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Ethical dilemmas plague everyone, even those who are honest and confident in their moral stance.  Ethical issues are complicated by changing norms and contrasting social theories.  Conflicts result from day-to-day business decisions influenced by factors such as loyalty.

Ethics are not limited to specific acts and defined moral codes. They encompass moral ideas and behaviors (philosophy of life).  Theories on social ethics can vary from business ethical theories. This course examines the history of ethics and those philosophers who have influenced ethical thinking.

Why should professionals study the history of ethics?  Increased reports of unethical behavior in businesses have stakeholders demanding more accountability.  Society’s evaluation of right and wrong affects an organization’s ability to meet goals.  By examining history of ethics, understanding the various ethical philosophies and why they were developed, examining issues and lessons learned, management and organizations might be able to begin to change behavior in a positive manner.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the definition and history behind business ethics.
  • Identify key philosophers who have assisted in defining societal and business ethics.
  • Explore ethical theories in business.
  • Explore a case study on business ethics.
Last updated/reviewed: May 20, 2022

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

13 CoursesEthical Leadership Certification

  1. History of Ethics
  2. Ethics and the Psychology Behind the Concept - Part 2
  3. COSO 2013 Control Environment
  4. Today’s Corporate Ethical Culture - An updated course
  5. Managing Through Corporate Politics
  6. Real World Business Ethics Scenarios
  7. Relationship between Ethics, Morality, and the Law
  8. Impact of Ethics on Leadership
  9. Framework for Ethical Decision Making
  10. Keys to an Effective Code of Conduct
  11. Keys to Understanding Conflicts of Interest
  12. Whistleblower Hotlines - History and Regulations
  13. Whistleblower Hotlines - Effective Management

44 Reviews (160 ratings)Reviews

2
Anonymous Author
The overview of philosophers was useful. The "Primary Ethical Concerns of Business" part felt like the standard new propaganda on how companies should run themselves, though. This part should be taken out.
5
Anonymous Author
It was interesting to learn about how the Greek Philosophers have influenced more modern theories. Also the concept of what was considered okay in the past but not now shows the evolution of moral values.
3
Anonymous Author
While it was a good course on the overall history of ethics, Aristotle is the philosopher who pioneered Scientific Method, not Socrates. You should change that in the test.
5
Anonymous Author
I think this course should be the first to take prior to any ethics course. Great instructor especially with the flow of information for every section. Thank you Lynn.
5
Member's Profile
Excellent coverage on the history and principles underlying ethics. This is a unique presentation of its kind. Kudos to the efforts made by the presenter!!!
5
Anonymous Author
This course covered the stated learning objectives. It is helpful to have some of the historical background provided here when thinking about ethics today.
5
Anonymous Author
A great course to learn the overview of ethics and business ethics. It provides applications and cases scenarios for the different theories on ethics.
5
Member's Profile
This course enlightened my concept of business ethics with historical highlights up to modern day ideas and activities. i am compelled to learn more.
5
Member's Profile
I liked the section that explained how Greek philosophers have influenced current business ethics. This course would be beneficial to all auditors.
5
Anonymous Author
Жаль, что теория этики не рассматривает поведение правительств отдельных стран
4
Anonymous Author
Good discussion on the history. Would have been better if there was a lengthier discussion on why is there a need to discuss business ethics.
4
Anonymous Author
Interesting overview of historical philosophies surrounding ethics. Helpful to see the progression of ancient thought to modern theories.
5
Anonymous Author
This was fascinating...I'd never realized just how many ethical theories there were and how far back this had applied to businesses!
5
Anonymous Author
History of ethics is a great course. It was useful to see ancient influencers and more modern thinkers all in one course.
5
Member's Profile
I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot. Teacher is very intelligent and entertaining too. God bless. Mark Elders
5
Member's Profile
I really enjoyed this class. The class posed a lot of interesting issues to consider. I highly recommend this class.
4
Anonymous Author
Excellent overview of the history of ethics with practical examples correlating to today’s business environment
5
Anonymous Author
Enjoyed the course, particularly surveying the philosphers and writers who set the foundation for ethics study.
4
Anonymous Author
Nice overall history of ethics in order to get a better understanding of where we have come from on the topic.
5
Anonymous Author
Excellent course, i really like the instructor. Her slides are clear and detailed and keeps it interesting.
5
Anonymous Author
Good refresher on some of the original theories on ethics and how ethics in modern business has evolved.
5
Anonymous Author
Very interesting course. It was very enlightening to hear the ethical history and theories in History.
5
Anonymous Author
This course presents a clear and concise view of the history of ethics. A more of ground is covered.
5
Anonymous Author
This course provides an overview of ethics and business ethics with interesting historical background
3
Member's Profile
Fairly basic course on ethics. Nothing ground breaking, but the learning objectives were met.
5
Member's Profile
I really enjoyed the history of Ethics with Lynn Fountain. She is a wonderful instructor.
5
Member's Profile
Very logically presented; interesting and thought-provoking. New perspective on ethics.
5
Member's Profile
Lynn is on a roll with another great series of courses this time on ethics. GREAT STFF.
5
Anonymous Author
Short, but very good summary and introduction to Ethics and its application in business.
5
Member's Profile
This program was thorough, provide clarity on complex issues, and educational.
5
Anonymous Author
Course gave very good background for understanding today's business ethics.
5
Member's Profile
Really enjoying and learning from each course I've taken from you so far
5
Member's Profile
Great course. However, question 10 answer on final exam is incorrect.
5
Anonymous Author
A good "time machine like presentation" regarding philosophy history
4
Member's Profile
This course provides a basic understanding of the history of ethics.
5
Member's Profile
Great study materials for history of Ethics in the corporate world
5
Anonymous Author
Great course that makes me want to read more about the topic.
4
Member's Profile
Important to understanding the current business environment
5
Anonymous Author
Very thorough course with lots of historical perspective.
5
Member's Profile
Eric in Billy Madison would definitely fail this course.
3
Anonymous Author
well thought out and acceptable for cpe review purposes
4
Anonymous Author
Interesting topics, well organized, relevant info.
4
Member's Profile
An interesting look at the evolution of ethics.
5
Member's Profile
Lots of new info I never knew - very interesting.

Prerequisites

Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. 

Education Provider Information

Company:
Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact:
For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .

1 QuestionCourse Questions and Answers

User picture

Regarding the final exam, Question #10 had a different answer from what I was expecting based on the lecture. Overall, a great course.

Course Syllabus
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
  5:21Introduction To The History and Philosophies Behind Ethics
History of Ethics
  14:58Definition and History of Ethics
  9:23History
  12:40Ancient Greek Ethics
  15:20Business Ethics
  3:23Ethical Theories in Business
  6:33 Primary Ethical Concerns of Business
  6:20Case Study
CONCLUSION
  2:11Summary
CONTINUOUS PLAY
  1:16:10The History and Philosophies Behind Ethics
SUPPORTING MATERIALS
  PDFSlides: History of Business Ethics
  PDFHistory of Business Ethics Glossary/Index
REVIEW AND TEST
  quizReview Questions
 examFinal Exam