Business Ethics

Subject MKTG30012 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour lecture plus one 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Please refer to Recommended Background Knowledge.


Please refer to Recommended Background Knowledge.

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Please note this is a third-year level subject. Students should have completed at least 175 points of study prior to taking this subject.

Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Ben Neville


Subject Overview:

This subject addresses the ethical challenges confronting managers and marketers in contemporary business organisations. Ethically questionable practices can include sweatshop labour, the destruction of the natural environment, sex in advertising, and political lobbying and influence. But business and marketing can also demonstrate ethical leadership, for example through green products, cause-related marketing and sustainable supply chains. The subject will explore why firms respond in these ways from the context of debates on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, including strategic, ethical and critical/political perspectives. The subject then addresses what ethical issues are important to specific stakeholder groups, including employees, consumers, governments and NGO activists.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • appreciate the variety of social, political and economic forces, stakeholders and issues affecting business organisations today at global and local levels.
  • identify and analyse current public issues in the interplay between businesses and their stakeholders, such as social justice, environmental degradation, and government regulation.
  • critically evaluate the debates around ethics, social responsibilities and sustainability for business; identify the different ethical frameworks for engaging in those debates; and understand how managers and marketers can respond to calls for social responsibility and sustainability.
  • apply the above learnings to real-world cases and situations.
  • Tutorial preparation and participation throughout semester (10%
  • Two reflective essays of no more than 500 words each due in week 3 and week 11 (10%)
  • A group presentation in an assigned tutorial (10%)
  • An assignment of no more than 2000 words (individual or group) due in week 9 (20%)
  • A 2-hour end-of-semester examination (50%)
Prescribed Texts:

Crane & Matten, 2010, Business Ethics (3E), Oxford

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On successful completion of this subject, students should have improved the following generic skills:

  • critical thinking about ethical, societal and environmental issues in organised settings;
  • oral and written communication;
  • problem solving and collaborative learning;
  • synthesis of data and other information.

Download PDF version.