For a week, scholars in the field of business ethics gathered at Brigham Young University to present their recent findings and discuss methods for sharing their knowledge with others. The annual Teaching Ethics at Universities Conference, hosted by The Wheatley Institution, seeks to promote the shrinking, but ever-important study of business ethics through this unique program.
The first half of the week was a typical academic conference where researchers presented their findings. Important papers on the ethics of leadership in the modern world were discussed. Professors from across the country presented research on the modern state of business ethics. One major topic was the new ethical dilemmas that organizations face in an ever-changing environment.
What makes this conference unique is its master class portion. For the second half of the week, professors renowned in their ability to teach ethics revealed their trade secrets. In a classroom packed with conference participants and students from the BYU Marriot School of Business, the master class teachers modeled a typical classroom session. The presentation topics ranged from Aristotle’s arguments on involuntary actions to discussions of dilemmas found in popular movies.
After each presentation, the BYU students were dismissed, and conference participants discussed the class session. This review gave presenters an opportunity to explain the “why” behind the teaching methods used in each presentation. Fielding questions from the audience created an open and engaging discussion about effective teaching techniques and the role of an ethics courses in . . .a business program.
Taylor Basset, an accounting major at BYU was one of the students selected to participate in the classes. “It was great to see how dedicated these professors are to sending out ethical business professionals into the world. The fact that they put so much time and effort into these lectures makes me rethink how I make my decisions and what I want to represent as a CPA.”
As part of the conference’s mission to spread the study of business ethics, recorded lectures will be shared on teachingethics.byu.edu for ethics teachers across the world to watch, learn from, and use. Additionally, all the presentation materials, such as PowerPoints and movie clips, were made available to conference participants.
The Wheatley Institution hopes to encourage more collaboration between professionals engaged in the vital work of teaching ethics to the leaders of the future. For information regarding future conferences, visit teachingethics.byu.edu.