The Business Project is one of many pedagogical innovations developed by GISME faculty. In addition to regular course work, students work in groups over a semester creating a fictitious business. At various points in the semester, students must 1) present a business plan; 2) issue a company ethics statement; 3) research applicable regulations; 4) present an advertising campaign; 5) devise an employee compensation package; and 6) resolve a custom-made ethical dilemma prepared for the company by the professor.
The ongoing business project allows the students to apply the ethical concepts they are learning in the course to a “business” in real time as they learn them. The students are simultaneously learning ethical principles and creating a context in which they may be applied. Further, although the company is fictitious, over the course of the semester the students become invested in their creation and want to see it succeed. This produces a high level of commitment to resolving the ethical dilemma they must confront.