This lesson plan will be designed to teach students traditional and conventional moral philosophies, standards and ethical convention in a corporate/business environment. As protocol students will be required to examine traditional moral and ethical standards as defined by philosophical and sociological standards.
The purpose of the lesson will be to teach students about the types of ethical considerations they might be faced with in a business or corporate environment. Students will be expected to have adequate knowledge of current events, and engage in discourse related to the morality of recent news events related to corporate ethics. The course will also require students to analyze their own experiences within corporate America where appropriate or the workplace and identify what gaps currently exist in the moral/ethical aspect of employment and asses how improvements made in this area might impact the workforce as a whole.
Students not having work history with which to compare personal experiences will be asked to share personal experiences related to ethical or moral decision making, or be prepared to discuss in depth one or several recent ethical scandals occurring within corporate America. All students will be expected to participate in focus group sessions and meetings.
Students entering corporate America are faced with a variety of challenges; at some point during their careers they will be faced with a moral/ethical predicament, and the chances that this situation may severely impact their careers or work situation is high should the "wrong" choice be made. Scandalous stories related to ethical and moral dilemmas consistently fill the news. Most recently large corporate entities have been brought under because of a failure to adhere to moral and ethical practices. Such failure harms not only the person or persons involved, but the corporation, customers, clientele and people interacting with them as well.
A majority of students entering the workforce have not adequately addressed moral or ethical standards in the workplace. As such it is critical that they are taught both traditional and conventional standards at minimum within a classroom environment, because most are not educated regarding moral or ethical corporate standards until they actually enter the workforce. At the very least students need a foundation from which they can develop their own opinions regarding what may or may not be considered corporate ethics, and be able to justify that opinion to their peers and superiors.
This study must evaluate the age, employment situation and goals of students prior to course design. Considerable attention should be paid as to whether students are adult learners or younger collegiate level/high school students. Prior knowledge of corporate practices, policies and procedures would be beneficial information to have in this particular setting; students coming into this learning environment with a background in corporate ethics for example, might shed light and new perspective on group focus sessions.
According to research, learners cannot simply "practice performing the right responses" but rather must offer responses performed in "an appropriate context" (Reigeluth, 1987). As such a lesson plan must be designed in such a manner that takes into consideration the different learning styles of students, so they are afforded the opportunity to practice responses in the context "that is expected to elicit them at some future time" (Reigeluth, 1987).
Learners must be able to "operate" the tools given them in order to function outside of the classroom. A lesson plan constructed of factual information and idealisms that does not take into consideration the make up of specific experiences of students is much more likely to fail that succeed.
The lesson plan in this respect must incorporate practical and real life suggestions and tools for recognizing ethical dilemmas, and teach students appropriate communication skills that may come in handy dealing with such dilemmas. Part of the focus of peer tutoring and group focus sessions will be to assist students in developing a comfort level debating in a group setting, as it is likely that they will be faced with many group discussion sessions as they enter the workforce.
After the lesson the students will be expected to accomplish the following:
Students will learn how to evaluate whether a certain practice or policy is ethically correct from a business perspective based on conventional principles.
Students will be able to define the most common types of moral philosophies and identify situational examples that are relative to each philosophy.
Students will be able to identify corporate successes and failures based on historical evidence of ethical and moral standards.
The declarative knowledge to be introduced in this study will include a discussion of the definition or ethics, the nature of business ethics, the conventional moral philosophies utilized in the corporate and real world, moral acts as defined by the corporate word and principles of right and wrong. Both historical principles and modern day associations will be evaluated.
A study of philosophy and traditional moral values will also be incorporated into the lecture plan. It is intended that this knowledge will enable students to enter the workforce with an appropriate sense of what may be considered morally and ethically appropriate behavior and actions within a corporate environment. Students will also be given a background in corporate planning and policy setting.
Ethical and moral standards affect every day corporate affairs. The most recent ethical debacle to hit the press is the Martha Stewart scandal. Previous to this Enron and Arthur Anderson were in the news for similar issues. Classroom declarative knowledge will include an in depth analysis of each of these cases, as students will be asked to assign certain failures of moral philosophy to each of these cases and suggest alternative routes for recourse.
The conditional knowledge to be gained will involve teaching students when, where and why it is appropriate to apply the moral philosophies and ethical standards learned in class. A discussion along these lines will entail a series of situational examples, which will require that under certain conditions students assess whether an action is right or wrong, and what an appropriate alternative course of action might be should a situation be found to be ethically challenging or against convention.
Students will be asked to evaluate current events and up-to-date news stories related to business ethics, and asses when and where intervention might have been appropriate to avoid scandal.
Students will also be asked to identify which ethical or moral philosophies were violated in each particular case, and suggest why the particular scandal was popular and received so much press. Students will also be asked to discuss the far reaching consequences of each case.
The primary mechanism to be utilized as a form of instruction will be peer tutoring. Studies have demonstrated that "tutorial interaction" when structured in such as manner that same-age ability mates interact and learn from each other, can "scaffold each other's higher order thinking and learning" (Adelgais, et.al, 1998:134). Peer tutoring is a teaching mechanism whereby students teach other students (Adelgais, et. al, 1998; Fuchs, et. al, 1994). In this situation, students will help teach each other by sharing personal experiences related to ethical situations and moral standards.
Students with more experience in corporate America will be asked to offer their opinions regarding their firm's current practices; those without significant experience in the workforce will be expected to offer objective criticism of practices and suggest solutions.
Tutoring is effective when peer directed small groups are encouraged to engage in interactions that support a learners ability to engage in higher order cognitive process, or those processes which require elaborate explanation and though processes (Adelgais, etc. al 1994; Webb & Farivar, 1994). Students in a peer tutoring environment are often also stimulated to ask questions appropriate to the subject material, and are provided more time to think about appropriate responses (Adelgais, et. al, 1998).
Peer tutoring also fosters an environment in which supportive communication skills including the ability to "listen attentively" and respond, give feedback, criticism and encouragement are all supported (Adelgais, et. al, 1998). In a small group environment verbal interaction that is "content related" is most likely to influence learning and promote different kinds of learning (Adelgais, et. al, 1998). The type of verbal interaction utilized can be influential in promoting various kinds of learning (Adelgais, et. al, 1998).
For example, attainment of factual material can be accomplished via a process of simple information exchange and retelling which is an adequate learning objective for a peer tutoring situation (Adelgais, et. al, 1998).
The learning involved for this lesson however will encompass largely knowledge construction or generative learning, where meaning is acquired through "analysis and integration of ideas" (Adelgais, et. al, 1998). This is a more complex type of learning that will require participants to first think about facts learned and then apply that knowledge to their work and real life environment (Adelgais, et. al. 1998).
Learners in a peer tutorial session have not only the ability to analyze information presented to them within the group environment, but also have the opportunity…