Module code: MAN1090

Module Overview

To introduce students to the ethical principles that will allow them to fully appreciate the implications of decision-making and leadership in an increasingly complex business environment. It introduces students to core principles of ethical thought, to models of ethical decision-making and to a variety of business situations within which ethically-informed decisions will be consequential for individuals, organizations and wider societies.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: N100

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The content deals with both the understanding of ethical principles and forms of decision-making and with their application to specific business issues and dilemmas that are likely to confront managers at different stages in their careers. These range from relationships with customers and employees to the treatment of major challenges facing globalised businesses and citizens.

Principles of ethical thought in a business context
Approaches to  ethical decision making
The role of stakeholders
The roles and responsibilities of employers and employees
Ethics in the supply chain and in competition (e.g., fair trade)
Social enterprise as an ethical vehicle
The role of governments and the state
The ethics of science and technology
Global labour markets: migration and immigration

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP ASSIGNMENT 30
Examination 2 HOUR FINAL EXAM 70

Alternative Assessment

Alternative Assessment: Individual Presentation (in person or from distance via Skype)                         30%

Assessment Strategy


The assessment strategy for this module is designed to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the principles of ethics as well as their ability to apply these principles to address actual business issues.

Aside from the final exam (individual), an interim group assignment will offer students the opportunity to apply theories in real-life cases and to develop research, analytical, and communication skills relevant for business ethics.

Research skills:

Students will identify a real-life organization facing ethical issues and learn to collect relevant data on the case from news media and other sources.

Analytical skills:

Students are expected to apply ethics theories to analyse the real-life case study. This includes identifying the ethical problems, developing an in-depth understanding of the problems by employing concepts and frameworks learned in the module, and using them to propose actionable solutions. The assignment will also help prepare students for the final exam by practicing the actual case and learning from the experiences of others.

Presentation skills:

The groups will present and answer questions on the ethical issue, their analysis and proposed solutions for their chosen case study.

The assessment of the group assignment will take into account the aforementioned skills as demonstrated by each group. Both the outcome and the process of the group work will be assessed and individual contributions will be recognized. Details on the assignment, as well as consultation and feedback to groups will be available through seminar discussions and office hours before and after their presentation.

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the ethics of decision-making
  • To introduce ethical theory and models for developing moral frameworks.
  • To provide links to contemporary business issues in a global context.
  • To enable students to reflect self-consciously on the ethical implications of business leadership.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Understand key ethical concepts and their application to business organizations;
2 Critically analyse competing theories on business ethics;
3 Understand the role of business leaders in providing ethical leadership
4 Appraise ethical dilemmas from a managerial, individual and societal perspective
5 Assess the ethical dimensions of decisions in relation to markets, nations, the natural environment

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module will use a combination of delivery methods to promote learning. 

These will include conventional and more inter-active lectures, web-enabled support and guest speakers.

There will a clear emphasis on small group discussion and debate around the ethics of business decisions and behaviours.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for BUSINESS ETHICS :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Management (Marketing) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business and Retail Management BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Entrepreneurship) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (HRM) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.