186 Syllabus Spring 2019


BUS3/Phil 186, Professional and Business Ethics,Sections 1, 2, & 4, Spring Semester, 2019

Course and Contact Information
Instructor: Lisa Bernasconi
Office Location: Faculty Office Building 206
Email: lisa.bernasconi@sjsu.edu
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:15pm to 1:15pm
Class Days/Time: Mondays and Wednesdays

Section 1: 7:30am to 8:45am

Section 2: 9:00am to 10:15am

Section 4: 1:30pm to 2:45pm

Classroom: Sections 1 and 2: Boccardo Business Center (BBC) 222

Section 4: MacQuarrie Hall 324

Prerequisites: Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing.
GE/SJSU Studies Category: SJSU S: Self, Society & Equality in US
Course Format

In person – Lecture required

Web Page and Messaging

Course materials such as syllabus, handouts, notes, assignment instructions, etc. can be found on my faculty web page at www.mrsbernasconi.com. You are responsible for regularly checking your email address (as shown on your my.sjsu page) for important announcements, schedule changes, etc.

Course Description

Interdisciplinary study of types of ethical problems which arise within the contexts of business occupations and professions. Major ethical theories, critique of economic and criminal justice. Focus is on issues of justice and equality in the U.S.

GE Learning Outcomes (GELO)

 Upon successful completion of this GE course,

GELO 1: Students will be able to describe how identities (i.e. religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation, disability, and/or age) are shaped by cultural and societal influences within contexts of equality and inequality.

Course will include discussion of the expectations of workers vs. the reality of civil liberties in the workplace.

GELO 2: Students will be able to describe historical, social, political, and economic processes producing diversity, equality, and structured inequalities in the U.S.

Course will include discussion of the civil rights movement and the problems of working women before, during and after World War II

GELO 3: Students will be able to describe social actions which have led to greater equality and social justice in the U.S. (i.e. religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation, disability, and/or age).

Course will include discussion of the labor movement in the U.S., as well as discussion of the concepts of protected classes under the law, affirmative action, and comparable worth

GELO 4: Students will be able to recognize and appreciate constructive interactions between people from different cultural, racial, and ethnic groups within the U.S.

Course will include discussion of cooperation of Pilipino-American and Mexican-American labor leaders in the struggle for farm worker rights.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to recognize, analyze, and articulate practical strategies to respond to ethical issues that arise in business. Specifically, you will be able to:

  1. comprehend the major methods of ethical reasoning, apply these methods to specific business situations, and draw conclusions for practical action.
  2. identify the major stakeholders of business and understand how they may be affected by ethical or unethical behavior.
  3. demonstrate familiarity with various ethical issues that arise in business, such as insider trading, misuse of corporate resources, conflicts of interest, and sexual and racial harassment.
  4. distinguish among societal, organizational, and individual-level causes of unethical behavior in business.
  5. know how well-managed companies structure their ethics and compliance function.


Shaw and Barry, Moral Issues in Business, (any of the last several editions; Don’t buy until after the first day of class).

Course Requirements and Assignments
  • 3 objective exams – 20% (60% total)
  • 1 critical response essay – 10%
  • 1 group project – 15%
  • 1 community service activity – 5%
  • 1 final exam (interview/analysis) – 10%

“Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of 45 hours over the length of the course (normally three hours per unit per week) for instruction, preparation/studying, or course related activities, including but not limited to internships, labs, and clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.”

Final Examination or Evaluation

At the day and time of the final evaluation for your section, you will submit an interview/analysis assignment.

You will interview a working person about

  • the ethical issues that person encounters at work or sees others encounter
  • how those issues are resolved
  • whether your subject believes the issues are handled fairly for all concerned

The interview description should be about one to two pages. Include an additional page showing how this issue relates to one of the lectures from this semester.

Grading Information

The 3 objective exams will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100. The critical response paper will be graded from F to A. The group project will be graded on the same F to A scale. The community service will be graded pass/fail. The interview/final evaluation paper will be graded pass/fail.

Your grade for the critical response paper will be determined by your demonstrated understanding of the concepts involved, the clarity of your arguments, and your attention to details of grammar and spelling.

For the group project, the entire group will receive the same grade, so everyone is responsible for every page of the completed project.

There will be no extra credit assigned.  Late assignments will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor and may be subject to penalty.

Determination of Grades

A = 95 percent to 100 percent

A minus = 90 percent to 94 percent

B plus = 87 percent to 89 percent

B = 83 percent to 86 percent

B minus = 80 percent to 82 percent

C plus = 77 percent to 79 percent

C = 73 percent to 76 percent

C minus = 70 percent to 72 percent

D = 66 percent to 69 percent

F = 65 percent or lower

“Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C‐ not accepted), and completion of Core General Education are prerequisite to all SJSU Studies courses. Completion of, or co‐registration in, 100W is strongly recommended. A minimum aggregate GPA of 2.0 in GE Areas R, S, & V shall be required of all students.”

Classroom Protocol

Silence cell phones and put them out of sight (your sight, not mine). Use laptops/tablets only during lectures and for note taking only.  Close laptop/tablet at all other times.  Arrive on time.  Be courteous to your fellow students.  Let me know promptly if you have any concerns about the class.  If you plan to be absent on an exam day, let me know by email in advance if possible.

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9 relevant information to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. is available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs’ Syllabus Information web page at http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/syllabusinfo/”