Today I had my first class in Business Ethics in this half-term. The class is shaping up to be a pretty soft one compared to the other two. One thing which is different about this class from any other I have taken so far is that it has no in-class final exam. Actually I take it back, Judgment and Decisions course has final exam online, but it is still in some form of exam.
60% of the grade in Business Ethics class will be based on the research paper we will have to write in groups of three people. The rest is derived from class participation-30%, and a short paper, two pages-10%, in a couple of weeks from now.
From other people, who took unrelated to my MBA program classes, I heard that they would prefer to have a final exam, one shot thing, instead of toiling on the paper for extended period of time. I am not sure yet what is better, until I will have gone through it.
The lecturer is an adjunct professor who works in some federal government agency in the commodities fraud department. From his words, he is investigating and building cases for civil prosecution of fraudsters dealing with commodities. We have already had, and I guess there will be more, actual cases from his practice – all anonymous of course. Based on this description you might have guessed that he is a lawyer by education and occupation.
Other then a few stories that he shared, including one ordeal dealing with moral issues from his own life, we were introduced to various ethical theories and their general implications. The book we are using in the course is Case Studies in Business Ethics (6th Edition) ISBN-10: 0132424320 ISBN-13: 978-0132424325. I got it new from amazon for $53 instead of $76 – list price.
We already discussed one case from the book, this is when I got a chance to look into it for the first time, seems to be quite entertaining and can be read as a novel with parables and stories interspersed throughout the text. That will be a welcome break from very dense reading on Financial Accounting, and Judgment and Decisions classes.
My only pet peeve about the book is that it’s a paperback. But since it’s not too thick, just 456 pages, I hope it will last through the next seven to eight weeks.