Professor Gary Jason, PhD | Introduction to Business Ethics

Introduction to Business Ethics

Course Syllabus

PH 312: Introduction to Business Ethics

CSUF Spring 2011

Teacher: Dr. Gary Jason Section: MW 4:00-5:15 pm (EC-34)
Office: H-230D email:
Home office: 949-492-8650 Home fax: 949-492-4531

Office Hours: MW 1:00-2:20pm; Fridays 11:00am-noon; and by appointment. I am not on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Website: This site has your grades, my policy on cheating, all class handouts, bulletins, class code of conduct, text errata, and links to other sites of use. Log on ASAP  to familiarize yourself with it. Note: I do NOT use Blackboard!



1. An Introduction to Business Ethics 4nd Edition Joseph DesJardins

2. Anthology for Introduction to Business Ethics Gary Jason (photocopy)

**The Desjardins text is available at The Little Professor bookstore, 725 North Placentia Ave, Fullerton 714-996-3133; the Jason anthology is only available at Copyco, which is in the strip mall at the corner of Chapman and State College 714-680-9800.

Course Description: The aim of this course is to survey the growing field of business ethics. Specifically, we will first become familiar with the major ethical theories, and see how they can be used as tools to understand the moral issues in business. While doing this we will also become familiar with some relevant concepts from economics and finance science (including moral hazard, the risk/reward linkage, cost/benefit analysis, the opacity of costs and benefits, public choice theory, rent-seeking, creative destruction, and the law of unintended consequences), and see how they also shed light on moral issues in business.

Then we will survey the major issues in the field. We will evaluate the major stances concerning general corporate social responsibility. We will examine views concerning the meaning and value of work, employee rights, and employee responsibilities. We will then look at product safety and pricing issues, ethics in advertising, and issues surrounding international business and globalization.

Grade scale: It is department policy that all courses be graded on a +/- basis. Cutoffs:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D-
97% 94% 90% 87% 84% 80% 77% 74% 70% 67% 64% 60%

Assessment Procedures: The student is expected to attend regularly and  keep up with the reading. There will be two midterms and a final exam, consisting of short response questions based upon material discussed in class. There will be three short (1/2 page) papers, and a term paper (5 pages). All papers must be typed or word processed, and double spaced. The term paper must be turned in at least one month before the end of the semester. The term paper can be on any topic related to business ethics, either one discussed in this course or one that the student finds in any texts or other sources. The general rubric is that about 1/3 of the grade will be based on style (sentence and paragraph structure, spelling and word use, coherence of presentation, and so on), and 2/3 on content (the facts and arguments you present, the even-handedness of presentation, and so on).


Test #1 50 minutes 20%
Test #2 50 minutes 20%
Final exam  60 minutes 25%
Short Papers 5% each (total 15%)
Term paper 10%

àAttendance will be recorded after the first week, and you will be graded on it as follows:

% grade = 100 – 6x, where x is the number of classes you have missed.  You will be given an “excused” for a day only with a photocopy of relevant documentation (such as a doctor’s note). **If you leave more than 5 minutes early, or arrive more than 5 minutes late, you are officially absent.


àYou will be given points for asking questions or making comments during class discussions.

% grade = 10 x total points. Cap is 100%

Points assigned as follows: ask a pertinent question=1; make a point in discussion=2; answer a challenge question=3; explain a concept to


**once you hit 100%, you are still quite welcome to participate, but preference will be given to those not yet at A+ level.

**There are no “extra credit” assignments.

** I give make-up exams (which are graded to higher standards) only when there is a signed doctor’s note or other proof of illness or other emergency.


Policy on Cheating: Any student who cheats at any time in my class will be given an “F” for the entire course, and I will turn the incident over to the Chairperson of the Department for whatever further action is required by the University. For further explanation, see below, then visit my website.

Class Conduct:

Students are expected to:

  • Show up for class on time
  • Leave early only when prior permission has been granted
  • Talk only as part of class discussion
  • Refrain from making disrespectful or harassing remarks
  • Turn off all pagers, beepers, and cell phones before class. No iPods or laptops.
  • You may bring coffee or other beverages, but please no food

Teacher is expected to:

  • Start lecture on time
  • Stop class on time
  • Encourage questions and class participation
  • Keep regular office hours and be otherwise accessible
  • Keep students informed on grading
  • Spare the student his/her political views or details of personal life.

Note: It may happen that I have an opinion on an issue of contention in this subject (such as, say, free trade). If I do discuss that in class, discussing my opinion will NOT be part of any exam or other assignment that affects your grade.

GE Writing Requirement: CSUF requires all GE courses to have a writing component. In this class, we satisfy that requirement with the three assigned papers and the term paper.

Lecture Schedule–ONLY Approximate, because this is a discussion driven class, and if the class finds a topic especially interesting, we will spend more time on it.


Day/Date Topic Reading (DesJ = main text; JA = Jason Anthology)
Monday, Jan 24 Ethics, ethical theory, and business ethics DesJ 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5., 1.6, 1.7; + JA 1.1, 1.2; 2.1, 2.2
Wednesday, Jan 26 Start relevant economic and finance concepts JA 3.1,3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5
Monday, Jan 31 Finish relevant economic and finance concepts//Start relevant legal system concepts Above//JA 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4


Day/Date Topic Reading
Wednesday, Feb 2 Finish relevant legal system concepts, start consequentialism
Monday, Feb 7 Consequentialist theories of the right:

Ethical egoism

JA 5.1, 5.2; + DesJ 2.1
Wednesday, Feb 9 Applied egoism: public choice theory; moral hazard; principal/agent problem JA 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 5.6
Monday, Feb 14 Utilitarianism, Bastiat DesJ 2.3, 2.4; 2.5;  +  JA 5.7
Wednesday, Feb 16 Non-consequentialism: Kantianism, Natural rights ethics DesJ 2.6; JA 6.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.6
Monday, Feb 21 President’s Day Campus closed
Wednesday, Feb 23 Virtue ethics, finish chapter 2 DesJ DesJ 2.7; JA 6.3, 6.4, 6.7
Monday, Feb 28 MIDTERM #1—when and only when we finish Chap 2 DesJ, may not be this exact day.


Day/Date Topic Reading
Wednesday, March 2 Corporate social responsibility: The Friedman model and its critics DesJ 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4; + JA 7.1, 7.9
Monday, March 7 Moral minimum model,  multiple stakeholder model, other models Des. 3.6, 3.7; JA 7.10
Wednesday, March 9 Corporate social responsibility: Wal-Mart, creative destruction JA 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8; + DesJ pp. 49-53
Monday, March 14 Meaning and value of work: five models DesJ 5.1,5.2,5.3,5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7; JA 8.9
Wednesday, March 16 Marx on work, the recent evolution of work JA 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8
Monday, March 21 Employee rights: right to work without being in a union, the right to a guaranteed job DesJ 6.1, 6.2,  6.3, 6.4; + JA  9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.5, 9.6
Wednesday, March 23 Employee rights: The right to strong due process right to democratic workplace DesJ 6.5, 6.6, 6.7; + JA 9.4, 9.7
Monday, March 28 Spring Break Campus closed
Wednesday, March 30 Spring Break Campus closed


Day/Date Topic Reading
Monday, April 4 Employee rights:, right to privacy, finish chap. 6 Desjardins JA 9.7
Wednesday, April 6 MIDTERM #2—when and only when we finish Chapter 6 DesJ. May not be on this exact day.
Monday, April 11 Employee responsibilities to the company: the standard view , Loyalty

*******TERM PAPER DUE*********

DesJ 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5; + JA 10.5
Wednesday, April 13 Employee responsibilities:, honesty, whistle blowing DesJ 7.6; + JA 10.6, 10.7
Monday, April 18 Employee responsibilities:, finish employee responsibilities; JA 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.8
Wednesday, April 20 Product safety DesJ 8.1, 8.2, 8.3;  + JA 11.1, 11.2, 11.3
Monday, April 25 Product safety and regulation

1-2 page report due on rent seeking as a cost of regulation

DesJ 8.4; JA 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 11.8, 11.9, 11.10, 11.11, 11.12, 11.13, 11.14a,b, 11.15
Wednesday, April 27 Product pricing DesJ 8.5; JA 11.16, 11.17, 11.18


Day/Date Topic Reading
Monday, May 2 Marketing ethics: the easy cases, Galbraith’s Critique of Marketing DesJ  9.1,9.2, 9.3, 9.4; + JA12.3, 12.6
Wednesday, May 4 Marketing ethics: autonomy and manipulation of desires, manipulation and mechanisms JA 12.8, 12. 4, 12.5, 12.9
Monday, May 9 Globalization DesJ 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4
Wednesday, May 11 Globalization DesJ 12.5, 12.6, 12.7; JA 13.1, 13.2, 13.3
Wednesday, May 18 Final Exam 5:00-6:00pm



My general policy on cheating can be summarized as follows:

Any student who cheats at any time in my class will be given an ”F” for the entire course, and I will turn the incident over to the Chairperson of the Department for whatever further action is required by the College or University.

Some amplifying remarks are in order. By “cheating“ I mean copying work from other students, either homework or exams, or allowing other students to copy from your homework or tests. This of course applies to the work of my past students. If you want to do homework together in study groups, let me know ahead of time, and each member should turn in the assignment separately, but note the group affiliation.

By “cheating” I also mean plagiarizing, that is, copying work from articles, essays or books you are consulting for a class essay without attributing in a footnote the source. Your footnotes should include the name of the author whose work you are quoting, the title of the work, the pages being quoted, and where it was published (journals: journal name, date, number, volume, and page numbers; books: date, publishing company and city). THIS APPLIES EQUALLY WELL TO ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED FROM THE INTERNET OR COMPUTER ENCYCLOPEDIAS.

By “cheating” I further include “farming out,” that is, paying someone or some service to write your essays or other work for you, or to do your research for you, either someone you directly hire, or so-called “research sites” on the internet such as Gradesaver or The Evil House of Cheat.

You can learn more about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it by visiting the two websites listed below:

Issues of cheating are handled by JUDICIAL AFFAIRS:

Titan Student Union 235


Students are expected to conduct themselves as mature and responsible members of the campus community. The Judicial Affairs officer conducts educational workshops that promote and educate students about campus expectations for academic integrity, civility, and appropriate standards of conduct. This office is responsible for coordination of the established judicial procedures if there is an allegation that university standards have been violated.



PH 312 satisfies the following requirements from UPS411.201:

C.3.b Explorations in the Humanities Courses in this subarea shall draw upon, integrate, apply, and extend knowledge and skills previously acquired in subareas C.1 and C.2. Completion of subarea C.2 shall be required as a prerequisite for all courses in C.3.b. The learning goals for subarea C.3.b include the learning goals for area C.2. In addition, students taking courses in subarea C.3.b shall i. Understand broad, unifying themes from cross-disciplinary perspectives in the humanities. ii. Understand the relevance of the humanities for the thoughtful consideration of complex contemporary problems. iii. Appreciate the complex relationship and interaction between the humanities and other fields of learning, including the natural sciences, social sciences, and arts. Classes may be conducted in languages other than English if they meet the above goals. Such courses must contain a substantial cultural component (e.g., literature, among other content) and shall not focus solely on the acquisition of language skills.

E. Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units minimum) Courses in Lifelong Learning and Self-Development provide the opportunity to equip learners for lifelong understanding and development of themselves as integrated physiological, social, and psychological beings. To accomplish this goal, students would:

1. Further their own critical self-understanding and acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to engage and reflect in learning and self-development practices.

2. Develop strategies to be integrated physiological, socio-cultural, and psychological beings to promote a holistic awareness of lifelong learning throughout their lives.

3. Actively apply and participate in developing a lifelong commitment to health for both personal well being (such as physical, financial, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social/interpersonal, and/or environmental aspects) and societal responsibility.

4. Develop themselves as responsible citizens, employees and employers, family members and members of the global society. Examples of relevant topics in Area E include, but are not limited to:

Human behavior



Physical and mental health

Stress management

Financial literacy

Social and political relationships

Environmental sustainability

Implications of death and dying

Media literacy

This course is designed to meet both the C.3.b and E goals. Specifically, regarding the C.3.b goals, by bringing in readings from classical ethical theory, economics and finance theory, we will understand more clearly issues in corporate governance. Additionally, we will use the readings and discussions to understand issues in the rights and responsibilities of employees, as well as the pricing, production and marketing of products, and the responsibilities of businesses to maintain the environment. We also will use this cross-disciplinary perspective to understand the accelerating globalization of the economy and the ethical issues it raises.

This course is also intended to satisfy the Lifelong Learning goals. Most students will likely work for private industry during their working lives. By developing a broad based cross-disciplinary understanding of business, the student is in a position to better grow during the course of his/her career. Also, given the centrality of business in our political and economic environment, this multi-disciplinary awareness will enable the student to have an increased basis for civic responsibility.



UPS 240.100 prohibits “conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a student’s academic performance, creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or otherwise adverse learning environment, or adversely affecting any student’s access to campus programs, services and benefits.” This policy applies to both faculty and students. Here is the relevant section:

UPS 240.100



It is the policy of California State University, Fullerton and the California State University to maintain a working and learning environment free from sexual harassment of its students, employees and those who apply for student or employee status. Sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the

Higher Education Amendments of 1972, and the California Education Code 89535.

Executive Order 345 Prohibition of Sexual Harassment also prohibits sexual harassment within the California State University System. The University will not tolerate sexual

harassment and will take action to eliminate such behavior.


Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual;

3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment [Citation: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Sexual Harassment];

4. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with a student’s academic

performance, creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or otherwise adverse learning environment, or adversely affecting any student’s access to campus programs, services and benefits.


The President is responsible for the implementation of this policy, establishment of procedures for the resolution of complaints, and preparation of periodic status reports. All supervisors and managers are responsible for the implementation of this policy and maintaining a working and learning environment free from sexual harassment.

This policy and a listing of offices designated to receive complaints shall be widely disseminated to all members of the University community and publicized in official campus publications.


The procedure shall conform to the following general principles:

1. The policy and procedures shall be enforced in a manner consistent with due process protections, including the right of any individual charged with a violation to notice

and a hearing.

2. Confidentiality shall be of primary importance insofar as may be consistent with due process.

3. Informal resolution shall be the established practice for minor conflicts and disputes. Major disputes and recurring minor incidents of intentionally discriminatory behavior should be addressed through formal resolution.

4. Records shall be maintained which are adequate for statistical and policy review. Record keeping must not be inconsistent with, and must not take priority over, confidentiality and a preference for informal dispute resolution.

5. Any member of the campus community may use the procedures except as otherwise provided for under an agreement between a collective bargaining unit and the University. Faculty, staff and administrative employees should refer to the appropriate collective bargaining agreement for filing complaints of harassment,

Executive Order 419 Discrimination Complaints for Employees Not Covered by Existing Regulation or Executive Order 675 System-wide Complaint Procedure for Discrimination Complaints by Employees Not Eligible to File a Discrimination Complaint or Grievance Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, and should contact any of these offices for assistance: Affirmative Action, Associate Vice President Academic Affairs, or Human Resources.

6. Students and employees who knowingly file fraudulent complaints under this policy and implementing procedures are subject to disciplinary action.

7. Students and employees will not be subject to retaliation for filing legitimate complaints.



Students with disabilities who need support services should identify themselves to the instructor when convenient. If you are taking the test under special conditions, the necessary paperwork should be submitted prior to the test. Any such student can do this during my office hours or on my office phone to protect student anonymity.

For further information, consult: DISABLED STUDENT SERVICES

University Hall 101

657-278-3117 (V) 278-2408 (FAX)

The Office of Disabled Student Services provides assistance and offers support services to students with temporary and permanent disabilities. The purpose of this program is to make all of the university’s educational, cultural, social, and physical facilities and programs accessible to students with orthopedic, functional, perceptual and/or learning disabilities. The program serves as the delegated authority on campus to review documentation and prescribe specific accommodations for students with disabilities. The professional and support staff are experienced in serving the particular needs of persons with disabilities. The program works in close cooperation with other university departments in order to provide a full range of services. These services include academic accommodations (readers, note takers, ASL interpreters/RTC, alternative testing), accessible technology and instructional materials, counseling, temporary disabled person parking, application assistance and priority registration, as well as academic advisement, career counseling and job-placement, housing and transportation referral and advocacy.

The program also provides diagnostic assessment, counseling, advisement, advocacy and supportive services for students with psychological and other functional and/or learning disabilities. The  program encourages involvement and input from students, faculty and staff in order to maintain a responsive and quality program.

Information regarding programs and services available to students with permanent and temporary disabilities may be obtained from the Office of Disabled Student Services.



Students should acquaint themselves with the Campus Emrgency Procedures plan at:


DIAL 9-1-1
All campus phones and cell phones on campus reach the University Police Department

Non-emergency line: (657) 278-2515

24-hour recorded emergency information line: (657) 278-0911
(657) 278-4444