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Ethics: Business Ethics

Course code
Course type
BSc Course General Studies
Weekly Hours
FS 2022
Prof. Dr. Miriam Müthel
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

In this course, we focus on ethical challenges that managers are facing during their careers and discuss how these challenges can be addressed successfully.

In consequence, we will deal with ethical questions that are relevant to managers, such as:

1) “How to prepare ethically sound decisions?”

2) “How to make ethically sound decisions”

3) “What makes people tap into an ethics trap?”

4) “How should we individually respond to ethical failures?”

To address these questions, theoretical concepts and empirical findings will be introduced and then applied to real-life case studies.

Thus, above and beyond a lecturing part by the lecturer, there will be case study presentations by students. For this aim, students will be grouped in teams and each student team will prepare one case study (out of class) to be presented in class.

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 62 students. Places will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

Date Time
Wednesday, 19.01.2022 11:30 - 13:00
Wednesday, 26.01.2022 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 02.02.2022 11:30 - 15:15
Friday, 04.02.2022 11:30 - 15:15
Thursday, 10.02.2022 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 16.02.2022 11:30 - 13:00
How to prepare ethically sound decisions?
  • Analytic interpretation of facts
  • Systematic ethical decision making preparation: Developing decision making options

How to make ethically sound decisions?

  • Values- vs. consequences based ethical decision making
  • Rationalizations: Potential flaws in the decision-making process

What makes people tap into an ethics trap?

  • Individual characteristics that contribute to a lack of awareness
  • Corporate characteristics that contribute to a lack of awareness

How should we individually respond to ethical failures?

  • Individual responses to individual failure
  • Individual responses to corporate failure
Readings lists will be provided in class. Optional Readings:Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life, Ronald A. Howard & Clinton D. Korver (2008) ISBN-10: 1422121062Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right, Mary C. Gentile (2012) ISBN-10: 0300181566
Lecture, Group Cases/Exercises
Group Cases (40%), Exam (60%)
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