Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Silicon Valley Business Ethics Cases

Collecting case studies from Santa Clara University alumni working in the business world was the focus of The Silicon Valley Business Ethics Dialogue, a project of the Ethics Center's Hackworth Fellows in Business Ethics.

Hackworth Case Banner

These cases were written by SCU seniors Alexis Babb, Saayeli Mukherji, Amanda Nelson, and Noah Rickling as part of their work as Hackworth Fellows.

  • Odd One Out

    Confronting Corruption in the Workplace

    A new hire weighs her options upon finding widespread misconduct.

  • Caught in the Middle

    Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

    An employee is pressured to cover for a coworker's misbehavior.

  • Gender Discrimination

    Preferential Treatment in the Workplace

    Should an intern file a complaint on behalf of someone else against their wishes?

  • Cooking the Books

    Stretching the Principles of Revenue Recognition

    A CFO is pressured to sign off on a premature sale.

  • Unchartered Territory

    When Innovation Outpaces Regulation

    Do firm's have an obligation to self-regulate?

  • Quality Management

    Signing Off on a Substandard Product

    A recent graduate has to choose between shipping subpar quality and losing a sale.

  • Protected Class

    Externalities of Age Discrimination Safeguards

    When doing the right thing comes with legal risk.

  • Nonprofit Fundraising

    In the Name of the Good

    When withholding service from the few is in the best interest of the many.

  • Cultural Barriers

    When Equality Compromises Efficiency

    A sales representative considers avoiding non-English speaking customers.

  • An Intern's Dilemma

    When You Disagree with Your Supervisor

    An intern is stuck in the middle of a workplace dispute.

  • Quality or Quantity

    When Incentives Don't Match Your Values

    A recent college graduate struggles to keep quality high while working toward quotas.

  • Financial Reporting

    Do Small Errors Need to be Reported?

    A young financial analyst at a publicly traded company uncovers minor errors in his report.

  • Startup Management

    Friend or Liability?

    A young CEO considers his obligation to his friend in a business setting.

  • Bullpen Dilemma

    Sexual Harassment in Investment Banking

    A recent college graduate confronts misconduct in a polarizing work environment.

  • Breaking the Bro Code

    Sexual Misconduct at the C-Level

    A CEO fails to lead leaving another executive in a dilemma.

  • Job Promotion

    At What Cost?

    A manager is offered his boss' job.

  • Bank Fraud

    A Case In Accounting Ethics

    An outside consultant uncovers a temporary scheme by his client to secure a bank loan.