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Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Code: CSR5LH002
Extent: 3 ECTS (81 h)
Timing: Semester  3-7
Language: English with possibility to complete assignments and/or exams in Finnish for Finnish speaking students. In case there are no non-Finnish speaking students, the course will be in Finnish.
Level: Professional specialization studies
Type: Optional; recommended to be combined with C –module for Corporate Responsibility

Starting level and linkage with other courses

This course forms part of the C-module for Corporate Responsibility. Approved completion of the introductory course to Corporate Responsibility is a prerequisite for acceptance to this course. The basic course is for example CSR1LH001, ECO1LF001 or CSR1LK001 (Kestävä kehitys ja yhteiskuntavastuu, Yhteiskuntavastuu ja eettinen johtaminen and/or The sustainable global environment).

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the student

  • understands how business ethics relate to overall competitiveness and corporate social responsibility
  • understands what is ethical leadership and what constitutes social responsibility
  • is aware of and understands all major international guidelines and standards related to social responsibility and business ethics including management systems for social responsibility such as BSCI and SA8000
  • can recognize those aspects of social responsibility and ethical leadership most relevant to the corporation and can design and implement monitoring systems for them
  • understands what an ethics audit is and can design such an audit
  • has the capabilities to engage in the reporting of social responsibility and business ethics issues.

Course contents

  • Business ethics and ethical leadership
  • The components of social responsibility
  • Auditing business ethics
  • Management systems for social responsibility including SA8000, ISO26000 and BSCI
  • Operational ethics; ethics in HRM, ethical negotiation and fair business practices, ethical sourcing, ethical investment
  • Reporting on social responsibility and business ethics, especially according to the GRI

Cooperation with the business community

The course is implemented in cooperation with suitable companies through assignments and/or guest lectures or company visits if and when possible. The corporate assignments can and will be combined with the other courses in the C-module whenever possible.

Learning and teaching methods

Contact hours 32 h
Independent and group work 48 h
The assessment of one's own learning 1 h
The course employs research and development oriented learning. The students will prepare assignments either individually or in teams for the case company. The teacher will support in preparing the development work for the case company according to a determined schedule.

Accreditation of prior learning (APL, in Finnish AHOT)

Accreditation of prior learning is observed on the course according to separate instructions

Teacher responsible

Minna-Maari Harmaala

Course materials

Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell. 2011/2008. Ethical decision making in business. International Edition. Cengage learning.
Kohl, J.(ed.) (2008) Dialogues on Sustainable Paths for the Future. Ethics, Welfare and Responsibility. Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics. FFRC Publications 7/2008. www.tse.fi/tutu
Other materials such as selected articles distributed during the course.

Assessment criteria

Students' performance is graded on the following scale: Excellent (5), Very good (4), Good (3), Satisfactory (2), Fair (1), Fail (0). The assessment criteria is presented on scale 1 to 3.

Components

1 (40% of objectives)

3 (70% of objectives)

5 (90% of objectives)

Knowledge

The student can identify, list and combine the main theoretical business ethics and social responsibility concepts and issues.

The student can describe the relevant business ethics and social responsibility concepts and apply them to new contexts. The student can link the key theoretical concepts to the practical tasks. The student has an understanding of how business ethics and social responsibility contribute to corporate bottom line performance.

The student can use and combine different theories to present her own suggestions and models. The student is aware of conflicting views on the topics. The student uses theory and specific terminology accurately. The student has a clear understanding and appreciation of how business ethics contributes to corporate profitability.

Skills

The student can only with difficulty and under strict supervision contribute as part of a team, in crafting a generic ethics program. The student can conduct an ethics audit or commission such an audit with serious difficulty and omissions. The student can participate in developing social responsibility issues in a corporate setting, for example craft and develop a social management system or participate in the annual reporting of social responsibility with strict support and supervision.

The student can, as part of a team, craft a generic ethics program based on general criteria. The student can conduct an ethics audit or commission such an audit with some difficulty. The student can participate in developing social responsibility issues in a corporate setting, for example craft and develop a social management system or participate in the annual reporting of social responsibility with moderate support and supervision. The student can analyse a company independently and make informed development suggestions.

The student can craft a successful ethics program taking corporate characteristics into account. The student can conduct an ethics audit or commission such an audit. The student can fully participate in developing social responsibility issues in a corporate setting, for example craft and develop a social management system or participate in the annual reporting of social responsibility. The student can act as a team leader if required. The student can make significant contributions to corporate development projects.

Competence

The student can partly work with a corporate team given strong support and supervision. The student can only with difficulty apply problem identification, analysis and solving to business ethics and social responsibility issues and projects.  Does not demonstrate aptitude or interest in developing business ethics or social responsibility.

The student can work with a corporate team given some content and context related support. The student shows moderate independence in her work. The student can apply problem identification, analysis and solving to business ethics and social responsibility issues and projects to an extent. The student demonstrates some aptitude and interest in developing business ethics or social responsibility in a corporate setting.

The student can work very professionally with a corporate team given some content and context related support. The student shows a great degree of independence in her work. The student can skillfully apply problem identification, analysis and solving to business ethics and social responsibility issues and projects to an extent. The student demonstrates great aptitude and interest in developing business ethics or social responsibility in a corporate setting.

Assessment components and their respective weights

Active participation during contact sessions 30%
Assignments and e-learning work 70%, of which possibly an exam worth 20%
The assessment of one's own learning assignment does not impact your grade. The assignment is the same for all courses/modules and your answers will be used also for course/module development. The assignment is completed on an electronic form.