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edX

Ethical Decision-Making for Global Managers

Georgetown University via edX Professional Certificate

Overview

Global managers face increasing pressures from governments and civil society groups to go beyond traditional business roles for the sake of the common good. Ethical issues of human rights, labor conditions, and environmental impacts can pose serious policy dilemmas that involve difficult value choices and management decisions.

Should foreign companies try to influence a country’s domestic political process on issues such as democratic elections, religious freedoms, the treatment of indigenous peoples, or the domestic allocation of tax revenue? Should large international retailers enforce ethical practices for their foreign suppliers, such as requiring a “living wage”? Do international marketing practices manipulate vulnerable consumers into making inappropriate purchases or enhance their free choice of products?

This program consists of three courses that analyze questions of business ethics using actual cases from around the world. Drawing on established theory and ethical principles, the courses use normative criteria to evaluate “best choice” options for real-world ethical decision-making. The courses also promote awareness of the complexities facing global decision makers caught between competing national laws or cultural practices.

Syllabus

Courses under this program:
Course 1: Foundations of Ethical Decision-Making: Government and Political Issues

Globalization has dramatically increased the influence of international corporations in political, economic, and sociocultural spheres. More than ever, global managers are faced with profound choices about their impact. In this course, you will analyze real-world ethical dilemmas using multiple frameworks and ultimately refining your own approach to ethical decision-making.



Course 2: Ethical Decision-Making: Labor and Production Dilemmas

Labor and production standards, meant to ensure the safety of workers and consumers, are neither universally accepted nor always enforced. Where local governments fail to act, global corporations may receive pressure to step in. In this course, you will consider ethical questions about the role of international businesses in preventing harm abroad.



Course 3: Ethical Decision-Making: Cultural and Environmental Impact

International corporations can trigger significant cultural shifts and environmental impacts. For example, when foreign corporations set up large mineral extraction operations in developing countries, both culture and environment are altered. Ethical concerns arise when manipulative marketing techniques are used to mislead foreign consumers, especially about potentially harmful products. In this course, you will consider the ethics of these types of global influence.



Courses

Taught by

John Kline

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