The Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) recently hosted their 6th annual Ethics Case Competition. The event serves as a qualifier for the 2014 International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC).  Four teams representing undergraduate business and the Full-time UST MBA program competed for the chance to advance to the  IBECC, May 6-9, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona.

This event provides students with a rich, team-based learning experience, where they can apply everything they have learned on ethical business practices in a high-intensity competition setting. The competition is a very important offering for the Opus College of Business because of our commitment to business ethics (and our past winning history at the IBECC).

The UST qualifier enables students to present their case perspectives to a set of judges representing compliance and general counsel departments from Cargill, St. Jude Medical and Pentair.  Academic experts Ron James, President and CEO of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, and Ken Goodpaster, Ph.D., Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics also served on the judges’ panel.

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Competition Judges’ Panel.

Preparation for the competition began in late January when individuals worked to form their teams and explore the case topic of Data Mining from a business, legal and ethical framework. Teams prepare for the CEBC competition on their own, during their free time.

The all-day schedule for the qualifier included a set of 20-minute case presentation competition rounds for the teams as well as a lunch session for student networking and a formal post-competition celebration. After presenting their case perspectives, each of the teams participated in a Judges’ Challenge round where students responded to a ‘live’ set of questions from the ethics professionals who served as judges.

Judges convened over lunch to discuss the performance of each team.  Immediately following lunch, teams met privately with the judges for a feedback session. This session addressed everything from the content and strength of the team’s preparation and case presentation to the communication style of the individual team members. This feedback will help the two advancing teams prepare for IBECC.

The Undergraduate Winners.

The Undergraduate Winners.

The closing ceremony for the competition, where Ron James announced the winners, was a celebration of the team’s accomplishments. Members of the Full-time UST MBA advancing to the IBECC competition include Andrew Johnson ’15 M.B.A., Sean Higgins ’14 M.B.A., Chau Le ’15 M.B.A., and Preeti Sam ’14 M.B.A.  Members of the undergraduate business team include Michaela Anderson ’15, Emily Goehring ’15, Alex Smith ’15 and Ben Smytka ’15.

The IBECC, to be held at Ventana Canon Resort, will be attended by undergraduate and graduate students representing academic-business programs from around the globe.  The competition is hosted by Loyola Marymount University (LMU), the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) and the University of St. Thomas – Minnesota. We wish our University of St. Thomas students the best of luck at this prestigious international business ethics competition.