COURSE: Marketing Ethics and Social Responsibility
Textbook: O.C. Ferrell, John Fraedrich and Linda Ferrell (2008) Business Ethics:
Ethical Decision Making and Cases, 7th Edition, Houghton Mifflin Co.; The Wall
Course Philosophy and Design: Marketing Ethics and Social Responsibility is designed
to immerse you in organizational ethical decision making processes, social responsibility
issues, organizational compliance mechanisms, and benefits of developing strategic
programs to be a good corporate citizen. As a marketing major, most of your activities
both inside and outside the organization have ethical dimensions. Particularly many
marketing functions represent boundary spanning roles between the organization and
outside stakeholders and as such, present challenges in the areas of: honesty and fairness,
deceptive communication, price fixing and anti-trust, product misrepresentation, billing
issues, etc. We will explore organizational successes and failures to better understand
how to manage these ethical and legal issues. You will complete a case analysis. In
addition, you will complete a team BBB Marketplace Ethics project and team role play
simulations. The class will be very interactive and meshed with current organizational
practice in developing integrity, corporate responsibility and ethical compliance
programs. There will be 2 exams.
-provide you a clear understanding of the performance benefits of good business ethics in
-understand the organizational mechanisms to support ethical decision making and social
-allow you to evaluate the implications of the legal pressure for ethically and socially
responsible behavior in organizations
-understand key ethical issues you will face in an organization
-be aware of current strategic programs for business ethics and social responsibility
-enhance your problem solving skills related to managing ethical dilemmas within an
-effectively utilize all outside resources in supporting case analysis and class discussion
-gain exposure to organizational resources providing a diversity of perspectives to
developing business ethics programs
-to learn what criteria are valued in business ethics program through “hands on”
experience with the Better Business Bureau Marketplace Ethics award program
Teamwork Component: There are 3 team projects in this class. Depending on the class
size, the teams are expected to consist of 3 members for the Better Business Bureau
project and 3 members for the case analysis. There are certain conditions that I will
assume this semester regarding team performance and consideration. Each team member
is expected to meet at the agreed upon times, or virtually, if this is a mutually compatible
solution. Team members are to engage equally in all the behind the scenes elements of
the case analysis and BBB Marketplace Ethics project (including research, assessment,
write-up and presentation). If at any point my assumptions are incorrect, please let me
know!! Sooner rather than later is greatly appreciated.
1) Team Case Analysis-Each 3 person team will complete a detailed case analysis (8-10
pages minimum, plus bibliography) and present their case assessment, analysis, and
outside research to update the case to the class. Presentations will be 20 minutes. To
successfully assess a case, you must engage in additional research to gather more
background information as well as current update information on the company and
situation. You may also wish to contact the organization or media sources directly for
more information. Your assessment should evaluate what led to the ethical/legal issue,
how the company reacted, what should have been done to prevent the problem, how they
should prevent such situations in the future, and if the company is “on track” today.
Written reports are due on the day of the presentation.
Presentation: 20 minutes
Paper: 8-10 pages (minimum) plus bibliography
2) Better Business Bureau Project (team)-Each 3 person team will be assigned a
business category and search the area for strong candidates for the BBB Marketplace
Ethics Awards (the Torch Awards). This will involve researching the types of businesses
that fit into your category, interviewing managers and owners to determine level of
commitment to business ethics initiatives and working with the businesses to formalize
their nominations and support materials. This may involve videotaping employees to
verify commitment, collecting evidence of programs such as codes of ethics, mission and
values statements, and any additional support of an ethical organizational culture. There
will be much more detail on this project provided in class.
Presentation: 20 minutes
Paper: 10-20 pages (minimum) plus bibliography
3) Ethics Simulation-In a class team of 5 you will complete a role play exercise also
called a behavioral ethics simulation. During this simulation you will assume a role within
an organization and deal with an ethical dilemma from the perspective of that individual.
You will each be given different roles within the organization (Director of Research and
Development, District Sales Manager, Advertising Director, etc.) and come together to
collectively resolve a company-wide ethical issue. Team recommendations will be made
in the form of a short managerial report (1/team).
Team Paper: 2-3 pages per team.
Midterm and Final Exam: Your midterm and final exam will be a combination of
multiple choice and short essay questions. The final exam will not be comprehensive--it
will cover the second half of the semester’s and text’s material. The exams will focus
heavily upon text content and application. You will have the entire class period to
complete each exam. Grades and overview will be provided during the following class
period...barring unusual circumstances and with the exception of the final exam. You
cannot miss an exam without first contacting me and receiving an excused absence for the
exam, indicating that some unusual circumstance has occurred which will prevent you
from taking the exam. If you do not receive my advance “okay”, the missed exam will
count as zero.
Participation, Professionalism, and Attendance: As with most of your senior level
courses, participation and attendance are critical to fully understanding concepts and
applications. Your attendance alone is not sufficient to receive full credit in this category.
You must also come to class prepared to discuss the topics, cases, and participate in the
events scheduled. This element accounts for 10% of your grade. I will provide sign in
sheets for each class period to document attendance. Participation will be noted
throughout the semester. If you miss a class period, you are responsible for finding out
what you missed from a classmate. Do not contact me for an update on what you missed
or to “clear” your absence.
Wall Street Journal Abstracts: Two Wall Street Journal articles should be abstracted
each week related to course content and will be collected on each Tuesday that the class
meets. Please use a 3x5 note card for the abstract.
Course Evaluation and Grading:
Midterm Exam 200 points
Final Exam (Exam II) 200 points
Team Case Analysis 150 points
Better Business Bureau Project 200 points
Simulations 100 points
Wall Street Journal Articles 50 points
Participation, Professionalism and WSJ article sharing 100 points
TOTAL... 1,000 points
Note: There will be NO curving of final grades.
Week Reading Assignments/Activities___________________________
1 Overview and Introduction
Team Case Assignments
Better Business Bureau Project
1 Ch. 1 The Importance of Business Ethics
2 Ch 2: Stakeholder Relationships, Social Responsibility and
2 Ch. 3: Emerging Business Ethics Issues
3 Ch. 4: Institutionalization of Business Ethics
4 Ch. 5 Ethical Decision Making and Ethical Leadership
4 Role Play Exercise: National Farm and Garden
5 Articles: “Ethical Reflection and Decision-Making;” “Corporate
Governance and Ethics: Staying Above Boards”
5 FFF Ch. 6 Individual Factors: Moral Philosophies and
Cognitive Moral Development
6 Midterm Exam
FFF Chapters 1-5
7 Article “Core Values and the Marketing Community”
7 FFF Ch. 7 Organizational Factors: The Role of Ethical Culture
8 Article “Managing Ethics Upwards”
8 FFF Ch. 8 Developing an Effective Ethics Program
Article “Ethics and Compliance Programs”
9 FFF, Ch. 9 Implementing and Auditing Ethics Programs
Article “Ethical Financial Reporting and Compliance”
9 FFF, Ch. 10 Global Business Ethics Issues
10 Role Play Exercise: Deer Lake Marina
10 Role Play Exercise: Sexual Harassment Court Case
11 Case Presentations
11 Case Presentations
12 Case Presentations
12 Case Presentations
13 BBB Presentations
14 BBB Presentations
14 BBB Presentations
15 BBB Presentations
Dec. 16 Final Exam 3:40-5:40
Student Professional Code of Conduct
Department of Marketing
The Department of Marketing has created this Student Code of Conduct to support a productive
and stimulating learning environment in all marketing classes. The code is designed to help
ensure a positive atmosphere for the vast majority of students who currently exhibit the
professional standards detailed below.
• Students should exhibit professional classroom values and behavior by:
o engaging in appropriate communication and interaction.
o demonstrating trust, respect and civilities.
o approaching course content as important and necessary for success in business.
o engaging in responsible classroom activities such as:
turning off cell phones
not using electronic devices to send or receive messages during class
avoiding unnecessary talking
not reading outside material or doing other work during class
• Students should contribute to a positive learning environment by:
o arriving, attending, and departing class in a professional manner.
o taking responsibility for team and individual assignments.
o developing cooperative relationships with other students and faculty.
• Students should support a professional environment within the College of Business by:
o avoiding inappropriate language in and near classrooms and offices.
o refraining from unrealistic expectations in dealing with administration, faculty, and
• Students must uphold the academic integrity standards as explained in the university’s
2004-2006 General Catalog (see pages 37-39). Academic integrity is conceptualized as
doing and taking credit for one’s own work. Violations of the university’s academic integrity
standards include, but are not limited to:
o Cheating in the classroom. “Cheating includes using unauthorized sources of
information and providing or receiving unauthorized assistance on any form of
academic work.” (p.37)
o Plagiarism. “Plagiarism includes the copying of language, structure, ideas, or thoughts
of another, and representing them as one’s own without proper acknowledgment.”
o Unauthorized Possession or Disposition of Academic Materials. “Unauthorized
possession or disposition of academic materials includes the unauthorized selling or
purchasing of examinations or other academic work; stealing another student’s work;
unauthorized entry to or use of material in a computer file; theft or mutilation of library
materials; and using information from or possessing exams that an instructor did not
authorize for release to students.” (p. 37)
o Falsification. “Falsification encompasses any untruth, either verbal or written, in one’s
academic work.” (p. 36)
o Facilitation of Cases of Academic Dishonesty. “Facilitation of any act of academic
dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, and/or falsification of documents also
constitutes violation of Colorado State University’s academic integrity.” (p.37)
Violations of Colorado State University’s academic integrity policies will be
handled in accordance with the procedures discussed on pages 37-38 of the
2004-2006 General Catalog.
Please note that faculty members and administrative professionals at CSU must also abide by a
Code of Ethical Behavior. This code is included on the CSU website
(http://facultycouncil.colostate.edu/files/manual/sectiond.htm#D.9) and states among other things
that faculty members are expected to “maintain a high level of discretion and respect in personal
and professional relations with students, staff, and the public.” This code also notes that faculty
must eschew academic misconduct such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism.