Scenarios for Discussing Business Ethics


1. Have students rate the awfulness of the following scenarios on a scale from one to ten.

2. Pair and share answers while considering the following questions.

   a) Who gets hurt? How much?
   b) Would you want your mother to know if you did it?
   c) What kind of world would it be if everyone acted like this?

3. Full-class discussion led by teacher.


Dumping toxic waste in a Third World country.

Embezzling from a large corporation.

Embezzling from the widows and orphans fund.

Collecting on a false claim from an insurance company.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Plagiarism in a company report.

Copying computer software without permission.

Bribing foreign officials to get a contract in countries where it is a commonly accepted practice.

Bribing a building inspector instead of fixing faulty electrical equipment.

Only hiring people who belong to the same race or the same gender as you.

Omitting side effect information in a published drug trial.

Profiting from child labor.

Profiting from “sweatshop” labor.

Threatening employees with termination if they don’t work unpaid overtime.

“Spamming” strangers in hopes of attracting clients.

“Cold calling” potential clients in their homes during dinner.

Taking office supplies from your employer on a regular basis.

CEOs getting large compensation and bonuses when they are laying off employees and/or cutting worker salaries and benefits.

Managers who routinely pitch fits and scream at employees.

A restaurant owner skimming money from the tips of waiters and busboys.

Richard W. Bray

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