Business Ethics

Found this quote from John Frame on FB recently:

The point of Christian ethics is not to be as liberal as we can be, or as conservative. It is, rather, to be as biblical as we can be. Jesus rebuked both the conservative Pharisees and the liberal Sadducees; Paul rebuked both legalists and libertines. Understanding God’s will rarely means falling into lockstep with some popular ideology. We need to think as part of a community, listening to our brothers and sisters, but we also need the courage to step aside from the crowd when God’s word directs us in that way.



Boatright, John R. Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 7th ed. 2003.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall – The book you have to read

Week 1—March 13, 2014     Introductions, Course Information, Foundational Issues

  1. Read text, chapter 1 & 12.
  2. Read article by A. Carr in Participant Guide; Complete worksheet #1.
  3. Read article by N. Bowie in Participant Guide; Complete worksheet #2.
  4. Read article by M. Friedman in Participant Guide; Complete worksheet #3.

Week 2—March 20, 2014      Review, Philosophy of Ethics, Flywheel, Corporate Ethics Statements

  1. Study a corporate code of ethics and submit a paragraph of your interaction (i.e. What do you think of their code of ethics?  Be sure to include the link to the statement).
  2. Bring to class a one-page, typed personal ethics statement.  What do you value?  What are your priorities?
  3. Read text, chapter 13 (Submit a paragraph stating you completely read the chapter as well as your thoughts. Agree?  Disagree?  How was it helpful? Etc.).
  4. Skim text, chapters 1 & 2 (Bring a completed Philosophy of Ethics worksheet)
  5. Read article by N. Gabler in Participant Guide
  6. Skim text, chapter 3
  7. Read article by M. Moore in Participant Guide
  8. Read article by N. Geisler in Participant Guide
  9. Complete worksheet #4 in Participant Guide (extra credit)

Week 3—March 27, 2014     Review, War Stories, Personal Ethics, Sin, Employment Rights, Group Work

  1. Come prepared to share two “WAR STORIES” (stories from your work experiences)
  2. Read text, chapter 4 (Submit a paragraph stating you completely read the chapter as well as your thoughts. Agree?  Disagree? How was it helpful? Etc.)
  3. Read article by Kermit Vandivier in Participant Guide
  4. Read text, chapter 8 (Submit a paragraph stating you completely read the chapter as well as your thoughts. Agree?  Disagree? How was it helpful? Etc.)
  5. Complete worksheet #5 in Participant Guide (extra credit)

Week 4—April 3, 2014          Review, Discrimination, Harassment, Proverbs, Group Work

  1. Read text, chapter 6 (Submit a paragraph stating you completely read the chapter as well as your thoughts. Agree?  Disagree? How was it helpful? Etc.).
  2. Read text, chapter 7 (Submit a paragraph stating you completely read the chapter as well as your thoughts. Agree?  Disagree? How was it helpful? Etc.).
  3. Have read the book of Proverbs; Submit the Proverbs Handout
  4. Create and use a Small Business Ethics Questionnaire (based upon our jam session in week one, make a list of appropriate questions to ask a small business owner, meet with him/her, type their responses to the questions).
  5. Complete Worksheet #6 in Participant Guide (extra credit)

Week 5—April 10, 2014        Personal and Group Presentations, The Ethical Compass, Colossians 3

  1. Utilizing handouts and/or a power point presentation, give a 5-10 minute presentation on either your interview with a small business owner or the topic of your research paper. You will be graded on content as well as presentation of the content.  Please prepare.
  2. Read text, chapter 10 (Submit a paragraph stating you completely read the chapter as well as your thoughts. Agree?  Disagree? How was it helpful? Etc.).
  3. Reading Report will be handed out so you can indicate what % of the text you read (100% means you read all of the text; you’ll have to estimate if you read less than all of it). This can be submitted on 4/19.
  4. Read article by Susan Dobbs in Participant Guide
  5. Read article by J. H. Foegen in Participant Guide
  6. Complete worksheet #7 in Participant Guide (extra credit)
  7. Write a one-two paragraph response to the prayer on p.73 in your Participant’s Guide.

Summary Paper is due no later than Saturday, April 19th

Nine days after the last class, students must electronically submit an academic paper.  The paper must be between 6-8 pages, not counting the title page and bibliography.  Students should cite their sources within the paper, but include a bibliography as well.  The paper should contain an introduction and a conclusion.  As this is an academic paper, students should refrain from using “I” and “me” (etc.).  Questions should not be asked of the reader.  Paper topic suggestions can be found below.

Grading Criteria

30%       Homework average
30%       Summary Paper  (See below for ideas)
20%       Participation
10%       Presentation
10%       Reading Report

The last day work will be accepted is NOON – Sunday, April 20th.

Extra credit can be earned by completely reading and submitting a one-page book report on the following book:  Veith, Gene Edward Jr. God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. 2002. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.  Order your copy today!  Not from me–from Amazon!


  1. Keep me informed via email of any delays causing you to turn in assignment late.
  2. Be sure to use my tim.wehse.instructor@gmail email address.
  3. Remember—I cannot grade nothin’.
  4. “A” work will exhibit attention to detail (grammar, spelling) and thought (logical).
  5. *A paragraph is defined as 5-7 sentences.
  6. Participation particularly includes (1) your sharing of ethic/work-related stories (2) your presentation in class five, and (3) whether or not you utilize social media in class (email, Facebook, texting, etc.).  Please don’t.  You’ll have time for that after class.

Small Business Owner’s Survey Questions:

  • Does your corporation and/or company have an ethics statement?
  • If so, what role does that document play in the life of the company?
  • Do you believe that the employees of this company are ethically-sensitive?
  • What character traits do you look for in a potential employee?
  • What steps are in place for employees who misbehave at work?
  • What are the grounds for termination?
  • Can you describe the conditions of a termination in the past several years?
  • How does your company reward faithful, hard-working employees?
  • What do you expect out of your employees?
  • What should your employees expect out of you?
  • What one piece of advice do you have for a new manager of a company?

Business Ethics Summary Paper ideas:

  •  The Book of Proverbs–Timeless Principles Practiced in Time
  •  My House Upon the Rock: Living out God’s Word at home and at work
  •  How to live the Kingdom-ethic in America
  •  Proving to be a person of integrity in an ethically-confused world
  •  Our Water Cooler:  Speaking the truth in love at the Office
  •  The Role and Responsibilities of a Christian manager
  •  Working to the Glory of God
  •  Gregarious Greed:  The History and Practices of the NYSE
  •  Soli Deo Gloria:  Living to the glory of God at home and at Work
  •  Person’s Name:  The Story of Man/Woman who lived integrity (a biography)
  •  Granite Greed:  The lust for prosperity and power in Washington, D.C.
  • Truth:  Knowing, Loving & Living Truth
  • Passing the Torch:  Teaching My Children to Live Lives of Integrity

Group Presentations

  • 20-25 minutes
  • Be informative
  • Be interesting
  • Topic choices:
    The State of Ethics in America
    Salt and Light: Living the Kingdom Ethic in the Workplace
    Issues in Ethics

Summary Paper Requirements:

  • 6-8 pages, typed, Times New Roman, Double-spaced
  • One source per page
  • Cover (not included in page count)
  • Introduction paragraph
  • Body of paper proving your theses statement from your Intro
  • Conclusion paragraph
  • Bibliography (not included in page count)
  • Be on guard against plagiarism (I am forced to deal with it “by the book”)

Or ??? (Email me with your ideas or with any questions you might have:

Here’s something worth reading:

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