Business Ethics

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
09 October 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC N200 Business Management,
BSC N201 Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N202 Business Management (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N204 Business Management (Including Placement Year),
BSC NN25 Management and Marketing,
BSC NN2M Management and Marketing (Including Placement Year),
BSC NNF5 Management and Marketing (Including Year Abroad),
BA LN10 Business Economics,
BA LN11 Business Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LN12 Business Economics (Including Placement Year)

Module description

This 10 week module builds upon your existing understandings of management and organisation by considering specifically the ethics of, and in, business. The emergent field of Business Ethics and associated field of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability have made particular contributions in shaping an ethical examination of business. In this module you will be introduced to the origins, practice and theory of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. You will be provided with the conceptual and theoretical resources to examine critically the nature of their contributions. Identifying particular assumptions that inform but also constrain the Business Ethics field the module also explores a number of wider literatures and perspectives that provide further resources for a critical examination of the ethics of business.

Module aims

1. Provide an understanding of business and management as a complex and contested ethical terrain.

2. Provide an appreciation of the emergent discipline of Business Ethics and enable students to identify, explore and critique its contributions.

3. Develop students’ appreciation of the basis of ethical reflexivity and agency and awareness of potential inhibitors to their expression in an organised context.

4. Through class discussion, reading, participation and assessment develop students’ abilities to engage in critical argumentation that is informed by, and sensitive to, their own and others’ ethical perspectives and values.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Understand a range of ethical factors in, and perspectives, practices and critiques of, business and organisation.

2. Develop greater sensitivity and awareness of implied and explicit ethical assumptions and beliefs in their own and others’ argumentation.

3. Critically analyse, using appropriate ethical concepts and theory, management and business practices and the contribution of the field of Business Ethics towards enhancing ethical accountability in business.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered through a mixture of formal lectures and classes. You are strongly advised to attend all lectures and seminars and participate fully. In the seminars you will discuss and debate empirical and theoretical research on business ethics, examine relevant influential representations of the ethics of business in film and other media, and consider examples from contemporary organisational practice. Details of the necessary reading and preparation required for the seminars will be provided on Moodle.


  • Crane, Andrew; Matten, Dirk. (2010) Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits, by Milton Friedman,
  • Bakan, Joel. (2005) The corporation: the pathological pursuit of profit and power, London: Constable.
  • Crane, Andrew; Matten, Dirk; Glozer, Sarah; Spence, Laura J. (2019) Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework ESSAY ONE 10/01/2020
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 60%


Coursework Exam
40% 60%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Ms Sandra Moog



External examiner

Prof Simon Lilley
University of Leicester
Available via Moodle
Of 74 hours, 74 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

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