Module Details

BE439-6-AU-CO: Business Ethics

Year: 2017/18
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No
Pre-requisites: BE410

Supervisor: Dr Pasi Ahonen
Teaching Staff: Sandra Moog, Ahonen Pasi
Contact details:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This 10 week module builds upon your existing understandings of management and organisation by considering specifically the ethics of, and in, business. The emergent field of Business Ethics (and associated fields of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability) have made particular contributions in shaping an ethical examination of business. In this module you will be introduced to the origins, practice and theory of Business Ethics. You will be provided with the conceptual and theoretical resources to examine critically the nature of its contributions. Identifying particular assumptions that inform but also constrain the Business Ethics field the module also explores a number of wider literatures and perspectives that provide further resources for a critical examination of the ethics of business.

Module aims
1. Provide an understanding of business and management as a complex and contested ethical terrain.

2. Provide an appreciation of the emergent discipline of Business Ethics and enable students to identify, explore and critique its contributions.

3. Develop students' appreciation of the basis of ethical reflexivity and agency and awareness of potential inhibitors to their expression in an organised context.

4. Through class discussion, reading, participation and assessment develop students' abilities to engage in critical argumentation that is informed by, and sensitive to, their own and others' ethical perspectives and values.

Module outcomes
By the end of the module the students should be able to:

1. Understand a range of ethical factors in, and perspectives, practices and critiques of, business and organisation.

2. Develop greater sensitivity and awareness of implied and explicit ethical assumptions and beliefs in their own and others' argumentation.

3. Critically analyse, using appropriate ethical concepts and theory, management and business practices and the contribution of the field of Business Ethics towards enhancing ethical accountability in business.

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module will be delivered through a mixture of formal lectures and classes.


40 per cent Coursework Mark, 60 per cent Exam Mark


Assessment One: Group Presentation: 15 minute (25%) Assessment Two: 3,000 word written essay; (75%)

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.

Other information

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

1. Written Communication
2. Oral Communication
3. Research Skills
4. Critical Thinking
5. Teamwork-Collaboration
6. Digital and Technical Fluency


  • All reading lists are available here: (Essex login required).

Further information

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Dr Emma Surman
    Institution: The University of Keele
    Academic Role: Lecturer