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Texas State grad students take first at Business Ethics Case competition

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
June 3, 2014

Three graduate students from Texas State brought home two first place trophies from the International Business Ethics Case Competition held May 7-9 in Tucson, Ariz.

The Texas State team of Shanna Shultz, Alejandro David Tamez and Coleen Watson bested teams from England, Canada, France, Hungary, Spain and the U.S. to win both the 30-minute and 10-minute presentation at the graduate level on the topic "Is That Blood on Your Shirt? Exploitation in Garment Manufacturing."

The International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) is the oldest and most recognized intercollegiate business ethics competition.  The event is held in conjunction with the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s  (ECOA) annual sponsoring partner leadership forum. 

Each team selects a topic from any area of business ethics and prepares a presentation describing the problem and proposing a solution. Judges listen to the team’s presentation, question students and then give the team feedback. Presentations cover the legal, financial and ethical dimensions of the case, but special emphasis is placed on the strength of the ethical analysis of the problem and the ethical acceptability of the solution.

The Texas State team constructed a hypothetical situation in which they served as ethical consultants to GAP Inc. concerning the tragic events that occurred at the Rana Plaza, a GAP vendor, where more than 1,000 people were killed in a building collapse in April of last year. Using what they termed the "golden rule standard," they argued that GAP has an ethical obligation to sign the accord on fire and building safety in Bangladesh as a step toward expanding its value framework toward a sustainable capitalism that recognizes human rights and advances the common good while simultaneously meeting the demands of a profit-driven business.

Schultz is in the masters program in communication studies, and both Tamez and Watson are philosophy students in the master of applied philosophy and ethics program. Team advisor is Jo Ann Carson.