Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate good general knowledge of the major issues in contemporary business and professional ethics
  2. understand the major ethical concepts and theories that inform the business and professional ethics literature
  3. analyse and critically evaluate theories and arguments in the relevant literature
  4. relate ethical concepts and theories to relevant case studies and current events
  5. develop your own view or perspective, through consideration and analysis of views and arguments presented in the subject
  6. develop your skills in clarity of thought, clarity of written expression, and written argumentation.
    • Ultimate Values, Business and the Professions
    • Ethics and the Nature of Moral Reasoning
    • The Social Responsibility of Business: The Narrow View
    • The Social Responsibility of Business: Stakeholder Theory and Economic Justice
    • Ethical Issues in Advertising
    • Business and the Environment
    • Corporate Influence on Government
    • Justice and Globalisation
    • Industry Relations with the Professions
    • Discrimination and Affirmative Action
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links

Equivalent subjects

You cannot enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • NCCQ: MAQ-PHI230


You must complete some Level 1 studies before starting this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as PHI230 Business and Professional Ethics.

Please note: This subject is available in Macquarie Semester 3, which is an intensive semester that spans only 5 intensive teaching weeks, plus a mid-semester recess and an assessment period. Students are advised to enrol in only one or two subjects in Semester 3. Students who would prefer to take the unit over 13 teaching weeks should enrol in the Semester 1 offering.

This unit provides students with an introduction to some of the main ethical issues raised by the activities of businesses and corporations in contemporary society and introduces some central topics in professional ethics. The first part of the unit examines the roles and responsibilities of businesses and corporations in relation to individuals and society. We ask whether corporations have moral responsibilities to stakeholders other than shareholders and examine competing accounts of economic justice related to this question. Other topics in this section include the ethics of discrimination and affirmative action and the influence of business on government. The second part of the unit begins with an examination of the responsibilities of business in relation to the environment. Other topics in this section include justice and globalization, conflicts of interest in medicine, the ethics of advertising, and whistleblowing. This unit is relevant to students in accounting and business studies as well as those in the humanities and social sciences.

  • Reading Assignment 1 (20%)
  • Reading Assignment 2 (25%)
  • Essay (40%)
  • Participation (15%)

Textbooks are not required.

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology
  • Major in Creative Writing