Business Ethics through the Lens of Movies
Author(s): Lisa Sticca-Conrod
New Edition Available Fall 2019!
A Note From the Author:
For years I have taught business ethics from books that my students would not read. Why? While they are informative, they are highbrow, dry, and case-heavy, all of which makes these ethics textbooks difficult to read and with which to identify. What makes mine different? I use a fresh new approach to business ethics infusing Hollywood into relevant business ethics concepts. What does that mean? I use movies to explain the concepts that are so important for the student to understand. We are teaching to a generation that has a short attention span and would rather watch the movie than read the book. What if, for once, that were OK? In addition to entertaining my students, I believe in giving them real-world tools to tackle the tough decisions. If they don’t come out of the course with practical skills, then what’s the point?
So, in terms of content, what’s so special about this book?
- I start every chapter with personal anecdotes – ethical issues that have touched me in the workplace – to get the student interested and thinking. It is a good jumping off point for discussion in the classroom.
- The first two chapters are dedicated to breaking down ethical thinking into useable and simple concepts complete with charts and simple diagrams to help students organize their thinking. I even include examples of short analyses to serve as models for breaking down ethical dilemmas that they will face in the their personal and professional lives.
- Then, I include the most up-to-date information on ethical trends and issues, using modern managerial techniques and some light economics to illustrate my points.
- I also include a significant amount of legal concepts to give context to ethics, and to help the student understand why we need ethics, and not just the law.
- I cover sensitive material that most ethics books don’t cover well (or at all), like discrimination, sexual harassment, and labor unions – including the legal history of some of these concepts that students need to firmly grasp the importance of the material.
- Each chapter has a synopsis and an analysis of movies that are necessary to drive the point home, complete with relevant dialogue, making it entertaining for both the student and the teacher.
- Each chapter has a separate tab with a global perspective as well as a concise historical case study to facilitate class discussion.
What makes this book different from other Business Ethics books?
- It is the first Business Ethics book (that I know of) to use film as a mode of explaining ethical issues. Using film makes the course more relatable to the student – and they’re more apt to keep the ethical conversations going with their friends, family, and colleagues, long after the course is over.
- I speak directly to the student, instead of in typical detached textbook format.
- The movies can definitely be included in the course, at the instructor’s discretion and according to each university’s capability. If not, the dialogue and descriptions of the films are enough to entertain as well as drive the pertinent points home.
- There is an entire course built in, complete with discussion boards, paper assignment, journal, etc. This makes the book and the course customizable and malleable. \The instructor can adopt as much or as little as he or she wishes – all according to the needs of the course and level of the student.
- The book is equally suitable for online as well as on-ground courses – it is convenient for both the student and the professor – no more book to carry! It is all accessible via any tablet, laptop, computer, or phone with a key code that is purchased at one’s bookstore.
Bottom line: We live in a world where ethical violations seem to be the norm and in the news almost constantly; this makes education in ethics that much more important. As such, we cannot risk having the student take ethics courses lightly, or be lost in technical language and become disinterested, or even worse, think that these concepts don't apply to them. This comprehensive book covers some of the most controversial topics in a frank manner, with the while infusing my own shocking real-life stories from my career in several industries, which in many cases, adds levity to an otherwise dull topic.
Unit 1: Introduction to Ethics
Chapter 1: Ethics and Film
Chapter 2: Ethical Schools of Thought
Unit 2: The Internal Business Environment
Chapter 3: Corporate Culture
Chapter 4: Ethical Leadership
Chapter 5: Employer Responsibilities
Chapter 6: Employee Rights
Chapter 7: Health-Safety and Labor Unions
Chapter 8: Technology and Privacy
Chapter 9: Ethics in Intellectual Property
Chapter 10: Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and Diversity
Chapter 11: Harassment
Unit 3: The External Business Environment
Chapter 12: Corporate Social Responsibility
Chapter 13: Ethics in Marketing, Advertising, and Product Liability
Chapter 14: Corporate Governance
Chapter 15: The Environment and Sustainable Business