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Business Ethics


Business ethics addresses ethical issues and challenges of businesses and the legal, societal, environmental or cultural frameworks corporations operate in. Unlike similar concepts such as ‘corporate social responsibility’, ‘corporate citizenship’ or ‘sustainable development’ business ethics applies a more foundational perspective of normative implications of business conduct and the economy at large. Topics to be discussed in the business ethics course are: 1. (on an micro level): good life, ethical leadership, individual responsibility. 2. (on a meso level): code of ethics/conduct, corporate culture, compliance or governance. 3. (on a macro level): economic system, order ethics, future of capitalism. Additionally key terms such as freedom, value, utility, common good, or deliberation are presented and discussed. Following several major scandals such as the Enron collapse, the Rana-Plaza building collapse, the Deepwater horizon oil-spill or most recently the diesel emission scandal managerial implications and legal consequences are discussed and reflected. The course includes lectures, case studies, and presentations.



Brenkert, G., & Beauchamp, T. (2012). The Oxford handbook of business ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2010). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Enderle, G. (2016). How can Business Ethics strengthen the social cohesion of a society? Journal of Business Ethics. DOI 10.1007/s10551-016-3196-5

Freeman, E. (2000). Business ethics at the millennium. Business Ethics Quarterly, 10(1), 169–180.

Michalos, A., & Poff, D. (2013). Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics. Celebrating the first thirty years of publication. New York: Springer Books.

Saul, G. K. (1981). Business ethics: Where are we going? Academy of Management Review, 6(2), 269–276.

Seele, Peter (2016):  "What makes a Business Ethicist?  A Reflection on the transition from applied philosophy to critical thinking". Journal of Business Ethics. DOI 10.1007/s10551-016-3177-8

Wicks, A. C., Freeman, R. E., & Werhane, P. (2009). Business ethics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


Evaluation Structure

Students´ overall evaluation for this course will be based:
Exam: 100 %

But: Presentation is condition to take the exam.



Seele P.

Docente titolare del corso

Schultz M. D.


Informazioni aggiuntive

Anno accademico
Offerta formativa