PROJECT 22: Ethics


The subject of ethics is not only a personal matter, but it is also a social and sometimes moral issue. What you believe to be right and wrong and how you conduct yourself in certain situations can make an impact from tiny to enormous on you, your company, your coworkers, and society in general. Consider all the legal problems in the business world in recent years stemming from employees violating ethical principles. This project will provide you with an understanding of the powerful role of ethics in everyday activities and in the business world. This is a project especially valuable to students planning to work in public accounting or financial institutions and to students going to graduate school.


Read Chapters 20 and 22 in the textbook.

Complete ONE of the options listed below.

Your finished project should fulfill ALL of the requirements below.



A.     Article Review: Using the Business/SPEA/Library online references, select and read five recent articles concerning the subject of ethics. Copy the articles which you selected and paste them in a MS Word document for later review.

B.     Article Synopsis: Select one of the articles and write a one-page condensation of the article.

C.    Personalize: Write a concise paragraph explaining the meaning of ethics to you.

D.    Ethics in Practice: Write a two- to three-page example of how the question of ethics has arisen in your college career and explain how you handled the situation. You may write about an event in which you were personally involved or one affecting others about which you have knowledge. Include in the two to three pages a one-page explanation of whether, in your opinion, you handled this properly and what you would do in the same situation if it should occur again. Answer the following: Why would you do what you would do? Why would it be right for you? Why would it be right for everyone involved?

Deliverables: If you choose Option A, you should turn in to your Career Counselor:

      Copies of five articles

      One-page summary of one of the articles

      One-paragraph personal ethics statement

      Two to three pages on ethics situation that you experienced.



Business professionals are frequently faced with ethical dilemmas. Whether it is exaggerating the truth about a product line in order to make a sale or being pressured by an important client to misrepresent facts or else hell take his business elsewhere, the business world is particularly vulnerable to ethical challenges. This project allows you to explore specific ethical situations and consider your reactions from a business perspective.

A.     Business Contact ID: Contact someone you know who has been working for several years in the business world (or in your chosen field). This can be a mentor, a family member, a friend, etc.

B.     Situation: Ask them to describe a situation in which their ethics were challenged while conducting business and how they handled the situation.

C.    Personal Reactions: Consider how you would handle this same situation, including the pros and cons of each possible reaction and how the outcome would differ in each. For example, would reacting in an unethical manner help your career but put you at risk if found out? Would sticking to your ethics result in the loss of a client or, possibly, your job?

D.    Situational Action Plan: Write two to three pages to include the professional position held by the person you contacted (the individual may remain anonymous), a description of the situation, an analysis of why this situation posed an ethical dilemma, a description of how it was actually handled, a description of how you would handle it, and the pros and cons of each possible reaction to the situation.

E.     Personal Plan: Write one page giving at least two additional examples of ethical challenges that you would expect might be encountered in the business world. Discuss how you think you would handle each.

Deliverables: If you choose Option B, you should turn in to your Career Counselor:

      Two- to three-page discussion of ethics situation

      One page of two more examples that could be presented to you in the next 24 months. Discuss how you plan to respond.



A.     Employment Option Choice: Select a company with which you have interviewed or in which you are sincerely interested.

B.     Follow-up Interview: Write a half- to one-page description of what you can expect during a second interview. How do you prepare? How is it different? Who might interview you?

C.    Analysis of Unethical Dilemmas: Select five unethical practices from Figure 20.6 in the textbook and, for each practice, write at least a half-page concerning why that particular practice is unethical and what negative impact each would have on the company conducting the interview. If you disagree with the fact that they are unethical, write at least a half-page arguing your view. (You should complete two to three pages for this part of the project.)

D.    Offer Ethics: Write a paragraph stating what happens now. Address how and when you could expect an offer, and explain what you do concerning expenses. Discuss the ethics of handling the offer and expenses.

Deliverables: If you choose Option C, you should turn in to your Career Counselor:

      One-half to one-page personal view of secondary interview scenario

      Two to three pages on five unethical practices

      One paragraph on what happens now with interview.