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Teaching Ethics


published on August 12, 2020

Esteban Arroyo, James J. Hoffman

Hasbro’s Monopoly
The Use of a Board Game to Create a Discussion of Business Ethics

While many may see the board game “Monopoly” as nothing more than a means of entertainment, it carries with it the potential to be used as an instrument for teaching ethical principles of business. This article makes a case that Monopoly be used to teach business ethics by providing the opportunity for a rich discussion regarding the dangers of concentrated wealth, collusion, and having an end goal that forces you into bankrupting your opponents and becoming the most cutthroat capitalist on the board. Victory is achieved only by the self-serving actions of the individual; attempts at prosperity, generosity, and unity serve only to place the ethically minded player at a disadvantage. The article first provides an overview of the business principles on which Monopoly is based, and then discusses the disconnects between business ethics and winning at Monopoly, and how these disconnects can be used as a teaching tool.

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