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The UA team hard at work.

By Michael Colletti, business economics major

On Thursday, November 11th, 2010 4 members of the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity – Brittany Smythe, Hunter Curtis, James Dillard and myself, traveled to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada for the 7th annual Dalhousie Business Ethics Case Competition (DBECC).

The University of Arizona was one of two American teams invited to participate. The event aims to expose students to timely issues in business ethics, while teaching future business leaders the value of behaving ethically. All teams competed in the first two rounds, where they presented their analysis of business ethics case studies and were judged on their ability of effectively balance the ethical, financial, legal, and social consequences of their decisions.

The competition is divided into three rounds, with the first round was structured such that the teams were given a case four weeks in advance to prepare for a 15 minute presentation with 5 minutes of questions from the judges. The case presented was about social media, and the ethical considerations in the workplace, specifically in the three following forms; should social media be allowed at work, should employees be held liable for information they post on social media sites, and should company’s be allowed to use social media site to aid in the hiring process?

The second round case is given to students at the competition and they have four hours to prepare their findings. The case discussed was about outsourcing and off-shoring as a business practice. Finalists from the first two rounds competed in the third round which follows a similar format as the second round. In all three rounds teams presented their findings to a panel of judges composed of various ethics professors, executives and government officials from across Canada.

At the Friday night dinner event held at the Westin Nova Scotian, the final four teams were announced – and although The University of Arizona was not named a finalist, we did learn valuable lessons that we are taking back to the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity to prepare for future competitions. The final round proved to be very competitive with all teams presenting comprehensive and impressive case analysis.

The 2010 Dalhousie Business Ethics Case Competition was more than learning more about ethics and presentation skills for us. It gave us an opportunity to network with international students and respected faculty, see different presentation techniques, and finally gave us a chance to meet some of the most successful corporate ethical employees such as Bill Fields- Diamond Consulting CEO. We look forward to sharing the information we learned and preparing for DBECC 2011 where we will represent the University of Arizona once again.