by James Brusseau

Video Case Studies in Business Ethics and Ethics (Details)



What do employers owe fired employees? Compassion and dignity when a company is hired to terminate positions.


The son of the Ponzi schemer lives well and donates to charity. What about the bilked investors?


Apple under Steve Jobs ascended corporate ranks in profits, while dropping philanthropic giving. Do successful companies have a responsibility to give back? What does "give back" mean?


NYC Mayor Bloomberg fights obesity by banning sugary drinks (Starbucks’ Frappuccino, 7-Eleven’s Big Gulp…). The industry accuses him of running a nanny state and infringing on individual freedom.


Bogus Job Offer

A science professor wants to award a raise to one of her postdoc workers, but her boss isn’t approving the request. Should she arrange a fake job offer to apply some pressure?


Branding and Facts and Creating Desires (Mobile Phones v. Toilets in India)

Advertisers persuading people that they need to spend money on a cell phone, even while they lack proper sanitation. In a world where no one has everything they want, is there anything wrong with shaping what people do want?


Bribery in International Business: Ethics & The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Investigating the ethics of bribery in places where the practice is common. Walmart in Mexico.


Buying Coke and Friends

Questions about consumerism provoked by Coke’s international marketing campaign of random beverage gifting.


Cancel AOL

A dissatisfied consumer responds to AOL by posting a recorded phone call online. The ethics of consumer vengeance.


  High school students in a SAT prep class unwittingly benefit from stolen test booklets revealing questions on the college entrance exam. After receiving their scores and applying to colleges, the cheating is discovered. Should the scores be cancelled?

Conflict of Interest

A prosecutor charged with investigating the Governor's election campaign is married to a woman whose job and impressive salary depends on the Governor.


Cooking a Résumé

Television chef Robert Irvine embellished his résumé to land his job. Later, he was caught and fired. Then he was rehired. Is there any ethical limit to misrepresentation on the résumé?


Dirty Tricks at Work

Exploiting and concealing information to win a promotion over co-workers.


Drugs in Coke and at Work

Cocaine in the original Coca-Cola provokes questions about drugs at work, and in order to work.


The End of Destiny's Child

Beyoncé pursues a solo career. Does she remain obligated to the members of Destiny's Child who helped make her famous?


Facebook Firing

Fired for abusing the boss on Facebook.


Fake Music

Samuragochi, a celebrated Japanese composer, conducted orchestras playing real music that he faked having written. At the Super Bowl halftime, the Red Hot Chili Peppers faked playing music that they really had written. Are any listeners defrauded?


Vulnerable to fire in a collision, but also the key element of the company's business strategy, should the Ford Pinto go into mass production?


Collective welfare, rights, freedom and free markets; snippets of a debate about the Ford Pinto.


Apple is criticized for working conditions at Foxconn & similar offshore suppliers. Critics focus on low pay (relative to US), long hours, and suicides (nets surrounding the Foxconn facility now catch jumpers). On the other hand, locals wait hours in lines to apply for the jobs that pay well by their standards.


A woman walks into a bar wearing Google Glass and begins filming. Ethical issues follow.


In 1960, psychology professor Leary began exploring psychotropic substances affecting the mind. By 1963 the experiments had spun out of control. What ethical issues intersect with employers and employees engaged in questionable enterprises?


State run lotteries are a kind of regressive tax. Are they ethically justifiable? Are compelling marketing efforts justifiable?


Derelicts kidnapped and sacrificed for a medical breakthrough. From the movie Extreme Measures, two medical researchers' opposing views on how far to go to cure a disease.


Muslim workers fired after leaving the line in the middle of the day to pray. Religious versus economic freedom.


Blocking Broadway for an economic cause. Civil disobedience and social economic justice.


Peeping Art

A photographer’s telescopic lens – along with the gaping windows of a neighboring apartment building – allow him to snap pictures of people in their daily lives. They’re sold in an art gallery for thousands of dollars. The unwitting subjects protest.


Profit & Social Value

An interview with Kevin Williamson on applications and limitations of ethics joined to bottom lines. Corporate philanthropy, Apple computer, and TOMS Shoes: Does corporate profit equal produced social value?


Skin and Money

Chippendales and brutal competition: who owns a business concept, and how far should they go to protect it from copycat enterprises?


Drugs, work, and hedonistic versus idealistic happiness: is there anything wrong with inebriation?


When mortgage borrowers are manipulated, where should ethical accusations be pointed? Toward local loan reps who misled the borrowers? Toward corporate executives who oversaw the loan operations?


In Seattle, Surveillance Camera Man goes around sticking his camera in peoples’ faces to find out what they will do. He ends up shedding light on surveillance society. (30 Mins)


An entrepreneur gets rich with a business that gives to those in need.


A prank marketing ploy generates consumer awareness, but leaves a woman traumatized.


UFC is brutal. Fighters sign up for the events and spectators pay to watch. When the only rule is that there are no rules, and an iron cage blocks any escape, what ethical dilemmas intercede?


A hyper-competitive and imbalanced compensation structure generates questions about hiring and retaining employees.


Workers Legal and Illegal at American Apparel and Forcine

Both American Apparel and Forcine Concrete hire illegal immigrants. Their distinct strategies for the practice provide two levels of ethical debate.


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