Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    The R. B. Pamplin College of Business

    Department of Management

COURSE: MGT 6324 Teaching Ethics and Social Issues (PhD Seminar)

SESSION: Spring 2005

PROFESSOR: Richard Wokutch

     2007 Pamplin Hall, Phone: (540) 231-6353

     Fax: (540) 231-3076


     Mailing Address: 2007 Pamplin Hall

     Department of Management (0233)

     Virginia Tech

     Blacksburg, VA 24061

    OFFICE HOURS: Thursdays: 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop by visits, phone calls, and e-mail contacts are welcome

    at other times as well.


AACSB. ―Accreditation Standards.‖, p. 15,

    (accessed October 27, 2004).

    Collins, D. and Wartick, S. ―Business and Society/Business Ethics Courses: Twenty years at the crossroads.‖

     Business & Society. Vol. 34, 1995, pp. 51-89.

Rossouw, G. J. ―Three Approaches to Teaching Business Ethics.‖ Teaching Business Ethics. Vol. 6, 2002, pp.


Sims, R. R. ―Business Ethics Teaching for Effective Learning.‖ Teaching Business Ethics. Vol. 6, 2002, pp. 411-


    Waddock, Sandra, A. (Volume Editor). James E. Post (Series Editor). Research in Corporate Social Performance

    and Policy. Supplement 2. Greenwich, CN: JAI Press, 1997.


We will likely add to this readings list as we go along.


    Ethics and social issues are increasingly important issues in business and in business education today. In the aftermath of ethical scandals in business such as those that have occurred at Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia, and others calls for greater integration of ethics into the business curriculum have become increasingly frequent and intense. The AACSB, the accrediting body for business schools worldwide has emphasized the importance of member schools providing ethics education for business students, stating that ―Normally, the curriculum management process will result in undergraduate and master‘s level general management degree programs that

    will include learning experiences in such management- specific knowledge and skills areas as: Ethical and legal responsibilities in organizations and society‖ (AACSB.

    04.pdf, p. 15, accessed October 27, 2004.)


    Ethics and social issues have been a traditional area of strength of the Department of Management and this course builds upon that strength. Having the ability to integrate the consideration of ethical and social issues into the various management courses they teach will be a distinctive advantage for our doctoral students when they go out onto the job market and begin their teaching careers. They will provide additional value to their schools and their students and enhance the reputation of our program.


    Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1) Explain basic ethical principles, including ethical relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, rights-based

    ethics, justice-based ethics, and enlightened self-interest.

    2) Understand and apply a 7-step model for ethical decision-making

    3) Explain the relevance of ethical issues to other areas of management and lead student discussions of

    these issues.

    4) Critically evaluate teaching techniques and classroom materials, including readings, cases, videos,

    and exercises for their own use in other management classes.

    5) Lead a case discussion on the ethical implications of business decisions in a variety of management

    classes (e.g. strategy, human resource management, entrepreneurship, leadership, international



    In order to familiarize you with the subject content and teaching materials in the ethics and social issues area, students will be asked to sit in on a number of classes of MGT 5384 (Ethical Dimensions of Leadership) and prepare the reading material for that class. Thus, I am attaching a copy of the syllabus for MGT 5384 at the end of this syllabus. The doctoral seminar will meet weekly to discuss pedagogical aspects of the material being covered in the MGT 5384 course and other issues. On the MGT 5384 syllabus, material listed in italics pertains to

    items that will be covered in the doctoral seminar. There are also italicized comments pertaining to MGT 5384 classes (or portions of classes) that it will not be necessary for you to attend.

    Each student will be asked to present a lecture or case discussion pertaining to ethics and social issues towards the end of the term. If you are teaching a class this term, this may be delivered in your own class and should be tailored to the subject matter of the course. (In the event you are teaching the Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility course, an appropriate class will be selected).

    Each student will also be asked to prepare a short (6-8 page) paper reviewing the literature on teaching ethics in his/her major area of study (or minor area in the case of student focusing on social issues/ethics)


     Grading for the various course components will be aggregated according to the following weighting scheme to determine final grades.

     Component Weight

     Class Participation 40% Social Issues/Ethics Lecture 30%

    Paper 30%

6324sysp05.doc 2

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    The R. B. Pamplin College of Business

COURSE: Mgt. 5384 Ethical Dimensions of Leadership

SESSION: Spring 2005

PROFESSOR: Richard Wokutch

     2007 Pamplin Hall, Phone: (540) 231-6353

     Fax: (540) 231-3076


     Mailing Address: 2007 Pamplin Hall

     Department of Management (0233)

     Virginia Tech

     Blacksburg, VA 24061

    OFFICE HOURS: Thursdays: 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop by visits, phone calls, and e-mail contacts are welcome

    at other times as well.

     th Edition. Stamford, CT: Wadsworth. TEXT: Shaw, William H. 2002. Business Ethics. 4


    READINGS: Donaldson, Thomas. 1996. Values in tension: Ethics away from home. Harvard Business

    Review. September-October: 4-12.

    Goleman, D. 1998. What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review. November-

    December, 93-102.

    Katz, J. P. 1995. Levi Strauss & Co.: Global sourcing (A). Boston, MA: Harvard

    Business School.

    Spar, D. L. 2000. Hitting the Wall: Nike and international labor practices. Boston, MA:

    Harvard Business School.


    The text, cases, and readings are available through the University Bookstore, Volume Two Bookstore, and Tech Bookstore. Other readings will be available on-line. Supplemental materials will be distributed in class or electronically. A number of readings are available on electronic reserve in the library. The student is also expected to keep informed of current events relevant to the subject matter of this course by paying close attention to radio and television newscasts and the printed media, e.g., the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York

    Times, Time, and Newsweek. Current events will be stressed in class discussion, cases, and other activities.


     This course examines conduct in business within the context of moral philosophy. Emphasis is placed on the relevance of philosophical theories of morality to leadership and decision making in organizations.


     The central aim of this course is to explore the ethical dimensions of leadership and by so doing encourage ethically sound leadership among the future leaders and managers who take this course. It is recognized that education and training in ethics does not guarantee ethical behavior, nevertheless it can be an important part of encouraging it. Thus there are several learning goals: 1) to gain an understanding of moral reasoning including concepts of justice, rights, and the common good; 2) to learn how to apply these ethical frameworks to the resolution of ethical dilemmas in business; 3) to gain an understanding of the principles and techniques for the management and leadership of ethics and corporate social responsibility in business organizations; and 4) to learn how to manage relationships with and to resolve the demands of the corporation‘s various stakeholders (i.e.

    6324sysp05.doc 3

    employees, consumers, stockholders, suppliers, etc.). Also, in keeping with the goals of the Pamplin College of Business, exercise of written and oral communication skills will be heavily emphasized in this course. Students who need additional assistance in developing their writing skills are encouraged to contact the Virginia Tech Writing Center located in Shanks Hall (231-5436).

     In order to achieve the above goals we will pursue a number of related objectives:

    1. to develop an awareness of the importance of ethics and leadership through consideration

    of ethical controversies reported in the news and portrayed in films;

    2. to facilitate the recognition of how one‘s own values, ideology, and ethical orientation

    influence one‘s views on corporate social issues and to learn how to view issues from other


    3. to examine effective and ineffective corporate responses to strategic threats in the

    environment and by so doing to enhance one‘s ability to lead in the formulation and

    implementation of effective ones;

    4. to develop some practical leadership and decision making skills regarding corporate social

    responsibility and ethical issues;

    5. to gain experience in community service and servant leadership through participation in a

    service learning project; and

    6. to have FUN!

     By drawing upon the conceptual frameworks introduced in this course and by employing analytical skills from other courses, it will be possible to develop well reasoned, theoretically- and empirically-based viewpoints on controversial issues. Ethical reasoning, by definition, takes the interests of others into account, but there are many morally legitimate ways to do that. Thus, there will for the most part be no one right answer to questions raised in

    this course. There will, of course, be ―wrong‖ answers to the extent that they are based on inaccurate information, incomplete understanding of theories and concepts of the course, faulty reasoning, or the failure to take the interests of others into account. So instead of fixating on finding the ―one right answer‖ to such questions, we will seek a more modest goal of eliminating wrong answers so that only ethically and strategically viable options remain. Moreover the ability to develop a logically coherent moral rationale for the position one takes regarding such controversies will typically be more important than the actual position taken.

     As a student taking this course, you will need to take responsibility for your own learning and for integrating the class material into your own understanding of leadership and ethics that you will apply in your future career. As the instructor, I will be a guide and facilitator in the learning process and I will be responsible for creating an environment in which that learning and integration are possible.


    Your first assignment is to fill out the biographical background sheet requesting contact information at the end of this syllabus. This is due at the end of class January 20.

    Unless otherwise noted, assignments must be submitted typed in hard copy form, double-spaced, with 11-point font and one-inch margins. Electronic submissions of work will not be accepted unless

    specifically requested in that form.


     Grading for the various course components will be aggregated according to the following weighting scheme to determine final grades. Final grades will be assigned using the "+" and "-" option. 6324sysp05.doc 4

     Component Weight Grading Scale

     Class Participation 22% A = 93-100% A- = 90-92.99% Mid-Term Exam 26%

    Final Exam 20% B+ = 87.5-89.

     B = 83-87.49%

     Other Assignments 12% B- = 80-82.99%

     Service Learning (SL) Project 20%* C+ = 77.5-79.99%

     C= 73-77.49%

    *Service Learning Project Breakdown

     SL Notebook 6

     Pre-project SL Paper 3

     Memo to SL Supervisor 2

     Final SL Paper 6

     Completion of Responsibilities at

     SL/Volunteer Organization 3

     Total 20%

    The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor System is in full effect in this course. Students should familiarize themselves with the Graduate Honor System's guidelines with respect to all appropriate behaviors. Unless an activity is specifically designated a group project, all work should be done strictly on your own. Use of "koofers" (i.e., old homework, assignments, exams, etc. from previous sections of this course) is explicitly forbidden. It is the obligation of the student to inform me of any conflicts or schedule problems that may arise from the observance of religious holidays. Also, please let me know if you have any disability that would affect your performance in this course.

     All late work will be penalized, with the severity of the penalty depending on how late the work is submitted, and the time sensitivity of the assignment. You should keep an extra copy of all work submitted as well as all returned work until after you have received the final grade for this course. This will protect

    you in case there is any mistake in the recording of grades.


    There will be two exams: an in-class midterm exam and a take-home final exam. Both of these will be in essay format. In lieu of an in-class final exam, all students will have the opportunity to participate in an extra-credit activity at the scheduled exam time.


     As you may already know, being successful in the real world requires your participation in activities and decisions within the groups and organizations with which you are involved. The same applies to this class. Students are responsible for being prepared to analyze and discuss in class all readings, cases, and issues covered during the term. Students are also expected to be prepared to discuss relevant events taking place during the term. The importance of this class participation is reflected in the course component weightings above.

     The following excerpt from Harvard Business School publication on case-oriented courses should be used as a guide for effective student participation in the course:

    On the student's side, it is necessary that each be committed to the '4 Ps' of student involvement

    in case discussions:

    1. Preparation. If the student does not read and analyze the case, and then formulate an

    action plan, the case discussion will mean little.

6324sysp05.doc 5

    2. Presence. If the student is not present, she or he cannot learn and, more important, cannot

    add her or his unique thoughts and insights to the group discussion.

    3. Promptness. Students who enter the classroom late disrupt the discussion and deprecate

    the decorum of the process.

    4. Participation. Each student's learning is best facilitated by regular participation. More

    important, the case student has the responsibility to share his or her understanding and 1 judgment with the class to advance the group's collective skills and knowledge.

    Thus if you seek to get a good grade in this course you must be prepared and present for class sessions, you should be ready to start on-time, and you should actively participate in class discussions. Attendance of class is a necessary condition of class participation, but it does not, in itself, constitute participation. Participation includes answering questions when called upon, volunteering to answer questions or offering comments in discussions, asking relevant questions yourself or otherwise contributing to the classroom learning experience. Occasionally class discussions will get intense; but I will attempt to make sure that everyone has a chance to participate. Waiting your turn to speak and observing other common courtesies will therefore be important. Students who are not able to make their comments during class time are invited to submit them electronically to me or to electronic discussions groups we will set up.

    I will evaluate participation both in terms of quality and quantity following each class session and will provide feedback during the term. Comments that are relevant to the ongoing discussion and that reflect an understanding of course readings and conceptual materials covered in class will be viewed especially favorably.

    Behaviors that will affect your class participation grade negatively include the following:

    ; Missing class

    ; Being late for class

    ; Disrupting opportunities for other students to learn

    ; Being unprepared for class

    Please also be sure to leave your cell phones at home or to turn them off in class.

    There will be several randomly scheduled written in-class exercises that will also contribute to your class participation grade. These will not be announced and cannot be made up if you are absent. The one lowest grade you receive for these exercises will, however, be dropped. Please note that I do not differentiate between ―excused‖ and ―unexcused‖ absences in evaluating class participation as I do not want to be in the position of attempting to

    judge the validity of excuses.



    During the term each student will have the opportunity to discuss some current news item that is related to the course. In a period of time of not more than three minutes you should tell us what the news story is about

    and where you heard/read about it, offer an ethical judgment about the action(s) of the individuals involved justified by some ethical criterion discussed in class, and provide some recommendation for what now should be done to resolve the issue. This will enable students to help set the agenda for issues we discuss in class and it will provide an opportunity to develop public speaking and ethical analysis skills.

     1Harvard Business School. 1984. Hints for Case Teaching. Boston, p. 3.

    6324sysp05.doc 6


    Each student will also have the opportunity to share with the rest of the class a favorite scene from a film (or television show) of one‘s choosing that provides a good example of ethical or unethical leadership. The scene should be no more than 3-5 minutes in length. The student should set up the scene (i.e., provide some context regarding how it relates to the plot of the film) and provide some commentary regarding why he/she thinks it demonstrates ethical or unethical leadership. The set-up, showing of the scene, and commentary should take no more than 5-8 minutes, total. Exceeding that limit will be viewed negatively.


    An increasingly popular view of leadership today is the notion of servant leadership. Leadership in this sense is viewed as a form of service to our colleagues and our community. And service learning projects are being used increasingly frequently in academic settings to provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in servant leadership through actively participating in meeting the needs of the community. These experiences enable students to apply things they learn in the classroom to a real-world setting. As members of the business community, you will be considered a community leader; most of you will join professional and other organizations that provide community services (e.g., Kiwanis, Rotary, Junior League, Jaycees, Lions, etc.). In addition it is very likely that your employer will sponsor community service projects in which you will be encouraged to participate. Your participation in projects as a part of this class will provide valuable insight into your future.

    You will be attending a special service learning orientation session for our class during regular class time on Thursday, January 20. If you miss that you will need to attend a general service learning orientation session during that week (January 17-21see me for details). All students should check out the Service Learning Center web page at

    You will need to sign up for 15 hours of service learning project time. In recognition of the time involved in this project I have cancelled one class during the term and will dismiss class early several evenings. All your service learning hours should be completed prior to April 21.

Memo to Service Learning Supervisor (due February 17): After meeting with the individual who will be

    supervising your service learning project at your selected agency you are to write that person a memo, with a copy sent to me, confirming your understanding of what you will be doing this term. This memo is to be written in standard memo form. (We will discuss this in class.) Based on feedback from students it is clear that one of the greatest potential threats to a valuable service learning experience is a misunderstanding between the supervisor and student regarding the nature of his/her responsibilities. The purpose of this memo is to prevent such misunderstandings from occurring.

    Pre-Project Service Learning Paper (due February 17): Before you actually begin working on your service learning project but no later than February 17, you should write a short paper (approximately 3 double-spaced pages in length) addressing your expectations. You should address such questions as the following:

1. What do you think your project or the service agency will be like?

    2. What do you think you will do?

    3. Why did you pick this particular project?

    4. What impact do you think you will have?

    5. Do you foresee any problems in your participation in the project and what can be done to address them? 6. What are the social and ethical issues that this project or service agency addresses?

    7. How does this project or agency address community needs?

    8. What are the causes of those community needs?

    9. How do people contribute to this problem?

    10. How can people help to solve the problem?

    Service Learning Notebook (due April 21): Your service learning notebook should include both a record of what you did in your service learning project as well as your reflections on how you felt about what you did. It should contain whatever information you collect on your service learning agency and on your particular service learning project. This information might include brochures, photos, newspaper clippings, etc. As a journal, it should include your 6324sysp05.doc 7

    personal reflections on the project. Once you have started the project, you should keep diary-type notes whenever you participate in the project. These notes may be handwritten and they should answer questions such as the following:

1. What did you do today that made you feel that you made a difference? Why?

    2. Did anything surprise you? If so, what?

    3. What is the most positive thing that happened in your service experience today?

    4. Did anything happen that made you feel uncomfortable? If so, what?

    5. Is there a person or activity you find interesting or challenging in your project?

    6. Why do you think it made you feel that way?

    7. Has there been a problem situation that you want to discuss with your supervisor or instructor? (Note: please

    feel free to contact me as problems arise.)

    8. Have your thoughts about the agency with which you are volunteering, the problems it addresses, or the value

    of the volunteer experience changed in any way as a result of your experience today? How and why?

    Final Service Learning Paper (due April 21): After you complete your service for the semester, you should write a paper (approximately 5 double-spaced pages) summarizing what you learned from the project. The questions below should serve as guides for the paper. The difference between this paper and your notebook is that the paper should offer a more complete and well-organized reflection on the entire experience and how it relates to your future as a contributing member of society and an ethical leader in your community and in the organizations in which you work.

1. What are the social issues that this project or service agency addresses?

    2. How does this project or agency address community needs?

    3. What are the causes of those community needs?

    4. How do people contribute to this problem?

    5. How can we help to solve it?

    6. How has your understanding of the community, the agency with which you volunteered, the underlying problem

    it addresses, and the value of community service changed as a result of your participation in this project? 7. Would you recommend that others volunteer with this organization?

    8. How can you educate others or raise awareness about this group or social issue?

    9. What do you think was the most valuable contribution of your project?

    10. What have you learned from any disappointments or successes of your project and what would you have

    done differently if you were starting the project over again?

    11. What advice would you give future students who are considering volunteering with this agency?


    The following is a tentative schedule for the course; there likely will be changes during the term. It is the responsibility of each student to be alert for any announcements pertaining to the schedule that might be made in class or sent via e-mail and to respond appropriately.

    MGT 5384

    Reading Assignments

     2Class # Date Topic(s) Assignment

     01 1/20/05 Introduction the Course Assignment

    Service Learning Orientation a

02 1/27/05 Introduction to Business Ethics Schneider, ―Learning to Put Ethics Last

    Case: Propmore Corporation

     2 Page numbers refer to the page numbers of the original publication. The readings should be completed before the

    class for which they are assigned.

6324sysp05.doc 8

    Shaw, pp. xi-xii, 1-33;

    Arthur Andersen & Co., Propmore Corporation Case,‖

    pp. I-1-I-5 parts II and III (to be distributed);

    Gini, ―Moral Leadership and Business Ethics‖ pp. 27-45;

     Cooke, ―Ethics in Business,‖ pp. 1-13.

03 2/3/05 Leadership and Ethics Freeman and Gilbert, ―The Problem of Relativism,‖ pp.


    Velasquez, Moberg & Cavanagh ―Organizational

    Statesmanship,‖ pp. 65-80;

    Shaw, pp. 43-75.

     04 2/10/05 Leadership and Ethics in the Popular Goleman, pp. 93-102.


    Film: Twelve Angry Men

05 2/17/05 Leadership and Ethics Cont. Shaw, pp. 75-79, 156-182;

    Business Ethics and Corporate Social Friedman, ―Social Responsibility of Business‖ pp. 145-

    Responsibility 150.

    Case: The Ford Pinto

    SL Memo and SL Pre-project paper due

06 2/24/03 Corporate Social Responsibility Cont. Royal "The Art of Giving," pp. 17-24;

    Case: Merck and Company (video case) Shaw, pp. 122-144;

     Stone, ―Why the Market Can‘t Do It,‖ ―Why the Law

     Can‘t Do It,‖ pp. 88-110;

    Friedman and Friedman, ―Who Protects the Consumer?‖

    pp. 189-194, 203-227.

     3/3/05 Work dayno class

     3/10/05 Spring Breakno class

07 3/17/05 Ethics in the Classroom: Guest speaker, Shaw, pp.296-303,306-309;

    Greg Lemmond, VT Graduate Honor Carson, Verdu, and Wokutch, ―Whistle-blowing for

    System Profit: An ethical analysis of the Federal False Claims

    Ethical Leadership and Whistleblowing Act‖ (to be distributed);

    Film: The Insider Time, ―Persons of the Year 2002.‖

    08 3/24/05 International Business Ethics Donaldson, ―Values in Tension,‖ pp. 48-62;

    Case: Levi Strauss & Co Katz, ―Levi Strauss & Co.: Global Sourcing (A)‖

    6324sysp05.doc 9

09a 3/30/05 Guest Speaker: Randy Thurman, CEO of

    VIASYS Healthcare

    Special time and location to be


    09b 3/31/05 Mid-term Exam

    Class dismisses early

    10 4/7/05 Guest Speakers: Mark Lawrence and Mitroff, et al. ―Effective Crisis Management,‖

    Daniel Barchi, Carillion pp. 283-293;

     Kiger, ―The Art of the Apology,‖ pp. 57-62

    Reconciling Personal and Organizational

    Values in the Job Search Process

    Leadership in Critical Times/Crisis


11 4/14/05 International Business Ethics Cont. Spar, ―Hitting the Wall: Nike and International Labor

    Case: Nike and Sweatshop Labor Practices‖;

    Wokutch, ―Nike and Its Critics‖ pp. 207-237.

    Ho, ―Rising Above Sweatshops‖ (to be distributed)

12 4/21/05 International Business Ethics: Japanese Wokutch, ―Corporate Social Responsibility, Japanese

    Management and Corporate Social Style,‖ pp. 56-74 ;

    Responsibility Wokutch, ―Myths of the Japanese Factory,‖ pp. 10A.

    Reflections on Service Learning

    SL Notebook and Final SL Paper due

    13 4/25/05 Special time and location for guest Pillmore, ―How We‘re Fixing Up Tyco;‖

    speaker: Eric Pillmore, Burruss Hall Thottam, ‗Can This Man Save Tyco?‖

    Auditorium 7:00PM

    14 4/28/05 Case: Tyco Case to be distributed

    Class dismisses early

15 5/5/05 Moral/Ethical Leaders in Films

    Course Wrap-up

16 5/10/05 Final Exam (7:00 p.m.)

    6324sysp05.doc 10

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