Business Ethics


Your essay must incorporate some critical evaluative discussion of the relevant arguments presented in at least two of the assigned readings for your chosen topic.

A critical evaluative discussion includes assessment of possible opposing viewpoints and objections, and requires you to state your own view clearly and to defend it using some of the theoretical resources (theories, analysis) that we have studied in the unit.
Any quotations or paraphrasing of ideas/concepts from the texts, course notes or other sources must be appropriately referenced with a page number.

Essay Questions
Answer ONE of the following questions:

Important: Your essay must incorporate a detailed discussion and analysis of the relevant arguments presented in at least TWO* of the assigned readings for your chosen topic. This means you should include assessments of opposing viewpoints and objections. Remember to state your own view clearly and to defend it using some of the theoretical resources (theories, principles) we have discussed in class. (*It is advisable to use three to four sources, but you do not need to discuss the arguments from every source in the same detail.)

Answer ONE of the following questions:

  1. What moral limits, if any, should there be on the pursuit of shareholder value by a corporation? Do you agree with Milton Friedman’s view that corporate managers have an overriding moral duty to promote the interests of shareholders above the interests of other stakeholders in a business? Why/Why not? Include in your answer a detailed discussion of Evan and Freeman’s objections to the idea of shareholder primacy.
  2. What is a conflict of interest? Give a detailed account of the moral issues raised by conflicts of interest in the professions. Refer in your answer to the relationship between medical professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.
  3. Explain the view that the implementation of affirmative action policies in employment contexts do not amount to a morally problematic form of ‘reverse discrimination’. Do you agree with this view? Explain why you agree/disagree, providing detailed arguments to support your position.
  4. Discuss Albert Carr’s argument that business bluffing is ethical in relation to the debate between Arrington and Lippke on the ethics of advertising. Do you think that the kind of ‘bluffing’ or ‘puffery’ used in commercial advertising violates the autonomy of consumers? Defend your answer with careful argument and reference to one or more real life examples.
  5. Do you agree with Joe DesJardins that business has a moral responsibility to ensure that its activities are ecologically sustainable? Examine in detail the ethical justification DesJardins gives for this claim. Is he successful in his attempt to base his defence of sustainability on “the same values that underlie traditional market economics”? Relate your discussion to the broader corporate responsibility debate, making sure that you refer to at least two sources other than DesJardins.
  6. Do you agree with Leonard Weber that “democracy and the good of society are threatened when some interest groups have much more influence than others”? Discuss this view in relation to the issue of corporate donations and corporate lobbying. Is it morally acceptable for corporations to lobby and make financial donations to governments in order to pursue purely private corporate ends without regard for the public interest? Why/Why not? Provide detailed arguments to support your position.
  7. Many companies locate manufacturing activities in countries with low labour costs and few labour laws. What ethical obligations to employees do businesses have when operating in such countries? Discuss these practices in relation to the issues of global justice and globalization and with reference to at least one real business example. Does it make a difference to the morality of this practice if the manufacturing is outsourced to a third party?


  • Choose one of the question above
  • Please when you write focus what the question asked and please be specific with your answer and clearly
  • Please use the reading material that I uploaded for you. 
  • Please just write 1550 words no less than that and no more than 1650 words