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Smeal College of Business "Ethics in the Workplace" Case Competition

The submission process for the "Ethics in the Workplace" Case Competition is now closed. Thank you to all of the teams who participated!

The Smeal College of Business will hold the annual “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition on Friday, April 7, 2017 in the Business Building. The competition provides students with an opportunity to examine a current challenge in an organization, apply ethical decision-making skills and knowledge to the challenge, and recommend a course of action for the organization. The competition will also serve as a preliminary competition to the Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition at the Eller College of Management, The University of Arizona, scheduled for Fall 2017. The winning team of the Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition will have the opportunity to represent the college in the competition at The University of Arizona. NOTE: By participating in the competition in April 2017, teams are also committing to being available for the competition in Fall 2017 at The University of Arizona.

To be considered for participation in the Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition, students must complete the submission process outlined below. After completing the submission process, up to 12 teams will be selected to participate in the Smeal College of Business case competition. Each team will consist of four undergraduate students in the Smeal College of Business or Division of Undergraduate Studies, who have completed BA 342 or who are currently completing BA 342, and who will still be a current student in Fall 2017.

Up to 12 teams will each be paired with a mentor, prior to the competition.

Current Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Doug '77 and Renee Karns


Gold Sponsor

TE Connectivity Logo


Silver Sponsors

First National Bank Logo

RSM Logo

Ricoh Logo


Bronze Sponsors

Kohl's Logo


Submission Process

In order to be considered for participation in the Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition, students must complete the following task:

You encounter ethical dilemmas on a daily basis, and you will surely experience a wide range of challenging situations in the business workplace. Consider this short vignette: In your one-on-one meeting with your supervisor, he/she tells you, “No one is deserving of an exceptional performance review. Everyone has room for improvement.” Your supervisor also tells you that he/she will not approve a performance review for one of your employees if you try to award one of them with an exceptional review. The problem is, you believe you have an exceptional performer on your team.

What is the ethical issue? Identify a possible course of action, including how you would respond to your supervisor as well as how you would handle your employee’s performance review. Use the template provided.

Smeal students, in teams of four, may submit their responses for consideration. A submission must include the team name, names and e-mail addresses of the four team members, and a description  of the ethic issue and a possible course of action (in paragraph format). The responses should span no more than 2 pages, double-spaced, and minimum 11-point font. 

To submit materials for consideration, one representative from the team must send an email to workplace_ethics@smeal.psu.edu with your submission attached by 11:55 p.m. EST on Monday, February 27, 2017.

Evaluation criteria

Submissions will be evaluated on identification of the ethical issue and on the creativity, practicality, and persuasiveness of the recommendations.

Eligibility

All undergraduate students in the Smeal College of Business or Division of Undergraduate Studies, who have completed BA 342 or who are currently completing BA 342, and who will still be a current student in Fall 2017. 

Selection committee and timeline

The Selection Committee will include members of the college’s Integrity Action Committees. All teams participating in the submission process will be notified in March 2017 regarding the status of their participation in the Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition. Up to 12 teams will be selected to participate in the college’s competition.

Overview of Timeline:

  • Call for Submissions: Week of November 7, 2016
  • Deadline for Submissions: By 11:55 p.m. EST on Monday, February 27, 2017
  • Notification and Announcement of Teams: Friday, March 3, 2017
  • Teams receive the case: Monday, March 20, 2017
  • Teams submit PowerPoint presentation: Monday, April 3, 2017
  • Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Welcome Dinner: Thursday, April 6, 2017
  • Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition: Friday, April 7, 2017
  • Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition at the Eller College of Management, The University of Arizona: Fall 2017

Agenda for the competition

Thursday, April 6, 2017

  • Welcome Dinner

Friday, April 7, 2017

  • Round 1 of the competition
  • Round 2 of the competition
  • Final Round of the competition
    Full agenda to be announced at a later date. 

Prizes

  1. First-place team:
    The first place team will earn $2,000*, to be shared evenly among the team of four students. Each student will receive $500, deposited into their student account as scholarship** (per Penn State regulations. The team will also represent the college in the Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition at the Eller College of Management, The University of Arizona, scheduled for Fall 2017.
  2. Second-place team:
    The second place team will earn $1,500*, to be shared evenly among the team of four students. Each student will receive $375, deposited into their student account as scholarship** (per Penn State regulations).
  3. Third-place team:
    The third place team will earn $1,000*, to be shared evenly among the team of four students. Each student will receive $250, deposited into their student account as scholarship** (per Penn State regulations).

    *The winning amounts may be increased with company sponsorship, still to be determined.

      ** These funds may have an impact on the student’s financial aid.

Call for Team Mentors

We are seeking MBA students to serve as mentors to undergraduate case competition teams in spring 2017.

The teams will be announced in early March, and the teams will receive their case and assigned mentor in mid- to late-March. The case competition is on Friday, April 7, 2017. The mentoring period is approximately 2 weeks.

Team Mentors will be responsible for:

  • Meeting(s) with the team prior to the competition to provide initial and follow-up feedback on the development of their response to the case
  • Providing feedback on the team’s PowerPoint presentation prior to the competition
  • Providing feedback on the team’s presentation delivery prior to the competition
  • Attending the Welcome Dinner on Thursday, April 6, 2017
  • Attending the team’s presentation(s) on Friday, April 7, 2017
  • Debriefing with the team during the week of April 10, 2017

In addition to sharing their time and expertise with the undergraduate community, the team mentors will receive a certificate of appreciation and a small token for their service. They will also have the opportunity to network with company representatives. Click here to sign up as a team mentor.

Company sponsors

Sponsorship Levels for the Smeal College of Business “Ethics in the Workplace” Case Competition

Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)

  • Invitation to attend the Case Competition Welcome Dinner (5 representatives)
  • Invitation to serve as a guest speaker during the competition or to assist with the development of the case study
  • Invitation to serve as a judge (3 representatives)
  • Recognition of sponsorship in formal remarks
  • Inclusion of company wordmark on print and electronic promotional materials and signage

Gold Sponsor ($2,500)

  • Invitation to attend the Case Competition Welcome Dinner (4 representatives)
  • Invitation to serve as a judge (2 representatives)
  • Recognition of sponsorship in formal remarks
  • Inclusion of company wordmark on print and electronic promotional materials and signage

Silver Sponsor ($1,000)

  • Invitation to attend the Case Competition Welcome Dinner (3 representatives)
  • Invitation to serve as a judge (1 representative)
  • Recognition of sponsorship in formal remarks
  • Inclusion of company wordmark on print and electronic promotional materials and signage

Bronze Sponsor ($500)

  • Invitation to attend the Case Competition Welcome Dinner (2 representatives)
  • Recognition of sponsorship in formal remarks
  • Inclusion of company wordmark on print and electronic promotional materials and signage

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us!

Contact us:
Honor and Integrity Program Office
E-mail: integrity@smeal.psu.edu
Phone: 814-867-5106