5BUS1049 – 0901 Semester A2020-2021FAQs for Assessment 2.

5BUS1049 – 0901 Semester A2020-2021FAQs for Assessment 2.

What is the date for the written assessment for Exploring Business Ethics?

18 January 2021 11am ONLINE. Look under Assignments on Canvas

If you are living abroad, and have emailed me, the start time can be adjusted totake account of yourlocation.Please email me if you consider you need your start time to be amended. [email protected]

Can I do the exam on my phone?

This is not a good idea. Make sure you will have reliable access to a computer, and a quiet place to do the exam. If you cannot organise access to a computer you can write your answers by hand, photograph them then send to me. The pictures must be legible.

Where can we access past papers?

In the Online library or see Canvas – go to Units then Extra Resources

How old can we go on the references?

The theories and theorists have a particular time attached to them, and it does not matter how far back you go with these references, however, currentcase studies and examples from the media are also important to show that you understand and can apply the theory.

You might combine older case studies with more recent ones eg Ford Pinto is an old case but illustrates an important theory - utilitarianism. Much of what has been learned from this case (which is an example of utilitarian analysis being used to make a business decisions still applicable right now – for example who should get access to  vaccines and specialist healthcare, PPE and testing in the current Covoid-19 environment. Modern up-to-date examples shows the marker that you can apply what you have learned

How many words should we write where the marks are stated for each section of the question?

This table may help you to calculate how many minutes to spend on each section of a question and approximately how many words to write. Each questions worth 50 marks, the expected word count is up to 700 per question.

and you have 45 – 60 minutes per question plus an additional 10 minutes for reading, planning and uploading your file with your answers (ie a total of 130 minutes/ 2 hours and 10 minutes).

Each question is worth 50 marks

Marks assigned to part of a question

Total number of words per each answer

600 - 700

Minutes to spend on each section.

60 minutes per question


Number of marks assigned






50 - 100




50 - 100




100 - 200


Discuss …


150 - 300




150 - 300


Explain …


150 - 300




200 - 400


State …


100 - 200




300 - 600




50 - 100




400 - 800












650 - 700 words

Approx 45 minutes allow time to check your work



So we`re expected to use academic references in our answers?

Yes, the assessment is open book so you can prepare notes for use in the exam but content should be written in your own words and correctly referenced. All submissions will be put through Turnitin.

You can prepare your reference that you expect may be helpful ahead of the exam and put your reference lists together so it can be cut and pasted as appropriate into your answers. It would be a good idea to use the CASE Guide to Harvard Referencing as you compile this list. A copy of the Guide is on Canvas under Extra Resources

Should references be included in-text or only at the end of the essay?

Both contents should be correctly referenced, and the references contained in a list at the end of your answers.

Which sources are best to find examples of companies with Milton Friedman`s views or Utilitarianism or Categorical Imperative?

Refer to the cases we have looked at in class and what you have read about in the media. Can you explain these views and show how they might be applied to company activities?

For example, you can apply Kant’s maxim of universality (the New York Times test) to decisions by both individuals and companies. In international business or HRM you might consider whether employees are being treated with dignity (Kant’s second maxim).

When will we know the topic areas?

Please see the front page of the module site on Canvas

How many topics should we revise? Do we for the exam revise one topic that we want to do for section A? For example, can I just focus on CSR?

You will need to revise several topics.

As you know there will be two sections in the assessment. Section A and Section B. Each section will contain 3 questions, and you will need to respond to one question from each section. The three questions will have been randomised by the computer (from a bank of questions). 

Section A   (see below) will ask three questions from these topics:  CSR, Individual Responses to Ethical Dilemmas, Sustainability, International Business Ethics, Technology, Milton Friedman’s Thinking

Section B (see below) will ask questions on applying Immanuel Kant`s and Jeremy Bentham`s theories.

Marks will be awarded for Introductions and Conclusions

Therefore you will find it helpful to revise:

1.            The respective theories of Kant and Bentham, be able to explain the theories, apply this to a mini case (given in the question), and identify any limitations of the theory – review your lecture slides  and the textbook to help you revise

2.            Subject areas that you could write about – for example a student query noted CSR as a possibility. This one would be good to revise as it applies quite broadly and could come up under a range of possible questions for example the views of Milton Friedman, measuring CSR, different CSR models. Similarly ethical decision making can be quite widely applied so understanding the different theories such as Cognitive Moral Development (CMD) and Moral Intensity, situational/context factors and individual factors, whistle blowing, would enable you to respond to a range of questions.

Remember this assessment is open book so you can prepare and refer to notes, resources and references prior to the exam ready to use in constructing your answer during the actual exam time. Take your time to read the questions, identify which ones you propose to answer, and include where possible, real examples (appropriately referenced).

Take some time this week to read recent media stories (either online or in hard copy such as a newspaper or journal) and save them in a file ready for you to use in the exam as appropriate. For example in responding to a question about ethical decision making OR the application of Kant or Bentham’s theories is https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/29/boeing-puts-cost-of-737-max-crashes-at-19bn-as-it-slumps-to-annual-loss and could be further applied in relation to reduction in brand equity  (and the long term financial well being of the company) that could result from poor decision making.

Are there any companies nowadays that have Categorical Imperative in their policies? As this is a quite strict moral principle...

Think about how the Categorial Imperative might be used eg for companies to consider whether they wouldlike their activities or decisions to be reported in the media? This is the principle of universality.Could we all behave in this way? Are people being treated with dignity?

Are there examples in the text book?

Yes. Also read the media and look for examples – for example of whistle blowers or what you may consider to be a company behaving in a socially responsible way – are they perhaps acting with ‘enlightened self-interest’ ie it is in the company’s self interest to be socially responsible as it may make the company attractive to ethical consumers and socially responsible investors which results in purchase of goods or services that the company produces therefore contributing to profit growth.

Is it needed to know about sustainability indices for the exam such as the Dow JonesSustainability Index (DJSI) or FTSE100?

It would be useful for any questions on CSRin the context of either measuring CSR or to make the point that Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is now an important investment criterion – in contrast with Milton Friedman’s views on CSR and profit maximisation. You could also comment that profit maximisation remains important but the factors affecting it have changed – for example investors may choose not to invest in a company that does not behave in a sustainable or socially responsible way. In order to identify these companies, investors may look at stock indices that focus on sustainability or the social responsibility of companies, to help their decision making.

What format will the online exam involve?

You will be asked to upload a Word document with your two answers.

Can I revise with a friend and submit the same answers?

You can revise together for exchanging ideas and discussing them however you may not submit the same answers as this is considered ‘collusion’ and is an academic conduct offence. We do recognise that much of the content will be similar to other students,but it needs to be entirely your own work.


Almost all the questions begin with ‘Discuss ….’ which is asking you to discuss various perspectives

Demonstrating your knowledge of the relevant theories anduse of examples are key to achieving higher marks.

International business questions are often quite broad. You could include comment on various topics – for example CSR, HRM, transparency in supply chains

Look at the  case studies because they can sometimes be used as an example for a range of answers BUT do not repeat a case used in your first answer in your second answer as you willnot receive marks for it – it doesn’t tell us that you know more. Also avoid writing the details of a case rather than analysing it.

What kind of examples should I use?

Better marks will be achieved by students who can illustrate their answers with recent or current examples. Any examples you include should show your understanding and ability to apply the theory to your chosen example. You can also use cases we have looked at in class.

Can I write bullet points rather than write essays?

You are expected to write your answers as essays. Most of the questions ask you to ‘Discuss …’

Markers want to see your discussion, which should reflect your knowledge of the relevant theory, your ability to apply the theory to cases or examples and any limitations, problems or other contrasting views about the topic.

Each answer should have an introduction and conclusion. The introduction could include any definitions you consider it is appropriate to include.

You may also wish, where appropriate, to  include any relevant legislation such as the Public Interest Disclosure Act in the context of whistle blowing or the Companies Act (2006) in the context of stakeholders or the Bribery Act (2010) in the context of relativism and absolutism and international business or the Modern Slavery Act (2015) in the context of HRM.



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