Business ethic

Subject: Social studies
Activity length: 100 min

Students will be able to:

  • Express ethical conflicts as inevitable situations in a large business;
  • Apply the rules of academic debate and facing scenarios containing ethical challenges;


  • Identify (Knowledge): ethical dilemma, ethical conflicts resources available to help respond to ethical challenges;
  • Apply (Application): rules of debate in process of making ethical decision;
  • Show awareness of (Affective learning outcomes): huge responsibility in various professional situations into organizations;
  • Investigate (Application): Recognize ethical challenges that may be occur in the workplace & business;
  • Define (Knowledge): Develop an understanding of ethics in business and its connection to business itself, society and the world;
  • Business Ethics, teacher’s guide, Junior Achievement România. – Bucureşti: Junior Achievement România, 2012;
  • Guide to debating from the English-Speaking Union, ESU Discover Your Voice, 2012 available to:—Speaking-Union ;

First week (50’):

  • Administrative moment: The professor will announce what kind of lesson he will prepare together with his students, for the following week, as well as the subject (motion) of debate: „Ethic in business is more important than profit” (3’)
  • Presentation: The professor will present a case, a story, which will make the whole debate more attractive: A multinational food company takes out a new product that is insufficiently tested and, therefore, has food safety issues. Specifically, the product does not meet some rules from the legislation on food safety. However, the company’s marketing department found less developed countries where food safety legislation is less severe so that the product can be exported there. Debaters must also take into account the fact that the company is in a tough situation. High sales of the new product can remediate it. Thousands of employees and thousands of families of employees depend on the successful sale of the product. The company is also undergoing humanitarian projects that depend on the successful sale of the new product. (22’)
  • Questioning: Do you know other situations when companies must choose between ethics and business? (15’)
  • Preliminary voting: If you were a member of the Board of Directors in a such company which would be your vote? (5’)
  • Preparation of debate: The class will be split in groups with definite roles:
  1. a PRO team (3 students);
  2. a CON team (3 students);
  3. a student as moderator of debate;
  4. a student as a timekeeper;
  5. a jury (from the rest of the class);
  • The professor will share information on the topic to both teams („Ethic in business is more important than profit”), and the students will build their arguments using that information (5’)

The debate – second week 50 minutes

  • Read Watch Listen: The student who has moderator role expose the debate motion and the story. He also resume the debate rules (5’).

Discuss: First speech of PRO team: (3’)

Discuss: First speech of CON team: (3’)

Discuss: Second speech of PRO team: (3’)

Discuss: second speech of CON team: (3’)

Discuss: Third speech of PRO team: (3’)

Discuss: Third speech of CON team: (3’)

  • Collaborate: Final of debate:

The teams and the timekeeper will take a break time, out of the classroom. The professor, the jury and the moderator student will stay, will analyze the speeches and will take a decision. The professor will encourage a split decision in jury so that, at the end of 10 minutes, there will exist a majority point of view, as well as a minority point of view. As a result, there will be two ad hoc teams who will appoint a spokesperson who will state the reasons for the decision of each group of jurors. (10’)

  • Read Watch Listen: Presenting the reasons for the decision by the two spokespersons of the jury (10’)
  • Read Watch Listen: Professor will present the conclusions of the debate, emphasizing the difficulty and complexity of ethical decisions in the business field (7’).

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