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Ethics in Business and Technology


This course is about philosophical and ethical issues related to the conduct of business.  We start by focusing on corporate agency and decision making in business. We will look at the rights and responsibilities of corporations and their employees, as well as the obligations of corporations to protect the environment. We will explore the ethics of marketing and nudging, in connection with recent literature on cognitive biases.  We will finish by looking at ethical issues involving the role of technology and data in business.

Course Text:

Ethical Theory and Business, by Tom L. Beauchamp, Norman L. Bowie, and Denis G. Arnold (Prentice Hall)


One essay and one examination.

Course Schedule:

Week 1: The scope of business: Markets and their moral limits


Week 2: Corporate agency


Week 3: Managerial decision-making, cost-benefit analysis and moral theory


Week 4: Workplace democracy, unions and worker's rights


Week 5: Non-compliance and whistle blowing


Week 6: Environmental responsibility


Week 7: Marketing and cognitive biases


Week 8: Nudging


Week 9: Privacy, data ownership, and data protection


Week 10: Business decisions and big data


Week 11: Bias and machine learning


Week 12: Explainable artificial intelligence



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