GRA 6038 Applied Business Ethics

GRA 6038 Applied Business Ethics

Course code: 
GRA 6038
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Øyvind Kvalnes
Course name in Norwegian: 
Applied Business Ethics
Product category: 
MSc - Core course
2017 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course explores ethical challenges in business, and presents conceptual tools to handle dilemmas and polarities in the workplace.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The student will become familiar with the basic concepts of business ethics, and their links to core business objectives and strategies. They will learn about the triple-bottom line of business, the responsibility towards owners, society and the environment. Communication culture is a key element in working with ethics in a business community, and the students will gain knowledge about ways to enhance dialogue about ethics in the workplace. They will also learn about the current debate concerning Homo Economicus and alternative conceptions of human nature and moral psychology.

Learning outcomes - Skills

Dilemma training will be a core activity in the course. The purpose of the training will be to prepare the students for the dilemmas they will encounter in future employment situations. They will learn to provide justification for their choices, and to analyze disagreement about moral issues. Through familiarity with ethical theories, concepts and principles, they will become better equipped to navigate in business environments where dilemmas are commonplace.

Learning Outcome - Reflection

The students will be able to view their own professional education and practice in the light of possible effects on society and the environment. They will gain insight into the requirements necessary to establish sustainable business, and recognize ethics as an integral part of any high level professional competence. The course will encourage them to acknowledge that the triple-bottom line of business has personal ramifications, shaping the individual's responsibilities at work.

Course content
  • Business Ethics: Tools, Concepts and Principles
  • Dilemma Training
  • Homo Economicus and Moral Psychology
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Countering Corruption
  • Ethics in the Professions: Coping with Conflict of Interest
  • Communication, Reputation and Identity
  • Ethics and Investment
Learning process and requirements to students

The course will consist of four 3-hour plenary sessions, four 3-hour group sessions and two 6-hour dilemma workshops. The plenary and group sessions will present the main concepts and ideas, and provide the students with cases to discuss. In the group sessions the students will be devided into 4 groups, while in the dilemma workshops they will be devided into 8 groups. Each student can participate in 12 hours of plenary teaching, 12 hours of group teaching and 12 hours of dilemma workshop activities.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on It's learning or text book.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Mandatory22It is a requirement that each student must have written two papers containing an analysis of a dilemma or case in order to take the final exam. The students can cooperate in groups in writing the papers.
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Mandatory
Courseworks given:2
Courseworks required:2
Comment coursework:It is a requirement that each student must have written two papers containing an analysis of a dilemma or case in order to take the final exam. The students can cooperate in groups in writing the papers.
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
24 Hour(s)
A 24-hour take-home examination concludes the course. The examination will require the students to analyze a case through the use of theories, concepts and principles from the curriculum.
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.