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1. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
John Hooker Editor’s Foreword
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education research articles
2. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Matthew L. Stanley, Christopher P. Neck Students’ Reasoning about Dilemmas in Business Ethics
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Ethics education has become a priority at many business schools. A common pedagogical strategy in business ethics education has been to encourage students to deliberate and reason about cases and dilemmas. However, relatively little is known about how students actually reason, by default, about business ethics cases and dilemmas. In a large-scale study with undergraduate management students, we investigate how students reason about ethical dilemmas in business. Our results suggest that, after making an initial decision in a dilemma, students rarely changed their minds after deliberating over an extensive set of reasons for both sides of the dilemma. Students evaluated reasons in a way that preferentially supported their initial decisions. This post-hoc evaluation of reasons to preferentially support initial decisions also had implications for decision entrenchment: students actually tended to become more confident in the superiority of their initial decisions after deliberating over the reasons for both sides. We discuss the challenges that our findings pose for teaching business ethics.
3. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Nhung T. Hendy Using Open Mind to Foster Intellectual Humility in Teaching Business Ethics
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In this study, Open Mind – an interactive learning platform – was introduced as a pedagogical tool in developing students’ intellectual humility using a sample of 35 upper level undergraduate business students enrolled in a business ethics course in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.. Students completed the 5-step Open Mind learning assignment as a measure of intellectual humility during the first four weeks of class. Class lectures were concurrently given while students completed the Open Mind exercise. Students were subsequently required to debate a controversial topic during the remaining 11 weeks of the class. Various grading rubrics as well as skill assessment matrix are provided to assist faculty in adopting this learning platform in their classrooms. Initial evidence showed that Open Mind was efficacious in fostering student intellectual humility. Implications for teaching business ethics using Open Mind to cultivate intellectual humility are discussed.
4. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Abdalla Khidir Abdalla, Saud Ben Khudair, Abuzar El Jelly, Ilham Mansour Stakeholders Perception and Attitude Based Framework for Developing Responsible Management Education (RME) Programs: The Case of Master and Doctorate of Business Administration Students in Sudan
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Contributing to the efforts to foster business postgraduate students development toward becoming responsible business leaders is the goal of this study by examining the state of responsible management education in business postgraduate programs in Sudan. We examined perceptions and attitudes toward responsible management and its education among postgraduate-level students and constructed a comprehensive framework appropriate for developing responsible management education programs in under-developed countries. This study’s data were gathered via a structured questionnaire answered by 106 postgraduate business students from the largest four Sudanese business schools and facilities. The students were distributed among the management, finance, and marketing fields. The students exhibited affirmative corporate social responsibility (CSR) perceptions and attitudes with a heightened focus on acting ethically and a diminished focus on financial considerations. A key lesson learned from this study is the need for the continued development of CSR and general ethics across business school curriculums in Sudan.
5. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Yamikani Ndasauka, Tawina Chisi, Grivas Kayange Attitudes Do Not and Cannot Change Overnight!: Investigating Attitudes Towards Business Ethics at the University of Malawi
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The study investigated the difference of attitudes towards business ethics between students who have studied a business ethics course (n=88) and those who have not (n=94) at the University of Malawi in Malawi. It was hypothesised that students who had undergone the course would have more positive attitudes towards business ethics than those who had not. We employed the Attitudes towards Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) and used t-test to measure the difference. The results were surprising as most items (23/30) showed no significant difference in attitudes towards business ethics by students who had undergone the course from those who had not. Out of the seven that showed significant difference, five of the items showed more positive attitude towards business ethics by those students who had undergone the course than those students who had not. This shows that there is something positive as regards the methods of teaching business ethics at the University, but requires leveraging. The paper concludes by recommending three leveraging points that the University of Malawi can adopt in teaching a business ethics course.
6. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
James W. Westerman, Yalcin Acikgoz, Lubna Nafees, Emmeline dePillis, Jennifer Westerman The Sustainable Development Goals and Business Students’ Preferences: An Exploratory Study
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To effectively teach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to enhance corporate social responsibility, we need to understand the predictors of business student predispositions towards the SDGs. We examine whether location, authoritarianism, religiosity, and individualism influence university business student SDG preferences. Results (n=262) indicate authoritarian and religious business students emphasize SDGs with an orientation towards the health and economic well-being of their local communities. The results also indicate the most significant factor in predicting SDG preference was university location. Southeastern U.S. students were more supportive of people/prosperity-oriented SDGs, indicating greater concern with the social safety net and basic human needs, whereas Hawaiian students were more supportive of planet-oriented SDGs indicating greater concern for environmental issues. Implications for teaching SDGs to university business students are discussed.
teaching articles
7. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Abe Zakhem Collective Impact Problems and the Promise for Business Ethics
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“Collective impact problems” refer to situations where there is a collective harm or benefit, but where no single action seems to make a difference one way or the other. Collective impact problems arise when considering several pressing ethical issues in business, such as shareholder and consumer activism, business and climate change, factory farming and animal welfare, fair-trade and sweatshop labor, and corporate philanthropy. Unfortunately, business ethics textbooks do not explicitly deal with collective impact problems and, as such, students may be lacking the theoretical and practical skills necessary to deal with issues of significant moral concern. This paper helps to address this gap by introducing the reader to some collective impact cases in business ethics, detailing the challenges that collective impact problems pose for consequentialist and non-consequentialists alike, and highlighting some of the promising pedagogical benefits of using collective impact cases in a business ethics class.
8. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Ian Robson Educating the Virtuous Leader: Exploring the Reflexive Practicum
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The context of education under scrutiny in this paper is the post-experience practitioner sector, concerning students of ethics in Business Administration at both Masters and Doctoral levels. Responsible leadership is examined as a core theme in business ethics research and education. The paper proposes that responsible leaders require a virtuous mind-set, underpinned by Aristotelian thinking. Responsible leadership and romanticised models of leadership are interwoven in a critique of the technical-rational predominance in leadership and ethics research. The development of reflective practice is tracked from Argyris and Schon’s reflection on and in action to reflexivity. The paper considers the essence of Aristotle’s virtue ethics in proposing an integrative framework of skill and behaviour acquisition in organisational ethical decision-making. Reflective leadership and reflexivity are examined in relation to practitioner learning and the concept of a reflexive practicum explored to provide a praxis dimension to ethics education practice.
9. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Robert A. Giacalone, Vickie Coleman Gallagher, Mark D. Promislo An Ethics Briefing to an Executive Team: Going from a Problem to Formal Recommendations
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Business ethics education is most effective when students take an active approach and must respond to various demands and feedback. In this paper we describe a classroom exercise in which students are tasked with delivering an ethics briefing to “executive teams” (role played by other students or even by real executives). Through a combination of individual analysis and group work, students become immersed in real-world ethics problem-solving, in which there are no easy solutions. Students must defend their ethical recommendations as well as challenge those from other groups. The exercise concerns an existing controversial business called Seeking Arrangement. Survey results from graduate students who have participated in the exercise reveal that it is effective in producing better ethics problem solving, as well as greater confidence in addressing ethical issues.
10. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Michael Stodnick, Nancy Schreiber Using Hard Times to Teach Business Ethics
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In this research we employ an inter-disciplinary project that uses active learning theory to help bridge the gap between a university’s extensive liberal arts core and its business program. We believe this project will improve and enrich classroom discussions of the more complex and nuanced issues found in the application of business principles. To redress the fact that many undergraduate students do not have extensive work experience to draw on when discussing the application of business ethics principles, we present a project that uses a classic novel, Hard Times, to improve students’ abilities to contextualize and apply common business ethics frameworks. The project focuses on active learning and non-linear thinking, and aims to immerse the student in a fictional environment that models the complexity of, without being identical to, a real world business setting.
11. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Malavika Sundararajan Ethical Case Analysis Template: Learning to Develop Ethical Values Through Practice
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Ethical behaviors are taught in business classrooms using multiple methods, among which case studies are a standard method. However, when introduced at the undergraduate level, until students have developed a strong foundation in moral philosophy, a prescriptive case analysis template may help them build constructive mental models towards that foundation. The paper thus proposes a case analysis method template based on critical components identified in the Ethics literature that lead to ethical decision-making that can be used as a tool by teachers in Ethics in Business classrooms. The critical components entail the development of moral awareness by training the students to develop ethical values through practice. Students learn how to identify an ethical dilemma, analyze various stakeholder characteristics, explore ethical principles, and make moral judgments before recommending moral actions in each context. A sample case analysis is also provided for classroom use. The implications and value to educators, students, and managers are discussed.
12. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Tiina Brandt Book Review of Snapshots of Great Leadership
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case studies (with accompanying teaching notes)
13. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Kathleen Burke, Shafik Bhalloo “I Am in Room 523”: Sexual Harassment in the Context of #MeToo and #timesup
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Initiatives to encourage more women in STEM-related industries have had mixed results. Adding more women to longstanding male-dominated STEM occupations has highlighted issues in workplace culture that are hostile to women. In this case, the CEO of an engineers' professional association, NSE, is accused of making a sexually suggestive remark to two female engineers at the annual convention. One of the women, Claire, lodged a complaint with the board. After reviewing the investigation report, the board voted to ask the CEO to quietly apologize to both women. Claire, in the meantime, posted a negative review of the NSE's handling of her complaint which is getting considerable media attention. The purpose of this case is for students to examine the competing interests NSE faces in promoting the safety of female members, protecting its reputation for advancing the profession and women in engineering and supporting an otherwise “brilliant CEO”.
14. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Doreen E. Shanahan, Jeffrey R. Baker, Stephen M. Rapier, Nancy Ellen Dodd Too Big to Care: Promoting Ethics When Ethics Are Not Profitable
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Beginning in 2002, Wells Fargo began opening fraudulent accounts for unsuspecting customers. Stakeholders at every level either participated in, ignored, or tolerated the bank’s behavior that defrauded consumers on a massive scale. These unethical and well-documented schemes spanned more than a decade. Using public sources, this case recounts the events and ethical lapses that unfolded over the multiyear investigation of the Wells Fargo fraudulent accounts scandal and illuminates the general systemic failures of corporate culture and governance, public regulation, and market responses to promote ethical business practices. This case provides the opportunity to consider what means for fostering ethical conduct might exist if a corporation can be big enough and rich enough that civil, criminal, regulatory, and market forces cannot deter unethical corporate practices, and if the market does not punish the corporation for a culture that promotes fraud.
15. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Amy Lysak, Richard Marmon, Edward J. Schoen Whistleblowing and Caterpillar Inc.’s Swiss Tax Strategy
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This case describes the background of the whistleblower complaint, filed by Daniel Schlicksup, questioning the propriety of Caterpillar Inc.’s “Swiss tax strategy”. The Swiss tax strategy was recommended by its independent auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and designed to transfer to a Swiss entity the profits earned on its sales of “purchased finished replacement parts” to foreign marketers. This strategy enabled Caterpillar to shift $8 billion in replacement parts sales to Switzerland and to avoid or defer paying U.S. taxes on that income. Daniel Schlicksup, a member of Caterpillar’s tax staff, filed an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower complaint against Caterpillar and provided the IRS extensive documentation that served as the foundation for the IRS’s claim Caterpillar owed $2 billion in back taxes and penalties, potentially entitling Schlicksup to a huge whistleblower award ranging from $300 to $600 million. Careful review of this case facilitates student discussion, and enhances student understanding, of the wisdom and morality of Schlicksup’s whistleblowing activities.
16. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Rickey E. Richardson, Laura Gordey, Reggie Hall Amazon’s Fast Delivery: The Human Cost
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Fast delivery to customers required Amazon fulfillment center employees to meet high daily productivity quotas. In some of the centers, robots and people worked together. The efficiency of the robots and the company’s productivity standards, made it challenging for workers to avoid injury. Candace accepted a position in a center utilizing robots and was injured on the job, just like hundreds of others. Her injuries and lack of workplace accommodations prevented her from meeting productivity quotas and consequently jeopardized her job. She wondered if customers understood the human cost incurred to achieve such fast delivery and if it was ethical to subject employees to such work environments. Students are asked to analyze the situation from various ethical perspectives and offer their opinions to Candace. During their analysis they will learn about ethics, ethical standards, stakeholders, and corporate social responsibility.
17. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Ligia Maura Costa Rebuilding an Empire: The Odebrecht Challenge after the Corruption Scandal
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From modest beginnings, the conglomerate Odebrecht became one of the most relevant actors of development for Brazil and Latin America. By 2010, the conglomerate was elected the best family business in the world. Annual revenues rose from US$ 24 billion in 2008 to US$ 41.8 billion in 2014. However, by 2015 Odebrecht was in a very different situation, embroiled in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal. To illegally secure more than 100 projects, Odebrecht had paid approximately US$ 788 million in bribes across 12 countries. Corruption was not new in Latin America, but so many powerful people facing jail time in the region certainly was. In 2016, Odebrecht agreed to pay a record breaking fine of US$ 2.6 billion for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act. This case describes Odebrecht’s corruption scandal, touching on possible causes, the company’s handling of the criminal allegations, and probable defenses to protect against future setbacks.
18. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Mike Morawski, Stephen B. Castleberry Multi-Family Ventures, LLC and the 2008 Financial Crisis: Ethical Decisions Regarding Keeping the Board Informed
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This true account provides a summary of a firm and its CEO caught up in the housing market frenzy that occurred in the mid to late 2000s. Although confronted with a number of economic, strategic management, human resource, ethical, and legal challenges, the owners make decisions that cause the firm to grow at an exponential rate. The case documents the eventual results of many of those decisions. Readers are challenged to identify ethics issues involved and the business decisions that precipitated those ethical issues. Some issues include working with business partners who have different ethical stances from your own, whistle blowing for illegal actions, the impact of problem employees on ethical and legal issues, and being transparent and honest when informing the board of directors about business conditions. Teaching notes include lessons learned by the CEO. Ways to avoid similar mistakes in the future are provided.
19. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Salvador G. Villegas, Kristi M. Bockorny Hiring Ethics: A Case of Undue Influence in Employee Selection
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When hiring for an open position, the branch manager of Intermountain Trust Bancorp was challenged with an ethical dilemma he was not anticipating. An internal applicant challenged the hiring manager's ethical values by insisting that their friendship and other external employment factors be taken into consideration in the hiring decision. This is a classic case of a candidate using undue influence1 to manipulate a colleague and gain employment. In what started as a routine decision, the manager was faced with an unforeseen ethical quagmire. This case describes a real situation that had local impact on the stakeholders of a regional bank, and provides a true example of the types of difficult situations that can affect candidate selection in hiring decisions.
20. Journal of Business Ethics Education: Volume > 17
Fatima Alali, Silvia Romero Armor Holdings Inc.: An Application of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
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The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has gained significant popularity in recent years across borders due to the increased investigation and penalties under the law. The following case is a real-life case that highlights the main provisions of the FCPA. Using cases in teaching an auditing or ethics course is much needed to develop students’ professional judgment, critical and analytical thinking skills and communication skills. Presently, there are a few cases that address the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and its effect on financial reporting and auditor responsibilities about illegal acts. The Armor Holdings case is interesting and information is publicly available regarding the circumstances that describe the bribery act, lack of whistle-blower protection, the tone at the top, and the accounting treatment. In addition, the increase in actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the FCPA since 2010 heightens the relevance of this case and underscores the need for students to learn the skills necessary to ensure compliance with FCPA and related key regulations such as the Sarbanes Oxley and the Dodd Frank Act. Therefore, cases like this one provide a rich tool to navigate topics and enforce students’ learning of client’s illegal actions and their consequences. These skills are invaluable in practice.