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  This module is a resource for lecturers  

 

Introduction

 

This Module introduces students to the idea that integrity and ethics are key to sustainable business success. It examines the reasons why individuals in corporate entities should act with integrity and do business ethically. It further provides an overview of the building blocks of an effective integrity and ethics culture that supports businesses in acting as good corporate citizens. Compliance, which is a concept encompassing the measures that businesses take to adhere to standards, rules and regulations, is also an important part of any discourse on integrity and ethics and therefore is touched upon in this Module. Emphasis is placed on the role of codes of ethics or codes of conduct as tools for businesses to achieve both ethical behaviour and compliance. Although codes are only one component of an overall business ethics programme, they are a tangible way to actualize ethical practice in business.

E4J Integrity and Ethics Module 1 (Introduction and Conceptual Frameworks) defines the terms integrity and ethics, introduces basic ethical concepts and their philosophical roots, and demonstrates ethical reasoning and analysis. This Module builds on those discussions. A central message of the Module is that businesses need to adopt a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to uphold integrity standards and address ethical issues. The Module also briefly explains how businesses can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Module is a resource for lecturers. It provides an outline for a three-hour class but can be used for shorter or longer sessions, or extended into a full-fledged course (see: Guidelines to develop a stand-alone course).

 

Learning outcomes

 
  • Explain why integrity and ethics are important for both corporations and individuals in the world of business
  • Present the business case for the importance of integrity and ethics in business (both in terms of driving long-term value creation and protecting value)
  • Describe the key components required to design, implement, and support a successful integrity and ethics programme in any business
  • Suggest ethical management approaches for businesses of various characteristics in terms of size, legal status, or level of complexity