Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Business Ethics - Exchange

Business Ethics - Exchange
First semester
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Other languages of instruction: English, Spanish,

Teaching staff


How do we know that the decisions we make are ethically correct? What is the ethical responsibility of a company? Are there companies that are more ethically responsible than others? What are the benefits of ethical behavior in the work environment?

These types of questions can only be answered comprehensively by using a method of ethical analysis based on practical knowledge and wisdom in combination with solid theoretical and philosophical foundations.

The discipline of business ethics aims to provide the student with the necessary tools to answer these types of questions and other issues related to the moral and ethical assessment of the actions that are carried out in the space of business activity.


Pre-course requirements

no prerequisites


  • To understand why ethics is an essential part of any human decision.
  • To gain an understanding of frequent ethical issues and dilemmas in business management.
  • To become familiar with the essential business ethics concepts and the most relevant international standards for business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
  • To understand the role of human virtues in business management and dealing with people.
  • To understand the main ethical requirements for decision-making based on human dignity, human rights and other essential ethical principles.
  • To reflect on an effective integration of ethics into business management and organisations.


  • 11 - To be familiar with the main concepts and theories related to humanity and society.
  • 12 - To be familiar with the main concepts and theories of economic and business philosophy.
  • 50 - To acquire the ability to relate concepts, analyse and synthesise.
  • 51 - To develop decision making skills.
  • 53 - To acquire the skills necessary to learn autonomously.
  • 54 - To be able to express one’s ideas and formulate arguments in a logical and coherent way, both verbally and in writing.
  • 56 - To be able to create arguments which are conducive to critical and self-critical thinking.
  • 60 - To acquire knowledge that promotes respect for other cultures and habits.
  • 62 - To acquire mechanisms that facilitate the adoption of ethical commitments.
  • 68 - To develop mechanisms that encourage sensitivity towards social welfare issues.

Learning outcomes

Students who take this course will develop their ability to identify ethical values and make moral judgements. They will also learn to identify and solve practical problems and make good decisions.


Teaching and learning activities

In person

Three different types of methodological resources are used in this course:


1. Theoretical classes.

2. Interactive classes. Debate.

3. Analysis of cases.

Class organization.


Most of the classes will be divided into two parts. Theoretical class and interactive class through individual/group work and discussion.


Two of the classes in the course will be led by a former senior United Nations official who will explain key issues in business ethics from the perspective of her former organization. 


The dates of these two classes will be agreed with the students of the course in class within the date/time availability of the professor. 

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The student's evaluation will be based on:

Class participation (30%)
Partial exam (20%)
Final exam (20%)
Final presentation (20%). 
Invited Professor's Test (10%)

The content of the exams will be based on the lectures, content of the slides and readings indicated in class. 


Class attendance is not mandatory. Class participation will be evaluated based on the active participation (not passive-mere attendance) of the students. In addition, the student's ethical behavior (politeness, good manners, respect and punctuality) will be taken into account in determining the final grade for this section.

However, an excessive number of absences (more than three without justification) will have consequences in the final grade of this section. Students will be able to justify, if they wish, their absence 48 hours in advance (except for serious exceptions) by mail to the teacher.


The teacher will begin to teach the class after 10 minutes from the initial time scheduled for the beginning of the class. After these 10 minutes, students will not be allowed to enter the class (unless clearly justified).



Bibliography and resources

Melé, D., Business Ethics in Action. Seeking Human Excellence in Organizations. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009. 

Melé, D.. 2012. Management Ethics: Placing Ethics at the Core of Good Management. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

 Bowie, N.E. (ed.). 2002, The Blackwell Guide to Business Ethics (Blackwell,Oxford).

Ferrell. O.C et al. Business Ethics: ethical decision making and cases. Mariner books. 2005.

Hartman. L. et al. Business Ethics. Decision Making for personal integrity and and Social Responsability. Mc.Graw Hill.

Guillén Parra, M. 2006, Ética en las organizaciones. Construyendo confianza, Pearson-Prentice-Hall, Madrid.

Llano, C.: 1997, Dilemas éticos de la empresa contemporánea (Fondo de Cultura Económica, México).


There is no required textbook for this class.