The decisions made by the members of any organization (be it a government, school, business, religious group, social group, or other nonprofit) can have very real ramifications for employees, customers, clients, and others who relate with and depend on that organization. Likewise, for better or for worse, the ethical—or unethical—actions and behaviors of one individual have a ripple effect on the people around them.
While in college, students are preparing themselves for the future; they’re developing the skills, traits, and knowledge they’ll carry with them into their future careers. In other words, what students learn in college, and how they choose to act today, will have an impact on how they think, live, work, and act tomorrow. For this reason, “Ethics” isn’t just a subject to study in order to fulfill a requirement; a proper understanding of this critical subject will inform their ability to conduct their professional and personal lives in a responsible manner.
As you teach your students, you undoubtedly seek to impress the importance of ethics upon your students—yet you may struggle with getting them engaged in the topic. You may also be seeking additional ways to help them see the relevance of ethical theory to their daily lives. In today’s featured video, Linda Ferrell, co-author of Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases, Tenth Edition, discusses the many methods available to instructors who are looking to engage their business ethics students, including staging debates, using cases, and more. As you watch, consider what kinds of tools and activities would create real-world learning opportunities that teach your students how to bring ethical decision-making skills into their business practices, as well as their personal choices.
Of course, Business students aren’t the only ones who need to be concerned about ethics and decision making. How do you interweave discussion of these topics into your course? Are there certain strategies you’ve used to engage them in a discussion of your discipline or profession’s codes of ethics? Do you have certain tools, activities, or exercises that help students think critically, make intelligent decisions, and understand the importance of behaving ethically? Share them below!