Diversity in Firm and Ethics

ETI451 Diversity in Firm and Ethics

Autumn 2019

  • Topics

    Societies as well as firms increasingly become diverse in terms of the composition of the workforce. Gender equality is high on the political agenda and more and more firms acknowledge that in order to recruit the best workers they have to have a profile inviting and integrating women into the work force, as well as men, and offering attractive careers. Firms have to follow anti-discrimination laws but also increasingly integrate gender equality and business ethics as part of their corporate management strategy. The goal of the course is to study the relations between discrimination in labour markets and business ethics of organizations.

    The course starts with a general introduction to managing business and ethical values. What do we mean by ethical values in business and why are those important for management? How are decisions made on a sound ethical basis? What is corporate social responsibility? We then turn to diversity in firms and ethics. We introduce the topic by discussing whether there is a business case for diversity. Do firms perform better if they have more women in the management or on boards? We learn about the challenges to treat everybody equal in terms of work and pay in organisations. We discuss ethical issues that arise related to discriminatory behaviour in a legal sense. The course uses empirical studies to train students to get an understanding of discriminatory behaviour. Students use cases to get training in identifying ethical dilemmas in gender diverse businesses and solve them, taking for example the position as a corporate manager or as an employee. The case discussions take place in groups during the lecture sessions.

     

    The course outline is:

    1. Introduction: Managing business and ethics

    2. Discriminatory behavior and business ethics

    3. Ethical issues inside the organization and anti-discrimination legislation

    4. Managing ethics in gender diverse organizations

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course the candidate:

     

    Knowledge

    • Has an understanding of diversity management and ethical issues with particular emphasis on gender and discriminatory behavior
    • Has broad knowledge of the laws of anti-discrimination legislation
    • Has knowledge of empirical evidence in this field
    • Has knowledge on core issues related to how to manage diverse businesses

     

    Skills

    • Can apply academic knowledge and relevant results of research to practical problems and make well-founded choices
    • Can reflect upon his/her own academic practice and adjust it during the dialogues with co-students in group discussions of case studies
    • Can find, evaluate and refer to information and scholarly subject matter and present it in a manner that sheds light on the problem

     

    Competence

    • Has insight into relevant professional issues of discriminatory behaviour in the workplace
    • can communicate important subject matters such as models, problems and solutions, both in writing and orally
    • Can exchange opinions and experiences with others with a background in the field, thereby contributing to the development of good practice

  • Teaching

    This course is 2.5 credit points and meets five times (three hours each) during September and October. It is case based, supported by lectures and guest lectures. Two of the cases require more extensive reading and students are expected to come well prepared to the case discussions. These discussions will take place in class both in smaller groups (4-6 students) and larger groups (at most 40 students). The term project, which is a group assignment, is due in October. The student teams will also present the term project in October. For a detailed course outline, see canvas.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    None.

  • Required prerequisites

    None.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Class attendance is mandatory. Students should attend every class, also those with visiting speakers. While I may grant permission to miss a class for personal reasons, you need to ask for permission in advance. A student missing more than one class without prior approval will fail the course.

    This course will be closed for registration after the first lecture.

  • Assessment

    The grade is based on a portfolio consisting of class participation (approximately 40%), a written term paper and the presentation of this term paper (approximately 60%). One grade is given for the entire portfolio. Grading scale A-F.

    Class participation is individual effort. The evaluation of class participation will mainly be based on the case discussions in small and larger groups. It will reflect the quality of a student's comments and insights, as well as the intensity of participation. There is no makeup for a missed class.

    The term project is a group assignment, with a written term paper and a presentation as deliveries. The term paper can be written in English or Norwegian. The presentation takes place in English.

    The assignment is to identify and discuss a current ethical dilemma related to gender diversity in business. Students can choose a topic from a list of suggested topics by the course instructor, or find their own. In order to prepare for the term project, students need to work through the course material including the relevant book chapters, cases and articles from the reading list. The assignment essay should be 5-8 pages, or 2000 to max. 3200 words in 12pt times new roman. Students work in a group of 2-4 students*. They are expected to develop in the group the topic, link it to the course material, discuss the solution and write the paper.

    Students decide on the topic and list of group members of the termpaper during the course (approx.. end of September). Deadline for submitting the written termpaper is in October. The specific dates will be announced at the beginning of the semester. The submitted termpapers will be graded A-F and returned to the students. Afterwards, we will have discussions with short presentations of the findings in the assignment papers. Students will again work in groups. After the presentations, the final grade for the written term paper will be formed. This grade makes up for 60 % of the total grade.

    The grades awarded may not be appealed due to the nature of the assessment.

    This course will be closed for registration after the first lecture

    *The size of the group may be adjusted depending on how many take the course. 

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A-F.

  • Computer tools

    None.

  • Literature

    Core reference:

    Trevino, Linda K. and Katherine A. Nelsen (2014): Managing Business Ethics - Straight talk about how to do it right, Wiley. Available as e-book.

    There will also be a list of cases and articles that will be announced in class.

Overview

ECTS Credits
2.5
Teaching language
English.
Semester

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2019.

Course responsible

Professor Astrid Kunze, Department of Economics.