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University of Texas at Dallas

ISSS 3360: Politics and Values in Business and Technology


Spring 2007

Instructor: Dr. Brian Bearry Teaching Assistant: Mukul Sharma


Office: GR 3.704 x 2966 Office:
Office hrs: by appointment office hours TBA, and by appointment
email: bxb022100@utdallas.edu email: mxs041100@utdallas.edu

Textbook:
Business Ethics 6th edition. Richard DeGeorge, Pearson/Prentice Hall Publishing

Course description:

This lecture course will offer a social science survey of current business practices and the normative value
systems by which they operate and are regulated. The study of politics and values in business and technology
involves an analysis of three interrelated areas: economics, politics and law, and ethics. We shall begin with an
introduction to two major systems of normative values—utilitarianism and rights based ethics. Additionally, we will
briefly explore the influence of virtue ethics on the evolution of modern value systems. We shall then proceed to an
examination of selected topics of concern in the field of business and technology, using case studies to apply the
different theories of behavior and practice. Especially relevant will be the concern for how current business
practices are influenced by culture, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and by political institutions and contemporary
technological developments. The course goal will be to 1) raise awareness of the larger social impact of
technological and economic developments; 2) develop a working vocabulary of evaluative terms and concepts
derived from political, economic and ethical theory, and 3) apply this evaluative vocabulary in formulating and
critiquing arguments and decisions regarding ethical problems that are raised.

Course requirements and grading:


Attendance is expected and required. The exams will consist almost equally of lecture and reading
material. Please note, not all material covered in lecture and on the exams will be found in your text.
There will be four exams for this course; however, you will lose 5% of your grade for every three absences.
Your final grade will be determined as follows:

Four exams 25% each


Total 100%

And of course, for those with excessive absences, there will be a reduction in the value of your final grade.

All exams and the course grade will be determined by the following scale:

A: 94-100 B-: 80-83 D+: 67-69


A-: 90-93 C+: 77-79 D: 64-66
B+: 87-89 C: 74-76 D-: 60-63
B: 84-86 C-: 70-73 F: below 60

Class rules and grades:

1. email: You must put your full name on all email correspondence. Emails sent without a name will not
be answered. We will NOT send exam, quiz, assignment and final grades via email. You may
receive your grades when exams, etc., are returned during or after class, or you may drop by my or the
TA’s office hours to receive your grades and other pertinent material.

2. You may not reschedule an exam for any reason—except for a documented medical emergency.

3. In order for you to receive an excused absence, you must notify me or the Teaching Assistant prior
to class; or you must have a documented medical emergency; otherwise, all absences and tardies will
be considered unexcused.

5. All grades are final (unless there is a mistake when determining a grade—this does happen).
The time to be concerned with a grade is during the semester, not after. When challenging a grade, it is the
responsibility of the student to produce the requisite materials. There is no extra credit given in this class.

DO NOT BRING CELL PHONES INTO EXAMS. ANYONE CAUGHT WITH A CELL PHONE OR ANY
OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE WILL IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE A 0 (F) FOR
THAT EXAM.

University Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty:


It is the policy of the University of Texas at Dallas that cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated under any
circumstances. Violations will result in immediate disciplinary action to the fullest extent of the policy, which can
range from automatically failing an exam to dismissal from the University. See the University catalog for a detailed
explanation.

3360.001
Course outline and reading:

Jan 8—Course Introduction


Jan 10—lecture (classical ethics and introductory concepts) [Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle]
Jan 15—MLK Day—no class
Jan 17—De George, ch 1 entire (introductory concepts cont.)
Jan 22--De George, ch. 2 entire (introduction cont.)
Jan 24--De George, ch. 3 entire (utilitarianism)
Jan 29--De George, ch. 4 entire (Kantianism, rights and justice)
Jan 31--De George, ch. 5 entire (rights, justice and virtue ethics)
Feb 5--lecture and exam review
Feb 7--EXAM #1
Feb 12--De George, ch. 6 entire (justice and economics)
Feb 14--De George, ch 7 entire (justice and economics)
Feb 19--De George, ch. 8 pp. 180-198 (corporate ethical theory)
Feb 21--De George, ch 8 pp. 198-209 (corporate ethical theory)
Feb 26--lecture and exam review
Feb 28—EXAM #2
Mar 5-9—SPRING BREAK—no class
Mar 12--De George, ch 19 entire (international business and globalization)
Mar 14--De George, ch. 21 entire (international business and globalization)
Mar 19--De George, ch. 14 entire (work and workers rights)
Mar 21--De George, ch. 16 pp. 417-430 (discrimination and affirmative action)
Mar 26--De George, ch. 16 pp. 430-445 (discrimination and affirmative action cont.)
Mar 28--lecture and exam review
Apr 2—EXAM #3
Apr 4--De George, ch. 13 pp. 323-335 (marketing)
Apr 11--De George, ch 13 pp. 336-351 (marketing)
Apr 16--De George, ch 18 entire (privacy and technology)
Apr 18—lecture and exam #4 review
Apr 23—EXAM #4