Diversity in Firm and Ethics

ETI451 Diversity in Firm and Ethics

Spring 2019

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

    Learning Outcomes

    Knowledge - The candidate...


    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 - The candidate...


    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 groups, 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 - The candidate...


    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) in September and the beginning of 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


  • Required prerequisites


  • 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 assignment is to identify and discuss a current ethical dilemma related to gender diversity in business. The project presentations will take place in the first half of October. Students should attend the full day of presentations.

    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

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A-F.

  • Computer tools


  • 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.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2018

Course responsible

Professor Astrid Kunze, Department of Economics