MGMT 560 : Business Ethics

Professor Doug Schuler
Fall 2002

Welcome to Rice Universityís MGMT 560, Business Ethics, in the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, taught by Associate Professor Doug Schuler.  This web-page includes materials related to the course such as the syllabus, written assignment instructions, announcements, and links to other web-pages.

The purpose of the course is to examine the ethical, legal, and economic bases of decision-making. Business managers often face situations in which any choice may lead to bad outcomes for certain parties. Related, they sometimes are put into situations in which they need to treat someone poorly in order to achieve a desired outcome. How does one make decisions in such contexts? How does a manager decide who to harm, how much, etc? And can she justify infringing upon someoneís rights or giving inequitable treatment in order to gain something personally or for her company? We will examine such questions by studying various bases of ethical decision making, particularly major normative frameworks such as egoism, utilitarianism, social contract theory, Kantís ethics, and virtue ethics. We apply such frameworks to situations as presented in business cases in order to systematically derive a satisfactory solution. None of the cases have very apparent solutions; thus, the students must think hard to make morally defensible decisions.

Copyright 2002, Doug Schuler

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