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Business Ethics: BMGT 1341 - LSC Kingwood

The best library assignments are those that use a variety of resources including books, newspaper and journal articles, as well as internet sites. We encourage you to use all of these sources for this paper. Books provide some of the best information for business topics. You may apply for a library card online. We hope you will take full advantage of the many resources our libraries offer. Please contact LSC-Kingwood Librarians or write to Linda Holcomb using your LSC-Online class e-mail with any questions you may have during your research

Librarian talk about Getting Started!

As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage.  Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, events, or broader identifying terms.  Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet.

Sample Keywords:  business ethics, benefits, employee pay, customer service, management ethics, Accounting regulation, fraud, hiring practices, inventory control and security, regulation of imported goods, as well as others mentioned below.

More about Choosing Keywords (30 sec.)

Assignment: Business Ethics Group Project

You and your group have been hired as consultants to write a code of ethics for Zippy Corporation.  Zippy is a chain of retail stores and online retailer that sells small gift and decorative items across the United States.  Most of the items are produced overseas, mainly China, and imported directly to Zippy.  Zippy stores operate Monday through Saturday 10am to 8pm and Sunday noon to 6pm.  Zippy employs two thousand persons in retail stores, online sales, warehouses, and administrative support such as accounting, purchasing, human resources, legal, and facilities management.  All sales are either cash or credit card.

Management is most concerned about employee theft and customer service, but wants to be sure that their new code of ethics covers all employees, upper level management to sales clerks or janitors as well as all major ethical issues.  Major areas of operation include:

Retail Stores Administration (Human Resources, Legal) Marketing
Online Sales IT Support Finance
Warehouse Purchasing (includes import specialists)

You and your group will be assigned a section of the ethics code to write.  Your group will need to address the issues that you consider most important in specific detail. Write a code of ethics that you think covers the major issues based on what your learned in class and additional research. You may want to look up some codes of ethics as models to begin your task.   Your group should research the major issues or laws relating to your section.  The librarians can help.

Your code of ethics should address the major issues that we discussed in class.  Be sure to balance the needs of the employees, the customers, the suppliers, and the company.  Your code should be short, but include the areas that your group considers important to your section.

In addition to the code, your group will need to write a 3 to 5 page paper explaining the rationale for your code to management.  In other words, why you included the points you did?

Your group will make a 10 to 15 minute presentation that includes 8 to 10 power point slides.  In your presentation you will present the code to upper level management explaining the code and the rationale you used to write the code.  The power point should enhance your presentation with bullet points, graphs, pictures or other visual aids, NO PARAGRAPHS on the power point.

You will be given an opportunity to rate your group members for their participation and contribution to the project.  Your grade will be based 40% on the code, and the paper, 40% on your group work, and 20% on your presentation. 

Sections will include:

  • General Policy Regarding Laws and Business Conduct
  • Employees (How the corporation treats the employee)
  • Employees (How the employee conducts himself/herself in work related environments)
  • Customers (How the corporation interacts with customers)
  • Suppliers (How the corporation interacts with suppliers)
  • Health and Safety (Employees, Customers, Suppliers, and Environmental considerations)
  • Import and Customs Matters
  • Internet Security
Sections will be assigned based on the number of groups in the class.  Not all sections may be assigned.
Librarian Talk about Books!
More about...Finding Books (31 sec.)

Here is a small sampling of books your library may have. These and many other very good sources of information can be found by searching the library catalog using keywords such as FDA, ethanol, journalism or keyword phrases such as hiring practices, doing business with, energy conservation, illegal immigrants and business ethics from the topics listed above.

  • REF BJ 63 .E54 - Ethics - Ed. John K. Roth. This three volume set includes articles on business ethics, economics, drug testing, corporate scandal, conflict resolution, computer crime, electronic surveillance and many more topics related to ethical considerations in today's business and electronic age. These topics can be used as keywords in searching the databases as well.
  • REF HD30.15 .E49 - Encyclopedia of Management - Ed. Marilyn M. Helms. A resource for information on many topics including ethics in business, effectiveness and efficiency, management leaders, intellectual property rights, nepotism, managerial roles, product design and product life-cycle, stress in organizations and more. These are also good keywords.
  • REF HD 3611 .D58 - Doing Business in 2004: understanding regulation. Insight into government policies and rules.
  • REF HF5803 . A38 - Encyclopedia of Advertising - Eds. John McDonough and the Museum of Broadcast Communications, and Karen Egolf from Advertising Age. This more specific 3 volume encyclopedia contains articles on all things to do with advertising including ethics, government regulation, media, and retail advertising.
  • Global Codes of Conduct: an idea whose time has come - Oliver F. Williams ebook is available through the Ebook Collection. It discusses ethical rules of conduct in business.
  • KF3457 . W45 - Fair, Square & Legal: safe hiring, managing & firing practices to keep you & your company out of court - Donald H. Weiss presents labor laws and legislation. Also available as an e-book in Ebook Collection.

This short video (approx. 15 min) on Business Ethics: a 21st Century perspective discusses some of the ethical issues faced in business today.  Login with your library card barcode number to watch the video from off campus.  It is just one of the videos in Films on Demand which discuss the topic of ethics in the workplace.  Films on Demand is a database of more than 6,000 videos on many topics. Ask your librarian for help if needed.

Librarian Talk about Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles!

Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. Use them to find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more.

Home access to article databases is available with your updated library card barcode. If you need assistance finding an article contact the Reference Librarians and they will see that you get the article. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if necessary.

Use your library card to login to these online journal databases.

More about searching databases (25 sec.)

The following databases contain information on ethics in business, doing business in today's competitive marketplace, and Federal rules and regulations concerning business.  Other databases can be found on the Research Databases page.  Login from off campus with your library barcode number.


  • Business Source Complete   -  Provides full text for over 3,500 scholarly business journals covering management, economics, finance, accounting, international business and much more. Updated daily. This resource is very good for finding articles from professional business publications. For example in topic two above, try using the keyword phrases "business ethics" and "employees" and "compensation" to find articles on how corporations treat employees. The database will offer alternative keywords as you search.
  • Regional Business News  - Daily international newswires and regional business publications from more than 80 publications across the United States. 
  • ProQuest Newspapers - Full text of these major newspapers:  New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Houston ChronicleLA TimesWashington Post
  • Academic Search Complete A large multi subject database covering topics like business ethics,  Corporate culture, social responsibility of business, conflicts of interest, decision making, values, morals and ethical aspects of management.  Choose Full text for complete articles. Limit your articles to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) if you want professional level journal articles.

Librarian Talk about the Internet!

The internet will be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at:

  • Accuracy - The information should be researched and show proof of that research. 
  • Source - Look at the domain:  .edu   .gov   .org  .net are valid research sources. Your company's website is also a valuable resource.
  • Authority - What are the author's credentials? (Don't quote from another college freshman's paper.)
  • Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research?
  • Objectivity - If a work is biased, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. Offer both sides of issues, where applicable. 
More about finding internet sources (25 sec.)

These Internet sites offer all types of information related to ethics and regulations.  Compare statistics and figures from one site to those from others to ensure accuracy. Many companies have home pages on the Internet; keep in mind the objectivity level of these sites. As you search for information on any of the topics, note the date of the site. Some regulations and governance has changed recently.

  • Federal Business Opportunities - This is the government web site which companies use to find jobs to bid on. Because winning a job from the government is a complex task, this web page offers companies information on compliance rules, partner opportunities, vendor regulations and Central Contractor Registration.
  • Federal Acquisition Regulation - In order to do business with the Federal Government, business must follow these regulations.
  • National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils - This organization supports energy conservation and ethanol use.
  • Analysis of effectiveness of Alternative fuel vehicles - This is part of a report titled "REPORT TO CONGRESS - Effects of the Alternative Motor Fuels Act CAFE Incentives Policy." For more information on CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) try this FAQ page.
  • Human Rights Campaign - Information on current federal legislation regarding domestic partner benefits.
  • Code of Ethics  - from the International Business Ethics Institute, this page defines business ethics.
  • Corporate Ethics - A group of transcripts from a 2002 PBS series about ethics and Wall Street. Includes the Enron scandal, Imclone, WorldCom, and more.
  • The Business Ethics Network - An organization with the mission of improving the effectiveness of corporate campaigns worldwide in order to make business practices more ethical in terms of the environment, health, social justice, and labor.
  • Fair Use from Cyberlaw at Stanford University - (see below) View the humorous, yet informative video explaining fair use of media. Fair Use is a part of the ethical dilemma of who owns what, who can use what.

Librarian Talk about Getting Help

Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources.  Putting it all together takes time and effort.  Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors.   Please consider the following aids.

More about getting help (25 sec.)

Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | LSC - Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.

Avoiding Plagiarism   |   Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.

University of Texas Copyright Crash Course | This helpful guide on copyright is suggested by Lone Star College-Kingwood Teaching and Learning Center.

Learning  Center |   Check our hours for in-house tutoring.

Page created by Becky Bradley, Feb., 2008. Updated Jne, 2012, KG
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