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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.

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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.

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  • Physician studying an x-ray

    Deciding for Those Who Can't

    Medical Decision Making for Vulnerable Patients

    Bioethics director speaks at Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care