Sadat (IT) Academy

Dr. Gary H. Jones

Ethics - PROJECT
(For 2nd & 3rd Year Students)


Required Reading for this project:

An introduction covers the debate about the function and value of codes of ethics.

This guide offers a context for using a code of ethics by considering a sample case.

UN Global Compact, Ten Principles

The "Triple Bottom Line"  The consistent thread among the bigger corporations embracing social responsibility is the long-term health of their economic bottom line. While Shell, Weyerhaeuser and Alcan may have had moral leaders in the boardroom, it’s easy to explain their motives in strict business terms. Everyone in the CSR field, however, is fluent in the notion of the ‘triple bottom line’, a term coined in 1997 by United Kingdom business consultant John Elkington ( ).   Elkington argued – and much of the corporate world seems to agree – that there should be more to a company balance sheet than a profit number. There is also an environmental bottom line that tallies a company’s negative impact in balance with its remediation efforts, and a social bottom line that considers everything from how a company treats its employees to how its operations affect the neighbors.

Read the entire article (optional)

Project Description:

I prefer that this project be done in groups of 2 students.  In some cases I will approve groups of 3. 
Please email me:
a) The full names,  school year, and Ethics class group number
b) Your choice of organization to analyzie


Project Description (basically, a short report): 
1.  INTRODUCTION.   Why have a code of ethics; what good, generally, does a code of ethics serve?  (The link to the introduction to the function and value of codes of ethics, above, can help you with this section. 

2.  Briefly describe the company (or the government agency, or the professional association) that you chose for this project  For example, you might:
a.  provide a very short history of the company [a short paragraph or two]. 
b.  briefly describe the company:  what does it make, what does it do?  What is the size of the company?  What is the global reach of the company?).

c.  Now, transition to the company's code of ethics.  Most companies will have a description of their concern about the following issues.  It is best to choose ONE of the following issues to focus on in your report.  In a short paragraph or two, what does the code of ethics you chose to examine say about (best to pick only one of the following):
(If necessary you can choose two of these issues to discuss in your report.)

3.  Analyze the code you chose in terms of one or two of the five principles of ethics we have discussed in class (and as posted on this web site).  Codes of ethics usually incorporate elements of the Utilitarian (cost/benefit) perspective, as well as Human Rights, and--sometimes--Justice.  Offer your own analysis of some of the strengths of the code you chose, and some of the weaknesses.
See this link for a summary of the five principles

4.  What is your impression of the social responsibility (or 'social contract') of this company?  Perhaps you could write a paragraph or two on this issue.  See this link for a short summary of social responsibility:

5.  (Optional)  Has the company or organization you chose been in the news for ethically questionable behavior?  Describe the incident and the conflict between the organization's ethical code and its actual behavior.

6.  CONCLUSION.  Offer a brief conclusion of your analysis of the code of ethics (statement of values) you chose.

LENGTH:  FIVE (5) PAGES, double-spaced.  Use some headings to help organize your paper (for example:
The Value of a Corporate Code of Ethics
Brief History of [your company]
Brief Description of [your company]
[Your company's] Code of Ethics Concerning [the Environment, Human Rights, or whatever area you choose]
(quote a few of the most relevant, or most important passages)
Analysis of this section of the Code (in terms of one or two of the five ethical principles; see link above)
[Your Company] and Social Responsiblity
(Does your company sound socially responsible?  How so?  Explain. See link above)
[OPTIONAL] Recent news regarding [your company] and Ethics
(with Enron, for example: )

Cite any online references you use at the end of the paper.  Give proper credit to sources that you use in the body of the paper itself.  Do not copy excessively from online sources, and when you do quote material directly, put it in quotation marks and cite your source.  Most of this paper should be written in your own words--not somebody else's.  Plagiarism will be penalized.  This is, after all, an ethics course...

Select from the following list, or submit your own company site to me.  But you need to decide on your company or your organization to analyze by MAY 24.

The List of Possibilities (or submit your own to me by email)

There are about 70 links here -- choose ONE good one

Codes for Companies (and some codes for associations)

Associations, Business  (You may choose one of these if you really can't find a company or a government agency code that you like.)