Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books

Corporate social responsibility and ethics in the principles of marketing course: one institution's journey.



ABSTRACT

Past and ongoing scandals in the business world provide justification for an increased emphasis on ethics and corporate social responsibility content in undergraduate business study, not as a separate course but integrated with other courses. The current paper presents a case history of the justification, planning, and practice of integrating ethics and corporate social responsibility material into the Principles of Marketing course at Bellarmine University The first decade, 1950-1960
Bellarmine College began classes on October 9, 1950. While the year began with 115 freshmen, only 68 returned after the winter break. Sixteen more left for military service (the draft was in effect for the Korean War), but the school went forward
, a small, historically Catholic, liberal arts liberal arts, term originally used to designate the arts or studies suited to freemen. It was applied in the Middle Ages to seven branches of learning, the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.  university in the South. Relevant literature, the authors' experiences, both in the planning stages and after the new course design's initial offerings are discussed. Additional perspectives from the institution's President, Provost PROVOST. A title given to the chief of some corporations or societies. In France, this title was formerly given to some presiding judges. The word is derived from the Latin praepositus. , and Dean of the Business School are presented, along with recommendations for other schools wrestling with how to address this issue.

INTRODUCTION

Through collaborative efforts among the marketing faculty of the business school and the philosophy department of the arts and sciences college at a small southern university the authors we were able to integrate informative and practical content on ethical and corporate social responsibility issues into the Principles of Marketing course. This was accomplished by: linking our effort to the mission statements of the university and business school, direct application of university goals and objectives to course outcomes, and, through the thoughtful and active support of the administration. The rationale and explanation of how this came to pass is recounted below.

Periodically, stories of questionable, and at times criminal, business activity have risen to dominate the business press. Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart have been investigated for their charge-back policies that leave their suppliers confused and temporarily or permanently underpaid un·der·paid  
v.
Past tense and past participle of underpay.


underpaid
Adjective

not paid as much as the job deserves

underpaid adj
. Sears Roebuck's disregard for bankruptcy laws, debtors' rights, and creditor priorities led to a $63 million fine--the largest in U.S. bankruptcy law history, to name a few (Jennings, 1999). Stories of unethical unethical

said of conduct not conforming with professional ethics.
 business practices, and their consequences have also come to dominate the popular press. Recently, Time Magazine named three corporate whistleblowers as their Persons of the Year for 2002 (Lacayo & Ripley, 2002).

The most widely reported story involving questionable business practices of recent history, and the one that has generated the most discussion beyond business professionals, is Enron. While the final chapter in that story has yet to be written, there has been widespread negative impact on employees as well as a large number of retirement plans. With the potential for criminal sentences and new Congressional legislation, the Enron scandal The Enron scandal was a financial scandal that was revealed in late 2001. After a series of revelations involving irregular accounting procedures bordering on fraud, perpetrated throughout the 1990s, involving Enron and its accounting firm Arthur Andersen, it stood at the verge of  highlights once again the fact that organizations do not make decisions, individuals do. The Enron story also underscores the need for institutions of higher education to reexamine re·ex·am·ine also re-ex·am·ine  
tr.v. re·ex·am·ined, re·ex·am·in·ing, re·ex·am·ines
1. To examine again or anew; review.

2. Law To question (a witness) again after cross-examination.
 whether and how they address the subjects of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR (1) (Customer Service Representative) A person who handles a customer's request regarding a bill, account changes or service or merchandise ordered. Agents in call centers are known as CSRs. See call center. ) in their curricula.

Most of these scandals are not marketing transgressions per se. Fallout fallout, minute particles of radioactive material produced by nuclear explosions (see atomic bomb; hydrogen bomb; Chernobyl) or by discharge from nuclear-power or atomic installations and scattered throughout the earth's atmosphere by winds and convection currents.  will likely involve public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most  and affect future advertising and sales efforts for the firms. Because of this reality, an organization's ongoing marketing effectiveness Marketing Effectiveness is the function of improving how marketers go to market with the goal of optimizing their marketing spend to achieve even better results for both the short-term and long-term. Also related to Marketing ROI and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).  is brought into play. While various alleged and admitted business actions may only be tangentially tan·gen·tial   also tan·gen·tal
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or moving along or in the direction of a tangent.

2. Merely touching or slightly connected.

3.
 related to marketing, marketing's integrative nature and broad spectrum reach make it a natural area, both within the firm and in the curriculum, to link with ethical issues.

Transactions between buyers and sellers are at the heart of marketing. Given the numerous temptations for buyers and sellers to act unethically, before, during, and after transactions, the Principles of Marketing course is both a logical, and an ideal location, for discussion of business ethics business ethics, the study and evaluation of decision making by businesses according to moral concepts and judgments. Ethical questions range from practical, narrowly defined issues, such as a company's obligation to be honest with its customers, to broader social  and their influences on decision-making.

The accreditation agency for collegiate col·le·giate  
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or held to resemble a college.

2. Of, for, or typical of college students.

3. Of or relating to a collegiate church.
 schools of business (AACSB International) has placed increased emphasis on teaching ethics to undergraduate and graduate business students (Silver & Valentine, 2000). Additionally, many companies are discovering that good business ethics are conducive to a good corporate image and long-term growth. As a result, a growing number of business schools are teaching ethics (Boroughs, 1995). Students themselves believe, quite strongly, that the discussion of ethics and ethical issues is worthwhile and important. Many believe a course in business/marketing ethics should be required. Even more students indicate that they would take such a course, if offered, even if it was not required (Shannon & Berl, 1997). Within this environment, the purpose of the present paper is to provide direction to other schools of business who are considering adding more business ethics to their curricula.

BACKGROUND

In partial response to this reality, schools of business are increasingly offering or requiring substantive courses in ethics. The teaching of ethics represents a beginning for training tomorrow's business leaders, but it must go beyond merely teaching ethics as institutional responsibility. The hope is that students will ultimately possess a sense of personal values that transcend the laws and rules of institutionalized in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize  
tr.v. in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·es
1.
a. To make into, treat as, or give the character of an institution to.

b.
 ethics and that business vocabulary will soon contain words like civility, decency de·cen·cy  
n. pl. de·cen·cies
1. The state or quality of being decent; propriety.

2. Conformity to prevailing standards of propriety or modesty.

3. decencies
a.
, honesty, and fairness, taking their place right alongside a practical vocabulary that includes such terms as profit, market share, and growth rate (Gibbons Famous people named Gibbons include:
  • Beth Gibbons (born 1965), British singer
  • Billy Gibbons, guitarist for ZZ Top
  • Cedric Gibbons (1893–1960), American art director
  • Christopher Gibbons (1615 - 1676), English composer, son of Orlando
, 1992; Solomon, 1994; Maitland, 1997). Education in ethics produces more enlightened consumers of ethics information who are able to make sound determinations about responsibility in ethical dilemmas (Carlson & Burke, 1998). Ethics instruction cannot turn an immoral person into a moral one, but teaching ethics can help prevent good people from making bad decisions (Johnson, 2000).

There is no question that both potential risks and rewards accompany ethical considerations in a business context. "Doing the right thing" does not guarantee success any more than the use of questionable practices assures immediate self-destruction in the marketplace. The importance of covering ethical issues in business is rooted in the longstanding recognition that integrity and respect do matter, and that shareholders, employees, consumers and society benefit more substantially from the long-term impact of corporate decision-making than from a short-term desire to increase profits. Providing students with a sense of balance between the risks and rewards of ethical considerations, based on the premise that the greatest companies are founded on ethics, should be a significant component of a well-rounded education (Matthews, 2003).

Originally, the field of business ethics focused on the role of business within the greater society, delineating the moral obligations of a business operating with the intent to perpetuate per·pet·u·ate  
tr.v. per·pet·u·at·ed, per·pet·u·at·ing, per·pet·u·ates
1. To cause to continue indefinitely; make perpetual.

2.
 the free enterprise system. Business ethics has not been viewed as an entirely distinct field, but as the application of the broader field of ethics to a specific area (Bishop, 1992; Carroll, 1998; Kaler, 2000; McWilliams & Siegel, 2001). Corporate social responsibility by comparison, can be characterized by the idea that business responsibilities extend beyond the sphere of economics into the realm of social issues (Buchholz, 1987; Donaldson & Preston, 1995; Moir, 2001). The social responsibility framework requires that business actions not only be examined in the context of market transactions, but also with regard to their overall impact on society and whether they act to solve important social problems (Bishop, 1992; Carroll, 1998; Kaler, 2000; McWilliams & Siegel, 2001).

The concept of integration, whether concerning content areas, teaching approaches, or the marketing program itself into the larger undergraduate curriculum, as a means to enrich the educational experience of students, has been explored in a number of ways. One stream of research has examined the effectiveness of hybrid courses, drawing on two or more traditional areas resulting in courses in product and price management (Schibrowsky, 1995), customer analysis (Anderson, 1997), customer service, (Sautter, Maltz, & Boberg, 1999), and business principles (DeMoranville, Aurand, & Gordon, 2000). A second set of studies has explored integrating marketing and non-marketing courses in the service of developing important skills or addressing emerging areas such as team-based experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial  
adj.
Relating to or derived from experience.



ex·peri·en
 learning (Bobbitt, Inks, Kemp, & Mayo, 2000), information literacy Several conceptions and definitions of information literacy have become prevalent. For example, one conception defines information literacy in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and  (Sterngold & Hurlbert, 1998), quality improvement (Marshall, Lassk, Kennedy, & Goolsby, 1996), relationship marketing (Cannon & Sheth, 1994; Palmer, 1994), creativity (Ramocki, 1994), and e-commerce/e-business (Tomkovick, LaBerre, Decker, Haugen, Hostager, Pathos, & Steiner, 2000; Williamson, Brookshire, & Wright, 2002). A third area of investigation has explored the appropriate role for marketing content in the larger business curriculum (Koch, 1997; Lamont & Friedman, 1997; Pharr & Morris, 1997; Barber, Borin, Cerf, & Swartz, 2001).

Finding a place for ethics content, and the construct's applied perspective, corporate social responsibility (CSR), in the business curriculum is not a new challenge. A variety of approaches and pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic   also ped·a·gog·i·cal
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.

2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner.
 techniques have been used to this end (Loe & Ferrell, 2001). Substantively, teaching these topics in business is difficult because one must go beyond moral standards of behavior to analyze goals, norms, beliefs, and values. Ethical principles of analysis are needed in those cases where a decision about an ethical problem cannot be reached based on moral standards of behavior alone (Hosmer, 1996).

The four primary first principles of ethical analysis are: utilitarianism utilitarianism (y'tĭlĭtr`ēənĭzəm, y , universalism Universalism

Belief in the salvation of all souls. Arising as early as the time of Origen and at various points in Christian history, the concept became an organized movement in North America in the mid-18th century.
, distributive justice DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE. That virtue, whose object it is to distribute rewards and punishments to every one according to his merits or demerits. Tr. of Eq. 3; Lepage, El. du Dr. ch. 1, art. 3, Sec. 2 1 Toull. n. 7, note. See Justice. , and personal liberty. Although none provides a simple solution to ethical dilemmas, through ethical analysis, they can clarify issues and result in a ranking of alternative moral actions (Hosmer, 1996). Approaches in business ethics based on classical theories, particularly those relying on Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, have been criticized as too abstract and general to provide adequate guidance for managers (Stark, 1993). If a decision is made not to treat business or marketing ethics Marketing ethics is the area of applied ethics which deals with the moral principles behind the operation and regulation of marketing. Some areas of marketing ethics (ethics of advertising and promotion) overlap with media ethics.  and corporate social responsibility as separate courses but rather to integrate them into the curriculum, the practical challenge becomes how to best do it pedagogically ped·a·gog·ic   also ped·a·gog·i·cal
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.

2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner.
.

ADDRESSING ETHICS AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CONTENT

The extant literature Extant literature refers to texts that have survived from the past to the present time. Extant literature can be divided into extant original manuscripts, copies of original manuscripts, quotations and paraphrases of passages of non-extant texts contained in other works,  provides four basic approaches to the inclusion of ethics and CSR material in the undergraduate business curriculum. The first approach might be best characterized by the familiar phrase, "caveat emptor" (i.e., let the buyer beware), which is to say that there is no concerted effort to address ethical issues, much less training, in the curriculum. Until recent decades this was the prevailing perspective in most schools, and certainly this was the case at Bellarmine University. Part of the justification for this position comes from the attitude, "it's covered in the core general education requirements," and part comes from the belief that business majors are inherently as moral (or immoral) as everyone else. In either case, the conclusion stemming from this perspective is that no special attention to ethics or CSR is warranted in the business curriculum itself since a course in ethics is required as part of every student's general education curriculum at Bellarmine University.

The second approach to integrating ethics and CSR into the business curriculum has been to simply allow each professor or instructor the prerogative An exclusive privilege. The special power or peculiar right possessed by an official by virtue of his or her office. In English Law, a discretionary power that exceeds and is unaffected by any other power; the special preeminence that the monarch has over and above all others,  of what and how much ethics content to include. This approach seems justified on two grounds: the aforementioned belief that business majors are no more or less moral than anyone else; and b) academic freedom and professional latitude entitles the instructor to address any relevant topics to the students' educational benefit. Regardless of the merit of these justifications, simply leaving coverage of ethics and CSR issues to the instructor undoubtedly makes for a very uneven and contorted con·tort·ed  
adj.
1. Twisted or strained out of shape.

2. Botany Twisted, bent, or partially rolled upon itself; convolute.



con·tort
 curriculum (especially considering multiple-section course structures and the growing use of part-time faculty, which opens a whole other realm of discussion beyond the scope of this paper).

The third approach has been to incorporate ethics- and CSR-related projects or activities into the coursework coursework
Noun

work done by a student and assessed as part of an educational course

Noun 1. coursework - work assigned to and done by a student during a course of study; usually it is evaluated as part of the student's
 of the curriculum in some uniform way, while still allowing individual instructors primary, if not total, oversight. While this does ensure some minimum level of coverage of ethical and CSR issues in the curriculum, it suffers from the same weakness as the previous approach; coverage and relative emphasis may differ widely and be uneven across sections or semesters.

A fourth option to ethics and CSR education in the business curriculum has been to place it at the end of a student's development or academic program, either as part of a business policy or other senior-level capstone course. Engaging students in role-playing scenarios, ethical dilemmas, and decision-making discussions can be very rewarding since it comes at the pinnacle of their educational comprehension and reflective experience. But the weakness of this approach may offset these strengths. Covering issues of ethics and morality at the end of an educational program, treating it somewhat like an unnecessary appendage appendage /ap·pen·dage/ (ah-pen´dij) a subordinate portion of a structure, or an outgrowth, such as a tail.

epiploic appendages  see under appendix .
, may lead to the misperception mis·per·ceive  
tr.v. mis·per·ceived, mis·per·ceiv·ing, mis·per·ceives
To perceive incorrectly; misunderstand.



mis
 that ethical and CSR considerations are not really that important. Moreover, this approach may communicate to students that decision-making of an ethical sort does not have a central or foundational place in business or marketing considerations.

Fortunately for faculty, students, and administrators, the attention given to ethical and socially responsibly corporate decision-making in marketing has increased dramatically in recent years. This is due, in part, to help from academic textbook publishers. Texts for courses in Marketing Ethics have grown widely in recent years, with new titles appearing every year. Additionally, the inclusion of ethics and CSR related material (ethics boxes and other context-sensitive information) has placed ethical decision-making at the center of a well-balanced curriculum and educational experience, similar to the treatment now afforded to international issues and the impact of technology on business.

THE STORY OF BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY

Bellarmine University is a private, independent institution, founded in the Catholic liberal arts tradition by the local Archdiocese arch·di·o·cese  
n.
The district under an archbishop's jurisdiction.



archdi·oc
. The University enrolls approximately 2,500 students, the majority of whom are enrolled in professional degree programs such as Business, Education and Nursing. The University's and Business School's mission statements reflect the broad-based nature of the institution (see Table 1).

The general education curriculum required of all undergraduate students includes a course on ethics, taught by faculty in the Department of Philosophy. For undergraduate students enrolled in any of the three majors housed in the School of Business: Business Administration, Accounting, or Economics, it is customary for them to take the required ethics course early in their programs, either freshman or sophomore year. Business administration majors generally have a gap between exposure to formal ethics Formal ethics is a formal logical system for describing and evaluating the form as opposed to the content of ethical principles. Formal ethics was introduced by Harry J.  coursework and the beginning of Business Administration studies in the junior year. It should be noted that Principles of Marketing is currently the only formal marketing course offered at Bellarmine University. Consequently, it offers the only opportunity to integrate marketing with ethics and CSR content.

Prior to the initiative described below, one of the marketing faculty at Bellarmine University incorporated one hour of ethics into all sections of the Principles of Marketing course offered during the 2000-2001 academic year. Reflecting on the experience, the faculty member concluded that team-teaching the course with a faculty member from the Department of Philosophy would strengthen the content and overall impact of the course.

At least four factors contributed to the initiative of developing a team-taught course that integrates ethics and CSR content into the Principles of Marketing course: 1) a desire by central administration to strengthen the "liberal arts core" through an "ethics across the curriculum" approach; 2) a desire to better align our business curriculum with AACSB standards; 3) a desire by the Rubel ru·bel  
n.
See Table at currency.



[Belarusian, from Old Russian rubl, cut, piece; see ruble.]

Noun 1.
 School faculty to better realize the mission statement and educational objectives of the university; and 4) the willingness of marketing faculty to bring an experimental approach to the subject matter.

An initiative such as this does not move forward without at least some significant support from the administration. As part of the background investigation and preparation for developing the course, the authors interviewed three prominent members of the administration, (the President, Provost, and Dean of the School of Business), to gauge the level of support and rationale for integrating ethics across the curriculum, and specifically into the business program in this manner. The rationale for gauging the level of support for the initiative from these three individuals stems from the fact that the smaller the institution, the more relative power and impact each individual has, on operations, on policy, etc. and their unique roles in the overall direction and character of the institution. Additionally, moving forward on such a significant and experimental change without at least tacit support from the Dean and other, higher ranking administrators, is fraught fraught  
adj.
1. Filled with a specified element or elements; charged: an incident fraught with danger; an evening fraught with high drama.

2.
 with its own kind of peril.

Although the President, Provost, and Dean of the Business School are not experts in business ethics, they all bring two special characteristics to the discussion. First, the mission of the university ends with the statement, "...and to make a living and a life worth living." As a university founded in the Catholic liberal arts tradition, helping students to develop an ethical framework for their lives is fundamental to the mission of the university. Other business schools with a strong liberal arts tradition likely have faced (or will face) the need to examine business ethics in the curriculum. Second, all three of the interviewees are extremely supportive of the business school earning accreditation from the AACSB. The AACSB requires schools to prove that business ethics is covered in the curriculum. The views of these interviewees likely will resonate res·o·nate  
v. res·o·nat·ed, res·o·nat·ing, res·o·nates

v.intr.
1. To exhibit or produce resonance or resonant effects.

2.
 with leaders of other schools seeking accreditation or reaccredidation.

A President's Perspective

"We [here at Bellarmine] have a class born in 1983. There are a handful of educating agents: family, church, government, and the community, each reinforcing each other. But each has weakened as educating agents. The number one educating agent in society, one that didn't really exist 40 years ago, is pop culture promulgated prom·ul·gate  
tr.v. prom·ul·gat·ed, prom·ul·gat·ing, prom·ul·gates
1. To make known (a decree, for example) by public declaration; announce officially. See Synonyms at announce.

2.
 by mass media. Pop culture is loaded with value--but not to anything other than the duty to yourself (fragmented, individualistic in·di·vid·u·al·ist  
n.
1. One that asserts individuality by independence of thought and action.

2. An advocate of individualism.



in
, competitive, materialistic ma·te·ri·al·ism  
n.
1. Philosophy The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

2.
, cotton-candy." (President Joseph J. McGowan, Interview 2001).

As one might speculate from the quotation presented above, the President's justifications for the initiative described in the present paper are both broad and comprehensive. In the interview Dr. McGowan mentioned that growing up, he heard the word "ethics" repeatedly--in his house, in church, and in college (ethics and theology courses). The influences he cited as affecting him when he was growing up included: the proliferation proliferation /pro·lif·er·a·tion/ (pro-lif?er-a´shun) the reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells.prolif´erativeprolif´erous

pro·lif·er·a·tion
n.
 of mass media through television; the assassinations of Malcolm X Malcolm X, 1925–65, militant black leader in the United States, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, b. Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb. He was introduced to the Black Muslims while serving a prison term and became a Muslim minister upon his release in 1952. , John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr.; Vietnam; Watergate; and the youth movement. In contrasting his experiences with those of students today he stated his belief that for many students, no longer is there a locus of ethical values which underlies any consideration of issues or cultural practices. As a society we are moving from a much more comprehensible com·pre·hen·si·ble  
adj.
Readily comprehended or understood; intelligible.



[Latin compreh
 world to a more fragmented world. Dr. McGowan commented that as a consequence of this, "we (Bellarmine University) have an opportunity (and a duty) in business to be more aggressive in addressing ethical issues." Concerning the issue of integrating ethics and CSR content into an already well-defined course like Principles of Marketing, he reflected that "the more narrowly a discipline is taught, the lesser a product you produce. Further, if done well, it is a distinguishing characteristic Noun 1. distinguishing characteristic - an odd or unusual characteristic
distinctive feature, peculiarity

characteristic, feature - a prominent attribute or aspect of something; "the map showed roads and other features"; "generosity is one of his best
. You sacrifice some technical content, but what you sacrifice students can pick up. What you get is a better understanding."

Dr. McGowan's general interest in "ethics across the curriculum" springs from a vision of the university as a contributive yet critical, social institution. He contends that faculty do students a disservice dis·ser·vice  
n.
A harmful action; an injury.


disservice
Noun

a harmful action

Noun 1.
 if they do not educate them about culture, its messages and values, and how to be a genuinely happy, well-balanced person. As he stated, "ethics lies at the intersection of our personal and professional relationships." Consequently, he fully supported the endeavor because he sees it as a genuine opportunity for the university to assert this role as an instrument of critical social reflection.

One of our questions raised a difficult issue: "Are you concerned that our students might be less competitive (i.e., less willing to take risks) in the marketplace, given this additional focus on ethics in the business curriculum?" Dr. McGowan responded, "Not if taught in the context of human freedom. Faculty must demand the creation of meaning, making sure students understand the plasma they are in...as a means of challenging the shallowness of contemporary culture." For President McGowan, consideration of ethical and social responsibility issues specific to the discipline of marketing is part of a comprehensive approach to this profession, providing students with a vocabulary for recognizing and responding to issues and opportunities.

A Provost's Perspective

"I don't think ethics are effective as a single course in philosophy. It is necessary to spend more time on what ethics is, but it's more relevant if it is integrated into various courses. Business is not just about making money, it has to also involve social justice, and teach students to be citizens of the world--and the Business curriculum shouldn't be shy about serious content" (Provost John A. Oppelt, Interview 2001).

The Provost of Bellarmine University is Dr. John Oppelt. His concerns were more focused on the institutional identity of the university than with cultural identity. His primary interest was exhibited by his question, "What makes Bellarmine different from other educational institutions?" His answer involves situating Bellarmine firmly within its Catholic liberal arts tradition. To Dr. Oppelt, the curriculum should reflect the traditions and values that constitute the academic heritage of Bellarmine, especially concepts such as "social justice." In his view, the university has a responsibility to model moral behavior by showing an awareness and sensitivity to issues and concerns. To this end, the required ethics course in the core curriculum is a necessary, but not sufficient, part of educating the whole person. It takes more than discussions of theoretical differences to acquaint students to, as he puts it, "the practice of living."

Dr. Oppelt acknowledges that this approach has not always been supported at Bellarmine. In part these changes are a reflection of changes in the faculty composition and of changes to the agendas of the administration and Board of Trustees. As an independent university, Bellarmine struggles with issues of its Catholic identity. "Care of the person," not just teaching students has been developing in recent years. He believes that--far from making students less competitive in the marketplace, this educational philosophy should make them more competitive, and should attract more students to the university. When asked about the strengths and weaknesses of these changes in terms of educational philosophy (e.g. integrating ethics across the curriculum), Dr. Oppelt responded that the greatest potential weaknesses would be to have faculty who are not committed to the program or who take no responsibility for knowing and teaching the value of social justice. He believes that one should be able to include it in the curriculum and contrast it with opposing views even if--especially if--one does not agree with some of its values. This is particularly the case with marketing, which is not simply a course in "how to sell more." There are many issues and implications; the task, Dr. Oppelt believes, is to give students the necessary background and tools for moral decision-making and good behavior Orderly and lawful action; conduct that is deemed proper for a peaceful and law-abiding individual.

The definition of good behavior depends upon how the phrase is used.
. The strength of this program, he argues, is that it gives us a richer, better-defined curriculum, which will motivate and equip students to be better persons. "Introduce students to what it is, why it is important, what happens in its presence/absence, and relation to a good life and creating meaning. Unless a man or woman has thought through these issues, learned to reason ethically and morally, we have failed them" (Oppelt, Interview 2001).

A Dean's Perspective

"Somehow, someway some·way   also some·ways
adv.
In some way or another; somehow.


someway
Adverb

in some unspecified manner

Adv. 1.
, ethics is business" (Dean Daniel L. Bauer, Interview 2001).

The authors also had the opportunity to interview the Dean of the Rubel School of Business, Dr. Daniel L. Bauer. His attitude toward this initiative was very positive. Not only did he view this as a chance to highlight the liberal arts foundation and social justice tradition of the University, he saw it as an opportunity to view business decision-making in an ethical framework. As Dr. Bauer asserts, "Business really is about ethics." In fact, he mentioned that he would like to see the process begun with the Principles of Marketing course move out into other areas of the business curriculum. The primary strength he cited is the opportunity to provide students with a more well-rounded education, or as he put it, "developing the skills to be a successful, broad-based manager."

Dr. Bauer pointed out that it might be necessary to sacrifice some marketing content by devoting one-third of the course to philosophical discussion and application. The two marketing faculty involved in the project chose to greatly decrease coverage of retailing, wholesaling, and marketing on the Internet to free up the required time for an expanded discussion of ethics and CSR. In addition, they shortened discussions of other marketing principles (e.g., three class periods on consumer behavior became two). It was believed that the strengths from this approach outweigh the weaknesses and would offset any loss of specific content.

During the initial offerings of the newly developed Principles of Marketing course, the decision was made to incorporate, as a part of the assessment process of all business administration students, the ETS ETS Educational Testing Service (nonprofit private educational testing and measurement organization)
ETS Emergency Telecommunications Service
ETS Electronic Trading System
ETS Engineering (&) Technical Services
 Major Field Examination. At present there is insufficient data to answer the question of whether the new course structure has indeed increased student understanding and application of ethical content without sacrificing in-depth knowledge of marketing. As we progress with the experiment the question will be revisited.

Regarding whether or not an emphasis on ethics and CSR might make Bellarmine University's students less competitive in the marketplace (i.e., less willing to take risks), Dr. Bauer pointed out that ethics and risk-taking are fundamentally different. His contention was that over the long-run, corporations sensitive to ethical considerations perform better than others; tracking the performance of "ethical corporations" shows that they out perform their competition. Verschoor (1999) confirms that corporate performance is closely linked to a strong ethical commitment. Dr. Bauer's overarching o·ver·arch·ing  
adj.
1. Forming an arch overhead or above: overarching branches.

2. Extending over or throughout: "I am not sure whether the missing ingredient . . .
 goal for this project was to provide future managers and leaders with a framework for making good decisions, where "good" is defined not merely as what is prudent, but also sensitive to moral values. From a practical standpoint, Dr. Bauer stated that "on the positive side, our graduates are better-rounded students, broad-based, not specialized, managers. On the negative side, in the Principles of Marketing course, we are giving up one-third of the time spent on marketing."

With the encouragement of the Dean of the Business School, Dr. Bauer, we developed a team-taught approach to the Principles of Marketing course, which involved close collaboration on syllabus A headnote; a short note preceding the text of a reported case that briefly summarizes the rulings of the court on the points decided in the case.

The syllabus appears before the text of the opinion.
 planning, course content, topics to be discussed, and grading procedures among all of the faculty involved in the conduct and administration of the various course sections. The result was one-third of the course's in-class time devoted to ethical/CSR issues and decision-making, which is equal to roughly one class period per week (out of three, 50-minute sessions). The content of this aspect of the course included coverage of textbook chapters and course materials with ethics and CSR content, development of a moral decision-making rubric RUBRIC, civil law. The title or inscription of any law or statute, because the copyists formerly drew and painted the title of laws and statutes rubro colore, in red letters. Ayl. Pand. B. 1, t. 8; Diet. do Juris. h.t. , and several case studies and discussions, many of which highlight current events.

LESSONS LEARNED

The initial offering of this new Principles of Marketing course took place during the Fall 2001 semester se·mes·ter  
n.
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.



[German, from Latin (cursus) s
. The two sections' enrollment totaled approximately 40 students. A different marketing faculty headed each section with the same faculty member from the Department of Philosophy serving as co-instructor in both sections. At the completion of the semester, formal evaluation forms were administered to all students. In addition to ratings on a number of questions concerning teaching effectiveness, students were asked to indicate whether each of the four stated course objectives was achieved (see Table 2). Space was also provided for written comments.

On the question, "Overall, I would rate the course ... excellent (5), very good (4), good (3), fair (2), or poor (1)" a combined score of 4.03 was given. Additionally, students overwhelmingly rated the course objectives as met. The faculty interpreted this as a strong showing for a first outing.

Written comments provided by students were also generally supportive. Where concerns were expressed, they tended to bring up issues related to the overwhelming number of assignments/tasks required in the course. Specific comments also pointed to a lack of time rather than a lack of interest in achieving the objectives of the course. After meeting to discuss this feedback, the authors have made some changes in the way the course is both designed and delivered (see Table 3).

The importance of selected components of the course, as reflected in the point value and percentage of each student's final course grade, has been changed. Streamlining the course in terms of folding in-class active learning activities into class participation and eliminating the book review project, allows for a more focused effort to be mounted by students (i.e., a better value to in-class time investment ratio), with the direction of the faculty on their ethics projects. Structural changes in how the course is being delivered are also being pursued. The original design of the course was delivered through three, 50-minute sessions per week. Every third session (i.e., each Friday) dealt with ethical and CSR content. The philosophy professor led these sessions, assisted by the marketing faculty member. Given the amount of marketing material typically covered in the Principles course, taking one-third of a three-credit hour course at regular intervals for the ethics and CSR content sub-optimizes how the material can be presented.

The faculty are currently considering going through the committee approval process to create a zero-credit hour marketing ethics lab (similar to chemistry lab sections students are required to enroll in along with a lecture section) that will meet at select pre-determined times during the semester when the course is next offered. The lab session will focus on connecting and expanding material discussions from the regular class sessions. Continued team planning and pacing of the course will ensure a truly integrated course experience.

CONCLUSIONS

Our experience may not resonate with everyone; in particular the level of administrative support we have received makes this endeavor somewhat unique. These justifications are persuasive in part because of the sound philosophical basis to which they appeal, that of applying moral reasoning Moral reasoning is a study in psychology that overlaps with moral philosophy. It is also called Moral development. Prominent contributors to theory include Lawrence Kohlberg and Elliot Turiel.  to the context of contemporary marketing practices, and in part because these justifications come from the administrators themselves. We have been able to establish a firm theoretical and practical basis for integrating ethics and corporate social responsibility into the Principles of Marketing course by linking our initiative to the mission statements of the university and business school, by linking course goals to the objectives of the curriculum adopted by the faculty and administration, and by allowing the administration to articulate to us their own educational philosophy and concerns.

In addition to the recommendations above, derived in part from an extensive literature review by Bishop (1992) and writings by Bok (1988), we offer the following advice to professors and administrators seeking to integrate a greater degree of ethical and corporate social responsibility content in their Principles of Marketing course:

* Reinforce the belief that being an ethical marketer is a prerequisite to being a competent marketer.

* Equip students to recognize ethical dilemmas when they arise.

* Build from a solid general education foundation, where possible, through which students develop a broad sense of humanity and a generalizable gen·er·al·ize  
v. gen·er·al·ized, gen·er·al·iz·ing, gen·er·al·iz·es

v.tr.
1.
a. To reduce to a general form, class, or law.

b. To render indefinite or unspecific.

2.
 critical thought process.

* Blend both philosophical theory Noun 1. philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
philosophical doctrine

doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
 and practice into the teaching of ethics and CSR.

* Reinforce students' existing value systems.

* Create "conscious conflicts" that cause students to examine decisions in light of their own beliefs.

* Present students with the opportunity to consider multiple ethical/CSR issues and applications.

* Present students with ethical issues that they are likely to face in the early stages of their marketing and business careers.

* Focus much of the effort on getting students to recognize ethical issues rather than to make the "right" decisions.

* Encourage students to develop perceptiveness and analytical skills.

* Differentiate between acting legally and acting ethically and responsibly.

* Teach ethics and CSR, rather than preach them.

The effectiveness of this modification to the Business School curriculum is evident on many levels. First, there has been an obvious deepening of understanding by students of marketing, and that there is an ethical dimension to decision-making. The inclusion of a broader coverage of ethical and CSR issues contributes significantly to each student's grasp of social forces which are influencing contemporary marketing environments. Second, the applied ethics Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply 'theoretical' ethics, such as utilitarianism, social contract theory, and deontology, to real world dilemmas.  discussions and assignments, with our emphasis on case-studies, provides students with first-hand knowledge of both excellent and poor marketing strategies and methods of decision-making. Exposure to cases gives students the opportunity to explore alternative responses to decisions in scenarios which hindsight reveals were overlooked or ill-conceived, and better prepares the students to recognize situations which warrant ethical considerations. Third, the existence of ethical considerations in the accreditation standards of the AACSB is itself a testimony to the growing importance of corporate ethics and social responsibility to the academic education of future business administration leaders. This account of the justification and development of our interdisciplinary effort is useful not only because it demonstrates some of the philosophical underpinnings for integrating ethics and corporate social responsibility content across the curriculum, but also because it recounts some of the most persuasive arguments for promoting this type of project in a university curriculum.

REFERENCES

Anderson, B.B. (1997). A customer analysis course for the marketing curriculum, Journal of Marketing Education, 19(2), (Summer), 2-15.

BA305. (2001). B.A. 305, Principles of marketing course syllabus, (Fall).

Barber, C.S., N. Borin, D.C. Cerf & T.A. Swartz. (2001). The role of marketing in an integrative business curriculum, Journal of Marketing Education, 23(3), (December), 240-248.

Bauer, D. L. (2001). Interview by authors. Louisville, Kentucky

“Louisville” redirects here. For other uses, see Louisville (disambiguation).
, 6 July.

Bishop, T.R. (1992). Integrating business ethics into an undergraduate curriculum, Journal of Business Ethics, 11(4), April, 291-300.

Bobbitt, L.M., S.A. Inks, K.J. Kemp & D.T. Mayo. (2000). Integrating marketing courses to enhance team-based experiential learning, Journal of Marketing Education, 22(1), April, 15-24.

Bok, D. (1988). Can higher education foster higher morals?, Business and Society Review, 66, Summer, 4-12.

Boroughs, D.L. (1995). The bottom line on ethics, U.S. News & World Report, 18(11), March 20, 61.

Buchholz, R.A. (1987). The business/government/society relationship in management thought, In K. Paul, (Ed.), Business environment and business ethics: The social, moral, and political dimensions of management Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Company.

Cannon, J.P. & J.N. Sheth. (1994). Developing a curriculum to enhance teaching of relationship marketing, Journal of Marketing Education, 16(2), Summer, 3-14.

Carlson, P.J. & F. Burke. (1998). Lessons learned from ethics in the classroom: Exploring student growth in flexibility, complexity and comprehension, Journal of Business Ethics;, 17(11), 1179-1187.

Carroll, A.B. (1998). The four faces of corporate citizenship Corporate Citizenship

The extent to which businesses are socially responsible in meeting legal, ethical and economic responsibilities placed on them by shareholders. The aim it to create higher standards of living and quality of life in the community in which it operates, while
. Business and Society Review, 100/101, 1-7.

DeMoranville, C., T.W. Aurand & G.L. Gordon. (2000). The delivery of an undergraduate, cross-functional business principles program: One university's continuing journey, Marketing Education Review, 10(3), Fall, 29-41.

Donaldson, T. & L. Preston. (1995). The stakeholder theory As originally detailed by R. Edward Freeman (1984), stakeholder theory identifies and models the groups which are stakeholders of a corporation, and both describes and recommends methods by which management can give due regard to the interests of those groups.  of the corporation: Concepts, evidence and implications. Academy of Management Review, 20, January. 65-91.

Gibbons, J.J. (1992). Business ethics: Why do colleges now find it necessary to teach Ethics? Agency Sales; 22(6), June, 21.

Hosmer, L.T. (1996). The ethics of management, (3rd Ed.), New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: McGraw-Hill.

Jennings, M.M. (1999). What's happening in business schools? Public Interest, 137, Fall, 25-32.

Johnson, M. (2000). Preventing good people from making bad decisions, The Quill quill: see pen. , 88(8), September, 76-77.

Kaler, J. (2000). Positioning business ethics in relation to management and political philosophy, Journal of Business Ethics, 24, (April), 257-272.

Koch, A.J. (1997). Marketing curriculum: Designing its new logic and structure, Journal of Marketing Education, 19( 3), Fall, 2-16.

Lacayo, R. & A. Ripley. (2002). Persons of the Year: Cynthia Cooper There are two different public figures with the name Cynthia Cooper:
  • Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom), the whistleblower who exposed the corporate scandal at Worldcom.
  • Cynthia Cooper (basketball), a WNBA star.
, Coleen Rowley Coleen Rowley (born December 20, 1954) is a former FBI agent and whistleblower, and was a candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd congressional district, one of eight congressional districts in Minnesota in 2006. She lost the general election to Republican incumbent John Kline.  & Sherron Watkins Sherron Watkins (born August 28, 1959 in Tomball, Texas) was Vice President of Corporate Development at the Enron Corporation. She is considered by many to be the whistleblower who helped to uncover the Enron scandal in 2001. , Time, 160(27), December 30, 30-33.

Lamont, L.M. & K. Friedman. (1997). Meeting the challenges to undergraduate marketing education, Journal of Marketing Education, 19(3), Fall, 17-30.

Loe, T.W. & L. Ferrell. (2001). Teaching marketing ethics in the 21st century, Marketing Education Review, 11(2), Summer, 1-16.

Maitland, I. (1997). Virtuous markets: The market as school of the virtues, Business Ethics Quarterly 7, January, 17 31.

Marshall, G.W., F.G. Lassk, K.N. Kennedy & J.R. Goolsby. (1996). Integrating quality improvement tenets into the marketing curriculum, Journal of Marketing Education, 18(2), Summer, 28-38.

Matthews, J. (2003). The greatest companies are founded on ethics, WSJ WSJ Wall Street Journal
WSJ Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI)
WSJ Web Services Journal
WSJ Winston-Salem Journal (North Carolina)
WSJ Wagle Street Journal (Kathmandu, Nepal blog) 
.com Startup Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2003, from http://www.startupjournal.com/ columnists/growth/20030115-growth.html.

McGowan, Joseph J. (2001). Interview by authors. Louisville, Kentucky, 30 June.

McWilliams, A. & D. Siegel. (2001). Corporate social responsibility: A theory of the firm perspective, Academy of Management Review, 26, January, 117-127.

Moir, L. (2001). What do we mean by corporate social responsibility? Corporate Governance Corporate Governance

The relationship between all the stakeholders in a company. This includes the shareholders, directors, and management of a company, as defined by the corporate charter, bylaws, formal policy, and rule of law.
, 1(2), 16-22. Oppelt, Joseph A. (2001). Interview by authors. Louisville, Kentucky, 6 July.

Palmer, A. (1994). Relationship marketing: Time to enrich the marketing curriculum? Journal of Marketing Education, 16(2), Summer, 34-41.

Pharr, S. & L.J. Morris. (1997). The fourth generation marketing curriculum: Meeting AACSB's guidelines, Journal of Marketing Education, 19(3), Fall, 31-43.

Ramocki, S.P. (1994). It is time to teach creativity throughout the marketing curriculum, Journal of Marketing Education, 16(2), Summer, 15-25.

Sautter, E.T., A. Maltz & K. Boberg. (1999). A customer service course: Bringing marketing and logistics together, Journal of Marketing Education, 21(20), August, 138-145.

Shannon, J.R. & R.L. Berl. (1997). Are we teaching ethics in marketing?: A survey of students' attitudes and perceptions, Journal of Business Ethics, 16(10), July, 1059-1075.

Shibrowsky, J.A. (1995). Developing an integrated product and price management course, Journal of Marketing Education, 17(2), Summer, 33-44.

Silver, L.S. & S.R. Valentine. (2000). College students' perceptions of moral intensity in sales situations, Journal of Education for Business, 75(6), July-August, 309-314.

Solomon, R.C. (1994). An Aristotelian approach to business ethics, In T. Donaldson & R. E. Freeman, (Eds.), Business as a Humanity, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stark, A. (1993). What is the matter with business ethics? Harvard Business Review Harvard Business Review is a general management magazine published since 1922 by Harvard Business School Publishing, owned by the Harvard Business School. A monthly research-based magazine written for business practitioners, it claims a high ranking business readership and , 71, May/June, 38-48.

Sterngold, A.H. & J.N. Hurlbert. (1998). Information literacy and the marketing curriculum: A multidimensional definition and practical application, Journal of Marketing Education, 20(2), Fall, 244-249.

Tomkovick, C., J. LaBarre, R. Decker, S. Haugen, T. Hostager, J. Pathos & E. Steiner. (2000). A cross-functional, multi-disciplinary approach to teaching e-commerce, Marketing Education Review, 10(3), Fall, 43-52.

Verschoor, C. (1999). Corporate performance is closely linked to a strong ethical commitment, Business and Society Review, 104(4), Winter, 407-415.

Williamson, K., R.G. Brookshire & N.D. Wright. (2002). Building a B.S. degree program in e-business, Marketing Education Review, 12(1), Spring, 1-10.

Michael R. Luthy, Bellarmine University Julie Toner An electrically charged ink used in copy machines and laser printers. It adheres to an invisible image that has been charged with the opposite polarity onto a plate or drum or onto the paper itself.  Schrader, Bellarmine University Barry L. Padgett, Bellarmine University
Table 1: University and Business School Mission Statements

Bellarmine University Mission Statement

"Bellarmine University serves Kentucky and the region by providing an
educational environment of academic excellence in the Catholic liberal
arts tradition, where talented and diverse persons of all faiths and
ages develop the intellectual, moral, and professional competencies to
lead, to serve, and make a living and a life worth living."

W. Fielding Rubel School of Business Mission Statement

"The mission of the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business is to provide
student centered, quality education in the Catholic liberal arts
tradition at the Undergraduate and Masters levels. The School is
enriched by the diverse intellectual perspectives inherent in the
overall mission of Bellarmine University."

Table 2:  Principles of Marketing Course Objectives and Outcomes

                                   Percent of
                                   Students
                                   Stating      Link to
                                   Objective    University Goals
Objectives                         Achieved     and Expectations

Develop a more thorough               93%       Historical and Social
understanding of marketing                        Consciousness
planning, implementation, and                   Communications Skills
control issues as well as                       Comprehensive
demonstrate the ability to                      Integration
identify the salient factors
influencing marketing by
studying and applying textbook
concepts, class discussions,
and analysis of marketing
practices.

Explore the social and ethical                  Philosophical
implications of marketing                         Foundation
decisions. Gain an appreciation       91%       A Commitment to Virtue
of the interdisciplinary nature                 Thinking Skills
of most business relationships                  Comprehensive
and the connection between                        Integration
marketing and the other
functional disciplines through
refinement and application of
management and financial
concepts and methods in
marketing decision-making.

Experience a variety of domestic      91%       Historical and Social
and international problem                         Consciousness
situations commonly encountered                 Thinking Skills
in marketing management and                     Communications Skills
gain a comprehensive
understanding of the scope of
marketing decision-making and
how consumer behavior varies
among individuals, subcultures,
and cultures.

Improve interpersonal                 88%       Thinking Skills
communication, writing,                         Communications Skills
analytical, and logical
reasoning skills through
preparation for, and
participation in, class
discussions, examinations,
case evaluations, and case
analyses.

Source: B.A. 305, Principles of Marketing Course Syllabus, Fall 2001.

Table 3: Comparison of Techniques and Grading

                                              Fall 2001       Next
Techniques                                    Offering      Offering

Examinations: (individual)

  Midterm 1 (1/2 application-oriented            100        No change
  multiple choice questions, 1/2 essays
  involving problem solving, critical
  thinking, synthesis questions)

  Midterm 2 (1/2 application-oriented            100        No change
  multiple choice questions, 1/2 essays
  involving problem solving, critical
  thinking, synthesis questions)

  Comprehensive Final Exam (1/2 multiple         200        No change
  choice, 1/2 take-home case analysis.

Marketing Ethics Project: (Teams of two)

  Ten page paper and in-class presentation       200      Increased to
  on controversial marketing ethics topic.                 400 Points
  One person from each team will research
  the positive side of the topic while the
  other person will research the negative
  side of the topic.

In-Class Assignments: (Individual)

  Active-learning assignments including          100      Made part of
  exercises, reaction papers to videos or                 participation
  guest speakers, and cases from the
  textbooks.

Book Review: (Individual)

  Each student will read a popular press         75          Dropped
  book pertaining to some aspect of
  marketing and then present a summary to
  the class.

Class Participation: (Individual)

  All students are expected to have read         50            100
  the chapters and cases BEFORE class and
  are expected to take an ACTIVE role in
  class discussions, in-class projects, and
  case analyses. Both quality and quantity
  of participation will be factored into
  the grade. Integration of knowledge with
  past experience, job performance, and
  course material is particularly
  important.

Total Points Possible                            825           900
COPYRIGHT 2003 The DreamCatchers Group, LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Luthy, Michael R.; Toner Schrader, Julie; Padgett, Barry L.
Publication:Academy of Marketing Studies Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:6921
Previous Article:An exploratory examination of gender bias and customer satisfaction in the retail sector.
Next Article:The impact of product category and level of disagreement on relative conflict: does product category affect the joint decision making process for...
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters