Brad Wendel joined the Cornell faculty in 2004 after teaching at Washington and Lee Law School from 1999 to 2004. Before entering graduate school and law teaching, he was a product liability litigator at Bogle & Gates in Seattle and a law clerk for Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Wendel’s teaching interests are in the regulation of the legal profession and torts, and his research focuses on the application of moral and political philosophy to problems of legal ethics.
Ethical reasoning can be a pinnacle of decision making in business. In this course, you will survey the role that ethics play in society and gain a foundation for making good ethical decisions. You'll begin by identifying the similarities and differences between ethics and the law and examine myths and misunderstandings about ethics. You'll then investigate the contributions and insights from a number of major Western ethical traditions and use that analysis to inform your own ethical decision-making process. By the end of this course, you will be able to categorize and evaluate various situations and identify the relevant ethical considerations.
With technology playing a significant role in business, it is crucial to understand the ethical implications of the tools we use every day. This course will prepare you to anticipate and identify ethical and legal issues and apply appropriate ethical reasoning. You will begin by examining the objectives of a business or organization to assess how ethics relate to that purpose. By using case studies and real-world examples, you will establish an ethical decision-making framework that can be adapted to your organizational context and applied in your day-to-day work. Considering issues such as privacy, trust, and surveillance in the context of modern technology, you will leave this course with the ability to identify ethical issues and decisions that were made in complex, multifaceted cases.
Business and professional leaders sometimes make bad ethical decisions because personal and psychological factors influence how they perceive and address situations. This course is designed to help you recognize such personal factors and take steps to avoid the dangers associated with them. You will begin by considering implicit bias and other limitations that potentially affect all of us. By examining the hallmarks of ethical decision making, you will craft ways to avoid the psychological tendency to begin condoning a lowering of ethical standards. Finally, you will examine several case studies and draw insights from them that may help avoid ethical mistakes in your own decision making.
Social and organizational pressures combined with inherent human tendencies may help create organizational cultures that do not adhere to the ethical standards of society. In this course, you will identify a number of social influences on decision making. You will consider ways that a dysfunctional organizational culture may lead to wrongdoing. By looking into case studies and investigating real-world situations of ethical scandals at major companies, you will develop awareness and acquire guidelines for best practices in complex situations. Finally, you will apply what you have learned by identifying steps you and your organization might take to improve its culture and ensure that organizational decision making is ethical.
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