Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate appropriate use of business terms and concepts in their Ethics Analysis paper.
  • Students will critically analyze, evaluate and interpret information in their Ethics Analysis paper.
  • Students will demonstrate ethics and philosophy knowledge through analysis of cases, discussions, and textbook readings to develop justified arguments.


Social and moral dilemmas encountered in business and professional lives. Exploration and analysis of the ongoing conflicts between personal value systems, expected codes of behavior, evolving technology and government regulations and international issues, and standard operating procedure in the work place. Examples of major philosophical schools of ethics and how their specific theories may be applied to concrete business cases and contemporary management issues.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the major schools/theories of ethics and problem solving and how they apply to the business and professional environments.
  2. Differentiate the legal and moral dimensions of the issues that confront persons in the workplace.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of and appreciation for the ethics challenges and moral choices that business and professional organizations encounter on a daily basis within their competitive industries.
  4. Illustrate an awareness of the characteristics of sound moral reasoning as they apply to business and management issues.
  5. Develop a consistent and coherent strategy of how to examine the relative strengths and limitations of the several ethical theories.
  6. Demonstrate skills in thinking, reading, writing and oral expression as they pertain to moral reasoning relative to business theory and practice.
  7. Analyze in a skillful manner which models of ethical theory and practice can be applied and possibly implemented in today's highly competitive corporate environment.
  8. Develop an appreciation of the complexity in ethical decision making in contemporary social and business situations.

Course Content

  1. Classic moral philosophy normative theories of ethics, including:
    1. The nature of ethics and morality
    2. Normative theories of ethics
    3. Business ethics and professional ethics
    4. Threats to ethics: conventionalism, relativism
  2. Convergence of justice and economics distribution, as pertains to:
    1. The nature of justice
    2. The Utilitarian perspective of justice
    3. The Libertarian approach
    4. John Rawls, "A Theory of Justice"
  3. The nature of capitalism and the corporate world, as each impacts:
    1. Historical background of capitalism
    2. Key features of capitalism
    3. Moral justification of capitalism
    4. Criticism of capitalism
    5. Economic challenges for the 21st century
  4. Corporations' obligations and contributions to:
    1. Corporate moral agency
    2. Corporate responsibility—the social debate
    3. Business compliance vs. business ethics
    4. Business and environmental ethics
  5. Issues and challenges in the corporate workplace, as related to:
    1. Civil liberties in the workplace
    2. Personnel policies and procedures
    3. Organizational influence in private lives
    4. Working conditions
    5. Outsourcing work
  6. The moral issues and dilemmas facing today's employees, in response to:
    1. Obligations to the firm and conflict of interest
    2. Obligations to third parties
    3. Whistle blowing: professionalism and personal life
    4. Job discrimination
    5. Affirmative Action: legal and moral issues
    6. Sexual harassment
  7. The major issues of ethics in global business, impinging upon:
    1. Ethical principles and global business
    2. Ethics viewed from a multicultural perspective
    3. First world vs. Third world values in conflict
    4. Globalization: economic and ethical challenges
  8. Business and society
    1. Consumer and product safety
    2. Deception and unfairness in marketing and advertising
    3. Business and ecology
    4. Ethics of environmental protection
    5. Animal rights issues

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations
Class participation
Written critical thinking analysis
Mid-term and final examination: essay and multiple choice, covering the readings, case studies and lectures

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the language of business ethics
Instructor guides students through business ethical readings and out-of-class research for interpretation and analysis
Group presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Ferrell, O.C., J. Fraedrich, and L. Ferrell. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, 13th ed.. 2021.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly reading assignments from text and outside sources ranging from 50-100 pages per week.
  2. Weekly lecture covers subject matter from text assignment with extended topic information. Class discussion is encouraged.
  3. Exercises and demonstration include individual or group participation and covers assigned reading and lecture topics.