PHL 205: Business Ethics

3 credits

[Online course]



Alexander Lester


By appointment.




Office Hours

By appointment.





Ghillyer, A.  (2017).  Business Ethics Now (5thedition).  New York, NY:  McGraw-Hill. 



This course, although primarily addressing the issues of business ethics, also deals with and fulfills the requirements of diversity awareness and service learning. It examines the theoretical and practical application of philosophical and management theories and research of the study of ethics, primarily in business organizations. It also examines the theories and concepts of ethics and applies these to the ethical problems and issues confronting business organizations. Case studies are used to provide the opportunity to identify, analyze, evaluate, and resolve a broad range of ethical issues. In addition, this course will examine multiple cultural perspectives that are essential to the development of a general recognition, understanding, and appreciation of the global society and of the individuals comprising that cultural society, particularly as they pertain to business. 


1. Define and evaluate the role and purpose of ethics in business.

2. Identify the ethical dilemmas that business activity specifically creates and apply methods of moral reasoning to analyze, propose, and defend solutions and alternatives.

3. Describe and analyze the ethical values that are especially relevant to business activity, including respect for human dignity, moral obligations to global businesses and environments, and the development and maintenance of honesty, fairness, trust, and social responsibility among employers, employees, and the community.

4. Investigate and formulate an argument about whether ethics defines boundaries on competition, marketing, sales, and advertising.

5. Critically examine and test personal ethics in collaboration with peers.



This course is highly structured. Completion is expected for all readings and assignments. 


Students will be assessed on comprehending course content via:Case Study Discussion Questions,Exams,Ah Ha! Vlogs, Muddiest Points Podcasts, and a Video Essay w/ Transcript.


Online Course Attendance Policy 

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.


Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes making posts and replies in a course-related graded discussion forum or submitting a course-related written assignment. Activities (Syllabus quiz, Course Navigation Quiz, Academic Honesty Pledge, Autobiography) not related to the aforementioned activities will notcount for attendance purposes. 



# of Days Required forDiscussionin anOnline Course

Maximum # of WeeksAllowedwithout Discussion

Twice  on  any four days  in  a  week (8 total)




YouarerequiredtoengageindiscussionatleastTWICEonFOURdaysthroughouttheweekforatotal ofEIGHTpostsinall,minimum.


    • YoushouldrespondtotheinitialDQspostedANDrespondto 2 ofyourclassmates.
    • ResponsesMUSTbesubstantive.SeethedocumenttitledGoodDiscussionsinyour Handouts andLinks.
    • Responsesthatdonotmovetheconversationforwardbyprovidinginformationtowhich otherscanrespondandbuilduponwillNOTbecountedtowardyourweeklyscore.
    • StudentswhomissoneweekofdiscussionwillbeDROPPEDfromthecourse.
    • Studentswhodonotlogontothecoursewithinthedrop/addperiodforthecoursewill beDROPPEDfromthecourse.


Students that fail to participate in an academic activity as described above in the online classroom prior to the last day to drop/add, will automatically be dropped from the course. 


  • Students who do not participate in any course-related discussions AND who do not submit any course-related assignments for ONE week will be DROPPEDfrom the course. It is the responsibility of the student to formally withdraw from the course at the Registrar’s office.



Online Course Discussion Policy

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said. 

Good Discussionsin Course Resources will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!

Ask yourself the following questions to help guide you in having a great discussion: 

  • Did I answer the discussion questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material that promoted conversation?
  • Did I support my answers to the discussion questions with research and reading?
  • Did I make the required number of replies to my classmates?
  • Did I continue the conversation with peers that replied to my discussion?
  • Did I answer any additional questions the instructor may have asked?
  • Are all of my responses detailed and clear?
  • Did I make my initial post and replies by the assigned due dates?
  • Did I relate my responses to the course reading, notes, and/or personal life?
  • Did I provide the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learned from what I have contributed and can continue the conversation
  • Did I use proper grammar, spelling and netiquette?


Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will negatively affectyour weekly score. 


Withdrawal Policy

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.


Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy. 



Instructor Policies

  • All emails and responses posted in the General Questions section of the forum will be answered within one day.
  • All assignments will be graded within 1 week of the assignment due date.
  • I expect students to manage their time effectively. Because online courses move quickly and require self-discipline, it is important to efficiently manage your time. This would include not waiting until the last minute to turn in assignments or tests. Technology is not fail proof, so please allow time for unforeseen problems. 



Grading  will  bemadeup  of  one Video Essay w/ Transcript 450 Points of  your final grade;two  exams each worth 50 Points ;Case Study discussionsandresponses,collectively worth 100 points, Ah Ha! Vlogs worth another 100 points, and muddiest points podcasts worth 100 points of yourfinalgrade

Theassignmentsinthiscoursearetrackedbypoints.UsethePointsValuecolumntocheckyourgrade basedonhowmanypointsyouhaveearned.Youmightalsoestimatehowmanymorepointsyouneed inordertoearnthefinalgradeyouwant.


Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Points Value 

Quality Points


96 – 100




90 – 95

900 – 950



87 – 89

870– 899



83 – 86

830– 869 



80 – 82

800– 829



77 – 79

770 – 799



73 – 76

730 – 769



70 – 72

700 – 729



67 – 69

670 – 699



60 – 66

600 – 669


0 – 59

0 – 599




  1. (Case Study) Discussion Questions - 100 Points (2 per week) 
  2. Exams - 100 Points (50) each (2 in total) 
  3. Ah Ha! Vlogs - 100 Points (1 per week)
  4. Muddiest Points Podcasts –200 Points (1 per week) 

5.     Final: Video Essay w/ Transcript - 450 Points

      1. Video Essay – 250 Points
      2. Transcript of Video Essay – 200 Points
  1. House Keeping: Syllabus Quiz Course, Navigation Quiz, Get to Know You Discussion, Create a YouTube and Soundcloud Account - 50 Points 



(Case Study) Discussion Questions                                                                         100 Points 


Students will participate in online discussions per detailed rubric above.

    • YoushouldrespondtotheinitialDQspostedANDrespondto 2 ofyourclassmates each week.


Exams (50 Points each)                                                                                         100 Points 



Theseexamswill be 20-30 question exams which have to be completed in 3 hours they will testyourunderstandingofthereadings, and viewings.


Ah Ha! Vlogs                                                                                                        100 Points 



  • In the first week you will create a free account. 
  • You will then create and upload a 3-5 minute video blog reflecting on things you learned from the course and readings during the corresponding week. Be as creative or as basic as you want with these vlogs. 
  • You will then submit the Ah Ha! Vlog link under the assignment. 


Muddiest Points Podcasts                                                                                    200 Points 





You must create a account, record the podcast from your phone or computer etc. then will upload the audio file to your Soundcloud account you will then submit that link on that week’s discussion board.


You will create a 1-5 minute podcast pointing out any confusing or uncertain parts you had with the weeks content. 


What is a Podcast: 

A Podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet. 


Video Essay w/ Transcript                                                                                   450 Points


This requirement can be completed on your cellphone, or computer, and the computers on campus. 




  • Your video essay must be a persuasive argument using academic and reputable sources to take up a moral position and convince your viewers of that position. 


    • You can take cases “ripped from the headlines” or you can create your own scenario.





What is a video essay?:


Examples of video essays on YouTube:

  • Every Frame a Painting, a series on the grammar of film editing by Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos
  • The Nerdwriter, wide-ranging explorations into the topics that interest creator Evan Puschak
  • Kaptain Kristian, an investigation of pop culture icons by Kristian Williams



How to make a video essay:


Overview of the video essay process:


Potential topics for your video essay:


  • Surveillance vs. Privacy. 
  • Health Risks and Safety. 
  • Child Labor.
  • Environmental Damage. 
  • Transparency.
  • Discrimination. 
  • Harassment.



Housekeeping                                                                                                          50 Points




To get the points you need to do all of the following tasks by Friday of the first week.

  • Syllabus Quiz Course
  • Navigation Quiz
  • Get to Know You Discussion
  • Create a YouTube & Soundcloud Accounts
  • Time Management Planner


Due Dates and Late Penalties

  • Late assignments will not be accepted. 
  • There will be no “extra credit.”


Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well. Please see the Student Handbookfor a complete explanation.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied: 

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted; 
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers; 
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination; 
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently; 
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment; 
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else; 
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved; 
  • Stealing examinations or assignments; 
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments; 
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted; 
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results; 
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.
  • Misrepresenting identity in an online course


(Please see student handbook for more information)


Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the Disability Services office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses. 

Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College.  


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Georgia Egan, Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Gopu Kiron, Affirmative Action Officer/eLearning Director, Angeli Hall, Ground Floor, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-7929,

Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   


Portfolio and Coursework

Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, accessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.


Course Schedule



Course Objective Met

Related Assignment, Assessment, or Learning Activity


Understanding and defining Business Ethics


Define and evaluate the role and purpose of ethics in business.

Identify the ethical dilemmas that business activity specifically creates and apply methods of moral reasoning to analyze, propose, and defend solutions and alternatives.


Week 1 DQ 1


Week 1 DQ 2


House Keeping: Syllabus Quiz

Course, Navigation Quiz, Get to Know You Discussion, Create Soundcloud and Youtube Accounts


Muddiest Point Podcast 1 


Ah Ha! Vlog 1







Ethical Theory 


Week 2 DQ 1


Week 2 DQ 2


Muddiest Point Podcast 2


Ah Ha! Vlog 2



Organizational Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

                    2, 3

Week 3 DQ 1


Week 3 DQ 2  


Muddiest Point Podcast 3


Ah Ha! Vlog 3


Exam 1



Corporate Governance and Role of Government


                   2, 4

Week 4 DQ 1


Week 4 DQ 2


Muddiest Point Podcast 4


Ah Ha! Vlog 4



Blowing the Whistle



Week 5 DQ 1


Week 5 DQ 2


Muddiest Point Podcast 5


Ah Ha! Vlog 5


Ethics and technology/globalization



Week 6 DQ 1


Week 6 DQ 2


Muddiest Point Podcast 6


Ah Ha! Vlog 6


Exam 2




Final Week




Making it stick and Me Too



Week 7 DQ 1


Week 7 DQ 2


Muddiest Point Podcast 7


Ah Ha! Vlog 7


Video Essay & Transcript






There will be exams, one for each few topics. Exams will be timed, and you only have 1 attempt.