PHIL 3313A, Business Ethics, section 01

Excerpt from the St. Edward’s University Mission Statement:  “Graduates should be prepared, through training in critical and creative thinking as well as moral reasoning, to analyze problems, propose solutions, and make responsible decisions.

1.  COURSE DESCRIPTION: People become morally educated, rather than trained, insofar as they achieve a grasp of the principles of normative ethics and the motivation to choose, organize, and assess their own values and actions by means of those principles.  Ethics implies deciding for ourselves by means of a moral decision making process, based upon reason and defensible ethical principles, what to do and to believe.  To be ethical implies that one has acted through self-motivation, with open-mindedness, and always with an eye to normative ethical principles.   This course will focus on both theory and practice by looking at some normative ethical theories as well as specific moral issues.  By means of lectures, class discussions, essays involving your own reflective thinking, and collaborative work, we will explore the questions, “how can I make better moral decisions?” and “what does it mean to have an ethical perspective in life?”

2.  LEARNING OBJECTIVES demonstrate the ability to promote critical and creative thinking as well as moral awareness by
a. learning to ask the relevant questions.
b. accurately and impartially applying normative ethical principles to specific moral situations in business.
c. analyzing philosophical material with the goal being to produce clear, objective, and impartial work that demonstrates insight into thoughts and feelings.
d. repeatedly identifying moral issues and values in both written and class discussion.
e. using examples and cases that reflect the everyday experiences.
f. understand moral issues in a global context and from a non-western perspective.
g. synthesizing subject-matter insights and knowledge into a clear, unbiased, and well-defended papers and essays.
h. demonstrating through oral and written exercises independent thinking and intellectual responsibility by justifying one’s moral judgments.

– DesJardins, Joseph. An Introduction to Business Ethics. McGraw-Hill Publishers, 5th edition.
-Additional readings and videos posted to Canvas.

A.  Discussion and Participation.
The design of our class is set-up in such a way that this is not a lecture class so your class participation and attendance are required

Time Commitment The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), , which is one of the accrediting agencies in the U.S. in conjunction with the Department of Education now requires all faculty to list the approximately number of hours each assignment will take.  The general rule of thumb is that each three-credit hour course will take approximately 120  hours of work and so in a 15-week class this averages out to about 8 hours per week; for a 7-week class about double this.  Of course, depending on the skill level of each student, some may take less time and others more plus those who strive for an “A” will probably study more than those to strive for a “C”.  I read at the rate of about 15 pages per hour and the first time through any work in philosophy I have to read it at least twice; I’m using this as the default reading rate.  Having read the material is not equal to having learned the material since reading and studying are not the same.

You are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes and to actively participate in the discussion (attendance and participation are not the same).  Punctual class attendance is required and unless there is a verifiable medical emergency you should remain in the classroom for the entire 170 minute class, but we will have a short break after about 75 minutes.  If there is an unusual emergency, which would necessitate your absence this should be settled, if possible, with the instructor before the class in which you will be absent or tardy.  Since there are only seven classes, class attendance is required and missing more than one class, or consistently wandering in and out of the classroom, arriving late or leaving early, will count as an absence. After one absence, your final course grade could be penalized a letter grade and two letter grades for absences over two. There are no exceptions to this rule for most students.

B.  Taking notes over or outlining the material is recommended not only for class participation but for assistance with examinations and any potential quizzes.  You should come to each class able to discuss the main issues of the assignment, all terminology, concepts, etc., be familiar with the study questions, if applicable, for each week, and you could be asked during class to respond to a question raised by another student. This is a discussion class and not a lecture class so your well-prepared participation is crucial for a successful class; students more so than the professor make for a successful class.   If you get bogged down in the material, don’t hesitate to schedule a time with me where we can go over the readings, study guides, etc. or raise your questions in class or post them in Canvas so everyone can benefit from your questions.  Asking questions in class is encouraged.

C.  There are two exams that cover the reading, videos, and class discussions and will be based largely, but not exclusively, on the study guides.  The first exam will be in class and the final exam will be take home.  If you have a verifiable medical reason to be absent on the day of the exam you may request to take the exam early.  Having read the material (even two or three times) is not the same as studying.  Read, write it out, and then make the knowledge your own; see section 10 for exam dates.  Be sure you are clear about the terminology that is used both in the lectures and in the readings; if at any time you are unclear, ask questions.  The reading/study guides posted to Files in Canvas will be very beneficial for the exams.
**Diagnostic Interview: Should you score lower than a 55 on the first exam you will need to schedule an appointment with me before class to discuss your performance and to go over the exam. Even if you do well on the exam I am happy to go over it with you should you wish.

D. Research Project. You are asked to write a short research paper on a moral issue within Business and to present your findings in class.   In order to make sure your topic is workable, you should have your topic approved by the professor at least one week before the due date.  Your research paper should be 1200 to 2500 words, plus a works cited section. Longer papers will be accepted, but individual papers less than 1200 words will be penalized. In addition to demonstrating solid research and clarity of thinking, your paper should be well organized, contain no misspelled words as well as no errors in sentence structure and word usage. Should you need help with your writing, please contact the Writing Center well before the paper is due. Late papers will be penalized ten (10) points per day and should be submitted to Canvas. The Originality Index should be at least 80%, otherwise the paper will be penalized one point for each percentage point over 20%. Additional information will be posted to Canvas and discussed in class. The due date for your paper is listed under Assignments in section 10 below and must be submitted through the Research link in Canvas. Papers emailed to me will not be accepted. Additional information will be posted to Canvas and discussed in class.

5.  SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: If you have a specific medical, cognitive or learning disability and require accommodation in this class, please let me know by the end of the first week or as soon as you are eligible so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.  You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Student Disability Service Center located in Moody Hall, suite 155.

6.  ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  Students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity in all work for this course.  Dishonesty in any work will result in a grade of “F” for the course.  Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and will result in the same penalty.  In cases of mitigating circumstances, the instructor, at his or her discretion, may assign a lesser penalty.  Once a grade of “F” has been assigned because of academic dishonesty, the student may not withdraw from the course.  Please don’t cheat; don’t be ashamed of yourself later.

7. THE WRITING CENTER:  The Writing Center offers one on one, 30 minute sessions to assist you with your papers.  You should make an appointment well ahead of time since they do get busy, especially toward the end of the semester.  Bring a copy of the paper you want to work on to the Writing Center, making sure that it is as complete and polished as possible.  You will benefit far more by working on the finer points in the process rather than correcting very basic mistakes.

8.  TITLE IX STATEMENT: Title IX and its implementing rules make it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources, both on and off campus, at   As a faculty member, I am required by our university to report incidents of sexual misconduct and thus cannot guarantee confidentiality if you share information with me regarding potential Title IX violations. I must provide our Title IX coordinator with relevant details, including the names of those involved in the incident. Please know that you can seek confidential resources at the Health & Counseling Center in Johnson Hall, 512-448- 8538.

Cell Phones.  I know it’s hard for many of us to give up the cell phone, even for a short period, but when you walk in the door to the classroom, stow your cell phone, iPad or other electronic devices.  The cell phone should be turned off or put on silent mode/vibrate while class is in session. Cell phones must be in pockets or bags, not on desks or in your lap during class. There is NO talking on cell phones, sending/receiving text messaging or checking your social media sites allowed during class or tests.  If you have a very good reason for having your cell phone on (silent, vibrate modes only), then please inform your professor before class.

Laptops.  Use of laptops and tablets are permitted in class, but only if directly related to class.  If you want to take notes on your laptop or tablet in class that is fine, but I reserve the right to ask to you sit on the front row and off to one side.    If approved for note taking, you cannot also use your computer to connect to social media, send emails or text messages, surf the web, or perform any other functions during class time—unless expressly permitted to do so by your professor before class.

10. ASSIGNMENTS:  Unless otherwise noted, all assignments must be completed before coming to class.  Also check Canvas for any updates or changes.

January 22:  Chapters 1 and 2
January 29:  Chapters 3 and 4
February 5:  Chapter 8, sections 8.1 and 8.2, chapter 9, section 9.3 and first exam (to be completed in class)
February 12:  Chapters 5 and 6
February 19:  Chapter 10 and research paper and class presentations due
February 26: Chapters 11 and 12 and Final Exam distributed.  The exam is due by Saturday midnight.

Exams (30% each)                 60%
Research and Class Presentation: 30%
Attendance and Participation:        10%

GRADE           Points Course Average     
A+                   4.0 98 to 100
A                      4.0 93 to 97
A-                     3.67 90 to 92
B+                   3.33 87 to 89
B                      3.0 83 to 86
B-                     2.67 80 to 82
C+                   2.33 77 to 79
C                     2.0 70 – 76
D                     1.0 60 to 69
F                      0.0 Less than 60

Incomplete Grade:
A grade of I (Incomplete) can be requested only for verifiable medical reasons, death in the immediate family or exceptional circumstances as defined by the instructor and then only if you have successfully completed 5 of the 7 weeks and have a grade of “C” or better in the course.   Please talk with me if you think you will need an I in the course.  A grade of I must be requested by the student; it is not automatically given.  If approved you will have an additional week to complete your work.

Dropping/ Withdrawing Policy:
It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of add/drop/withdraw and refund deadlines. See web link: Deadlines. If you miss more than five classes you are required to visit with me, otherwise you will be withdrawn from the class or your final grade penalized at least one letter grade.   If you decide to stop attending class do not forget to withdraw.   Please review attendance policy in section 4A above.

12.  OFFICE HOURS. By appointment on class days and either before or after class (preferably before)