WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014 | 3:17 PM
Make "Ethics" a Verb
The third annual Daniels Fund Ethics Consortium Case Competition took place in April and I think it was the best one yet. Teams of business school undergraduate students from the eight Daniels Fund Ethics Consortium universities participated. With 77 students and faculty advisors from four states attending, it was a record year.
The thought-provoking ethics case involved genetic testing and workplace privacy, challenging the teams to delve into real-world business complexities. Teams, playing the role of a consulting firm, had about 6 weeks to analyze the case and formulate their presentation. And just like the real world, an unexpected crisis was unveiled during the competition, requiring students to think on their feet.
"That's when values get challenged," cautioned Joe Blake, Chancellor Emeritus of the Colorado State University System, speaking to the students at the kick-off dinner. He said the question of ethics and conflict most often comes "at that intersection with the unexpected, the unpredictable."
When facing an ethical dilemma, in business or in life, it can be very lonely. You don't always have a team. It's just you, your ethical principles, and the unexpected.
The goal of the Ethics Consortium is to help students build a solid principle-based ethical framework and the skills to navigate real ethical challenges. Bill Daniels considered his ethics and integrity his most valuable business asset and our establishment and funding of the Ethics Consortium reflects that. It provides students expanded access to business ethics coursework, case studies, speakers, and other activities. Events like this ethics case competition give students an opportunity to put their learning into practice.
Joe Blake's advice to the students that struck me as most important and remarkable was when he encouraged them to "Make ethics a verb. Make it your imprint."
President and CEO