Course code PHI301

PHI301 Corporate Social Responsibility - Business Ethics

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Fredrik Andersen
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2007-2008
Last time: 2022V
Course contents:

In this course we investigate how different theories of business ethics motivate diverging types analyzes and actions. A central point being that there are no neutral vantage points. In order to show how these theories function in practice, we look at traditional and contemporary problems such as corruption, hidden marketing, slave labor, child labor and tax avoidance. In addition, we discuss businesses and their responsibilities toward stakeholders such as employees, customers, the environment, and civil society.

The theoretical foundations are business ethical frameworks such as shareholder theory, stakeholder theory, corporate social responsibility, and corporate citizenship. These are combined with general ethical theories such as conventionalism, utilitarianism, duty ethics, and virtue ethics.

The main purpose of the course is to show the reasoning behind, as well as the effects of, different ways businesses understand their role in society.

Learning outcome:

The course shall prepare students for ethical problems, challenges and dilemmas that they will face in their future professions. In order to do so, the students should:

1) Have knowledge of different ethical and business ethical theories.

2) Be able to recognize stakeholders and assess their probable values and preferences.

3) Understand how these values and preferences are weighted differently within the different theories.

4) Analyze arguments that justify these weightings.

5) Understand the Triple Bottom Line.

6) Analyze arguments concerning the role of business in relation to UN goals for sustainability.

7) Be able to apply relevant knowledge in suggesting actions for businesses, grounded in different business ethical theories.

Learning activities:
Lectures, seminars, case studies, seminar assignment, guest lecturers.
Crane & Matten (2016). Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization. Oxford University Press (Selection 300 pages)
General knowledge in economics, administration, management, ethical theory.
Recommended prerequisites:
Examen Philosophicum.
Mandatory activity:

Students have to attend at least 65 % of the lectures/seminars. Approved obligatory activites are valid only until next time the course is offered. 

Students who have previously gotten mandatory activities approved, do not need to redo mandatory activities.

Assignment: Written assignment (100%). No re-examination.
Nominal workload:
125 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).
Type of course:
27 hours of teaching.
The course is in English if there are one or more international students. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course.
External examiner.
Examination details: Term paper: Letter grades