Full course description

Available August 2014 through June 2015 | Work at your own pace

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the subject of ethical behavior in business. The course provides an understanding of the nature of ethics, the role ethics plays in business, and the most commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in a business career. It provides practical advice on how to identify ethical dilemmas when they arise, how to get enough information to assess one’s responsibilities, how to analyze a complex ethical choice, and how to marshal one’s own resources and courage to act ethically. While the course includes some ethical theory, it is designed to be approachable by the seasoned manager, the novice businessperson, and students in business schools. No specific background or preparation is necessary.

See also "Creating an Ethical Corporate Culture" now available on Canvas Network.

Kirk O. Hanson

Executive Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Kirk O. Hanson is one of the founders of the field of business ethics. The executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, Hanson taught business ethics for 23 years in the MBA and Executive Programs of the Stanford Business School, where he is Senior Lecturer Emeritus. He continues to teach MBA and EMBA courses on business ethics at Santa Clara, where he heads one of the most active ethics centers in the world, with extensive programs in business ethics, government ethics, bioethics, Internet ethics, and character education.

Hanson speaks widely, writes on managing the ethical and public behavior of corporations and is frequently quoted in the press on business ethics issues. He co-edited a four-volume series released in 2006 entitled The Accountable Corporation. His current research interests include the design of corporate ethics programs and incentives for employees to act ethically, and the responsibility of boards for the ethical culture of the organization.

Hanson serves as Honorary Chair of the Center for International Business Ethics in Beijing, China’s first center on business ethics, and on the board of the Skoll Community Fund, one of two entities which comprise the Skoll Foundation, which pioneered the concept of social entrepreneurship. In 1995 he received the John Gardner Leadership Award from the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley and in 2007 the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education for contributions to business and society.

Hanson is a graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He held research fellowships and appointments at the Yale Divinity School and the Harvard Business School prior to beginning his academic career.