Business ethics team takes top prize at recent competition

Katlynn Whitaker, Photography/Asst. Design Editor

Students at Marywood from two seemingly opposite areas of study have joined forces and given a new meaning to interdisciplinary work.

 On Wednesday, March 25, the Marywood Business Ethics Team won First Place at the Fleming Institute for Business Ethics Bowl Competition held at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa. They beat 11 teams from seven different schools with their presentation of a solution to an ethical problem in the business world.

The Business Ethics Team is made up of both philosophy and business students at Marywood. The team’s advisers are Dr. Murray Pyle, assistant professor of business, and Dr. Sarah Kenehan, assistant professor of philosophy.

“Ethical behavior and social responsibility are important parts of the Marywood mission as well as the Business mission to prepare students for the 21st century,” explained Dr. Pyle.

The next stop for the Business Ethics Team is New Orleans, where they will be competing in the International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) on April 21. This is a three-day competition where the team will be up against students from countries like Spain, Canada, and France as well as American students. They attended this competition last year when it was held in Arizona.

The team prepares for competitions by looking at case studies and researching different elements of the study. They look at the companies involved, competitors, different laws in place, and other important pieces of the ethical puzzle. Preparation takes up a lot of the students’ time, but Junior Marketing and Philosophy Major Ellen Clauss said that it is worth the extra work.

“[It is] an international competition, [so] we get to meet competitors from around the world, and we also get to connect with many business professionals,” she said.

Dr. Pyle added that the Marywood team stands out from the competition because of their interdisciplinary nature. While some schools focus heavily on either ethics or business, he says that Marywood incorporates both subjects together into what he calls a “dynamite package.”

“Quite often teams will show up…they’re really strong business students, and they really have the business ideas for the case nailed. And we show up with the philosophical and ethical issues, and we fold them together into the business solution,” he said.

For Clauss, the combination of the two disciplines inspires her passion for social business and complements her plans for the future.

“I think that today, business can get a bad reputation, and our team is discovering why that is as we progress through case studies.” said Clauss. “There is so much that needs to be done about business ethics today. That’s why I chose to study both disciplines.”

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