Syllabus – Summer 2017

San José State University

College of Humanities & the Arts/Philosophy Department

BUS3/Philosophy 186, Professional and Business Ethics, Sections 2 and 6, Summer 2017

Course and Contact Information

Instructor: Lisa Bernasconi

Office Location: Faculty Office Building 206 (no office hours during summer)


Prerequisites: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C-not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites 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.

GE/SJSU Studies Category: Area S: Self, Society & Equality in the U.S.

Class Days/Times/Classrooms: Section 2 Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 6 to July 6, 2017 in BBC223; Section 6 Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 11 to August 10, 2017 in BBC223

Course Format: In person, lecture required

Faculty Web Page and MYSJSU Messaging

Course materials such as syllabus, handouts, notes, assignment instructions, etc. can be found on my web page at  You are responsible for regularly checking the email address associated with your MySJSU account to learn of any updates.

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. Case studies.

GE Learning Outcomes (GELO)

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, including the changes in attitude 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., Course will include 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 solutions 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 action.
  2. identify the major stakeholders of business and 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.


William H. Shaw & Vincent Barry, Moral Issues in Business, any of the last 3 editions –Wait until after first class to buy.

Course Requirements and Assignments

3 objective exams – 20% each

1 critical response paper – 10%

1 group project – 15 %

1 community service project – 5%

1 interview – 10%

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 (F=0, D=70, C=80, B=90, A=100). The group project will be graded on the same F to A scale. The community service will be graded pass/fail. The interview 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.

Determination of Grades

A 95 to 100; A- 90 to 94; B+ 87 to 89; B 84 to 86; B – 80 to 83;

C+ 77 to 79; C 74 to 76; C- 70 to 73; D 60 to 69; F 0 to 59

  • There will be no extra credit assigned
  • Late assignments will be accepted at my discretion and may be subject to penalty.

Classroom Protocol

Silence cell phones. Use laptops and other devices only for note taking. Arrive on time. Be courteous to your fellow students. Let me know promptly if you have any concerns about the class. During films and group discussions, close your laptop and be attentive. If you plan to be absent on an exam day, please let me know in advance by email.

University Policies

Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs maintains university – wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. You may find all syllabus related University Policies and resources information listed on GUP’s Syllabus Information web page at