shiny gold star
October 24, 2017
Lesanne B. Fliehler

After three rounds of presentations, Tippie undergraduate students Matt Hubbell and Molly Monroe took fifth place in this year’s Eller Ethics Case Competition, an annual competition that challenges students to analyze a timely ethical case with real-world business relevance. Twenty-five schools from the United States, Canada, and Mexico participated in the event held at the University of Arizona.

Hubbell, an economics major and philosophy minor, and Monroe, an economics major, received the ethics case two weeks before the competition, and they worked with Frank Business Communication Center staff to hone their presentation.

This year’s case study involved an engineering firm with high-profile clients that are hacked and information about them is compromised. Participants were asked to identify the stakeholders in the case; the financial, legal, and philosophical considerations; and offer recommendations on how to proceed. Teams were asked to assume an identity (e.g., company employees and/or consultants), and then present to a particular audience (e.g., company executives and/or a board of directors.

“Matt and I are very pleased with our results as we are the first Tippie team to make it to the finals,” said Monroe. “We presented a more business-centered approach regarding the ethical dilemma in focusing on the company’s stakeholders and value statement. We also relied on Immanuel Kant’s core concepts of respecting individual rights and the categorical imperative in shaping our argument.”

In addition, the two entered an optional essay competition and won the Stephanie Chance “Bright Line” Award, which offers a forum for the students to dig deeper into the ethical issues of the case in essay form.

Tippie students have attended this invitation-only event since 2009. According to Maureen Beran, assistant director of leadership and development in the Undergraduate Program, many case competitions were closing due to budget constraints after the 2008 financial collapse. In search of new competitions for students to enter, she reached out to the competition's director, Paul Melendez, highlighted the value that Tippie students could bring to the competition, and he extended an invitation. Tippie has been invited every year since then.

Tippie student participation in this competition was sponsored by the Greg and Lou Meyer Fund for Ethics and Leadership. Greg Meyer received a B.A. in political science in 1979 and an MBA in 1988. He and his wife Lou established this fund to support students who attend ethics competitions and leadership conferences.

A video of their presentation is available.