Ethics and Sustainability

Ethics is a crucial component of individual and group behavior and is at the heart of organizational responsibilities.

This course considers the ethical responsibilities of managers and corporations. We consider individual and organizational business actions and decisions in the light of moral principles and values. We will raise ethical challenges and provide frameworks that inform common patterns of success and failure in managing ethics and corporate responsibilities. We address these questions at multiple levels of individual, organization, society and international space and in multicultural contexts.

The growing notion of sustainability raises the question of organizations’ ethical and societal responsibilities that go beyond their economic responsibilities. Organizations are increasingly required to expand their understandings of their role in society to include other stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, governments and international organizations. We address the complex environments of multinational corporations and emerging governance structures, management systems and innovative business models that can help align the firms’ interests more closely to societal expectations.

This course is certified SnO (HEC Paris Society & Organizations Center)

Course Objectives

At the end of the class the students will:

  1. Understand the core processes that undergird ethical management in organizations
  2. Know some levers for how to create value sustainably.

Course Content

  1. Introduction to ethics: the main ethical frameworks and how they matter for management
  2. Understanding ethical violations: Why do smart people do dumb things? How power and authority shape ethical behavior in organizations? If power is so important, what are the bases of power? What are my options? A core process involved in ethical violations such as frauds: escalation of commitment.