CC 306: Business Ethics

Presentation and discussion of fundamental approaches in normative ethics (utilitarianism, social contract theory, Kantianism); introduction to the basic terms of business ethics (shareholder vs. stakeholder, relation of ethics and economics/normative vs. empirical projects); fundamental questions in business ethics: moral quality of the free market/of capitalism (distribution/inequality; externalities; analysis of the ecological consequences of the market economy etc.); presentation and discussion of standard theories of business ethics (Homann, Ulrich etc.). Case studies (variable: e.g. Ford Pinto; corporate downsizing; sweatshops; advertising). Overview of opportunities to place CSR in the company. Guest lectures on social business etc.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module students gained the following competences:
Specialized competence:

  • introductory knowledge of basic positions in business ethics and in corporate ethics
  • practicing a critical competence on case studies
  • acquiring background knowledge of this specific area independently
  • formulating and categorizing the pertinent contents in a written form
Methodical competence:
  • understanding, processing and formulating the contents in a written form
  • reconstructing and evaluating the contents conveyed
  • critical and independent thinking and reasoning
Personal competence:
  • identifying the economic function of ethics and morals
The course should increase the motivation to act ethically, e.g. also by broadening the horizon of possibilities.

Necessary prerequisites
semester 4 or higher

Recommended prerequisites

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture4 SWS5 SWS
ECTS credits3
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionno
Further information
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Bernward Gesang
Prof. Dr. Bernward Gesang
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationB.Sc. Bus. Adm., other Bachelor programs (depending on respective study regulations) [9]
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 2