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Course Syllabus

Course: PHIL 1050

Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: Ethics and Business Leadership

Semester Approved: Fall 2017
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2022
End Semester: Fall 2023

Catalog Description: The Foundation of Business Leadership course at Snow College explores the philosophical and moral factors that influence professional and institutional success. Using the humanities as a platform, it considers the diverse ways that business principles have been understood and applied across time and cultures. It examines ancient and modern ethical theory in an attempt to comprehend and challenge the moral underpinnings of successful leadership and business. This theoretical investigation is combined with a practical consideration of current case studies in contemporary business.

General Education Requirements: Humanities (HU)
Semesters Offered: TBA
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Clock/Hour Requirements: 0

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission

Justification: This course is designed to introduce students to the intellectual foundations of business principles as expressed throughout history, cultures, and diverse philosophical schools of thought. It is similar to offerings at other USHE institutions, including BUS 1050 at University of Utah and MGT 1050 at Utah State University. It specifically articulates with the MGT 1050 course at USU. This course also fulfills the Humanities GE requirement. While it will certainly benefit business majors, it is designed to provide Humanities education for all Snow College students. The Humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the Humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component: languages, literature, and philosophy. The methods by which the Humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.

General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum will have a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on American institutions, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and life sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and personal wellness.  Students will read and engage with texts from the humanities that focus on the historical, ethical, cultural dimensions of business and markets. They will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through class discussion, written assignments, quizzes, and exams.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media. Students will read a variety of texts from the humanities, evaluate the philosophical ideas expressed therein, and convey their thoughts and concerns with the class through written and oral exercises. For example, students will read selections from Aristotle's Politics. In small groups they will summarize and evaluate the distinction that Aristotle makes between household management and the art of accumulating wealth. As part of a larger class discussion, the instructor will ask students to interpret the practical and moral implications of this distinction.

3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can speak and write effectively and respectfully as a member of the global community, and work effectively as a member of a team. Through essay exams and out-of-class papers, students will work on developing the skills of finding and employing credible resources, formulating clear and specific positions, supporting positions with strong evidence, and using appropriate language, composition strategies, and rhetorical appeal to communicate ideas. Instructors will grade writing assignments according to spelling and grammar, clarity and persuasiveness of the writing, overall organization and coherency, and based on the ability of students to use concepts and language in such a way that maintains a fair and balanced perspective.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. Students will demonstrate through exams and written assignments their ability to analyze philosophical questions related to business and then advance and articulate their own arguments in response.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Ask and explore a variety of philosophical and theoretical questions about human thought and experience. Through readings and class discussions, students will be introduced to philosophical ideas that influence ethics, psychology, social theory, and economics, and will investigate how these ideas inform matters of leadership, corporate culture, and environmental and global responsibility. Students will demonstrate their ability to ask and explore philosophical and ethical questions related to business through class discussions, written assignments, quizzes and exams.  

Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy. Through a close reading of philosophy and other humanities texts, students will learn the language and ways of thinking that have historically influenced business values and practices. Students will then use these expressions and concepts to inform applied issues in modern business, and will demonstrate this ability through class discussions, written assignments, quizzes, and exams.  

Understand cultural traditions within an historical context and make connections with the present. Students will examine the intellectual tradition of business thought from ancient thinkers to the present, and from both Western and non-Western cultures. Students will demonstrate how these intellectual traditions influence both our present circumstances and the current trajectory of modern business and leadership in local and global contexts.  

Critically read and respond to primary texts (original, uninterpreted) from a Humanities' perspective. Students will be able to read, interpret, analyze, and respond to a representative selection of primary texts and contemporary ethical case studies in business. Reading strategies, discussion, group work, written assignments, and exams will allow students to demonstrate an ability to read critically in order to understand, explain, and apply literary works to business related cases.  

Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgments. Students will demonstrate their ability to construct an argument that relies upon strong thesis, textual support, critical thinking, and ethical nuance, and will do so through written analyses of philosophical arguments and of contemporary issues in business.  

The Foundations of Business Leadership course covers the following topics: human nature, historical attitudes towards business and profit, philosophical theory relating to ethics and economics, responsible leadership, corporate social responsibility, corporate culture, and globalization. Students will explore ancient and modern ideas that have influenced business values and practices, will analyze the foundations and applied consequences of these ideas, and will share their thoughts and arguments both orally and through writing. The pedagogy for this course will include instructor led discussion, small group discussions and debate, student-driven presentations on case studies, and formal writing assignments.

Key Performance Indicators:
Exams: 20 - 40%  

Papers/Short Essays: 20 - 40%  

Assignments: 0 - 20%  

Participation/Quizzes: 0 - 20%  

Group work: 0 - 20% 






Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Desjardins, Joseph. An Introduction to Business Ethics (Current Edition)

Stackhouse, Max, Dennis McCann, and Shirley Roels eds. On Moral Business.

Boardman, Calvin, Alan Sandomir, and Harris Sondak eds. Foundations of Business Thought (Current Edition)

Pedagogy Statement:

Maximum Class Size: 30
Optimum Class Size: 20