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International Business Administration

Business ethics and sustainability management

Exam number: 6088

Semester: from 4th semester (Schwerpunktbildung)

Duration of the module: One semester

Form of the module (i.e. obligatory, elective etc.): Elective

Frequency of module offer: Each winter semester

Prerequisites: The seminar is open for a maximum of 40 students.

Applicability of module for other study programmes:
Obligatory or elective in other study programmes. For further information check regulations of the study programme.

Person responsible for module: Prof. Dr. Matthias Sohn

Name of the professor: Prof. Dr. Matthias Sohn

Language of teaching: English

ECTS-Credits (based on the workload): 6

Workload and its composition (self-study, contact time):
Contact time (Lecture, tutorial etc.): 30 h; self-study: 150 h

Contact hours (per week in semester): 2

Methods and duration of examination:
To take part in the final exam, students need to do a presentation (15 mins) during the semester.
Students‘ achievement in the final exam will make up their mark.

Emphasis of the grade for the final grade: Please check regulations of the study programme

Aim of the module (expected learning outcomes and competencies to be acquired):
Fachliche Kompetenzen:
Students will learn about different concepts and theories in business ethics (e.g., corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, or corporate compliance). We will also discuss how these concepts inform managerial behavior, as well as perception and behavior of different stakeholders.
Außerfachliche und überfachliche Kompetenzen:
Students are expected to work both with theory and business cases and are expected to present and discuss their thoughts and opinions about current topics in business ethics. This will enable students to translate complex theoretical input to practical behavior in business.

Contents of the module:
Since the turn of the century, several accounting scandals (e.g., Enron), business scandals (e.g., Volkswagen), financial fraud offences (e.g., Bernard Madoff), and banking scandals (e.g., FX market manipulation) have caused severe consequences for companies, business sectors, and societies at large. All of this led to a distrust of the general public in private and public institutions around the world and initiatives that foster ethical decision making in business gained support. Business ethics is the study of appropriate business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial subjects including corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities. The law often guides business ethics, but at other times business ethics provide a basic guideline that businesses can choose to follow to gain public approval.
In this seminar, students will learn about the basic principles of business ethics and sustainability management, but also about the implications of business ethics for different stakeholders of the firm. Thus, this course will be divided in two parts with the first part giving an introduction to the topic and the second part discussing the implications of morality and ethics in business for different stakeholders, like shareholders, employees, or consumers.

Teaching and learning methods:
Vorlesung, Seminaristischer Unterricht, Fallstudienseminar, Workshop, (Klein-)Gruppenarbeit, Einsatz von Beispielen aus der Praxis, Projektarbeit, Analyse von Fallstudien, Präsentationen, Diskussionen

Literature (compulsory reading, recommended literature):
Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., & Spence, L. (2019). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Further information:
Registration in Moodle Viadrina required.