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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 7, 2010

Tim Manuel
Pages 155-176

An Ethics Role-Playing Case
Stockholders versus Stakeholders Case Discussion

This paper discusses a role playing ethics case suitable for business students in which participants must balance shareholder and stakeholder concerns. Students take on the role of operations manager and are challenged to consider the effects of their choices on the local society as they balance the demands of stockholders, employees, and family when the concerns of the groups come into conflict. The exercise helps students understand the need to consider the ethical components of business decisions and the difficulties of handling values in conflict. Students learn more about their own values through playing the role of manager. Suggested discussion questions are provided. This note also reviews some of the extant literature on the goals of stakeholder versus shareholder wealth and the role of ethics, and it discusses areas of common ground between the stakeholder/shareholder theories.

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