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MGT2204 Business Ethics and Governance

Semester 1, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Management and Marketing
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Gerard Betros
Moderator: Bruce Millett

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


In order to create and maintain a civil society, it is incumbent upon those with power to act responsibly for the betterment of the community. Businesses are becoming increasingly powerful but their role in the creation and maintenance of a civil society is facing scrutiny. Every day, we hear of businesses being accused of acting immorally by causing harm to their customers and/or the general populace. This course seeks to address this issue by providing students ethical frameworks by which they can determine whether their business decisions will cause benefit or harm. On completing this course, students will have an enhanced appreciation of the harm that can result from immoral business practices and the role that governance plays in ensuring that businesses make decisions that benefit rather than harm society.


This course aims to develop understanding of the ethical dimensions of managerial decision making and of issues relating to governance of organisations. Topics include normative and descriptive ethical theories, corporate responsibility, stakeholders and citizenship, ethical decision making, tools and techniques for managing business ethics, accountability and governance and leadership skills. Students will be able to identify and solve ethical dilemmas within case study organisations and to design strategies to promote ethical behaviour and improve governance in organisations.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. define the terms business ethics and corporate governance
  2. evaluate normative and descriptive ethical theories
  3. explain the components of business ethics management
  4. demonstrate an awareness of the ethical issues relating to the following organisational stakeholders, that is, shareholders, employees, consumers and government
  5. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills by identifying ethical issues in the corporate governance of case study organisations
  6. demonstrate management, planning and organisational skills together with advanced level written communication skills by describing the preparing a report making recommendations relating to initiating and implementing an ethics program for an organisation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to key terms ethics, governance, globalisation, sustainability 5.00
2. The business ethics framework corporate social responsibility, stakeholder theory, corporate accountability, corporate citizenship and the relationship to corporate governance 10.00
3. Normative and descriptive ethical theories 30.00
4. Ethical decision making models, individual influences, situational influences 5.00
5. Managing business ethics components of an ethics program, setting standards of ethical behaviour, managing stakeholder relations, assessing ethical performance 10.00
6. Stakeholders and business ethics shareholders, employees, consumers, government 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Crane, A & Matten, D 2010, Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Summers, J & Smith, B 2010, Communication skills handbook, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bowie, NE & Werhane, PH 2005, Management ethics, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Massachusetts.
  • Clegg, S & Rhodes, C 2006, Management ethics: contemporary contexts, Routledge, London.
  • Homann, K, Koslowski, P & Luetge, C 2007, Globalisation and business ethics, Ashgate, Aldershot, England.
  • Singer, AE 2007, Business ethics and strategy, Ashgate, Aldershot, England.
  • Smith, JD (ed) 2008, Normative theory and business ethics, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland.
  • Trevino, LK & Nelson, KA 2011, Managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right, 5th edn, John Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 93.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 - CMA 100 10 11 Mar 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 - ESSAY 100 30 15 Apr 2013
ASSIGNMENT 3 - REPORT 100 30 13 May 2013
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 100 30 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course).

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the examination for this course are (i) Writing materials: non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination; (ii) Translation dictionaries: with the examiner's approval, candidates may, take an appropriate non-electronic translation dictionary into the examination. This will be subject to perusal and, if it is found to contain annotations or markings that could give the candidate an unfair advantage, it may be removed from the candidate's possession until the appropriate disciplinary action is completed.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment to the USQ. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each assignment submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) In accordance with university policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. (iv) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at