MGMT 117 | Syllabus


Fall 2010                                                                                           Professor Jerry D. Estenson


College of Business Administration


MGMT 117 - Business and Society

Monday and Wednesday 6:00 - 7:15


OFFICE:                            Tahoe – 2048
OFFICE HOURS:               MW 2:30 - 4:00PM               
OFFICE PHONE                Good Choice:  278-6781 (CSUS) 
EMAIL:                               Good Choice: (Campus)
                                          (Messages picked up on Monday and Wednesday)
                                          Best Choice (Other World)
                                          (Messages picked up seven days a week)

Required Text:

Desjardins, Joseph (2009) An Introduction to Business Ethics 3rd Ed. Boston: McGraw Hill.


Supplemental Texts:

Addition insights to be read and shared by teams (note each team will be responsible for one book, therefore there is not requirement for you to buy a book other than the one you are assigned):


Arvedlund, Erin. (2010). Too Good to Be True: The rise and fall of Bernie Madoff. New York: Penguin Books.


Bianco, Anthony. (2010). The Big Lie: Spying, Scandal, and Ethical Collapes at Hewlett-Packard: New York: Public Affairs.


Gardner, Howard, Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly & Damon, William. (2001). Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet. New York: Basic Books.


Mortenson, Greg. (2009). Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. New York: Viking.


Moyo, Dambisa (2009). Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.


Sachs, Jeffrey D. (2005). The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. New York: Penguin Books.


Schoenberger, Karl. (2000). Levi's Children: Coming to Terms with Human Rights in the Global Marketplace. New York: Atlantic Monthly.


Simons, Suzanne. (2009). Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War. New York: Harpers


Tett, Gillian. (2009). Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe. New York: Free Press.


Yunus, Muhammad. (2007). Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. New York: Public Affairs. Or Yunus, Muhuammad. (2010). Building Social Business: the New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs. New York: Public Affiars.


Additional articles, models, and extracts maybe provided during the course.



The dividing line between the public and private good is becoming increasingly blurred. In addition, questions are being raised regarding the viability of the American experiment with democracy and the role that capitalism and business play in that experiment. The plans of the Great Society with government at the helm are being reconstructed. The concepts of job and loyalty are being reshaped thus creating a major reconstruction of relationships between individuals and organizations. In addition America's ability to compete in the global market place is being questioned. It is in this context that we will set about making sense of: social concerns about business activities; the role of corporations, government, and the individual's responsibilities. We will also explore the decision making process used by public and private leaders which effect property and individual rights. These issues will be viewed from the perspective of the individuals, businesses, other organizations, societies, and the world community. This journey will assist you in developing an understanding of the environment in which business goes about conducting its affairs. By course end you will:

Have searched for the meaning of: Morality, Ethics, Truth, Leadership, Community, Progress, Humanity, Justice, Liberty, Dignity, Ethical Relativism, and Profit within the context of a capitalistic and other societies.


Understand how a free society responds to the policies and practices of businesses.

Analyze the effects of government policy on the operation of a business.


Have been exposed to classic and contemporary thinkers writing on the subjects of morality, ethics, economics, and capitalism.


Develop of the skills of a critical, thoughtful, and educated member of society.

There are multiple objectives for this course, central of which is to help you develop an understanding of your role as citizen, student, client, customer, worker, manager, or executive in a public, private, or not-for-profit organization. Your new understanding should include: an appreciation of the complexity of the issues facing executives who must make tough decisions. This perspective will provide a view of the ramifications of the decisions made by private and public sector executives and public policy makers. Last you will have several opportunities to present your analysis and perspective on very difficult and sensitive issues. Through the process of research, reflection, discussion, and experimentation, you will be better equipped to participate in a society attempting to remain viable in a changing world.




Class Participation and Case Presentation

The foundation of this course is class discussion. Through an on going dialogue between students and with the instructor an atmosphere of mutual learning, creativity, and revitalization can take place. The questions raised in this type of course have no easy answers and therefore simulate new thinking. For this type of learning experience to work it is imperative that you come to class having read the material, analyzed the case, and thought about the subject matter. To reward this effort ten percent of your graded will be based on your preparation for and involvement in the class.


Each week you will be evaluated on class participation and the level of your involvement will be basis for point assignment. To maximize points you should be a CONSISTENTLY informed participant. The OCCASIONALLY informed participation will receive fewer points while the NON-PARTICIPANT or those engaging in SEMICOHERENT rambling receive no points. Since they will be making no contribution to our shared learning, those who miss more than three classes will loose 10 points per class miss after the three class grace period.


Case Analysis

Prepare your case analysis individually using the format discussed in class. As the course progresses the level of analysis for each case will become more complex and the models used for analysis will also become more intricate. The written portion of the case should be no more than two double spaced pages in length. If you use quantitative analysis in section (part) three of your case write up it can be attached as an addendum and not be counted as part of the two pages. Your written case should be maintained in a course case book. Cases will usually be turned in on Wednesdays. The exception is exam weeks where the case will be due on Monday. If you submit a case late you will loose 10% of the value of the case for each class ( a class is defined as end of the class -7:15 PM) after the due date.


Each week we will discuss assigned cases. You will be called on, at random, to present your analysis of the case. Your preparation and participation will be graded using the following factors: articulation of your position, listening ability, ability to relate outside experience to the issues being discussed, ability to provoke discussion, outside research brought to class, focus on topic under discussion, and depth of thought on the subjects. The combination of your presentation in class and the written content of your case analysis shall be the basis for assignment points.


Team written and oral critique of topic book

You will prepare a critique of a book from the above book list. The book will be assigned based on a drawing at the start of the semester. You will also be assigned to a randomly selected team. The product of your work will be a written critique of the book and a presentation to the class which will be about thirty minutes in length. Your oral presentation should be more than a stand and deliver. It should engage the class in active discussion of the topic addressed in the book.


Your written product should be carefully prepared. Using the format of a professional business report would be worthwhile. Your paper does not have to be an exact replica of a business report but should present your thinking in a clear, crisp concise manner. To that end the paper should be double spaced with one inch margins and no longer than ten pages. The critique should rely on models, theories and concepts discussed in the assigned text, other legitimate academic sources, and the book itself. Remember that it is important to carefully cite all references.


Your critique will be presented to the class at scheduled times. Your specific time will be based on the luck of the draw. The written brief will be graded on content (your thinking about the subject), depth (the amount of research used to support your position), appearance (tightly written, typo free, with syntax well constructed), and the linkage to theory and models discussed in class or found during your research. Papers are due on the date set forth in the Class Schedule. Paper will marked down ten percent of total possible value for each class period after due date.


This paper is a team project and members of the team are expected to contribute to the best of their ability. To that end the instructor will grade the paper, the class and instructor will grade the class presentation and the team will grade the level of participation of each team member. Since this is an assigned team activity you will be provided in class time to work on your assignment. The instructor is also available to help you focus your activities and to mediate difference that develop within the team. You will be expected to take full advantage of the class time and the instructor's offer to mediate and coach.



The following is offered to assist you in preparing documents in a manner which will receive maximum attention from the reader:


  1. Staple all unbound papers of more than one page in the left corner.
  2. Include your name, paper title, course title, section number, word count and date on a cover sheet. This is necessary for all papers turned in for the class.
  3. Create a case book for all your assignments. Make sure your name, course title, and section number are on the cover.
  4. Type all papers on high quality paper.
  5. Use a left justification on all papers.
  6. Use an APA style guide for format and citation.
  7. Carefully cite all outside resources. Plagiarism is a serious offense and where identified will result in an F grade.
  8. Turn in all assignment on due date.
  9. Keep a file copy of ALL paper turned in.
  10. Use 12 Point fonts on all papers.



Additional Instructor Expectation:
Dazzle them with your brilliance.



Description Points

Three Schedule Exams

(100 points per exam)

Critique of Book
80% written 20% Oral
Case Studies
(10 cases 30 points per case)
Class Participation 100
Total 1,000




            A       =       1,000-940           C+     =         799-780
            A-      =         939-900            C       =         779-740
            B+     =         899-880            C-      =         739-700
            B       =         879-840            D+     =         699-680
            B-      =         839-800            D       =         679-640





August 30

Class Overview

Introduction of Topics and Goals for the Class

Introduction to Ethical Reasoning

Desjardins Chapter One - "Why Study Ethics?

Monday: Get books and show up.
Read Text Chapter One
Start work on Enron Case.

Wednesday: Be prepared to share your thinking about Enron
Wednesday is also our luck of the draw day. You will be placed in teams and will be assigned a book to critique.


September 6

Note September 6th is Labor Day thus no class.

Desjardins Chapter Two - Foundation to determine appropriate behavior

Read Chapter Two

Wednesday: Be prepared to discuss -"Executive Compensation"


September 14

Wednesday is a team day. Meet with your team and start to develop your time and action plan to present your critique of assigned text

General issues in business ethics Desjardins Chapter Three - Corporate Social Responsibility

Monday: Team work on time and action plan

Wednesday - Be prepared to discuss and turn in your analysis of:


September 20


Desjardins Chapter Four - Culture, governance, and ethical leadership.

Monday be prepared to discuss "Our Credo"

Wednesday - Turn in your analysis of:
" Our Credo"


September 27

Desjardins Chapter Five - "The meaning and value of work" Monday:
Discuss and turn "Great jobs and Meaningful Jobs" Case

EXAM ONE - Wednesday
(Chapters One - Four)


October 4

Rights and Responsibility

Desjardins Chapter Six - "Moral rights in the workplace"

Monday: Be prepared to discuss "Moral Rights."

Wednesday continue discussion and turn in "Moral Rights"


October 11


Desjardins Chapter Seven - "Employee responsibilities"

Be prepared to discuss "Professional and Managerial responsibilities"

Wednesday: Be prepared to discuss "Safety and Pricing" Turn in:" Professional and Managerial Responsibilities at Enron


October 18

Desjardins Chapter Eight - "Marketing Ethics- Safety and Pricing"

Start discussion on "Safety and Pricing in the Pharmaceutical Industry".

Conclude discussion and turn in written analysis


October 25


Desjardins Chapter Nine - Ethics, advertising and target markets

Be prepared to present and turn in written analysis of "Advertising and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry"

(Chapters Five - Eight)


November 1


Desjardins Chapter Ten - Business's Environmental Responsibility

Be prepared to discuss Interface corporation and sustainable business.

Wednesday: Turn in written analysis of case


November 8

Diversity and Discrimination

Desjardins Chapter Eleven -

Equality, preferred treatment, harassment

Monday: Be prepared to discuss Female foreman

Wednesday: Turn in written analysis of case


November 15

Global Business

Desjardins Chapter Twelve -
Ethical relativism, democracy, international rights.

Be prepared to discuss and turn " Sweatshops"

(Chapters Nine - Twelve)


November 22

House of Cards: A tale of hubris and wretched excess on Wall Street.

Deliver us From Evil: Peacekeepers, warlords and a world of endless conflict.

Good Work: When excellence and ethics meet.

Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa.

Present book critique
Evaluate other team's presentations


November 29

The end of poverty: Economic possibilities for our time.

Levi's Children: Coming to terms with human rights in the global marketplace.

The Smartest Guys in the Room: The amazing rise and scandalous fall of Enron.

The Good Society.

Present book critique
Evaluate other team's presentations


December 6

Fool's Gold: How the bold dream of a small tribe at J.P. Morgan was corrupted by Wall Street greed and unleashed a catastrophe.

Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the business of war.

Banker to Poor: Micro-lending and the battle against world poverty.

Thoughts on what we have learned.

Present Book Critiques
Evaluate other team's presentations

Pick up grades


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