MBA-695-Business Ethics



October 26 - December 29

This is a hybrid class: Students must have PRE-READ the material and viewed any videos for that week before the face-to-face classes on Thursday. I expect you to come prepared to engage! It is critically important to get started ASAP and manage your time wisely. Do not wait for me to contact you - hybrid and online classes are very time-consuming. Success requires hard work, motivation, persistence, discipline and effort. If you log into the class regularly, participate in class discussions, submit all materials on time, and master the content materials, you have the potential to excel, not only in this class but in your career. If you do not have self-discipline or cannot commit that time and effort, do not take this class!!

Course Description: This course examines the foundations of moral reasoning and the analysis of ethical issues that arise in a wide range of contemporary business practices, both domestically and globally. This course is designed to inform and stimulate thinking on ethical issues, corporate social responsibility, conscious capitalism, and professional challenges encountered in business. The course material should enable student to recognize and manage ethical issues and to formulate their own standards of integrity and professionalism.

Course Objectives:

This course covers the importance of business ethics in any industry. Many students and managers alike find themselves unfamiliar with the ethical challenges, behaviors, and regulations industries face. In turn, many organizations struggle with ethics.

In this course, you will learn what needs to be done to fix the moral ills of an organization. By the end of the course, you will know:

  1. How to design and manage ethical organizations

  2. How to make ethical decisions

  3. How to be an ethical person

The scientific method can be pursued for addressing the moral ills of organizations.

  1. Managers must recognize and identify the moral problems.

  2. Managers must understand the causes of organizational moral imperfections.

  3. Managers must have a vision, and understand the benefits, of a morally healthy organization.

  4. Managers must understand and implement strategies that will result in achieving the vision of a morally healthy organization.

By the end of this course, students will be equipped with an array of best practices in business ethics that can be implemented soon after graduation.

Instructor: Professor Shawn Newman, J.D. (short bio & contact information)

Office Hours: I will be available before/after class. I am also available by appointment and via email at I try to respond to emails within 24 hours. Note these etiquette tips for emailing your professor and submitting materials.


  • SMU E-mail account: You must have an active SMU email account as I send articles of interest, quizzes and exams via email.

  • Book: Business Ethics: Best Practices for Designing and Managing Ethical Organizations, Second Edition, by Denis Collins. SAGE Publishing, 2018. ISBN: 9781506388052

  • Book Chapter Power Points

  • Supplemental materials

  • Helpful but optional material can be found in my online Subject Matter Index.

  • Professor Newman's Own Business Law videos can be found here.

  • The Business Professor's videos can be found here.

Assessment and Grading: 500 points total

  • 4 Exams @ 100/each = 400 total

  • Class presentations : 100 points. Each student (or teams depending on number of students) will be responsible for presenting one of the case studies in Part V of the text, including the "Critical Thinking Questions" at the end of the case note. Presentations will be randomly assigned and evaluated by me and your classmates. See below.

Teaching Philosophy: My job is to help you develop legal knowledge and skills that will help you succeed in your life and career. It is your responsibility to be prepared for class and to complete all assignments on time. I do not give re-dos, mulligans or incompletes. I have listed reading assignments, exams and resources for each week. Please note that I reserve the option to modify the schedule and may add content to the syllabus based on class discussions. Classes are conducted like a business meeting. (See Expectations Power Points below).

Academic Policy: SMU Academic Policies and Procedures regarding academic dishonesty can be found the the undergraduate and graduate student catalogs.

Need Help? Information on student support services, including academic support, counseling, health and disability services can be found in the undergraduate and graduate student catalogs. For technology help, contact the Help Desk or the Compute Resource Center.