NX9305 - Ethics and Social Responsibility in Business

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What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to develop your curiosity and interest of ethical decision making in business, and to help you understand what ethics means from both an individual and organisational perspective. The module will enable you to develop an awareness of ethical dilemmas in business and challenge you to discuss and debate ethical decision-making as a future business person as well as understand the role of governance and codes of conduct, social responsibility and sustainability in organisations from across the world.

The module engages you in collecting, reading and reflecting on past business news events and case studies where ethical dilemmas have been prominent, and will encourage you to use the knowledge you will gain from interactive lectures to contribute to wider discussion and debate about ethical issues in business within the seminars. In particular this module is designed to get you to consider the difference between right and wrong, and the application of reason to explain why you determine right and wrong in that way, specifically within a business context.

You will develop an understanding of the impact different perceptions of right and wrong may have and how this affects an individual’s and business’s decisions and actions. The module will support you in developing a strong commercial awareness around ethics in business today, and leave you with the skills needed to critically debate and discuss ethical problems and allow you to foster good ethical understanding needed throughout your degree and future.

In this module there will be two methods of assessment. There will be a two hour examination in which you will be expected to discuss ethical issues and dilemmas. This will be worth 70% of the final assessment. In addition there will be a presentation completed during the semester which will account for 30% of the final assessment.

How will I learn on this module?

The module has a one hour weekly lecture, in which you will be introduced to the context of business ethics, ethical dilemmas and ethical decision making. Before and after the lecture you will be given reading on a teaching and learning plan, which you will be able to access through an online reading list on the modules Blackboard site and through the Library website. There will also be multimedia support available through the teaching and learning plan, where you will be directed to access a range of videos and other resources.

There will be a two hour seminar per week which will be facilitated by group tasks, team working, communication and interpersonal skills and will allow you to reflect on your learning. The seminars will draw heavily on yours and your peers discussions and debates of case studies, stories and events which have prominent ethical issues within. You will be asked to prepare work prior to the seminar which will be directed in the teaching and learning plan and found through the modules Blackboard site, and will be encouraged by your lecturer to use research skills developed in other modules to consider additional material, such as relevant news articles from FT.com and BBC news.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The directed activities you undertake on the module are designed to ensure that you and the lecturing staff are the co-creators of knowledge. They will encourage you to create an active and self-directed learning experience, which will allow you to take responsibility for your own learning, whilst still having a high level of support. Support will be provided to you by the member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lectures and seminars. You will also have the support of the programme leader and support staff at the University.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal (Blackboard), which houses the teaching and learning plan, lecture materials and recordings, workshop and seminar exercises, assessment information, period tests and details of additional resources such as online recordings and videos. You will also be able to access key parts of lectures which will be recorded on Panopto throughout the module.

The modules online reading list can be reached through the Blackboard site. This list provides you with a comprehensive list of links from which to access all of the modules eBooks, news resources, and directed learning academic articles. The module’s Blackboard site also has a discussion board, where the module tutor and lecturers will post important information about the module throughout the semester.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• You will be able to come to reasonable outcome statements and/or resolutions given a scenario or business case, displaying a developing ability to analyse business problems [LO1]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• You will be able to display developing reflection skills through exploring business practice and real world business decisions.[LO2]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• You will be able to consider the professional and business ethical dimensions when making decisions.[LO3]

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via a presentation during the semester. This assessment is worth 30% of the module. [LO2, LO3]

You will further be assessed by a two hour exam at the end of the semester. The exam will pose discussion on topics discussed throughout the semester and will be work 70% of the module. [LO1, LO2]





Module abstract

As a future business person, having the ability to recognise and make sound judgements on complex business ethics issues is of significant importance in the twenty-first century. In recent years, highly publicised corporate ethical scandals have led to a call from the public for big companies to be more socially responsible and act in a transparent and ethical manner. This module will enable you as a future employee or manager in business to understand the importance of ethics in business, as well as encouraging you to consider the challenges you may face when ethical dilemmas arise, and how to make good ethical decisions for the success of the business, and for the good of stakeholders internal and external to an organisation.

Ethics and social responsibility in business will give you the foundations needed to foster a curiosity and understanding around important issues faced by businesses today in a research-rich learning environment through a mixture of lectures, seminars and independent learning. You will be encouraged to contribute to discussion and debate around ethical case studies, events and stories, and work with your peers to construct sound ethical decisions and arguments in an interactive environment. On this module you will be encouraged to use a mixture of materials and multimedia such as lectures and seminars, news articles, documentaries and library resources to enhance your learning experience, which will also allow you to build the analytical and critical skills needed to complete your chosen degree and enhance your employability skills.

On this module, you will be assessed through a combination of debate/presentation and formal examination, which will equip you with the transferable skills required for your programme and future employment. Above all, this module will stimulate you as a future business employee or manager, and give you the awareness and interest of how complex business is today.

Course info

UCAS Code N755

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time study or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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