Business Ethics

Learning Goal:

    • Students will understand what business ethics is

    • Students will understand how leadership impacts an ethical business culture

    • Students will be able to identify ethical and appropriately respond to ethical challenges

In class, we'll cover the following sections from our book using the links and materials below.


We'll start with the video above for a view on how morals can be skewed by perspective.

How do you define ethics? Talk to people close by. We'll use your book to talk about ethics, ethical vs legal behavior, and a situation at American Express.

lie truth sign

Use this link to create a sketchnote board that we will add to throughout our lesson. Sketchnoting is a type of visual note-taking. Feel free to use outside images as well as the built-in icons. We'll look at editing, searching, zooming, collaborating, and sharing/downloading. You can collaborate with one other person in class (close proximity or remotely).

Ethical companies start with the leaders and the culture they create. Let's look at the quote and information from your book about encouraging ethical behavior.

We will watch the video on this page (Edpuzzle video edit) about ethical leadership and why some leaders fall victim to unethical decisions. Team up with another person. Read the case study about Dennis Kozlowski and answer questions three and four. Add the answers and a short reflection on the video to your sketchnotes. Be ready to share.

Howard Schultz (pictured) is recognized for his leadership while at Starbucks. This article gives a glimpse of his backstory and is an interesting read. The article describes how Schultz left a secure job to join the small (at that time) Seattle coffee business, and he tried for a year to get the job. Here is a brief timeline for the company. Great leaders set a standard for an organization's ethics and culture. For Starbucks, this can be seen in these two case (short) studies (longer) where the company responded ethically when faced with difficult situations. We'll talk about the shorter example together. Hit the web and find someone you feel is an ethical leader. It doesn't have to be a business person. Maybe a coach for example. Add the name of the person and some reasons why to your sketchnotes.

How do we build more ethical leaders and companies? We'll check out the video on this page to answer that question. We'll talk about discussion questions five and seven together. Team up with a partner and read the case study on The Costco Model. Answer questions two and three. Add the answers to your sketchnotes. Be ready to share.

We've talked about ethical issues related to the Volkswagen emission scandal. Why did this happen? We'll discuss it together and add info to your sketchnotes.

Let's use our book to look learn about a code of conduct or code of ethics. Here is a press release about Best Buy's code of ethics. If you were running a company, what is one thing you would include on the code of ethics? Add it to your sketchnote board. Be ready to share.

Share a link to your sketchnote board and add it to this collaborative page (Share link). Make sure to include your class hour and name/s.


The next section of your book (linked above) describes the ethical challenges shown below. Use your book or another source to learn more about each one. We will overview each one briefly together.


    1. Gifts - When is a gift just a gift and not a bribe?

      • Quid pro quo & Timing

    2. Bribe - One example

    3. Conflict of interest - Here are some examples

    4. Honesty and Integrity - Being honest and doing the right thing

    5. Whistleblowing - Adult tattletale for something important - Here is one example.

We will form groups (number off/playing cards/monster picker, 4 per group) and use the document to discuss and act out the scenarios. To help improve our skits, we will look at some guidelines on improv. Each group will act out their scenario/challenge.

Use this document and your favorite tv show/movie to identify ethical challenges. SKIP??


The Challenge - Ethical Challenge Research & Reflection 15 pts

Use this document to explore ethical news examples. SKIP??

Ethical Challenge Partner Quiz Placeholder