Designing and Introducing Ethical Dilemmas into Computer-Based Simulations



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Ethics, business, simulation, dilemma, pedagogy


This paper makes two contributions to the teaching of business ethics literature. First, it describes the steps involved in developing effective ethical dilemmas to incorporate into a computer-based business simulation. Second, it illustrates these steps by presenting two ethical dilemmas that an instructor can incorporate into any business simulation. The first dilemma is an easy one that can be used in a single decision period, raises an obvious ethical issue, has clear consequences, and offers fairly easy ethical analysis. The second dilemma is a complex one that spans multiple decision periods and has uncertain consequences, at least initially. We also provide guidance concerning how the dilemmas can be modified to make them easier or more complex and how the debriefing sessions on the dilemmas can be conducted. Instructors who use business simulations in their courses can use the sample dilemmas as presented or modify them as desired or necessary to fit their course design and objectives. Instructors can also use the steps we describe to develop their own ethical dilemmas.

Published in

Journal of Management Education

Citation/Other Information

doi: 10.1177/1052562905280844