Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2008/09

Contemporary Consumer and Business Ethics
Aim of the course
This course explores the impact of ethics on the lives of today’s consumer and examines the reaction of companies and other interest groups to these changing views.
The study of ethics has a long and complex history but arguably can be narrowed down to the perception of right and wrong. The Roman philosopher Cicero (106-43BC) stated that what is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. Today we are still faced with these types of decisions although given advancements that have led to globalisation our ability to identify the wrong we are doing through for instance our high levels of consumption, is perhaps less clear.
Taking a consumerist viewpoint this course aims to identify the flows of information that lead to changes resulting from the impact of ethics. Through the use of practical examples the course will examine how different interest groups have both; impacted upon these changes; and how they have reacted to them. The following basic model is used as a basis for the course in identifying the flows of information in contemporary ethics.
Each of these interest groups will be examined in some detail and an analysis of how ethics are changing and how they are likely to change in the future, will be looked at. Some of the topical issues that will be discussed are outlined below in the coursework brief.
Each student will produce an individual report and the team will do a presentation on their chosen topic on the final day of the course.

Reading list
Barry, J. Baxter, B. and Dunphy, R., 2004. Europe, Globalization and Sustainable Development, Routledge
Dunne, P. and Lusch, R., 2007. Retailing 6e, Thomson
Neumayer, E., 2001. Greening: Trade and Investment; environmental protection without protectionism, Earthscan Publications
Thompson, G., 1990. The political Economy of the New Right, Pinter Publishers London
Fine, B., Heasman, M. and Wright, J., 1996. Consumption in the Age of Affluence, Routledge
Gabriel, Y & Lang T. 1995. The Unmanageable Consumer, Sage Publications, London
Journal Articles
Beraho, E.K., 2007. Colonial history and its effects on Sub-Saharan economic development. Cross Cultural Management. An International Journal, 14 (3), pp. 254 – 266
Hurreeram, D.K. and Little, D., 2004. International apparel trade and developing economies in Africa. International Journal of Social Economics, 31 (1/2), pp. 131-142

Kovaks, Rachel 2004. British activism: the viewer and listener community Corporate Communications: An International Journal 2004, volume 9, issue: 4 pp: 340 – 362
Nicholls, Alexander, James, 2002. Strategic options in fair trade retailing, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 2002, volume 30, number 1, pp: 6 – 17
Pearce, Richard, Hansson, Maria, 2000. Retailing and risk society: genetically modified food, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 2002, volume 28, number11, pp: 450 – 459
Whysall, Paul, 2000, Retailing and the Internet: a review of ethical issues, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 2000, volume 28, number 11, pp: 481 – 489