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PHL 485: Business Ethics and Individual Values

Course Description

This course will focus on reviewing everal major ethical theories. Students will be asked to examine personal values through readings and workplace analysis, and to formulate a management philosophy incorporating business ethics, government accountability, human rights, and a responsible lifestyle in the contemporary world. (3 credits)


  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Become familiar with the fundamental elements for the ancient religious traditions of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.
  2. Identify the time management approach one is currently using.
  3. Assess one’s "addiction to urgency" and "endowments."
  4. Identify and describe Covey's Four Human Needs and Capacities and the True North principles.
  5. Define business ethics and to differentiate it from social responsibility.
  6. Describe major developments in the evolution of business ethics in North America.
  7. Describe the "rule of thumb" for determining whether a behavior or business situation has an ethical component.
  8. Describe the fundamental elements for Marx (Modern), Aquinas (Medieval) and Aristotle (Classical).
  9. Identify the participant's seven key "roles," including goals and "tributes," and to name person(s) to whom he/she feels a sense of accountability.
  10. Describe the Quadrant II organizing process, its purpose, and how it is accomplished.
  11. Explain why and how to set principle-centered goals.
  12. Identify 3-5 "big rocks" in his/her life and to describe how Quadrant II organizing relates to them.
  13. Explain the "sharpening the saw" concept and how it relates to the Quadrant II process.
  14. Describe the role of the "four human endowments" in balancing roles, goals, mission, needs, and principles.
  15. Describe the three moral philosophies - Teleology, Deontology, and Relativism.
  16. Define and to apply the following ethical terms - consequentialism, egoism, enlightened egoism, utilitarianism, ethical formalism, and virtue ethics.
  17. Be able to give examples of economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic problems.
  18. Describe how the factors in the Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making interact to influence ethical or unethical behavior.
  19. Identify how organizational goals, structure, culture, work groups, role stress, ethical policies, and reward systems affect ethical behavior within an organization.
  20. Describe the purpose, benefits, and types of issues in an organizational culture Ethics Audit.
  21. Describe strategies for cultivating "integrity in the moments of choice," and balancing daily tasks and crises with goals and commitments.
  22. Develop a personal Mission Statement or vision describing his/her meaning and purpose(s) in life.
  23. Describe and to provide an example of the significance of "opportunity" in influencing ethical behavior in the organization.
  24. Provide an example for each type of conflict: personal-organizational, personal-societal, and organizational-societal.
  25. Explain a strategy for achieving 3 of the 7 Minimum Requirements for Ethical Compliance Programs.
  26. Describe the purposes, benefits, and procedures for conducting an ethical compliance audit.
  27. Describe common features of company codes of ethics.
  28. Provide examples of differing global ethical views in the areas of sexual and racial discrimination, price discrimination, bribery, harmful products, and telecommunications.
  29. Explain the features of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness (OTC) Act.
  30. Describe features of The Caux Round Table.
  31. Describe what makes fourth generation time management unique and "transformational," and how it shifts us from the "things" paradigm to the "people" paradigm.
  32. Describe the role of win-win philosophy, shared vision, and synergistic roles and goals in fourth generation interdependence.
  33. Describe one’s own worldview using supporting evidence from one’s own religious tradition, the readings, experience or other factors that have shaped it.
  34. Identify and describe one’s own moral philosophy and ethical principles.
  35. Apply ethical principles in a case study analysis.
  36. Be exposed to and reflect upon current issues.
  37. Understand the characteristics of "Principle-Centered People."

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading


Participation (Weeks 1-7)


Individual Written Assignments (Weeks 1-5)


Team Assignments (Weeks 2 & 4)


Quizzes (Weeks 5 & 6)


Topical Threaded Discussion (Weeks 3, 5, 6 & 8)


Individual Essay (Week 7)


Summary Paper (Week 8)




Required Textbooks

Available through
  • Covey, S., Merrill, A. R., & Merrill, R. R. First things first. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. ISBN-10: 0-684-80203-1 or ISBN-13: 978-0-684-80203-9
  • Ferrell, O.C., Fraedrich, J. and Ferrell, L. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. 12th ed. Cengage Learning, 2019. ISBN-13: 978-1-337-61443-6

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments



Readings: Team Formation

  • Business Ethics: Chapters 1-3
  • First Things First: Chapters 1-3
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Individual Written Assignment




  • First Things First: Chapters 4-7
  • Independent web research
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Individual Written Assignment
  • Team Assignment




  • Business Ethics: Chapters 4-7
  • First Things First: Chapters 8-10
  • Independent web research
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Individual Written Assignment
  • Topical Threaded Discussion Assignment




  • Review Case 3 "WalMart Manages Ethics and Compliance Challenges" in Business Ethics
  • First Things First: Chapters 11-13
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Individual Written Assignment
  • Team Assignment




  • Business Ethics: Chapters 8-12
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Individual Written Assignment
  • Topical Threaded Discussion Assignment
  • Quiz 1




  • Business Ethics: Cases 12, 14 and 19
  • First Things First: Chapters 14 and 15
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Topical Threaded Discussion Assignment
  • Quiz 2



Readings: None

  • Individual Essay Due
  • Critical Responses



Readings: None

  • Topical Threaded Discussion Assignment
  • Summary Paper Due
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

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Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.