CQUniversity Unit Profile
MGMT20134 Business Ethics and Sustainability
Business Ethics and Sustainability
All details in this unit profile for MGMT20134 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit examines the interrelated topics of personal and business ethics and business sustainability. It critically reviews the socio-cultural environment in which business operates and how this can change dramatically between countries and cities. Ethical frameworks for managerial decision-making are critiqued with reference to various stakeholder groups and you will examine the debates surrounding sustainable development as they impact on organisations in their local and global contexts. The interactions between personal ethics and how ethics is managed within an organisation are also considered. Technological, societal and cultural sources of ethical challenges are reviewed and cases will be discussed outlining how various organisations might respond to these challenges.

Details

Career Level: Postgraduate
Unit Level: Level 9
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2021

Brisbane
Melbourne
Online
Sydney

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Reflective Practice Assignment
Weighting: 30%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment
Weighting: 30%
3. Take Home Exam
Weighting: 40%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Students assessment demonstrating challenges and confirmation from sessional staff

Feedback

Challenges of content re ethical decision making

Recommendation

Simplify ethical decision making sessions into one consolidated topic.

Feedback from Adjunct faculty

Feedback

Need to broaden the unit to include broader societal and regulatory issues

Recommendation

As part of constant updating and review include amended business and society and role of government as regulators to enhance the CSR and Sustainability content.

Feedback from Adjunct faculty

Feedback

Learning materials and readings

Recommendation

Maintain and expand reading materials preferably with online/e-books to aid access

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. investigate the interconnections between business ethics, sustainability, globalisation and society and evaluate the differences between ethics, legal requirements and cultural factors in a business setting
  2. explain the various aspects of business sustainability and how these impact upon business strategy
  3. critique the major ethical theories and frameworks and be able to compare these in a contemporary business setting
  4. discuss the management of business ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools such as Codes of Conduct, Risk Management frameworks and gift policies in assisting such management
  5. demonstrate commonly accepted professional ethical standards in the work place and in your behaviour toward others.

The unit does not link to any specific external professional accreditation.

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Reflective Practice Assignment - 30%
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 30%
3 - Take Home Exam - 40%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Reflective Practice Assignment - 30%
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 30%
3 - Take Home Exam - 40%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

There are no required textbooks.

Additional Textbook Information

The following texts are highly recommended

Ferrell, O.C., Fraedrich, J., and Ferrell, L. (2018) Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases, 12th edn., South West College

McDonald, G. (2015). Business Ethics: A Contemporary Approach, Cambridge University Press.

Carroll, A., and Buchholz, A.K. (2018). Business and Society: Ethics, Sustainability, and Stakeholder Management, Cengage.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Michael Segon Unit Coordinator
m.segon@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1: An introduction to Business Ethics. Begin Date: 08 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

An introduction to Business Ethics. 

Concepts, definitions and key issues.

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 1

McDonald (2015) Ch 1

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Ch 7

Please refer to the Moodle site for unit notes, additional readings and journal articles.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2: Morality, Moral Reasoning and Cognitive Moral Development. Begin Date: 15 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Morality, Moral Reasoning and Cognitive Moral Development.

Moral Accountability and conditions of Personhood.

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 5 & 6.

McDonald (2015) Ch 11.

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Ch 7

Please refer to the Moodle site for unit notes, additional readings and journal articles.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Compulsory Moral Accountability Cases.

Compulsory Moral Inventory Diagnostic Tool.

Week 3: Values, Culture and Relativism. Begin Date: 22 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Values, Culture and Relativism.

Are ethics and morality culturally based or are the absolute?

The challenges of relativism in international business.


Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 6 (Section on Relativism).

McDonald (2015) Ch 11.

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Ch 10

Please refer to the Moodle site for unit notes, additional readings and journal articles.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Compulsory Relativism Case Study.

Compulsory Values Inventory Diagnostic Tool.

Week 4: Ethical Decision Making. Begin Date: 29 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Ethical  Decision Making.

Understanding Decision Context.

Ethics determined by:

  1. Outcome
  2. Process
  3. Character

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 5 & 6.

McDonald (2015) Ch 10 & 11.

Velasquez et al. (2013) article.

Please refer to the Moodle site for unit notes, additional readings and journal articles.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Compulsory ethical case studies.

Week 5: Business and Society, and Stakeholder Approaches Begin Date: 05 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Business and Society, and Stakeholder Approaches.

Foundations of a civil society and the common good.

Chapter

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Chpts 1 & 3

Events and Submissions/Topic

Group formation and allocation of Organisations for CSR or Sustainability Analysis.

Vacation Week Begin Date: 12 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6: Corporate Social Responsibility. Begin Date: 19 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Sustainable Organisations: Corporate Social Responsibility.

What are the responsibilities of organisations to society?

Freidman (Classical)  vs Socio-Economic Approaches to CSR.

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 2.

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Ch 2

McDonald (2015) Ch 2.

Please refer to unit notes on the Moodle site for additional text and journal readings.

Events and Submissions/Topic

First individual assignment (Reflection Essay) due Friday of this week.


Reflective Practice Assignment Due: Week 6 Friday (23 Apr 2021) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 7: Developing Ethical Cultures. Begin Date: 26 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Sustainable Organisations: Developing Ethical Cultures.

Approaches to Organisational Ethics.

The role of leadership in ethical culture development.

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 7, 8 & 9.

McDonald (2015) Ch 12.

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Ch 8

Please refer to unit notes on the Moodle site for additional text and journal readings.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Individual assignment due.

Week 8: Economic and Ecological Sustainability. Begin Date: 03 May 2021

Module/Topic

Sustainability:

Economic and Ecological Sustainability.

The United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 12.

McDonald (2015) Ch 2.

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz

(2018) Ch 15

Biermann, Kanie and Kim (2017).

Waage et al. (2015)

Please refer to unit notes on the Moodle site for additional text and journal readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9: The Role of Government and Regulation Begin Date: 10 May 2021

Module/Topic

The Role of Government and Regulation.

The role of Industry Groups and the effectiveness of Self Regulation.

Compliance vs Self Regulation.

Chapter

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Chpts 11 & 12

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 10: International Business Ethics Begin Date: 17 May 2021

Module/Topic

International Business Ethics

Bribery and Corruption and risks to personal and corporate reputation of unethical practice.

Why bribery is unethical.

The impacts of corruption on society.

International anti-corruption legislation.

Chapter

Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018) Ch 10

McDonald (2015) Ch 9.

Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018) Ch 10

Please refer to unit notes on the Moodle site for additional text and journal readings.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11: Group Presentations Begin Date: 24 May 2021

Module/Topic

Group Presentations.

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Group Presentations

15-20 minutes per group.

Powerpoints to be provided to facilitator prior to presentation.


Group Presentation and Ethical Analysis Due: Week 11 Friday (28 May 2021) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 12: Unit review and take home paper preparation. Begin Date: 31 May 2021

Module/Topic

Unit review and take home paper  preparation.

Chapter

Review of key chapters and readings.

Preparation for take home paper.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Distribution of case for take home paper.

Information of take home procedure and expectations.

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 07 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 14 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Take Home Case Analysis Due: Exam Week Monday (14 Jun 2021) 9:00 pm AEST
Assessment Tasks

1 Reflective Practice Assignment

Assessment Title
Reflective Practice Assignment

Task Description

The key aspect of reflection is a critical evaluation of the self. Students will undertake a number of in-class cases between weeks 2-5 and must use two (2) of the nominated cases as the basis for their self-analysis completed in class. The unit coordinator and or facilitator nominates which ones are to be used as part of the assessment. Students are not permitted to self-select cases.

Students will also complete at least two (2) ethical diagnostic tools in class and must attach the results sheet as an appendix. Please note that general tools such as the Johari Window or communication tools are not acceptable. The tools must be identifiable as ethical or moral diagnostics.

The task is to analyse the decision you made at the time for the two cases nominated by the Unit coordinator or Facilitator. Students are not to re-analyse the cases and come up with new decisions.

Students are expected to look at the decision they made at the time, and using ethical theory classify the approach they took, or the justifications used. Students are to reflect on their decisions by examining their assumptions about ethics, the purpose of business etc. Students must specifically refer to the results from a minimum of two diagnostic tools as a means of gaining further insight into their own ethical behaviours and preferences. Students need to contrast these results against the decisions made in the cases and their own assumptions and values. Students are to provide a conclusion that considers whether or not they would change their decision, based on the ethical and moral theories discussed in class.

A detailed rubric and audio file are available on the Moodle site that provides further details for this assessment task.


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Friday (23 Apr 2021) 6:00 pm AEST

This is an individual assessment task.


Return Date to Students

Week 8 Friday (7 May 2021)

Feedback is provided via Feedback Studio


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

  • Examine the decisions made from the two cases nominated by the unit coordinator or class facilitator, completed in class (online)
  • Utilise and reflect on the results of a minimum of 2 diagnostic tools (results page must be attached as appendices)
  • Discuss the decisions and analyse these referring to the diagnostic results and ethical theories and concepts.
  • Utilise key ethical and moral theories, concepts of moral personhood to describe and analyse their own positions or beliefs.
  • Provide a reflection of why they made the original decision and whether they would adopt a different approach given the concepts studied in class.
  • The use of between 12-16 quality references including key readings and recommended texts Ferrell et al., (2018); McDonald (2015) and Carrol and Buchholz (2018) using APA referencing and including a reference list.

These are the minimum requirements. Students should note that satisfactorily meeting the minimum requirements will typically result in the minimum pass grade being awarded.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Students are to submit via the assessment folder in Moodle. Please note a late penalty of 5% per day applies for each day or part day (including weekends) for assignments submitted after the due date

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • critique the major ethical theories and frameworks and be able to compare these in a contemporary business setting
  • demonstrate commonly accepted professional ethical standards in the work place and in your behaviour toward others.


Graduate Attributes
  • Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Cognitive, technical and creative skills
  • Research

2 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Group Presentation and Ethical Analysis

Task Description

All students will be allocated to a group by the facilitator and or unit coordinator in week 6 of term. These groups will be non-negotiable.

Students will undertake analysis of an organisation examining its external engagement through its corporate social responsibility or its sustainability strategy and processes. Each group will present as a team of consultants, such as KPMG, Ernst and Young etc., and assume that they have been hired by the organisation to conduct the analysis and present to the CEO and or Board of Directors. Students must not present a case study of the organisation. This assignment requires an analysis of the organisation's implementation of these policies and procedures against the models and concepts examined in the unit. This requires students to present an analysis of the organisation's approach to CSR using a number of CSR Models as an analytical framework, including the CSR models of Prakash Sethi, Carroll and Ho, similarly students who elect to undertake a Sustainability Analysis, are to use the United Nation's 17 SDG along with models outlined by McDonald, Carrol and Buchholz etc. Organisations are to be benchmarked against similar organisations, and then gaps between the "best practice" models and the approach of the organisation are to be identified and where appropriate make a series of supported recommendations. Students must not simply conduct a SWOT analysis.

Each group will be afforded 10-15 minutes to present and must submit an Executive Report of approximately 1000 words with a detailed reference list. A copy of the presentation must be provided to the class facilitator prior to the presentation. Each student must be in a group and present as part of that group.

This is the minimum standard expected for this assignment. Students who only meet the minimum, should expect to receive the minimum pass grade.

As Masters students, you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines. Two specific requirements need to be considered.

  1. students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in the discipline and/or area of professional practice, and;
  2. demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning.

Each topic in your course has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF.

In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as Masters students, indicate a willingness to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research. Please note that students MUST include citations of the recommended texts of Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2018), McDonald (2015) and Carroll, Brown and Buchholz (2018).

A detailed rubric and audio file are available in the Assessment folder on the Moodle site that provides further information regarding this assessment.

Please note that Presentations are normally undertaken in class and will receive immediate feedback. Students are to submit via the assessment folder in Moodle by the due date. The continuing Covid pandemic may adversely affect the ability for students to present in class. In such cases a prerecorded presentation may be available.

Please note a late penalty of 5% per day applies for each day or part day (including weekends) for assignments submitted after the due date


Assessment Due Date

Week 11 Friday (28 May 2021) 6:00 pm AEST

This is a group task but only 1 person from each group submits the assignment.


Return Date to Students

Review/Exam Week Friday (11 Jun 2021)

Feedback will be provided at the time of the presentation and on the written executive report via Feedback Studio


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

Students are to demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter, and effective presentation skills by:

  • Providing a concise and structured presentation with introduction, main presentation and conclusion.
  • Effectively using audio visuals and verbal communication delivered within the time allocation (15 mins per group)
  • Use of key CSR and or sustainability models, concepts and theories as an analytical frame.
  • Identifying of company strengths and weaknesses against the CSR/Sustainability analytical frame.
  • Providing a clear set of recommendations supported by literature (if and when appropriate)
  • Demonstrating a commitment to professional business presentation standard, paralleling those of professional consulting firms.
  • Ensuring all group members to make a balanced contribution in the presentation.
  • A copy of the presentation (powerpoints) MUST be provided to the unit facilitator prior to the presentation.

Students are to demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter, and effective written skills by:

  • Providing a concise overview of the content of the presentation of approximately 1000 words
  • Using key CSR or sustainability models, concepts and theories as an analytical frame
  • Identifying the organisation's strengths and weaknesses against the CSR/Sustainability analytical frame
  • Providing a clear set of recommendations supported by literature (if and when appropriate)
  • Using a minimum of 12-16 quality references made up of recommended texts and academic journal articles so as to demonstrate breadth and quality of research, including citation of the recommended texts
  • The use of the APA in text referencing system to correctly cite academic sources
  • Ensuring a list of references used in the presentation is attached to the executive report.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Students are to submit via the assessment folder in Moodle. Please note a late penalty of 5% per day applies for each day or part day (including weekends) for assignments submitted after the due date

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • investigate the interconnections between business ethics, sustainability, globalisation and society and evaluate the differences between ethics, legal requirements and cultural factors in a business setting
  • explain the various aspects of business sustainability and how these impact upon business strategy
  • discuss the management of business ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools such as Codes of Conduct, Risk Management frameworks and gift policies in assisting such management
  • demonstrate commonly accepted professional ethical standards in the work place and in your behaviour toward others.


Graduate Attributes
  • Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Research
  • Self-management
  • Ethical and Professional Responsibility

3 Take Home Exam

Assessment Title
Take Home Case Analysis

Task Description

In week 11 a case study will be distributed to all students but without any questions. You will have approximately 2 weeks to familiarise yourself with the case and the events and decisions described in the scenario.

During Week 13 on a specific date, you will be asked to answer a series of questions requiring you to apply your understanding of the unit content directly to the case. These questions will be made available 10 minutes prior to the opening of the submission.

This will be a time limited submission. You will have 180 minutes to respond to a series of questions regarding the case that will require integrated answers utilising a variety of ethical concepts from the unit. You may use texts, journals and notes in responding to the questions.

As this is an open book style response, accurate use of concepts, terms and models is expected.

No marks will be awarded for correct definitions or terms, however marks will be deducted for students who incorrectly use ethical terms and concepts.

The focus of the assessment is on correct application and analysis.

Referencing is not required for this assessment.

However any submission forwarded after the scheduled submission time, will be penalised at 5% off per hour.

A Zoom review session will still be organised for all students during Week 12 to review the unit and prepare for the case.


Assessment Due Date

Exam Week Monday (14 Jun 2021) 9:00 pm AEST

This is an individual assessment task.


Return Date to Students

Review/Exam Week Wednesday (9 Jun 2021)

Students will receive limited case feedback via Moodle


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

Please note as this is an open book style response, students are expected to define ethical concepts and models correctly as a basic standard. The key assessment criteria include:

  • The correct use of key ethical concepts concepts and theories as an analytical frame to identify ethical or moral issues in the case
  • The use of ethical theories to provide options in decision making
  • The correct use of key CSR and or sustainability models, concepts and theories as an analytical frame.

Students must note that advocating unethical or illegal practices as solutions or recommendations to case dilemmas is not acceptable. 


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Students will have time limited 180 minutes to complete the task. Submissions will be locked after 9.15PM

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • investigate the interconnections between business ethics, sustainability, globalisation and society and evaluate the differences between ethics, legal requirements and cultural factors in a business setting
  • explain the various aspects of business sustainability and how these impact upon business strategy
  • critique the major ethical theories and frameworks and be able to compare these in a contemporary business setting
  • discuss the management of business ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools such as Codes of Conduct, Risk Management frameworks and gift policies in assisting such management


Graduate Attributes
  • Knowledge
  • Cognitive, technical and creative skills
  • Self-management
  • Ethical and Professional Responsibility

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?