Workshop on Teaching Professional Ethics

Teaching business ethics in an effective way presents a difficult challenge. Courses that focus on abstract philosophical ethics employ terminology and methodology that are not familiar to most business students. Yet courses that employ the strictly empirical methodology of the social sciences lack a truly normative core. Further, learning about ethics in the abstract is often far removed from the difficult ethical decisions business people confront in the real world of business.

At the McDonough School of Business, we have developed a method of teaching business ethics through experiential learning that is truly normative, communicated in terms readily understood by business students, and involves actual ethical decision-making on the part of the students. We have found that our approach results in students becoming more invested in the course and more committed to successfully resolving the ethical issues that confront them in a business environment.

The Workshop on Teaching Professional Ethics through Experiential Learning: The Georgetown Approach is designed to acquaint those who will be teaching business ethics in both business schools and philosophy departments with the various individual techniques we have developed and train those who are interested in how to use them in an integrated manner to create a highly effective business ethics course.

This year's workshop will be held in person on May 23-25, 2022. The Institute cover travel and lodging expenses and will provide a $500 honorarium. 

To apply, send a short CV and a short cover letter before March 1st, 2022, expressing your interest in the workshop, to the director of the institute, Michael Douma, at mjd289@georgetown.edu. Please title your email "GISME 2022 Business Ethics Teaching Workshop."


Draft Agenda: Teaching Professional Ethics through Experiential Learning: The Georgetown Approach 

Dates: May 24-25, 2022

Tuesday:

Session 1 - 9:00 am - 10:30 am: Overview: Rationale and Normative Core (Leader: Jason Brennan/John Hasnas)

    An explanation of the rationale undergirding an experiential learning approach, a description of how to get student buy in to a normative core of ethical principles, and a preview of the remaining sessions designed to show how to use social science to make it more likely that actual behavior aligns with these principles.

Session 2 - 11:00 am - 12:30 pm: The Business Project (Leader: Peter Jaworski)

    A description how to structure a business ethics course with a semester long group project that causes the students to become personally invested in both learning to avoid and resolving ethical issues that can arise in business. 

Break

Session 3 - 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm: The Ethics Project (Leader Jason Brennan)

A description of how to make a business ethics course relevant to the real world by empowering students to work outside of the classroom to attempt to effect a positive change in the world while learning important principles of ethics.

 Session 4 - 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Interactive Exercises and Role-playing Scenarios (Leader William English)

 This session provides a series of in class interactive exercises and role-playing scenarios that illustrate the ethical principles introduced and provide practice in applying them to hypothetical situations. 


Wednesday:

Session 5 - 9:00 am - 10:30 am: Incorporating Moral Psychology into the Course (Leader: Jason Brennan)

 A description of how the insights of moral psychology can be incorporated into a business ethics course. All moral argument contain both a normative premise that prescribes proper behavior and an empirical premise that describes how the world and human beings actually function. The session is designed to show how to ensure that the empirical aspect ethical argumentation plays it proper role.

 Session 6 - 11:00 pm - 12:30 pm: Illustrative assignments/Open Discussion (Leader: All)

 An account of specific assignments that can be integrated into the course and an open discussion of ways to adopt parts or the whole of the Georgetown approach to the participants’ courses.

 End of Workshop