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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title Business and Professional Ethics
Module Code AC402
School DCUBS

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

What is ethics? Is it relevant for business? This module is a journey through the main themes of ethics in the business context. AC402 details the study of business and professional ethics according to five main areas. Students will be first introduced to what is ethics, and what are the main ethical theories which can be applied to business, and how business ethics deals with cultural diversity in the global business environment. A special focus is dedicated to the existence and implementation of universal standards for business activity. Secondly, the module takes the perspective of the individual in the business organization, and it reflects on the meaning of responsibility and on the main ethical issues in business. Thirdly, assuming the perspective of the manager, the module explores the different theories on the purpose of business, and it presents some leadership theories. As a fourth area, AC402 explores the fascinating relationship between business and society, also touching on the timely topic of sustainability and the relationship between business and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, some lectures are dedicated to professional ethics in light of the changes related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Learning Outcomes

1. Define what is ethics and what are the main ethical theories applicable to business. Reflect on cultural diversity and business ethics; reflect on the international standards for business.
2. Reflect on the concept of responsibility and identify the main misbehaviors in the context of business.
3. Reflect on the purpose of business according to the main existing approaches and describe the decision-making process; Reflect on leadership and moral character.
4. Reflect on the relationship between business and society; Explain what the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are and why they are important for business.
5. Describe what is professional ethics.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Formal lectures and problem-based learning
Online activity40Review, discussion and preparation for continuous assessment
Independent Study63Personal study
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Philosophical Frameworks for Business Ethics
Introduction to ethics and definition of business ethics. Introduction to the main ethical theories for business: Deontological Ethics, Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics.

Globalization, Cultural Diversity, and Universal Principles for Business
Cultural diversity and business ethics (cultural relativism, cultural imperialism, pluralism, universalism). International standards for business.

Individual Ethics in Business
Individual behaviour in business; meaning of responsibility; kind of actions that individuals perform within an organization; main ethical issues that can arise in business.

Managerial Ethics in Business and Leadership Theories
Theories on the purpose of business; decision-making process in business; leadership theories; moral character and leadership.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business
Relationship between business and society; corporate social responsibility theories; sustainability; United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and their relationship with business activity.

Professional Ethics
Definition of a profession; professions and ethics in the future of work.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Rocchi, Marta: 2021, Business Ethics. A Path to Excellence for Business Students, ebook,
  • Melé, Domènec: 2019, Business Ethics in Action, 2nd, Red Globe Press,
  • Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., & Spence, L. J.: 2019, Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization., 5th, Oxford University Press,
Other Resources

43731, 0, Articles and additional resources on Loop,
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