Corporate Responsibilities and Ethics
This course offers a multifaceted, philosophical introduction to business ethics. We begin with the “big” questions about economic life. What is the rationale for capitalism? Is it just? Who should make the most money? How should we decide who does the hard work? What role (if any) does deception play in our system?
After looking at the big issues, we will look at more concrete questions about the obligations of corporations, managers and employees. Do corporations have any obligations besides making money for their share holders? Can a manager fire an employee just because he doesn’t like him? If a multinational operates in a country where child labor is the norm, does that make it alright for the company to hire children?
Readings will be drawn from moral and political philosophy, business reviews, economics, magazines, and popular literature. Special emphasis will be placed on issues relating to labor and employment.