Category Archives: Ethics Modules

Ethics Modules

“Building Ethics Modules,” offered periodically by the Institute, is a two-day workshop designed to help Ohio University instructors include ethics components in their classes. The workshops focus on the development and implementation of ethics modules tailored to the field and subject matter covered in individual courses.

Participants work individually, with other faculty, and with members of the institute to develop ethics modules. Participants completing the workshop are eligible for implementation grants.

Almost 170 Ohio University faculty members have participated in the Institute’s Building Ethics Modules workshops their inception in 1990. Participants have come from a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from industrial engineering to dance. Some have incorporated ethics into existing classes, while others have created new courses focusing on ethics.


Teaching Ethics in the Business Classroom: Is Anybody Listening?

Jane Sojka & Ashok Gupta

Although the inclusion of ethics in the business curriculum is becoming increasingly important, little is known about the impact classroom discussion of ethics has had on student sensitivity to ethical issues. Using both self-assessment and objective assessment measures, this research found that students who had been exposed to ethics in five or more classes considered themselves more knowledgeable about ethics and reported a higher confidence in their ability to make ethical decisions than students who had less exposure to ethics in business courses. In addition, students with increased exposure to ethics in the classroom were found to be more sensitive to business ethics and consumer ethics than students with less classroom exposure. Areas for future research on this topic are suggested.

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Ethics in the Workplace

by Richard Milter

Ethics in the Workplace


Sport Governance & Ethics 412

by James Reese


  • Governance Component-5 Weeks
  • Ethics Component-5 Weeks
  • Equals Ten 2-Hour Class Periods
  • Two 2-Hour Class Periods Assigned to Ethical Theory.
  • Eight 2-Hour Class Periods Assigned to Discussing Ethical Issues in the World of Sports.

Goal of the Ethics Component

  • To Provide Students With a Basic Understanding of Major Ethical Theories in Order to Provide a Theoretical Framework for Decision-Making in Sport and in Life.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the Primary Ethical Theories-Four Will Be Addressed.
  • Understand That All Theories Are Flawed
  • Recognize Ethical Situations
  • Understand That it Is Difficult To Exclude Biases From the Decision Making Process.
  • Identify Changes in Ethical Philosophy That May Have Occurred During the Quarter.

Ethical Theories To Be Discussed

  • Deontological
  • Teleological
  • Existentialist
  • Naturalistic Approach
  • Justice Theories

Topics to Be Addressed in Class

  • Hazing in Sports
  • Salaries in Professional Sports
  • The Implementation and Effects of Title IX
  • Performance Enhancing Drugs and Supplements in Sports.
  • The Exploitation of College Athletes?
  • The Actions of Parents in Youth Sports
  • Violence in Sport
  • Pressure to Win and the Impact on Ethics


  • Final Exam-Not Whether Their Decisions are Right or Wrong, But How They Identify and Apply Ethical Theory.
  • Ethics Journal
  • Instrument-Measure Any Changes During the 5-Week Period. No Guarantee of Cause and Effect.

Possible Instruments

  • Values Auction Sheet
  • Ethical Self Evaluations Questionnaire
  • Ethics Position Questionnaire
  • Incidents in Negotiation Questionnaire
  • Business Ethics Questionnaire
  • Machiavellianism (Mach) Questionnaire
  • Ethical Slippage Questionnaire


  • The Goal of the Course and Module is to Raise Awareness That Ethical Theories Provide a Foundation for Decision Making. This Awareness Should Force Students to Question and Evaluate Their Own Decision Making System.
  • Raising Awareness May Help Them To Have a Theoretical Foundation For Decisions in the Real World.
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Social Work 398: Integrative Seminar

by Susan Sarnoff

Course Overview:

This course is designed to integrate all facets of the Social Work major during the final quarter of the final year in the program. All Social Work majors are in practicum three days per week during this year. The course meets twice each week for two hours.

Module Overview:

The ethics module will be offered during the third and fourth course meetings. This will permit the reiteration of the material during the remaining course sessions.

Learning Outcomes:

  • to understand major ethical theories and their contributions to applied ethics;

  • to understand the conflicts among ethical theories and applications;

  • to understand how to apply social work ethics to professional decision-making;

  • to understand how to resolve ethical dilemmas.


Ethical Theories

  • Aristotelian

  • Utilitarian

  • Deontological

  • Feminist

Applied Ethics

  • medical;

  • journalistic;

  • business;

  • social work/other mental health.

Development of the NASW Code of Ethics

  • history

  • conflicts with theories, state laws, ethics of other professions


  • Freeman, Stephen J. Ethics: An Introduction to Philosophy and Practice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2000, 29-126.


Go to the National Association of Social Workers website: <>. Locate the Code of Ethics and save on disc or print a hard copy. Then go to the Association of Social Work Boards website:<>. Locate your state’s licensing board rules and save on disc or print a hard copy. Write a brief (2 page) paper noting differences between the Code of Ethics and your state licensing rules.


Introduce with Case # 9 from National Association of Social Workers. Current Controversies in Social Work Ethics: Case Examples. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers Press, 1998.

Ethical Dilemmas

Reamer hierarchy in Loewenberg, Frank, Ralph Dolgoff and Donna Harrington, Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice, sixth edition. Itasca, IL: F. E. Peacock, 2000. (See attachment)

Ethical Decision-Making Formats

Mattison, Marian. “Ethical Decision Making: The Person in the Process,” Social Work, 45, 3, May 2000, 201-212. (See Attachment)

Applications of Ethics in Social Work

  • research

  • advocacy

  • private practice


Case # 72 from National Association of Social Workers. Current Controversies in Social Work Ethics: Case Examples.Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers Press, 1998.

Invite students to discuss ethical dilemmas they have faced in their practica.

If time, discuss Case # 42 from National Association of Social Workers. Current Controversies in Social Work Ethics: Case Examples. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers Press, 1998.


Coleman, Mirean. “Telecommunications and the Clinical Social Worker,” NASW Practice Update, June 2000.

Mattison, Marian. “Ethical Decision Making: The Person in the Process,” Social Work, 45, 3, May 2000, 201-212.

Rock, Barry and Elaine Congress. “The New Confidentiality for the 21st Century in a Managed Care Environment,” Social Work, May 1999, 253-262. [electronic reserve]

Strasburger, Larry, Thomas Gutheil and Archie Brodsky. “On Wearing Two Hats: Role Conflict in Serving as Both Psychotherapist and Expert Witness,” American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 1997, 448-456.


Read Case # 25 from National Association of Social Workers. Current Controversies in Social Work Ethics: Case Examples. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers Press, 1998. Write a brief (2 page) paper identifying:

  • the ethical conflicts in the case;

  • whether you agree with how the social worker in the case study resolved the conflict;

  • how you would resolve the conflict;

  • the decision-making strategy you used to resolve the conflict.


Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation

by Nancy Nisbett

Brief Description of Module

Ethics content is integrated throughout the therapeutic recreation curriculum. This module is being created as an isolated unit within the introductory therapeutic recreation class. The intent is to provide a basic level of ethics awareness, including a basic understanding of discipline-specific professional ethics, the ability to recognize ethical dilemmas, and the ability to use a decision-making model to solve ethical dilemmas. The rationale behind this approach is to introduce entry-level students to professional ethics as early as possible to facilitate applied content in succeeding courses.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Articulate an understanding of the meaning of ethics and what it means to be ethical

2. Articulate the purpose of a professional code of ethics

3. Recognize an ethical dilemma

4. Apply the code of ethics, using a decision making model, to solve an ethical dilemma
What students will learn:

  • Self-awareness of ethics
  • Distinction between professional, organizational and personal ethics
  • TR code of ethics
  • ‘Dilemma’ components, common TR dilemmas
  • Decision-making models

Learning Activities

Topic Method ClassTime
Introduction to unit

Discussion of ethics and being ethical



Pair work to create a definition of both Pair work 15
Why it is important to study Discussion 10
Professional Ethics
Difference between professional, organizational and personal ethics Lecture, Discussion, and Personal Reflection 10*
Purpose of professional ethics Lecture, Discussion 10
TR Code of Ethics
Purpose of a code of ethics Lecture, Discussion, Video 20
Introduce TR codes Lecture 10
Analyze codes and compare Group exercise 20
Using code in TR practice Practitioner exercise *
Ethical Dilemmas
What is an ethical dilemma
Lecture, Discussion
What are common TR dilemmas Lecture, Discussion, Practitioner contact exercise 15
Decision-Making Models
What is a decision-making model and why do we use Lecture 5
Types of decision-making model Lecture 5
Introduction of Chang Model

Go through steps as a class

Lecture and Discussion 10
Practice with model Group exercise 20
*exercise with practitioner using facility-based dilemma *
Discussion of exercises

  • Evaluate choices made
  • Pros and cons of decision
  • Mitigating factors
  • Ease of implementation
Discussion 20
Overview of future application Discussion 10
* outside class
4 class periods

Resources to be used by learners

  • Internet (webquest on ethical theories, other disciplines, TR websites)
  • Codes of ethics
  • Assigned readings (TBD)
  • TR practitioners (identify dilemmas and understand application and difficulties of application of codes)

Resources used to create/deliver unit:

Austin, D. R. (Project Director). (1995). Professional ethics [videotape]. (Available from RTV video, Indiana University, Department of Recreation and Park Administration, Bloomington, IN)

Berglund, C. A. (1998). Ethics for health care. New York: Oxford University Press.

Code of ethics and interpretive guidelines (1994). Ashburn, VA: National Therapeutic Recreation Society.

Finding the path: Ethics in action (1998). Hattiesburg, MS: American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Kornblau, B. L., & Starling, S. P. (2000). Ethics in rehabilitation: A clinical perspective. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Incorporated.

Ouimet Perrin, K., & McGhee, J. (2001). Ethics and Conflict. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Incorporated.
Ethics Websites (TBD)
Assessment and Reflection

  • Reflective paper assignment
    • Assessed on ability to answer questions from unit including:
      • Personal definition of ethics and being ethical with justification from discussion and readings
      • Articulate understanding of difference between personal and professional ethics
      • Articulate how the code of ethics serves the profession with justification from readings and interview
      • Identification of code choice with rationale
      • Understanding of future applications and problems
  • Practitioner exercise
    • Assessed on ability to verbalize dilemmas discussed and articulate why they are dilemmas
    • Also assessed on practitioner feedback on ability to use model
  • Examination
    • Assessed on ability to appropriately use decision-making model

Ethics Module for the Music Therapy Graduate Curriculum

by Louise Steele

Proposal to Incorporate an Ethics Module in the Music Therapy Graduate Curriculum

Module: Ethical Considerations in the Decision Making Process

Course: MUS 585, Seminar in Music Therapy: Issues and Practices

Taught: Spring Quarter

3 hours: Tuesday and Thursdays

Course Description: The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to current issues and practices in the field of music therapy particularly those which relate to clinical practice, research, and teaching. Management techniques, cost analysis , funding, proposal writing and ethical considerations in the decision making process will be covered, as well as other topics pertinent to the advanced practice of music therapy and a global view of the field.

Outcomes Related to the Ethics Module:

  1. Student will be able to recognize ethical issues within a given case scenario and factors influencing the decision making process in arriving at a solution.
  2. Students will study the results of a research survey undertaken to determine the ethical issues most frequently encountered and those of greatest concern to practicing music therapists in the Great Lakes region.
  3. Students will be able to identify the most frequently addressed ethical issues of music therapists in the Great Lakes region and ethical issues which of primary concern to fractionize in this area.

Ethics Module:

Time line: 4 Classes of 1.5 hours each.

Sequence: First two week or first four classes of the quarter.


Day 1: Intellectual Exploration

a. An open ended questionnaire will be given to assess the students’ awareness of ethical issues faced by professional music therapists. (Questionnaire will also be used as a posttest at the end of the module.)

b. Students will view several video clips of two music therapist’s role playing a discussion related to situations encountered in their work (actual experiences) which challenge the individuals to make decision guided by some ethical orientation.

1. A service agency sub-contacts the service one of the music therapists to a hospital which has received foundation support for a multi site research project. The hospital has not received IRB approval prior to accepting the grant and is unable to engage in any research for nearly a full year. The service agency which holds a contact with the hospital expects to be paid for the committed time of its therapist. In fact no work is done for a year.

2. The music therapist works for an agency which contacts service to other agencies in the community. The contracting agency designed the program and provides supervision for the music therapist placed in the facility, a local hospital psychiatric unit. During the year the therapist is approached by the hospital and enters into a plan with the hospital to end the contract with the contracting agency the music therapist works for and to hire the therapist themselves.

3. While working for Agency No. 1, the music therapist engages a second music therapist in writing a ‘best practice’ manual as part of a foundation grant.

The manual was begun but never completed even though the therapist attempted on numerous occasions to engage the second therapists to do so. The therapist then left the position and accepted a position in another agency. An effort to complete the manual was initiated again by the therapist and positively responded to by Agency No. 1 however the agency denied access to printed material which had been added to by the second therapist. The therapist was asked to write sections but without seeing the material which had been collaboratively written previously.

c. Students will be asked to identify specific issues introduced in the video which may require a decision based on some ethical orientation.

d. Students will be lead into a discussion of what they believe ‘ethics’ to be; how “ethical” decisions are made ; what factors influence our decisions; and whether or not the topic of ethics is relevant to their chosen profession. The influence of value systems (rightness, fairness, and et.), benevolence, justice, and autonomy will be introduced.

e. Follow-up video clips are presented in which the actors discuss several possible courses of action which they might follow in resolving the issues presented in the first video.

f. The students are asked to examine each solution and project what the consequences of the decisions made may be to the clients, the music therapists, the agencies involved and any interested parties mentioned or not mentioned in the video.

Assignments: Students are asked to meet after class to discuss the video examples and to prepare in writing areas of concern for the teleconference of Day II.

Day II: Structured Guidance

. Teleconference: Professor in music therapy who speaks on the issue of ethics and music therapy. The teleconference will be interactive challenging the students to think about ethical issues in the field of music therapy and to question each other and the professor in this process.

Assignment: Students are instructed to study the Professional Code of Ethics and to bring a copy to class…

Day III: Structured Guidance continued

Research: The professor will present a survey, completed in the Winter Quarter, of practicing music therapists in the Great Lakes Regional Association for Music Therapy. The survey will ask music therapists holding bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees, with different year’s experience, to identify the most significant ethical issue related to their practice in the past year and the top two ethical questions about which they have most concern. This survey will be the first conducted asking questions about ethical challenges in the field of music therapy practice. The finding of the survey will be discussed by the class.

b. Professional Code of Ethics Review: In small groups students will study the top issues faced by music therapist in the region and the issues judged to be of greatest concern to them as determined by an analysis of the survey. They will then determine how the professions’ code of ethics does/does not assist the music therapist in arriving at a resolution to each issue.

Assignment: Students are instructed to complete the IRB module on line.

Day IV: Application

a. The students will have taken the IRB module on line.

b. Mock IRB Review: The students will be given an original proposal submitted by the instructor to the IRB. They will be asked to study it as a group and to identify concerns in light of the IRB regulations. Issues of confidentiality, risk, benefits, public good, subject protection, data protection, ET will be discussed.


1. Students will be able to identify issues within the field of music therapy which require a decision based on ethical considerations.

2. Students will be able to identify the consequences of different courses of action as a result of adopting different methods to support their decision making processes. They will also be able to state how the results of decisions impact all parties concerned, implied or not, including the music therapist.

4. Students will be able to state the major parts of the Music Therapy Code of Ethics and give an application of each of the major sections.

5. Students will be able to identify the ethical issues most frequently facing professionals in the region as well as the two issues which are of the greatest ethical concerns of these same therapists.

Day 5: Students will be asked to reflect upon the module and to share their opinion of its impact upon them and how ethical issues may be faced by students as well as professionals. Students will be given the post module questionnaire to determine the information they believe they have gained about ethical decision making. The results will be used to modify future learning modules.


Mangement Information Systems 202

by Jeffrey Anderson

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the module, students should be able to:

  • make distinctions between legal and ethical standards.

  • recognize the need for ethical considerations in the course of business decision making.

  • explain various theories used to characterize the nature of ethical dilemmas.

  • identify important ethical issues that occur with information systems and methods for dealing with them.

  • recognize the importance major concerns of a professional code of conduct

Timing and Duration

The MIS 202 Ethics module will last for two 2-hour class periods and occur in the first half of the academic quarter.

Learning Activities

Ethics Exercise – students will be divided into small groups (4-6) to discuss some ethical issue which has no clear-cut correct answer. Students will be forced to make some type of choice and justify their decision in ethical terms. The class will discuss and critique each group’s decision .

Lecture on Ethical Principles – The instructor will describe in a lecture format the major ethical theories including Utilitarianism, Deontological Ethics, and Moral Ethics. Additional topics will include storage and use of information; discussion of prudential vs. ethical concerns, intellectual property, and professional codes of conduct. Students will be given supporting resources (internet or print) outlining these principles.

Debate – students will be assigned opposing roles on critical ethical issues (eg. abortion, capital punishment, privacy vs. security) and argue a position.


Tests – students will be given objective test questions on ethical theories

Case Studies – students will submit critical written analysis of contemporary ethical issues relative to information technology.

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Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Rural Mental Health

by Deborah Meyer

This module was developed by Deborah Meyer, Ph.D., RN, College of Osteopathic Medicine. The course, however, was developed and is team taught by faculty from several disciplines. They are: Kathleen Rose-Grippa, PhD, RN, Nursing; Karen Carlsen, Ph.D., Department of Social Work; Jane Hamel-Lambert, PhD, MBA, clinical psychologist, College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Course Overview:

This is a Tier III course, “Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Rural Mental Health.” The course combines lectures, team projects, problem-based learning, readings, and observation of interprofessional teams. The course objectives are:

1.     enhance interdisciplinary team skills,

2.     employ technology as a tool for mental health practitioners, and

3.     enhance student understanding of Appalachian culture and rural mental health.

This module occurs near the end of the quarter after students have covered team development, professional roles, culture, mental health issues in rural areas, and ethical theory as it relates to mental health practice including:

  1. Professional beneficence: defining one’s professional duties, the extent of the duty to care, duty of non-abandonment of patients in need.
  2. Professional autonomy: defining the limits of acceding to a patient’s wishes.
  3. Principle of justice: is anything useful being achieved in the relationship? Is the  relationship therapeutic?
  4. Patient autonomy: the right to choose a physician, the extent of the right to define the nature of the relationship.
  5. Confidentiality and privacy.

This module expands on the theoretical framework by applying the concepts to technology-mediated health care (telehealth, telecounseling, etc.).

Module Overview:

The growing use of  technologies in the delivery of health care services has led to far-ranging discussions concerning their uses and potential roles in the health care system. Although these technologies can improve access, they can also lead to a number ethical concerns. This 2-hour module addresses those concerns using both lecture and case-based methods.

Learning Outcomes:

?    Students will apply professional ethical guidelines a technology-mediated scenario;

?   Students will discuss teleheheath guidelines found in the literature and apply them to various technology-mediated scenarios;

?   Students will apply ethical theories learned in an earlier class to a scenario where there is technology-mediated health care;

?   Students will discuss situations in which the use of technology is appropriate and those in which it is inappropriate?


A 21 year old male with schizophrenia, who resides in the rural town of 2,400 where he grew, would like to join a support group, but has had trouble finding one. He did attend a meeting at a local church that included other individuals with a wide range of disorders, but was uncomfortable when he realized that he knew two of them: one was two years ahead of him and high school and had dated his sister; the other was a local dentist that worked on his teeth several years ago. He refuses to return.

You find an online support group that is just for individuals dealing with schizophrenia. He was reluctant at first because he had delusions that electronic appliances were implanting messages into his brain and he now avoids electronic devices. Also, your supervisor, who doesn’t use email, is opposed. She says that the clinic does not have policies in place to deal with those types of support groups and that you should stick with “what you know”. Yet, you believe that he would really benefit. You move ahead with investigating the various groups online.

1.     What ethical issues are involved?

2.     What other issues should you consider?

You have a choice of two online support groups. One is a text-based asynchronous group that does not have a facilitator/therapist running the group. The other uses CUCMe technology and is facilitated by a therapist in another state. He seems more comfortable with the idea of using the CUCMe because he can type well. You have found funds to purchase the necessary equipment and proudly hand him the check to cover the costs. You see him about a month after he joins the online support group and ask him how it is going. He says fine except that his 12 and 16 year old siblings keep coming into the room and listening in to the meetings.

1.     What ethical issues are involved?

2.     How would the issues differ if his only access is a public library?

Now that he has become comfortable with using the internet for support groups, he also wants to begin using email to contact you between sessions.

1.     What issues are involved? Ethical? Legal?

2.     What can you do ahead of time to minimize these?

3.     What other issues would arise if you were a counselor who was out of state using email to work with an established client? A new client?

4.     What if you could also use video conferencing to “meet”?

Six months after you begin using email with him you notice that he is beginning to skip his appointments. When you ask him why, he states that he can keep in touch just fine with you via email. His writing, however, has become more disorganized and incoherent and you are concerned that he has quit taking his medications. The last time he was off his medications he was admitted to the psychiatric hospital after threatening a neighbor with a machete. At his last session, he complained about this same neighbor, saying that the neighbor played loud music that bothered him when he was trying to relax.

1.     What issues are involved? Ethical? Legal?

2.     What ethical duties are involved?

Additional Discussion Questions:

?   What ethical issues arise in technology-mediated health care that don’t exist in face-to-face?

?   Why is privacy and confidentiality important?

?   What constitutes privacy?

?   When does harm occur?

?   Why is privacy and confidentiality important?

?   What stigma and privacy are issues in a rural areas, might technology-mediated counseling actually provide greater privacy?

?   What do you do when clients/patients come in with information found on the internet and demand specific treatment or medication?

?   Should you have a list of websites that you provide clients/patients?

?   Who should determine the guidelines and rules? Federal government? State governments? Professional Boards? Citizen groups? International boards?

?   Use with individuals with disabilities.


?   The Practice of Internet Counseling: National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.

?   Ecode of Health Ethics:

?   Clinical Applications of Telehealth in Mental Health Care, Hudnall Stamm, December 1998 Vol. 29, No. 6, 536-542:

?   Loane M. & Wootton R. (2002). “A review of guidelines and standards for telemedicine.” Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare8: 63ń71.

?   Collste G. (2002). “The internet doctor and medical ethics. Ethical implications of the introduction of the Internet into medical encounters.” Med Health Care Philosophy; 5 (2), pp. 121-125.

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Business-to-Business Marketing

by Dawn Deeter

Course Overview:

This course introduces the student to the field of business-to-business (B2B) marketing. In essence, the course answers the questions “what is business marketing, and in what markets does business marketing occur?” A number of topics and areas that are essential for those seeking to understand industrial and business marketing are presented, including organizational buying, sales and sales management, buyer-seller relationships, business-to-business promotional efforts, product development, pricing, and supply chain management.

Timing of Module:

The module will be presented early in the course, after basic concepts regarding buying, selling, and buyer-seller relationships have been presented. This placement will provide students with some of the background knowledge needed to recognize and understand key ethical issues in this context.

Desired Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students should understand the importance of ethical conduct in business-to-business marketing efforts.
  2. Students should be capable of recognizing ethical issues in a business-to-business context.
  3. Students should be capable of making and defending an ethical decision.
  4. Students should be familiar with the code of ethics established by the American Marketing Association (AMA).


Two hour module, subsequently reinforced throughout quarter using examples and discussion.

Initial Format:

Part I: Active Discussion (+ 30 minutes)

To establish prior knowledge, the instructor will work with students to generate a list of ethical dilemmas potentially faced by business-to-business marketers. The instructor can add to list, as necessary, to raise issues not identified by students.

Issues that should be addressed initially include:

Giving/receiving gifts


Information sharing/access to information (e.g., purchasing agent providing information to one vendor about another vendor)

Statements of opinion versus statements of fact (puffery)

Falsifying documents (e.g., expense accounts, sales reports, call reports, etc.)

Price fixing

Sexual harassment

Fit between personal and organizational moral codes

Part II: Group Exercise(+40 minutes)

Once the list has been developed, the class will be broken down into small groups to work through a short case. This exercise serves to engage students in the ethics discussion. As part of this exercise, students will be asked to develop a set of guidelines for making their ethical decision. Students will be provided a copy of the AMA’s code of ethics to assist in their decision-making.

Part III: Discussion of group output/overview of ethical theory (+40 minutes)

To encourage reflection, the class will reconvene to discuss the guidelines set by the various student groups. As part of this discussion, basic theoretical models will be presented, e.g., teleological (Bentham, Mill) and deontological (Kant). Theoretical models will be related to the guidelines developed in class. AMA code of ethics, including usefulness in decision-making, will be discussed.

Generalizability of guidelines can be addressed as well. For example, the case is focused on one issue, how could these rules help students facing a different issue? I will also bring up “60 minutes rule” as a test of ethical decisions – if Mike Wallace showed up on your doorstep with a camera, would be feel comfortable talking about your decision, or would you rather place a bag over your head?

Session will end with a summarization of guidelines and assignment of paper (see Appendix B).


  1. Learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3 will be assessed via the assignment and grading of a short paper. Students will be asked to read a case, identify the ethical issue, indicate why this issue is critical for business-to-business marketers to understand, and then make an ethical decision. As part of the assignment, students will be asked to document and support their ethical decision-making process using guidelines developed in class.
  2. Learning outcome 4, knowledge of the AM A’s Code of Ethics, will be assessed via exam.


Once the topic is introduced early in the quarter, ethical issues can be highlighted during each class period, as appropriate. For example, ethics in business-to-business research, ethics in advertising, etc., can be addressed as topics are introduced.