Syllabus for ETM-750



Successful business practice is firmly grounded in ethics. This eight-week course introduces students to foundational principles in ethics for business and life. Students will explore ethics from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Ethics for Managers provides the opportunity for students to critically analyze and evaluate their own views, as well as those of others, in order to develop solid approaches to challenging dilemmas. Significant debates and methodologies in business will be explored.


  • ethics and management
  • having a personal foundation in ethics
  • metaethics
  • ethics and reasoning
  • ethical relativism
  • egoism
  • utilitarianism
  • Kant’s moral theory
  • contractarianism
  • virtue ethics
  • relationship between law, morals, ethics
  • natural law
  • ethics of care
  • equality and discrimination
  • economic justice
  • legal punishment
  • economic justice
  • environmental ethics
  • technology and ethics
  • relationship between law, morals, ethics
  • ethics in an age of terrorism
  • globalization and emerging ethical challenges
  • incorporating ethics into business life


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss personal ethics and their relationship with ethical dilemmas in business.

  2. Analyze the core premise(s) of ethics, and relate ethical reasoning and ethical relativism to individual and organizational conduct.

  3. Evaluate key ethical theories as well as historical perspectives on morality and human nature as they relate to business operations.

  4. Compare and contrast virtue ethics with traditional ethical practices.

  5. Hypothesize solutions to ethical dilemmas involving issues such as economic justice.  

  6. Explain and discuss challenges posed by environmental ethics in national and global contexts.

  7. Analyze ethical issues that affect business in an international context (such as globalization, ethical behavior by multinational corporations, and responses to terrorism).


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  • Mackinnon, B. (2013.) Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues, Concise edition, 2d ed. (Wadsworth-Cengage Learning).

    ISBN-13: 978-1-133-04974-6


Ellwood, A., Gibney, A. & Kliot, J. (Producers), Gibney, A. (Director). (2005). Enron: The smartest guys in the room[Motion picture]. United States: Jigsaw Productions.

This film is widely available. You may want to explore services such as:

Can I Stream It?

(Web address: This is a free service that allows you to search across the most popular streaming, rental, and purchase services to find where a movie or television show is available The service will also tell you if it is available through subscription services.

This film may also be available at no charge from a public library.


Ethics for Managers is a three-credit, eight-week online course, consisting of four (4) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments and attend one synchronous event. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in six (6) graded discussion forums.  Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules. There is also an ungraded but required introduction forum in Module 1.

Synchronous Event

One synchronous event will be held during the first three weeks of the semester. You will dial into a teleconference number (provided by your mentor) at a set time. Your mentor will work with the class to propose a time that works best and accommodates the majority.  You will prepare to discuss the topic given for that event.

*Mentors instructions for this activity are available in the instructor's resources area of the course website.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
























Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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