Western Washington University Western Washington University

Managerial Decisions:
Competing in the Global Environment
Summer 2007

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Meets: M/T/W/R 10:00 am -- 11:50 pm (PH 244, CRN 30392)
Instructor: Associate Professor Craig P. Dunn, PhD
Office: PH 206A
Office Hours: 2:00 -- 3:00 pm T/R, and by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

MBA 510c MANAGERIAL DECISIONS (16) Prereq: MBA 510b or admission to the Accelerated Full-Time MBA Program. Links managerial decisions with specific functional areas of study such as marketing, operations, accounting, finance, and organizational behavior. The focus of these modules is cross-functional decision making in the context of global competition.

What is the corporation? Do corporations--and more particularly the managers who represent them--have any responsibilities beyond seeking to maximize shareholder wealth? Is the term 'business ethics' an oxymoron? What is the source of moral truth? These and other related questions provide the 'grist' for this course.

This course is designed to be a challenging and exciting course for the graduate business student. Two major themes will provide direction throughout this brief overview: business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Most of your prior business coursework has been concerned with highly structured topics closely related to a well-developed body of theory; not so with business ethics/corporate social responsibility. There is not a specific set of skills serving to lead you through the course, and no unifying meta-theory to inform your decisions. The problems and issues of business ethics/corporate social responsibility embrace the entire spectrum of business and management disciplines. Many variables and situational factors must be dealt with at once; weighing the 'pros and cons' of a particular course of action necessitates a total enterprise perspective.

This course has been included in your business curriculum in order to stress the appropriateness of moral judgement as a central component of business decision making. The overriding pedagogical objective is to sharpen your abilities to think critically and to diagnose situations from an ethical perspective. Accomplishing this objective entails introducing you to a broad range of ethical frameworks. Application of such models of moral reasoning necessarily takes account of the complexities and constraints imposed by the environment in which the firm operates, why the environment must be attended to, and how it affects the moral character of decisions.


o Ethical context
 Define “ethics” as applied to business
 Explain how ethics is different from legal compliance
 Recognize the ethical issues in a business situation
 Discuss the uses of a corporate social audit and code of conduct
 Explain how a firm promotes and practices ethical behavior
o Social context
 Describe the common ways of explaining ethical/social duties in business
 Identify the relationships and responsibilities business has to stakeholder groups
 Explain the nature and imperative of a “market economy” and citizens self-identifying as consumers
o Ecological context
 Explain the effects of business on the environment, and why it has those effects
 Identify the theories, methodology, and standards used to measure environmental damage and remediation
 Discuss how and why government regulation affects the environment
 Summarize theories on the limits of growth
 Recognize concepts for a steady-state economy
o Ethical theories and models of ethical reasoning;
 Describe several important ethical theories
 Explain the stages of moral development in men and women
 Discuss how societal values are incorporated into ethical reasoning
o Global economic environment
 Identify the effects on business decisions of operating across borders

A maximum of 1000 points may be accumulated in this course. Point distribution varies as follows (see grading contract at back of syllabus for details):

o Reflective Journal 20 points
o Writing Assignments 30-50 points
o Case Analysis 30-50 points

The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the term.

93 - 100 points


90 - 92.9 points


86.5 - 89.9 points


83 - 86.4 points


80 - 82.9 points


76.5 - 79.9 points


73 - 76.4 points


70 - 72.9 points


66.5 - 69.9 points


63 - 66.4 points


60 - 62.9 points


In a section entitled Grades and Intellectual Honesty, the Western Washington University catalog states:

Grades are given for the student’s work and achievement. Fair evaluation of students’ work and helpful instruction are possible only when students submit work which genuinely reflects their own reading, computation, research and thoughts and is their own production, whether in writing or other format(s). Intellectual dishonesty can result in a failing grade and the placement of a note in the student’s permanent record. For the university’s policy on academic dishonesty, see Appendix D.

Students involved in any form of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or `cheating') on any coursework will receive a failing grade for the course.

'. . .my spirit never walked beyond our counting house. . .[It] never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole.'
'But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge.
'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business. . .'

-Jacob Marley
A Christmas Carol
(Charles Dickens)

No texts are assigned. Assigned case studies, reading materials, and course videos will be available on the course website. Students will be provided additinal case studies for end-of-term presentations by their class colleagues.Students are expected to read each assigned reading before the scheduled lecture for that reading.

Each day the class schedule will indicate a 'prompt' for your reflective journal (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment accounts for twenty percent of your course grade, and is designed to engage you in linking the course content with 'real life' application.

For each day on which a reflective journal assignment is posted, students are to 'cut and paste' the 'prompt' from the course schedule into a new thread within their own journal, and then provide their reflections on the 'prompt.' The reflective journal is to be kept in Blackboard. To post an entry, do the following:

o Click on the 'journal' button in the left menu bar
o Click on 'view'
o Click on 'new entry'
o Enter a BRIEF journal entry title
o Cut and paste the 'prompt' from the course schedule into the BODY of the journal entry
o Click 'save' (following completion of journal entry)

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty member, have access to these posts--which are time and date stamped upon submission.

There are no examinations for this course.

There will be four writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). Each student is to respond to three of these. All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in class and/or as covered in assigned readings. Each paper will take the form of a two page, double-spaced, typed paper which directly addresses the question(s) posed. While it is certainly allowable for students to discuss these writing assignments with one another, final papers ought to be recognizable as the 'independent' work of the student submitting the writing assignment.

Papers are to be submitted electronically to craig.dunn@wwu.edu. The e-mail memo line as well as the MS Word file name MUST begin with the LAST NAME of the student and also include the course designation (MBA 510C).

"Greed, for want of a better term, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of its forms-greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge-has marked the upward surge of mankind."

-Gordon Gecko
Oliver Stone's Wall Street

Each student shall participate in a team project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice:

Analyze a contemporary business ethics case using the principles outlined in lecture and readings.

Each three member team is to prepare both a comprehensive written as well as an oral analysis of a business ethics case of their own choosing, to include: (1) a statement identifying the moral dilemma; (2) listing of alternatives providing resolution of this moral dilemma; (3) analysis of proposed resolutions from the perspective of legal as well as moral theory; (4) selection of optimal resolution (with supporting defense from both the managerial and ethical perspectives); as well as (5) suggestions for implementation. Any assumptions made must be clearly identified as such, but do not 'assume away' the dilemma--resolve it!

A 'Case Proposal' form is to be submitted by each group no later than the end of the first week of the course. Cases can come from any appropriate current source; the Wall Street Journal and the 'Social Issues' column of Business Week are among the more popular periodicals for sourcing business ethics cases. Cases are to be presented during a class session set aside for case presentation (see course schedule for specific date).

Reporting will take the form of a 15 minute oral presentation followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. Be creative. Prepare the analysis as if you were presenting the information to any fitting audience you explicitly identify, to be role-played by those students not in your group (who will be accountable for posing relevant questions to the presenting group).Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in grading the team project are listed in the table below.

o timeliness of case
o soundness of recommendations
o feasibilty of case resolution
o use of ethical and social theory to support arguments
o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o professionalism of presentation
o creativity of presentation

Outlined above are the course activities available to students. Ranges of possible points have been listed above. Each student is to fill out and return to the instructor a binding contract for work to be completed this term (see below). You are to fill out the number of points desired for each activity. The total number of points must total 100. Points for each activity will range from 20-50% of the course grade, depending upon the individual assignment and weightings. Points must be selected in increments of 5.

For example, a student may choose to minimize the points on the case analysis by completing writing assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Reflective Journal 20 points
o Writing Assignments 50 points
o Case Analysis 30 points

In all cases, class participation is mandatory. Failure to attend scheduled class sessions may be reflected in final course grading.

To send your MBA 510C contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted electronically. A confirmed copy of each contract will be returned to each student by the end of the first week of class.

Management 510C Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MGT 510C student and Professor Dunn for work to be completed Summer term, 2007. It is understood that this agreement is not subject to change. Additionally, course participation (or lack thereof) may be reflected in final course grading.

Section #

First Name: Last Name:

Western ID:

Complete E-mail Address:

Point Objective for Reflective Journal:

Point Objective for Writing Assignments:

Point Objective for Team Project:

Please make certain the above point objectives total 100.

By sending this form, you agree to be evaluated on the basis of this contract as well as by the terms of the course as outlined in this syllabus.

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