideally, you will draw from your experiences inside and outside of the classroom, as well as what you’ve learned in other courses, to showcase your overall growth and examine ways in which you can continue to develop and sharpen your professional goals. Portfolio Activities will be useful to you as part of your Capstone experience.

Course Forum
The Course Forum is the place to raise issues and questions relating to the course. It is regularly monitored by the instructors, and is a good place to meet fellow students taking the same course. While it is not required to participate in the Course Forum, it is highly recommended.


Course Policies:

Grading Components and Weights
Each graded component of the course will contribute some percentage to the final grading scale, as indicated here:

Discussion Assignments 25%
Written Assignments 45%
Group Work 20%
Portfolio Activities 10% 
TOTAL 100%


Grading Scale
This course will follow the standard 100-point grading scale defined by the University of the People, as indicated here:

Letter Grade
Grade Scale Grade Points
A+ 98-100 4.00
A 93-97 4.00
A- 90-92 3.67
B+ 88-89 3.33
B 83-87 3.00
B- 80-82 2.67
C+ 78-79 2.33
C 73-77 2.00
C- 70-72 0.00
D+ 68-69 0.00
D 63-67 0.00
D- 60-62 0.00
F Under 60 0.00
CR N/A N/A
NC N/A N/A
NF N/A N/A
W N/A N/A


Grade Appeal

If you believe that the final grade you received for a course is erroneous, unjust, or unfair, please contact your course instructor. This must be done within seven days of the posted final grade. For more information on this topic, please review the Grade Appeal Procedure in the University Catalog.

Participation
Non-participation is characterized by lack of any assignment submissions, inadequate contributions to the Discussion Forums, and/or lack of peer feedback to Discussion/Written Assignments. Also, please note the following important points about course participation:

  • Assignments must be submitted on or before the specified deadline. A course timeline is provided in the course schedule, and the instructor will specify deadlines for each assignment.
  • Any student showing non-participation for two weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) is likely to automatically fail the course.
  • Occasionally there may be a legitimate reason for submitting an assignment late. Most of the time, late assignments will not be accepted and there will be no make-up assignments.
  • All students are obligated to inform their instructor in advance of any known absences which may result in their non-participation.

Academic Honesty and Integrity
When you submit any work that requires research and writing, it is essential to cite and reference all source material. Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is known as “plagiarism” – which is effectively passing off an individual’s words or ideas as your own. University of the People adheres to a strict policy of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in sanctions by the University, including dismissal from the University or course failure. For more information on this topic, please review the Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog.

Any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA format is widely used in colleges and universities across the world and is one of several style and citation formats required for publication in professional and academic journals. Purdue University’s Online Writing LAB (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

Code of Conduct
University of the People expects that students conduct themselves in a respectful, collaborative, and honest manner at all times. Harassment, threatening behavior, or deliberate embarrassment of others will not be permitted. Any conduct that interferes with the quality of the educational experience is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action, such as course failure, probation, suspension, or dismissal. For more information on this topic, please review the Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog.