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MGT2204 Business Ethics and Governance

Semester 1, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Band 4
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 27 June 2022


Examiner: Gerard Betros


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 under increasing scrutiny. Every day, we hear of the harm that businesses inflict upon stakeholder groups and the environment. This course seeks to address these problems by enhancing students’ moral imagination and providing them with the ethical frameworks by which they can determine the benefit and harm that may result from their business decisions. On completing this course, students will have an enhanced awareness of the harm that can result from immoral business practices and the role that governance plays in ensuring that businesses make decisions that benefit all of society.

This course aims to develop students' understanding of the ethical dimensions of managerial decision making and of issues relating to the governance of organisations. Topics include normative and descriptive ethical theories, the capitalist economic environment and its impact on ethical business behaviour, managing ethical behaviour within organizations, as well as ethical issues arising in the contexts of shareholders, workers, consumers and government. It challenges students to think creatively to resolve ethical dilemmas and reflect critically and constructively about how we organise to conduct business activities. This course is specifically designed to promote cultural learning and Werhane's (1998) notion of moral imagination, which is less concerned with whether one has, or sticks to, a set of moral values, but with whether one has a "sense of the variety of possibilities and moral consequences of their decisions, the ability to imagine a wide range of possible issues, consequences and solutions".

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. define the terms business ethics and corporate governance and explain the components of business ethics management;
  2. think critically and constructively about the application of normative and descriptive ethical theories to resolve dilemmas and make considered ethical decisions across a range of institutional and global contexts;
  3. use initiative, creativity and judgement to evaluate the merits of contrasting organisational types to determine their ethical outcomes for shareholders and workers;
  4. examine ethical issues related to corporate governance and to the following organisational stakeholders, namely shareholders, employees, consumers and government;
  5. communicate clearly and concisely at an advanced level to prepare a professional document that contains recommendations relating to initiating and implementing an ethics program for an organisation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to key terms 5.00
2. The business ethics framework 10.00
3. Normative and descriptive ethical theories 30.00
4. Ethical decision making 5.00
5. Managing business ethics 10.00
6. Stakeholders and business ethics 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Crane, A & Matten, D 2019, Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
Date printed 27 June 2022