• Class Number 7267
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Babita Bhatt
    • Dr Babita Bhatt
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course aims to:

  • Promote understanding of the importance, for business and the community, of ethical conduct;
  • Provide the skills with which to recognise and resolve ethical issues in business;
  • Enhance awareness and critical self-examination of one's own values, and to appreciate the relevance of personal values in the business/workplace setting; and
  • Encourage reflection on the ethical dimension of your own decision-making in workplace and other settings.

The course promotes reflection on the ethical domain of economic decision making and develops the students capacity to analyse and argue the ethical dimension.  The principal philosophical ethical theories are discussed, and their applicability to business examined. The relationship between business ethics, law and religion is considered, as is the impact of agency theory and stakeholder theory. A range of practical applications which individuals are likely to encounter in the earlier years of their career are examined, including negotiation ethics, whistleblowing, privacy, conflicts of interest and discrimination.  More general topics include environmental ethics, codes of conduct and globalisation. A pervading theme is the question of who is responsible for business ethics?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of the requirements for this course, students will be able to:

  1.  define, explain and illustrate the theoretical foundations of business ethics;
  2. re-examine their knowledge of business and economic concepts from an ethical perspective;
  3. explain and illustrate the importance, for business and the community, of ethical conduct;
  4. recognise and resolve ethical issues in business;
  5. reflect on and critically examine their own values and the importance of the ethical dimension in in business and workplace decision making; and,
  6. confidently apply systematic ethical reasoning to business dilemmas and communicate effectively in oral and written forms these, using the concepts, logic and rhetorical conventions of business ethics.

Research-Led Teaching

Research studies of managers, professionals, employees, consumers and students are referred to throughout the course to explain and illustrate the theoretical foundations of business ethics and to illustrate the importance for business and the community of ethical conduct. The research assignments provide the opportunity for students to apply their research and analytical skills to understand ethical issues in emerging business models.

A contemporary textbook and readings on business ethics referencing major ethical issues equips students with the concepts and applications to examine business from an ethical perspective

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

There are no examinations held by ANU Examinations for this course. There is an in-class examination. See assessment section for further details.

Required Resources

All the required readings are listed in the course content and will be uploaded on the Wattle.

Recommended book: McDonald, Gael (2015). Business ethics: A contemporary approach. Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press.

A copy of the textbook will be held in the ANU library reserve & short loan collection

The ANU Library subscribes (electronically) to a wide range of academic journals. Journals that may be helpful

for your research include:

Journal of Business Ethics

Business Ethics Quarterly

Academy of Management Review

Academy of Management Perspectives

Academy of Management Journal

Journal of Management Studies

Useful Website







Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Seminar 1: What is Business Ethics Read chapter 1 of Text a) Fischer, J. (2004). Social responsibility and ethics: clarifying the concepts. Journal of Business ethics, 52(4), 381-390. Discussion Question: what is an ethical business?
2 Seminar 2: Corporate social responsibility Read chapter 2 of Text a) Freudenreich, B., Lüdeke-Freund, F., & Schaltegger, S. (2020). A stakeholder theory perspective on business models: Value creation for sustainability. Journal of Business Ethics, 166(1), 3-18. b) Freeman, R. E., Phillips, R., & Sisodia, R. (2020). Tensions in stakeholder theory. Business & Society, 59(2), 213-231. c) Newbert, S. L. (2018). Achieving social and economic equality by unifying business and ethics: Adam Smith as the cause of and cure for the separation thesis. Journal of Management Studies, 55(3), 517–544. Discussion Question: the responsibility of corporates is to increase profit’: Explain
3 Seminar 3: Ethical theory: Systems of Moral Evaluation Read chapter 10 of text a) Pirson, M., Goodpaster, K. & Dierksmeier, C. (2016). Guest editors’ introduction: Human dignity and business. Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4), 465–478. b) Mea, W. J., & Sims, R. R. (2019). Human dignity-centered business ethics: A conceptual framework for business leaders. Journal of Business Ethics, 160(1), 53-69. c) Audi, R. (2007). Can utilitarianism be distributive? Maximization and distribution as criteria in managerial decisions. Business Ethics Quarterly, 593-611. Discussion Question: Care vs Justice. Can care be used as an ethical perspective?
4 Seminar 4: Ethical theory: ethical decision making Read chapter 11 of text a) Simola, S. (2003). Ethics of justice and care in corporate crisis management. Journal of Business Ethics, 46(4), 351-361. b)Marens, R. (2007). Returning to Rawls: Social contracting, social justice, and transcending the limitations of Locke. Journal of Business Ethics, 75(1), 63–76. Discussion Question: How managers make decisions? How should managers make decisions?
5 Seminar 5: In class exam Covers topics from the previous weeks
6 Seminar 6: Ethics in Information Technology Read chapter 3 of Text Zheng, Z., & Bhatt, B (Forthcoming). Polarisation in Information Ethics: Debating Privacy and Common Goods in the Chinese Social Credit System. In Edited Volume: Causes and Symptoms of Socio-Cultural Polarization: Role of Information and Communication Technologies. Singapore: Springer. Discussion Question: are new technological innovations leading us to an ethical crisis?
7 Seminar 7: Ethical issues of privacy and trust in the digital world Greenaway, K. E., Chan, Y. E., & Crossler, R. E. (2015). Company information privacy orientation: a conceptual framework. Information Systems Journal, 25(6), 579-606
8 Seminar 8: Ethical issues in marketing and Finance Readings will be assigned later Discussion Question: What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Discussion Question: Is impact investing ethical?
9 Seminar 9: Entrepreneurship and the Not-For-Profit Sector Read chapter 8 of text Bhatt, B. (forthcoming). The ethical complexity of Social change Discussion Question: Social entrepreneurship is an ethical business? Explain?
10 Seminar 10: Ethical issues in sharing economy and platform economy Read the following articles: a) Escobedo, M., Zheng, Z., & Bhatt, B. Socially Oriented Sharing Economy Platform in Regional Australia: a Polanyian Analysis. In Edited Volume: Sharing Economy at the Base of the Pyramid: Opportunities and Challenges. Singapore: Springer. b) Smith N.C., McCormick E. (2019) Uber and the Ethics of Sharing: Exploring the Societal Promises and Responsibilities of the Sharing Economy. In: Lenssen G., Smith N. (eds) Managing Sustainable Business. Springer, Dordrecht c) Who’s Responsible? The Ethics of the Sharing Economy https://knowledge.insead.edu/responsibility/whos-responsible-the-ethics-of-the-sharing-economy-5034#QGw0XqxIHKsPM80t.99 Discussion Question: Does platform economy provide an alternative business model?
11 Seminar 11: Presentation and discussion Suggested topics: ethical issues in microfinance, social enterprise, impact investing, pay equity, social marketing
12 Seminar 12: Presentations and course wrap-up Suggested topics: Ethical issues in Automation; digital divide; Ethical issues in platform economy (business models, Uber/ Airbnb/ etc) Discussion question: who is responsible for ethical business?

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
In class exam 35 % 31/08/2021 03/09/2021 1,2,3,4
Group Presentations 25 % 19/10/2021 27/10/2021 2,5,6
Review of presentations 5 % 26/10/2021 27/10/2021 2,5
Research paper 35 % 29/10/2021 02/12/2021 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to attend all classes and attempt all assessments.


There are no examinations held by ANU Examinations for this course. There is an in-class examination. See assessment section for further details.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 31/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 03/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

In class exam

Due: On Week 5 (during class)

In-class, open-book exam.

Date for Return of Assessment: 7 September, 2021

The exam will be 2 hours 30 minutes long

It will consist of short answer questions and will cover readings and teaching material from week 1 to week 4

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 19/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 27/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,5,6

Group Presentations

Due: Week 11, 12

Date for Return of Assessment: within two weeks of submission

Groups will be formed by the third week of the course. 

Duration: Approximately 30 minutes

Group Size: Group members will be self selected by the students in the 3rd week of class. the Size of the group will vary depending on the number of students register in the class. But an ideal size would be 3 students in each group

Presentation guidelines

  1. Identify an organization that is going through (or has gone through) a significant ethical scenario or dilemma.
  2. Use relevant ethical concepts and theory to discuss the key ethical issues that need to be (or were) resolved
  3. What action would you take to resolve the dilemma? Why

To avoid ‘free riding’, all group assignments are subjected to peer evaluation. These evaluations need to be submitted the night before the assignment is due.

Presentations will be recorded for QA purposes.

A detailed brief with grading rubric will be provided on Wattle

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 26/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 27/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,5

Review of presentations

Due: Week 11, 12

Participants will evaluate one presentation and submit a one-page report based on the criteria posted on wattle. In the review, you are expected to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the presentation and to share your opinion about the ethical solutions, processes, and experiences suggested by the presentation team

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 29/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Research paper

Due: Research Paper is due 4pm, one week after the last class

Form of Submission: via Turnitin

Return of Assessment: After release of final grades

Approximately 3000 words, double space, Font size: 12, Font type: Times New Roman

Referencing style: APA

Participants will be writing one argumentative research paper for this class. Paper will be evaluated based on the depth of analysis presented, insight demonstrated, and the quality of reflective and critical thinking. Participants can choose from one of the 4 topics listed below

What are social enterprises? Do social enterprises offer an ethical business model?

What is platform economy? Is platform economy emerging as an ethical business model?

What is Impact Investing? Does it have the potential to improve business practices?

What are the ethical issues in information technology? Is it possible to maintain privacy in the digital world?

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

All requests for extensions to assessment in RSM courses must be submitted to the RSM School Office with a completed application form and supporting documentation. The RSM Extension Application Form and further information on this process can be found at https://www.rsm.anu.edu.au/education/education-programs/notices-for-students/extension-application-procedure/

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All assignments will be marked and where appropriate feedback will be provided either: in class, or in person by appointment with the course lecturer, or via the course Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Unless specified otherwise in the assignment requirements, resubmissions are permitted up until the due date and time, but not allowed afterwards

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Babita Bhatt
612 57278

Research Interests

  • Hybrid Business models: Social enterprises, social business, Farmer Producer companies
  • Sharing Economy, Platform Economy, and emerging business models
  • Community resilience, social cohesion, and intersectionality

Dr Babita Bhatt

Tuesday 16:00 17:00
By Appointment
Dr Babita Bhatt

Research Interests

Dr Babita Bhatt

Tuesday 16:00 17:00
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions