Professor Hicks’s Business Ethics Course (Loyola Chicago’s MBA class in for a real treat)
MasterResource is about energy (the master resource). But our ‘free market energy blog‘ is also about the economic system of market capitalism versus political capitalism. In fact, under the category Corporate Governance, entries can be found for
- “Bootleggers and Baptists”
- Business strategy and messaging
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Free-market capitalism/Principled Entrepreneurship™
- Political capitalism/rent-seeking
- Postmodernist philosophy
- Resource ownership
And so it was with great interest that I found out that Stephen Hicks, a Ph.D. philosopher in the Objectivist tradition, is teaching a course on business ethics to MBA students at Loyola University Chicago. Loyola’s business ethics program is considered one of the finest in the country, and, in fact, was ranked first in the country last year by BusinessWeek.
Professor Hicks is not your average philosophy professor. His thought is firmly planted in the real world, being a student of business practices, the dynamics of capitalist progress, and the dynamics of government intervention (how one regulation leads to another). Hicks is expert in both Austrian-school and public-choice economics to these ends.
Professor Hicks’s Syllabus description follows.
Of all the endeavors that have contributed to the quality of human life, business ranks with science, art, and education. Yet like all human endeavors, business raises its share of difficult ethical
questions and problems. Our task this semester will be to explore those questions and problems.
We will divide our time equally between theory and practice. We will discuss competing accounts of morality, rights, justice, profits, competition, the nature of employer-employee and business/consumer relations, and we will discuss the practical implications of those debates through several real-life case studies.
Al Gini and Alexei Marcoux. The Ethics of Business: A Concise Introduction. ISBN-13: 978-0742561625.
David R. Henderson, editor. The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.
The eight-section course is as follows:
1. Introduction: business, wealth, and modern ethics
Ethics: predation, egoism, or altruism?
John V. C. Nye, “Standards of Living and Modern
Economic Growth” [CEE]; Stephen Hicks, “What Business Ethics Can Learn from Entrepreneurship” [PDF at SH]
Tara Smith, “Money Can Buy Happiness” [PDF at Reason Papers]
“Quotations on Money” [pdf at SH]
3. Political economy: free markets or socialism—or somewhere in between?
Robert Hessen, “Capitalism” [CEE]; Robert Heilbroner, “Socialism” [CEE]; Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons” [CEE]
4. Buyers and sellers: prices
Walter Block, “Rent Control” [CEE]
5. Employment: wages
Linda Gorman, “Minimum Wages” [CEE]
6. Employment: discrimination
Tom Beauchamp, McAleer v AT&T [pdf at SH]; Linda Gorman, “Discrimination” [CEE]
7. Buyers and sellers: liberty versus paternalism
Tom Beauchamp, “Regulation and Manufacture of
Laetrile” [pdf at SH]; Daniel Henninger, “Drug Lag” [CEE]
8. Buyers and sellers: competition and two competing concepts of fairness
Tom Beauchamp, “The FCC’s Fairness Doctrine?” [pdf
at SH]; Wolfgang Kasper, “Competition” [CEE]