- Business Ethics Cases
- Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
- Focus Areas
- Business Ethics
- Business Ethics Resources
Find ethics case studies on bribery, sourcing, intellectual property, downsizing, and other topics in business ethics, corporate governance, and ethical leadership. (For permission to reprint articles, submit requests to [email protected] .)
In this business ethics case study, Swedish multinational company IKEA faced accusations relating to child labor abuses in the rug industry in Pakistan which posed a serious challenge for the company and its supply chain management goals.
A dog may be humanity’s best friend. But that may not always be the case in the workplace.
A recent college graduate works in the finance and analytics department of a large publicly traded software company and discovers an alarming discrepancy in sales records, raising concerns about the company’s commitment to truthful reporting to investors.
What responsibility does an employee have when information they obtained in confidence from a coworker friend may be in conflict with the needs of the company or raises legal and ethical questions.
A manager at a prominent multinational company is ethically challenged by a thin line between opportunity for economic expansion in a deeply underserved community, awareness of child labor practices, and cultural relativism.
A volunteer providing service in the Dominican Republic discovered that the non-profit he had partnered with was exchanging his donor money on the black market, prompting him to navigate a series of complex decisions with significant ethical implications.
The CFO of a family business faces difficult decisions about how to proceed when the COVID-19 pandemic changes the business revenue models, and one family shareholder wants a full buyout.
An employee at an after-school learning institution must balance a decision to accept or decline an offered gift, while considering the cultural norms of the client, upholding the best interests of all stakeholders, and following the operational rules of his employer.
A senior vice president for a Fortune 500 savings and loan company is tasked with the crucial responsibility of representing the buyer in a multi-million dollar loan purchase deal and faces several ethical challenges from his counterpart representing the seller.
Extensive teaching note based on interviews with Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz. The teaching note can be used to explore issues around whistleblowing, leadership, the blocks to ethical behavior inside organizations, and board governance.
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Coming Next Week: The New HBR.org
- Eric Hellweg
- December 10, 2009
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Hurd Baruch
- From the January 1979 Issue
How Sex Hurts the Workplace, Especially Women
- Sylvia Ann Hewlett
- August 24, 2010
Gates, Buffet, Zuckerberg, and Strategic Generosity Lessons
- Rosabeth Moss Kanter
- December 13, 2010
Campaign Spending Now Open for Business
- Vinod K. Aggarwal
- August 20, 2010
NFL Owners Can’t Manage Their Players Without Better Rules
- Sarah Green Carmichael
- September 18, 2014
Recover Your Credibility
- Prasad Kaipa
- July 02, 2012
Cadbury: More Than an Iconic Brand
- Gill Corkindale
- December 16, 2009
When Neuromarketing Crosses the Line
- Ania G. Wieckowski
- January 23, 2019
Why Modern Business Is Bad for Your Mental Health
- Roger L. Martin
- July 26, 2013
Why AI Customer Journeys Need More Friction
- Renée Richardson Gosline
- June 09, 2022
Managing the Immoral Employee
- Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic PhD.
- May 23, 2014
Why You Need an AI Ethics Committee
- Reid Blackman
- From the July–August 2022 Issue
4 Arguments Against Technology
- Kevin Kelly
- April 17, 2009
The Ethics of Resume Writing
- Clinton D. Korver
- May 19, 2008
Case Study: Your Star Salesperson Lied. Should He Get a Second Chance?
- Sandeep Puri
- From the September–October 2019 Issue
The Values Proposition: Do Small Things with Great Love
- Bill Taylor
- October 24, 2011
Volkswagen and the End of Corporate Spin
- Gareth Jones
- October 28, 2015
Dope, Dopes, and Dopamine: The Problem With Money
- Tony Schwartz
- October 26, 2010
Why Accountability Is So Muddled, and How to Un-Muddle It
- Ron Ashkenas
- November 26, 2012
Bring Human Values to AI
- Jacob Abernethy
- François Candelon
- Theodoros Evgeniou
- Abhishek Gupta
- Yves Lostanlen
- From the March–April 2024 Issue
HBR’s Picks on Managing Social and Political Issues at Work
- HBR Editors
- February 06, 2024
A Leader’s Guide to Navigating Employee Activism
- Megan Reitz
- John Higgins
Corporate Advocacy in a Time of Social Outrage
- Alison Taylor
Maintaining Customer Loyalty in the Face of Inflation
- Christine Alemany
- February 02, 2024
A Better Way for Companies to Address Pay Gaps
- Margrét V. Bjarnadóttir
- David Anderson
- David Gaddis Ross
How to Vet a Corporate Intelligence Vendor
- Maria Robson-Morrow
- Katherine Tucker
- Paul R. Kolbe
- January 19, 2024
4 Questions to Assess the Trustworthiness of Your Company’s GenAI
- Shalene Gupta
- January 18, 2024
AI Is Testing the Limits of Corporate Governance
- Roberto Tallarita
- December 05, 2023
How Leaders Can Be Stewards of “Good Tech”
- Ginni Rometty
- November 29, 2023
How Companies Can Build Trustworthy AI Assistants
- Kathy Baxter
- Yoav Schlesinger
- November 27, 2023
Unifying Your Company Around a Moral Goal
- Ranjay Gulati
- November 22, 2023
To Prove Your Company Isn’t Greenwashing, Endorse Smart Regulation
- Kristina Marusic
- November 15, 2023
A Strong Purpose Can Make Your Company a Magnet for Talent
- Claudio Fernández-Aráoz
- November 09, 2023
How Leaders Can Create a Purpose-Driven Culture
- Rodolphe Durand
- Ioannis Ioannou
- November 07, 2023
What It Means to Be a Moral Leader
- September 22, 2023
Neurotech Is Coming to the Workplace. Here's How to Be Ready.
- Nita A. Farahany
- September 19, 2023
- August 14, 2023
Why Today’s Leaders Need to Be Perpetual Learners
- August 11, 2023
A More Ethical Approach to Employing Contractors
- Catherine Bracy
- August 02, 2023
Tests and Triumphs in Telemedicine (B): Technology before Its Time or a Savior in a Crisis?
- G. Paul Matherne
- Taylor Anne Shepard
- September 19, 2021
Riverdale Hospital: The Whistleblower in Pursuit of the Missing Money
- Claus Rerup
- March 06, 2019
Tony's Chocolonely: A Bittersweet Journey to Make Chocolate Slave-Free
- Andrew Hoffman
- April 17, 2023
Big Chocolate: Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry
- David Bishop
- September 28, 2021
Maria Ahlstrom-Bondestam: Together Everyone Achieves More
- Peter Vogel
- Malgorzata Smulowitz
- December 06, 2022
The Gift Card Swap: Speak Up or Let It Lie?
- David G. Fubini
- William Fubini
- Patrick Sanguineti
SODASTREAM INTERNATIONAL: CHAMPIONING - AND MARKETING - VALUES
- Shlomo Ben-Hur
- Benoit Leleux
- September 22, 2018
The TaxPayers' Alliance
- Antonino Vaccaro
- February 18, 2015
Cryptocurrencies: Investment, Money, or Gamble? (A)
- Antonio Candia
- Fabio Moreno
- October 07, 2019
Interbolsa's Repo Trading: How to Stop an Insolvency Ticking Time Bomb (B)
- Mary Gentile
- Liliana Lopez Jimenez
- Luis Antonio Orozco
- March 02, 2021
LangKomm Sweden: Traversing Middle East Politics
- Amos Owen Thomas
- July 11, 2017
Balance-Statement Reporting at Premium Capital Funds (A)
- Ricardo Martinez-Gomez
- December 16, 2019
Paving the Road to Healthy Highways - A Partnership to Scale Up HIV/AIDS Clinics in Africa
- Aline Gatignon
- Luk Van Wassenhove
- October 31, 2008
The Ethical Tightrope: When to Disclose the AI Shortcut
Patagonia's sustainability strategy: don't buy our products.
- Francisco Szekely
- Zahir Dossa
- June 10, 2015
The ICARUS Principles: What it Takes to Tackle the World
- Debora L. Spar
- Julia Comeau
- January 04, 2024
The Pug Predicament: Ethical Decision-Making in an Online Marketplace
- Jocelyn CRANEFIELD
- Jean-Gregoire BERNARD
- Rebecca MINES
- June 12, 2022
National Kidney Foundation: CEO with a Golden Tap
- Shirley Chan
- July 07, 2006
Lighting up Lives through Cooking Gas and Transforming Society
- Samir Kumar Barua
- Sobhesh Kumar Agarwalla
- March 30, 2020
Valley Farms International (E)
- Henry W. Lane
- Don G. Simpson
- January 01, 1989
Nike's Response to Human Rights Abuse Claims in China, Teaching Note
- May 09, 2021
Learning What Wiser Workers Know
- November 25, 2014
A study of business ethical practices in Australian organisations : a multiple case study
Files and links (1).
In view of the latest corporate collapses globally, the purpose of this thesis is an attempt to investigate and to theorise how managers make decisions when faced with an ethical dilemma.
Philosophers over the years have proposed different moral theories. For example, Kantian’s Categorical Imperative (O’Neil 2001, Peters, 1971) suggests that there are laws that should apply universally. However, its principles are too abstract to guide action, in that it does not provide a detailed set of instructions for following them. Others such as Baier, (2001) suggest that people behave to satisfy their own self-interest. The literature review shows that there is no consensus to define what constitutes ethical behaviour. Kohlberg (1981) divides childhood moral development into six stages. He theorises that greater moral development will be related to the highest social responsibility of an individual. Lagon (2000), Seabright and Moberg (1998), Logsdon and Yuthas (1997) extrapolate Kohlberg’s model to incorporate into organisational and individual moral development.
Based on the literature review, research questions were developed. The research methodology is qualitative, based on the realism paradigm using a case research design (Yin 1994). Face to face interviews were conducted with fourteen participants using critical incidents and the findings were triangulated using a semi-structured focus group.
The research data analysis is based on grounded theory proposed by Glaser and Strauss (1967). The findings confirm that there is no single theory or approach to business ethics. The findings indicate that a person’s ethical behaviour changes when his/her self-interest is affected. Whilst participants believed that business and ethics can be reconciled, most agreed that they can only be reconciled if the individual’s interest or business profit is not affected.
Based on the findings, a new model is proposed in an attempt to theorise an individual’s business ethical behaviour and his/her ethical decision making process.
This research also identifies important areas that require further research. These are:
• Conflicts between personal values and business values
• Should ethics be taught? And if so how?
• Should an ethical programme be developed and incorporated in a company’s strategic plan?
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Australian AI ethics principles: Commonwealth Bank tests Bill Sense
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver easy-to-use and personalised digital banking services to its customers. Well-established processes and governance, including around data safety and security, ensures it applies AI safely and with the right accountabilities.
The Bill Sense feature in the CommBank app helps Commonwealth Bank customers manage stress around their bill payments. Image credit: CBA
CBA participated in the Australian AI Ethics Principles pilot .
The company prepared this case study summarising its experiences applying the Australian AI Ethics Principles . The case study is an example of how the company considered the principles. The principles are voluntary and organisations can choose to apply them in different ways.
CBA’s AI solution
Recognising that customers value having a complete picture of when their payments are due, CBA developed Bill Sense. This AI solution provides CommBank app users with greater insight into their saving patterns and bill frequency. Customers who use Bill Sense see how much money they’ll need to cover their bills each month.
Bill Sense uses advanced machine learning to:
- understand the patterns of customers’ regular payments
- predict when future bills will arrive and how much they will be.
This is achieved by learning from customers’ previous transactions. No information is shared or obtained from billers. Customers have total control of the parameters and information that Bill Sense uses to make its predictions. This includes:
- whether to include a specific biller
- setting the payment frequencies
- adjusting the predicted payment amount.
Considering AI ethics
Strong data and risk governance processes support the design of Bill Sense to ensure it operates safely and with appropriate accountabilities.
These ensure that the product:
- benefits customers
- aligns with the bank’s established ethical framework, which is compatible with the Australian AI Ethics Principles.
Putting AI ethics principles into practice
CBA shared the following information about how Bill Sense considers the Australian AI Ethics Principles.
Principle 1: Human, social and environmental wellbeing
CBA’s purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of its customers and communities. The team designed Bill Sense to help customers meet their financial commitments and manage any stress around bills.
Principle 2: Human-centred values
Bill Sense is a purposeful digital solution that can help to solve genuine customer problems. Bill Sense can help alleviate any feelings of helplessness for customers who may need assistance managing their bills.
Customers control the inputs that inform the AI predictions. They direct when and how they use Bill Sense. When they choose to opt in to use it, they can override or remove any predicted bills.
Principle 3: Fairness
Bill Sense is accessible to all users and operates the same way regardless of individual personal or financial characteristics. The CommBank app uses information the same way for all users, which reduces the likelihood of bias or unfair discrimination. Customers can provide negative or positive feedback on Bill Sense directly through the app.
CBA‘s policies and guidelines require machine learning models to not use any variables that may lead to unintended discrimination. Bill Sense uses only the minimum information it needs to operate.
CBA also has an Ethical AI service to investigate their models for any disparities (for example, to check a model is not behaving undesirably for different groups of customers). The service is relevant to the principle of fairness, as well as transparency and explainability. CBA modellers and AI practitioners use it to extract explanations of outcomes from complex AI models. This lets them:
- evaluate disparities in decisions
- obtain explanations of what variables are normally important to make predictions and what variables are used for each individual prediction.
Modellers can use this to sense-check their model and its predictions.
Principle 4: Privacy protection and security
Strong data protection policies ensure that data use is approved and only used for the purpose it was originally collected.
Bill Sense only learns from customers’ previous transactions within their account. No information is shared or obtained from billers (for example about a customer’s bill or account) to predict future bills.
Principle 5: Reliability and safety
Strict governance practices ensure that data sources, systems and models are reliable and safe.
For example, staff build all AI systems in accordance with the CBA’s Model Risk Policy. This policy ensures teams register and periodically review models to check they are operating in line with their intended purpose.
The AI system generates alerts allowing humans to check and rectify any problems that may occur. This also enables the system to be taken offline for the team to resolve issues or revert to previous versions if needed.
Principle 6: Transparency and explainability
The CommBank app, which houses Bill Sense, informs customers that it predicts bills based on their previous transactions. This means predictions of future bills may not always be correct.
Customers are informed of this risk and are always in control to use, override or disregard a predicted bill.
Principle 7: Contestability
Bill Sense is part of the CommBank app, so customers can provide feedback within the app. The app directs any complaints to responsible staff, who will take action when needed.
Principle 8: Accountability
CBA’s governance model ensures there are accountable parties for all systems, data points and the AI Model.
CBA clearly identifies accountabilities in the governance of every system and its components. These accountabilities include:
- business owners
- service owners
- any other responsible team.
Benefits and impacts
CBA had an ethical framework for decision making in place when it joined the AI Ethics Principles pilot. This framework aligns closely with the majority of the Australian AI Ethics Principles.
CBA Chief Decision Scientist, Dan Jermyn, said:
‘We see the government’s principles as important as they make explicit things like fairness, transparency and explainability which can be overlooked when developing complex AI systems. ‘Our organisation is committed to using technology, data and AI safely and with the right accountabilities to improve our customers’ financial wellbeing.’
If you have any questions about Bill Sense or or CBA’s AI systems or ethical AI journey, please contact [email protected]
This product is currently unavailable.
ETH 102: Business Ethics (Meyer) : Finding Case Studies
- Finding Case Studies
- Business Databases
- Citing Sources
Case Studies Available from the Internet
- Ethics Unwrapped from UTexas More than 50 case studies match ethics concepts to real world situations. From journalism to performing arts to foreign policy to scientific research to social work, these cases explore a range of current and historic ethical dilemmas, their motivating biases, and their consequences. Each case includes discussion questions, related videos, and a bibliography for further reading.
- Highlighted Cases and Case Studies: Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Online library of "simple, straightforward business cases focused on principle-based ethics."
- LearningEdge at MIT Sloan Collection of teaching case studies developed by MIT Sloan faculty and students. May be downloaded, copied, distributed free of charge by anyone through creative commons license. Topics include entrepreneurship, leadership and ethics, operations management, strategy, sustainability, and system dynamics.
- Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University Find case studies and scenarios on a variety of fields in applied ethics.
- Stanford Graduate School of Business - free cases Click on "Narrow your results" and then under Availability select "Available to download at no charge."
- Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2017 from Yale School of Management
Library Databases with Case Studies
This course guide is designed to help you find business research and business case studies.
Have a question?
Reference questions: [email protected]
- Next: Business Databases >>
- Last Updated: Jan 22, 2024 10:17 AM
- URL: https://libguides.middlesex.mass.edu/businessethics
McCombs School of Business
- Español ( Spanish )
Videos Concepts Unwrapped View All 36 short illustrated videos explain behavioral ethics concepts and basic ethics principles. Concepts Unwrapped: Sports Edition View All 10 short videos introduce athletes to behavioral ethics concepts. Ethics Defined (Glossary) View All 58 animated videos - 1 to 2 minutes each - define key ethics terms and concepts. Ethics in Focus View All One-of-a-kind videos highlight the ethical aspects of current and historical subjects. Giving Voice To Values View All Eight short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from Gentile's Giving Voice to Values. In It To Win View All A documentary and six short videos reveal the behavioral ethics biases in super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's story. Scandals Illustrated View All 30 videos - one minute each - introduce newsworthy scandals with ethical insights and case studies. Video Series
Case Studies UT Star Icon
More than 70 cases pair ethics concepts with real world situations. From journalism, performing arts, and scientific research to sports, law, and business, these case studies explore current and historic ethical dilemmas, their motivating biases, and their consequences. Each case includes discussion questions, related videos, and a bibliography.
A Million Little Pieces
James Frey’s popular memoir stirred controversy and media attention after it was revealed to contain numerous exaggerations and fabrications.
Abramoff: Lobbying Congress
Super-lobbyist Abramoff was caught in a scheme to lobby against his own clients. Was a corrupt individual or a corrupt system – or both – to blame?
Apple Suppliers & Labor Practices
Is tech company Apple, Inc. ethically obligated to oversee the questionable working conditions of other companies further down their supply chain?
Approaching the Presidency: Roosevelt & Taft
Some presidents view their responsibilities in strictly legal terms, others according to duty. Roosevelt and Taft took two extreme approaches.
Fairey’s portrait of Barack Obama raised debate over the extent to which an artist can use and modify another’s artistic work, yet still call it one’s own.
Arctic Offshore Drilling
Competing groups frame the debate over oil drilling off Alaska’s coast in varying ways depending on their environmental and economic interests.
Banning Burkas: Freedom or Discrimination?
The French law banning women from wearing burkas in public sparked debate about discrimination and freedom of religion.
Birthing Vaccine Skepticism
Wakefield published an article riddled with inaccuracies and conflicts of interest that created significant vaccine hesitancy regarding the MMR vaccine.
Blurred Lines of Copyright
Marvin Gaye’s Estate won a lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for the hit song “Blurred Lines,” which had a similar feel to one of his songs.
Bullfighting: Art or Not?
Bullfighting has been a prominent cultural and artistic event for centuries, but in recent decades it has faced increasing criticism for animal rights’ abuse.
Buying Green: Consumer Behavior
Do purchasing green products, such as organic foods and electric cars, give consumers the moral license to indulge in unethical behavior?
Cadavers in Car Safety Research
Engineers at Heidelberg University insist that the use of human cadavers in car safety research is ethical because their research can save lives.
Cardinals’ Computer Hacking
St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa hacked into the Houston Astros’ webmail system, leading to legal repercussions and a lifetime ban from MLB.
Cheating: Atlanta’s School Scandal
Teachers and administrators at Parks Middle School adjust struggling students’ test scores in an effort to save their school from closure.
Cheating: Sign-Stealing in MLB
The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme rocked the baseball world, leading to a game-changing MLB investigation and fallout.
Cheating: UNC’s Academic Fraud
UNC’s academic fraud scandal uncovered an 18-year scheme of unchecked coursework and fraudulent classes that enabled student-athletes to play sports.
Cheney v. U.S. District Court
A controversial case focuses on Justice Scalia’s personal friendship with Vice President Cheney and the possible conflict of interest it poses to the case.
Christina Fallin: “Appropriate Culturation?”
After Fallin posted a picture of herself wearing a Plain’s headdress on social media, uproar emerged over cultural appropriation and Fallin’s intentions.
Climate Change & the Paris Deal
While climate change poses many abstract problems, the actions (or inactions) of today’s populations will have tangible effects on future generations.
Cover-Up on Campus
While the Baylor University football team was winning on the field, university officials failed to take action when allegations of sexual assault by student athletes emerged.
Covering Female Athletes
Sports Illustrated stirs controversy when their cover photo of an Olympic skier seems to focus more on her physical appearance than her athletic abilities.
Covering Yourself? Journalists and the Bowl Championship
Can news outlets covering the Bowl Championship Series fairly report sports news if their own polls were used to create the news?
After a student defames a middle school teacher on social media, the teacher confronts the student in class and posts a video of the confrontation online.
Defending Freedom of Tweets?
Running back Rashard Mendenhall receives backlash from fans after criticizing the celebration of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in a tweet.
Dennis Kozlowski: Living Large
Dennis Kozlowski was an effective leader for Tyco in his first few years as CEO, but eventually faced criminal charges over his use of company assets.
File-sharing program Napster sparked debate over the legal and ethical dimensions of downloading unauthorized copies of copyrighted music.
Dr. V’s Magical Putter
Journalist Caleb Hannan outed Dr. V as a trans woman, sparking debate over the ethics of Hannan’s reporting, as well its role in Dr. V’s suicide.
East Germany’s Doping Machine
From 1968 to the late 1980s, East Germany (GDR) doped some 9,000 athletes to gain success in international athletic competitions despite being aware of the unfortunate side effects.
Ebola & American Intervention
Did the dispatch of U.S. military units to Liberia to aid in humanitarian relief during the Ebola epidemic help or hinder the process?
Edward Snowden: Traitor or Hero?
Was Edward Snowden’s release of confidential government documents ethically justifiable?
Ethical Pitfalls in Action
Why do good people do bad things? Behavioral ethics is the science of moral decision-making, which explores why and how people make the ethical (and unethical) decisions that they do.
Ethical Use of Home DNA Testing
The rising popularity of at-home DNA testing kits raises questions about privacy and consumer rights.
Flying the Confederate Flag
A heated debate ensues over whether or not the Confederate flag should be removed from the South Carolina State House grounds.
Freedom of Speech on Campus
In the wake of racially motivated offenses, student protests sparked debate over the roles of free speech, deliberation, and tolerance on campus.
Freedom vs. Duty in Clinical Social Work
What should social workers do when their personal values come in conflict with the clients they are meant to serve?
Full Disclosure: Manipulating Donors
When an intern witnesses a donor making a large gift to a non-profit organization under misleading circumstances, she struggles with what to do.
Gaming the System: The VA Scandal
The Veterans Administration’s incentives were meant to spur more efficient and productive healthcare, but not all administrators complied as intended.
German Police Battalion 101
During the Holocaust, ordinary Germans became willing killers even though they could have opted out from murdering their Jewish neighbors.
Head Injuries & American Football
Many studies have linked traumatic brain injuries and related conditions to American football, creating controversy around the safety of the sport.
Head Injuries & the NFL
American football is a rough and dangerous game and its impact on the players’ brain health has sparked a hotly contested debate.
Healthcare Obligations: Personal vs. Institutional
A medical doctor must make a difficult decision when informing patients of the effectiveness of flu shots while upholding institutional recommendations.
High Stakes Testing
In the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act, parents, teachers, and school administrators take different positions on how to assess student achievement.
In-FUR-mercials: Advertising & Adoption
When the Lied Animal Shelter faces a spike in animal intake, an advertising agency uses its moral imagination to increase pet adoptions.
Krogh & the Watergate Scandal
Egil Krogh was a young lawyer working for the Nixon Administration whose ethics faded from view when asked to play a part in the Watergate break-in.
Limbaugh on Drug Addiction
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh argued that drug abuse was a choice, not a disease. He later became addicted to painkillers.
U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s “over-exaggeration” of an incident at the 2016 Rio Olympics led to very real consequences.
Meet Me at Starbucks
Two black men were arrested after an employee called the police on them, prompting Starbucks to implement “racial-bias” training across all its stores.
Buying amber could potentially fund an ethnic civil war, but refraining allows collectors to acquire important specimens that could be used for research.
Bankruptcy lawyer Gellene successfully represented a mining company during a major reorganization, but failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest.
Pao & Gender Bias
Ellen Pao stirred debate in the venture capital and tech industries when she filed a lawsuit against her employer on grounds of gender discrimination.
One month after Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency, Gerald Ford made the controversial decision to issue Nixon a full pardon.
Patient Autonomy & Informed Consent
Nursing staff and family members struggle with informed consent when taking care of a patient who has been deemed legally incompetent.
Prenatal Diagnosis & Parental Choice
Debate has emerged over the ethics of prenatal diagnosis and reproductive freedom in instances where testing has revealed genetic abnormalities.
Reporting on Robin Williams
After Robin Williams took his own life, news media covered the story in great detail, leading many to argue that such reporting violated the family’s privacy.
Responding to Child Migration
An influx of children migrants posed logistical and ethical dilemmas for U.S. authorities while intensifying ongoing debate about immigration.
Retracting Research: The Case of Chandok v. Klessig
A researcher makes the difficult decision to retract a published, peer-reviewed article after the original research results cannot be reproduced.
Sacking Social Media in College Sports
In the wake of questionable social media use by college athletes, the head coach at University of South Carolina bans his players from using Twitter.
Following the deregulation of electricity markets in California, private energy company Enron profited greatly, but at a dire cost.
Snyder v. Phelps
Freedom of speech was put on trial in a case involving the Westboro Baptist Church and their protesting at the funeral of U.S. Marine Matthew Snyder.
Something Fishy at the Paralympics
Rampant cheating has plagued the Paralympics over the years, compromising the credibility and sportsmanship of Paralympian athletes.
Sports Blogs: The Wild West of Sports Journalism?
Deadspin pays an anonymous source for information related to NFL star Brett Favre, sparking debate over the ethics of “checkbook journalism.”
Stangl & the Holocaust
Franz Stangl was the most effective Nazi administrator in Poland, killing nearly one million Jews at Treblinka, but he claimed he was simply following orders.
Teaching Blackface: A Lesson on Stereotypes
A teacher was put on leave for showing a blackface video during a lesson on racial segregation, sparking discussion over how to teach about stereotypes.
The Astros’ Sign-Stealing Scandal
The Houston Astros rode a wave of success, culminating in a World Series win, but it all came crashing down when their sign-stealing scheme was revealed.
The Central Park Five
Despite the indisputable and overwhelming evidence of the innocence of the Central Park Five, some involved in the case refuse to believe it.
The CIA Leak
Legal and political fallout follows from the leak of classified information that led to the identification of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
The Collapse of Barings Bank
When faced with growing losses, investment banker Nick Leeson took big risks in an attempt to get out from under the losses. He lost.
The Costco Model
How can companies promote positive treatment of employees and benefit from leading with the best practices? Costco offers a model.
The FBI & Apple Security vs. Privacy
How can tech companies and government organizations strike a balance between maintaining national security and protecting user privacy?
The Miss Saigon Controversy
When a white actor was cast for the half-French, half-Vietnamese character in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon , debate ensued.
The Sandusky Scandal
Following the conviction of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky for sexual abuse, debate continues on how much university officials and head coach Joe Paterno knew of the crimes.
The Varsity Blues Scandal
A college admissions prep advisor told wealthy parents that while there were front doors into universities and back doors, he had created a side door that was worth exploring.
Providing radiation therapy to cancer patients, Therac-25 had malfunctions that resulted in 6 deaths. Who is accountable when technology causes harm?
The Welfare Reform Act changed how welfare operated, intensifying debate over the government’s role in supporting the poor through direct aid.
Wells Fargo and Moral Emotions
In a settlement with regulators, Wells Fargo Bank admitted that it had created as many as two million accounts for customers without their permission.
Australian Business Case Studies
Cross Curriculum Priorities
Relevent subjects, contributors.
28/11/2017 - UPDATED 16/02/2024
Help students understand the realities of owning and running a business, using real-life business stories from Australian entrepreneurs. This resource includes:
- 10 different business case studies;
- Topics including entrepreneurship, the essentials of building a business plan and overcoming business challenges;
- Practical insights into operating a business;
- Short clips from the SBS news program Small Business Secrets, hosted by Ricardo Goncalves;
- Discussion questions with guide responses provided.
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The Ethical Organisation pp 21–26 Cite as
Case Studies in Business Ethics
- Alan Kitson &
- Robert Campbell
Business and management education has the purpose of improving business practice. Many other claims are made for it but none is as intuitively or philosophically appealing as this. Employers and practitioners may sometimes take the view that business and management education exists to serve their needs for competent employees who can carry out the tasks necessary for successful operation. Therefore, education should aim to provide people with the requisite skills and appropiate attitudes as well as knowledge of business practice. Others take the view that an education should enrich the mind and develop critical faculties. Therefore, a good critical and theoretical understanding is central to the process of business education and skills and attitudes can be acquired during the early stages of employment.
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© 1996 Alan Kitson and Robert Campbell
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Kitson, A., Campbell, R. (1996). Case Studies in Business Ethics. In: The Ethical Organisation. Palgrave, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-24405-8_2
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-24405-8_2
Publisher Name : Palgrave, London
Print ISBN : 978-0-333-62566-8
Online ISBN : 978-1-349-24405-8
eBook Packages : Palgrave Business & Management Collection Business and Management (R0)
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