BUU22580 Business Ethics

(5 ECTS)


Dr. David Price

Phone: +353 1896 3494 (ext. 3654)
Email: daprice@tcd.ie 
Office Hours: 12 - 14:00 on Fridays, online 


BUU11540 - Fundamentals of Philosophy, Ethics and Social Science

Module Description:

This module considers the source and scope of our moral obligations in business. The first segment of the module involves the different views of why firms exist and what obligations follow. The second segment of the module considers whether firms themselves have moral responsibilities, the extent to which they can be excused, and whether we should hold them criminally responsible. The third segment of the module considers a variety of other ethical issues when engaging in business, from discrimination in the workplace to whether it’s okay to invest in immoral companies and beyond.

Learning Outcomes:

LO1: Become familiar with the essential theoretical approaches to business ethics and theory of the firm on national and international levels.
LO2: Learn to apply the major western theories of ethics and political theory to contemporary business ethical contexts. 
LO3: Develop critical thinking, reading, and writing skills on contemporary issues in business ethics and society including the role of the firm, the extent of corporate obligations and the ethics related to other business practices such as paying, selling, and investing.
LO4: Develop an ability to discuss the challenging social and political issues productively with peers.

Learning and Teaching Approach: 

The approach taken involves students doing close readings of recent, innovative, and thought-provoking texts from a variety of subfields. This is coupled with detailed lectures for background context and distillation of the main ideas as well as recitations for students to become comfortable discussing these challenging ideas together. Papers and examinations offer students further opportunities for students to consider how these ideas interact and, ultimately, how they feel about them.

Required Textbooks: 

Required core course textbook: There is no textbook required.

General Supplemental Readings: All readings will be provided through Blackboard.


Course participation (10%)
Regular quizzes (10%) completed on Blackboard before each class
Essay 1 (25%) due at the end of week 6
Essay 2 (25%) due at the end of week 12
Final Examination (30%)

Supplemental Assessement (100%) 48 hour take home exam