Syllabus for PHI-384
ETHICS AND THE BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL
Ethics and the Business Professional prepares students to meet the ethical demands facing employees in modern business and nonprofit organizations. Addresses ethical issues surrounding personal moral development, interpersonal communication and relationships on the job, influence, groups and teams, leaders, followers, organizational climate and culture, and the organization's role in a global society. The course places particular emphasis on equipping participants with the concepts, strategies, and skills needed to improve individual and collective ethical performance. Students will assess and develop their abilities as ethical decision makers and actors.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
- Discuss ethical decision-making theories, concepts, and research findings.
- Examine ethical issues in the workplace.
- Analyze ethical problems in business contexts.
- Solve ethical problems and defend your conclusions.
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses as an ethical decision maker and develop strategies for self-improvement.
- Apply ethical skills and strategies to your work environment.
- Demonstrate written communication competency.
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
- Craig E. Johnson, Organizational Ethics: A Practical Approach, 3rd ed. (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2016).
Ethics and the Business Professional is a three-credit online course. It consists of five study modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
- Module 1: Laying an Ethical Foundation
- Module 2: Transforming Individual Ethics in the Organization
- Module 3: Transforming Interpersonal Ethics in the Organization
- Module 4: Transforming Group and Leadership Ethics
- Module 5: Transforming the Ethics of Organizational Systems
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in graded online discussions and an ungraded "Introductions" forum, which occurs during the first week of the semester. Additionally, there are five quizzes, three application projects, two contemporary case studies, and five self-assessments. You will also be required to complete an ethical culture analysis of an organization of your choice. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.
One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.
In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum in Module 1, Ethics and the Business Professional requires you to participate in twelve graded class discussions.
Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.
You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, and concepts as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.
Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.
Deadlines for posting responses to the discussion questions are given in the Course Calendar.
You are required to complete ten written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course’s modules.
Ethics and the Business Professional has several types of written assignments. Each of these is described more fully in the course modules as well as in the Evaluation Rubrics area of the course site. However, they can be grouped into into the following categories:
- Application Projects These are short papers that help you to apply module concepts.
- Contemporary Cases In this type of exercise you will identify and analyze an ethical issue in the contemporary workplace.
- Self-Assessment Logs These exercises allow you to assess some aspect of yourself through an assessment tool in the text and to reflect on what you have discovered.
For the assignment topics and questions, see the Assignment Modules area of the course Web site. Due dates for each assignment are listed in the Course Calendar.
Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the readings and concepts. They should also adequately answer the questions posed. If you need help in writing, take a look at The Writing Center: University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Also, formulate responses in your own words. Do not merely copy answers from your reading materials. When quoting or paraphrasing from the text or other sources, be sure to cite the source of information properly according to APA guidelines. If you have further questions, your mentor will guide you in accordance with the correct style of documentation.
Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.
Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.
At the conclusion of each of the five modules in Ethics and the Business Professional is an open book online quiz consisting of multiple choice questions. You may take each quiz multiple times if you wish, just be aware that the grade of your most recent attempt will be the one entered into the gradebook.
Together these five quizzes are worth 10 percent of your grade.
Ethical Culture Analysis
There is no exam in this course. Instead, in addition to the modular assignments just described, you will write an in-depth analysis of the ethical culture and performance of an organization you have chosen. This ethical culture analysis will provide you with the opportunity to apply what you have learned to a real-world situation.
The rubric that will be used to grade this project is available within the course website.
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
- Online discussions (12)—10 percent
- Application projects (3)—20 percent
- Contemporary cases (2)—15 percent
- Self-assessment logs (5)—15 percent
- Quizzes (5)—10 percent
- Ethics culture analysis—30 percent
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
- Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
- Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State University.
- Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
- Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
- If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.
Consider the following study tips for success:
- To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the Course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
- Check Announcements regularly for new course information.
Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.
Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at www.tesu.edu.
Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
- Gaining or providing unauthorized access to examinations or using unauthorized materials during exam administration
- Submitting credentials that are false or altered in any way
- Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
- Forgery, fabricating information or citations, or falsifying documents
- Submitting the work of another person in whole or in part as your own (including work obtained through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Submitting your own previously used assignments without prior permission from the mentor
- Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others (including making tests, papers, and other course assignments available to other students, either directly or through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Tampering with the academic work of other students
Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.
If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism
Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.
If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.
If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.
Possible sanctions include:
- Lower or failing grade for an assignment
- Lower or failing grade for the course
- Rescinding credits
- Rescinding certificates or degrees
- Recording academic sanctions on the transcript
- Suspension from the University
- Dismissal from the University
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