Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics Courses

BUSENV 1701: Ethical Leadership Fundamentals

(1 credit)

In this first integrated seminar of the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics sequence, students are introduced to ethics concepts and leadership skills, with a particular emphasis on demonstrating how ethics and leadership are complementary areas of emphasis for an effective leader. Ethics and leadership must be considered together in order to produce leaders who have the foresight to consider issues of responsibility, accountability, and the full impact of their actions, as well as a skill set that will empower them to implement their vision. This course meets for 10 weeks.

BUSENV 0061: Managerial Ethics and Stakeholder Management

(3 credits)

In the only course in the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics that is part of the general College of Business Administration core, students are given an exposure to a range of broad macro-level concerns—with a particular focus on ethics in an organizational context. The honors section of the course provides a particularly rigorous examination of ethical theories and their relationship to business behavior.

The honors section deals with mastery of the standard range of topics that is typically covered in the Ethics and the Business Environment core course. Topics covered in the core course include stakeholder analysis and management, corporate social responsibility, ethical theories and analysis in organizations, and government regulation and public policy. Students study various ethical theories and then apply those theories to a series of business ethics dilemmas. By the end of the course, students should be able to systematically analyze any business-ethics issue.

Increasingly, businesses are institutionalizing their ethics programs. Due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, this trend is expected to continue and even accelerate. During this course, students also study such programs to develop an understanding of the elements necessary for a successful program.

Functional Elective

(3 credits)

This is any elective course at the University of Pittsburgh or on an approved Study Abroad Program that supports the students field of study.  The elective is choosen by the student and approved by the Berg Center Associate Director.

BUSENV 1755: Service Learning in Organizations

(3 credits)

In a course that is designed around experiential learning and that uses a service project for a community organization to enhance student understanding of a particular content area in leadership and ethics, students are challenged to immerse themselves in readings, essays, and discussions in a specific content area, which is used and reflected upon throughout the duration of the community-service project. This is an inductive process that provides a sound complement to more traditional deductive approaches in business education, such as the case study approach.

The content of the service learning course varies depending upon the area of interest of the instructor and the nature of the service project. In short, in order for a service-learning course to be a valuable intellectual experience for students, the content domain and the service project must be closely related so that students are encouraged to draw their own connections between the academic material they are reading and processing and the greater issues facing the community organization that is being served. There are a number of interesting examples of the effective design that is required for this course:

  • A review of the ethical dimensions of organizational governance, with readings on the ethical role of directors, in conjunction with a service project in which students assist a nonprofit with the design of a code of ethics for its board of directors.
  • A review of diversity in organizations at the individual, organizational, and societal levels, with readings on diversity in management, in conjunction with a service project in which students assist a nonprofit with a diversity audit and the construction of a diversity plan.
  • A review of entrepreneurship, business and community development, and global capitalism, with readings on self-interest, community development, and capitalism, in conjunction with a service project in which students assist an organization in a developing country with a business plan.

Assignments in the service-learning course encourage students to develop a command of a specific content area through in-depth readings and case analysis, which then makes it possible for students to draw their own conclusions on these concepts through structured reflection exercises based on their experiences and observations in the project. This course uses short essays, a group project on the plan to assist the organization, and several structured reflection discussions and assignments to lead students to draw their own conclusions.

BUSENV 1765: Leadership in the Social Environment

(3 credits)

This course will give CPLE students exposure to in-depth analysis of leadership concepts and techniques in personal, interpersonal, and group skill areas. Students will complete a number of assessment and skill development exercises in such topics as teamwork, motivation, agenda building, power and influence tactics, problem solving, and decision making. The exercises will be grounded in students' real-world experiences in internships, leadership roles, and campus and community organizations.

BUSENV 1775: CPLE Capstone Seminar

(3 credits)

The final course in the CPLE sequence is a capstone advanced seminar that focuses on relating the application of specific content areas in ethics and leadership to the academic literature serving as a foundation for that content area. Based on previous exposure to the research process in the integrated seminars, students in the capstone seminar are challenged to develop a substantial research project in their primary area of interest and expertise.

The content of the capstone seminar is geared toward exposing students to academic literature and research related to ethics and leadership concerns in organizational life. Advanced seminars have the luxury of drawing on specific research streams for weekly discussions and analysis. In this content area, topics such as stakeholder analysis, moral development, ethical climate and culture, charismatic leadership, and the contingency approach to leadership are just a few of the research streams where a great deal of theoretical and empirical studies on relevant issues is available.

Assignments in the capstone seminar are parallel to the type of work that is required in a graduate seminar on ethics and leadership in organizational life. In addition to the weekly readings and critique assignments, students are challenged to produce a substantial paper on a particular ethics and leadership topic in their area of interest. Based on the instructor's discretion, this research assignment is either a group project based on a specific study or an individual research project that each student follows and completes on his or her own.