Ethics Case Studies*

Sharon Stoerger MLS, MBA
sstoer@yahoo.com

Anthropology ~~ Art ~~ Bioethics ~~ Business ~~ History

Journalism ~~ Plagiarism ~~ Research ~~ Sociology ~~ Additional Ethics Resources


Anthropology

Case Studies
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/9893/cslinks.html
Karen Supak designed this site to be used as a scholarly resource for those interested in biological anthropology or related fields. Her "Case Studies" section has 5 different anthropology-related case studies to investigate.

Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology
http://www.aaanet.org/committees/ethics/toc.htm
The American Anthropological Association site presents two different "chapters" that include a total of 25 case studies. Twelve cases can be found in "Chapter 3: Cases and Solutions" and 13 cases can be found in "Chapter 4: Cases and Comments." Both chapters are great resources for anthropological scenarios.

Examples:

The Online Ethics Center for Engineering & Science
http://onlineethics.org
The Online Ethics Center is a great ethics resource for the sciences. It was established in the fall of 1995 under a grant from NSF, and its mission is to "provide engineers and scientists and science and engineering students with resources useful for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their work life." Links to cases, essays, codes of ethics and reference materials are merely a few of the resources found at this site.

Example:

Commentaries on this case can be found at:

Smithsonian Institution: Anthropology Outreach Office-Ethical Dilemmas
http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/outreach/edethica.html
This site, which is part of a teacher packet, provides an outline of how instructors can organize discussions on ethical issues and dilemmas faced by anthropologists in the field. Six cases are provided along with a set of questions that are designed to stimulate discussions on the topics.

Example:

Society for American Archaeology Bulletin 16(4) From the Ethics Committee
http://www.saa.org/publications/saabulletin/16-4/SAA13.html
This site posts two of the four invented ethical issue scenarios presented at the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) forum in Seattle.

The Society for Economic Botany (SEB): Teaching Ethics-Ethical Dilemmas
http://www.econbot.org/ethics/teaching_ethics.html
Dr. Will McClutchey, from the University of Hawaii, has contributed the 15 different questions/scenarios that appear on this SEB site, and they are designed to spark ethical discussions in the classroom. Topics include using narcotics in cultures where that activity is introduced, developing relationships with tribal people and becoming indoctrinated into a particular religious sect in order to participate in secret ceremonies.

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Art

Case Scenarios
http://grove.ufl.edu/~rolandc/scenarios.html
A mixed bag of case scenarios are presented at this site, and there are even a few addressing ethical issues that arise in the art world. These cases are intended for college-level groups, but they may be adapted to any level.

Ethics, Art & Money in the Work of J.S.G. Boggs
http://www.jsgboggs.com/covey.html
This scenario is based on a situation encountered by the artist J.S.G. Boggs during a time when he was involved in a project using fake paper currency as the medium.

Ethics of Education
http://www.uvsc.edu/ethics/curriculum/education/
The Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley State College (Orem, UT) developed this set of cases for their Ethics across the Curriculum seminar. Topics addressed by the cases presented at this site include equipment usage, software sharing, fair grading policies and copying.

Example:

Ethics Updates: Ethics Case Studies
http://ethics.acusd.edu/resources/cases/HomeOverview.asp
Lawrence Hinman founded this site in 1994 to be used primarily by ethics instructors and their students, and he continues to edit and maintain it. Case studies covering ethics topics in business, family, academic and social situations are provided in this section of the Ethics Updates site. A discussion forum for each case is coming soon.

Example:

Savannah College of Art and Design Case
http://www.scad-and-us.info/
The details of a scenario involving a student enrolled in an Art & Design MA program and the grades he received for classes not attended unfold at this site.

Stolen Property or Finders Keepers
http://home.att.net/~tisone/problem.htm
This site lists an art-related scenario that can be used with a group divided into teams. Each team has an "assignment" with questions that should be considered during the investigation of the situation.

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Bioethics

Bioethics at Iowa State University: Classroom Resources
http://www.biotech.iastate.edu/Bioethics/classroom_resources.html
This site contains numerous bioethics case studies. Agriculture, animals, biotechnology, humans and research ethics are just a few of the topic areas addressed at this Iowa State University resource.

Bioethics Case Studies
http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/olc_linkedcontent/bioethics_cases/index.html
Ronnee Yashon, an expert in teaching genetics, ethics and law, developed 20 different cases studies for this McGraw-Hill site. Topics ranging from cloning to organ donation to DNA forensics are included.

Yashon has written two books, Case Studies in Bioethics I and II, that have been used at all educational levels. The focus of her new book, Landmark Cases for the Science Classroom, is more on the legal aspects of science.

Biotechnology & Ethics Electronic Resources
http://www.unf.edu/~mgillis/general.html
Marin Gillis, a visiting professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Florida, has compiled an annotated list of biotech and biotech-related Web sites. Several case study resources are included in Gillis' selection of materials.

Chowan Center for Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm
Faculty at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina voted to establish the Chowan Center for Ethics in 1997. The Center's principle objective is "to heighten ethical awareness and 'moral imagination'" by encouraging discussions about today's ethical issues. Numerous resources can be found in sections like the Ethics and Community Resource Sites.

Example:

Ethics Updates: Ethics Case Studies
http://ethics.acusd.edu/resources/cases/HomeOverview.asp
Lawrence Hinman founded this site in 1994 to be used primarily by ethics instructors and their students, and he continues to edit and maintain it. Case studies covering ethics topics in business, family, academic and social situations are provided in this section of the Ethics Updates site. A discussion forum for each case is coming soon.

Examples:

Institute for Global Ethics (IGE)
http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/default.tmpl
The mission of the Institute for Global Ethics is "to promote ethical behavior in individuals, institutions, and nations through research, public discourse, and practical action." Cases presented at this site come from real-life stories told by participants in IGE Ethical Fitness™ Seminars. Business, education and medical issues are some of the topics covered by the cases.

Example:

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/cases.cfm
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics was founded in 1986 and has grown into one of the most active university applied ethics centers in the country. It is based at Santa Clara University and was initially funded by an endowment by Linda and A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr. Articles, cases, briefings and dialogue in all areas of applied ethics can be found at this online center.

Example:

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Business

Babson Business College: Business Ethics Program
http://roger.babson.edu/ethics/index.htm
The Babson Business Ethics Program is designed to integrate ethics into businesses and business education. Numerous resources, including case studies, are available.

Example:

Business Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.uvsc.edu/ethics/curriculum/business
The business cases presented at this site were developed by the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley State College to be used in their Ethics Across the Curriculum seminar. Even though the cases in this section are somewhat generic in nature, they are designed to address personal and corporate ethics situations that could occur in any business environment.

BusinessEthics.ca
http://www.businessethics.ca
BusinessEthics.ca is a site created by Chris MacDonald, and it is one of the many EthicsWeb.ca (http://www.ethicsweb.ca) topic areas. Canadian and international resources including articles, case studies, and business ethics in the news reports are provided. A special collection entitled "Enron & Ethics" has recently been added.

Examples:

Carnegie Mellon: Ethics Teaching Materials
http://ba.gsia.cmu.edu/ethics/teaching.htm
This site, developed by the Center for International Corporate Responsibility, provides links to categories such as the role of ethics instruction in B-schools, case studies, tutorials and business scandal articles. Academic resources, membership organization information and other ethical materials are also available.

One of the many resources included in this collection of teaching materials is the Arthur Andersen Case Study Library. Ninety business ethics case studies are posted along with supporting materials. It is important to note that Arthur Andersen provided funding for this project but was not involved in the development of the cases. The Case Library can be found at http://ba.gsia.cmu.edu/ethics/AA/arthurandersen.htm.

CasePlace.org
http://www.caseplace.org
CasePlace.org is a free service for business faculty and students offered by Aspen Institute's Initiative for Social Innovation through Business (Aspen ISIB). Cases and topics for discussion are posted at this site, and they are searchable by topic or discipline.

Case Studies: Analyses
http://businessmajors.about.com/cs/casestudies/index.htm?once=true&iam=dpile&terms=+IT++case++stud
About.com's collection of case studies is presented at this site. A few of the studies provided deal with business ethics or related topic areas.

Chowan Center for Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm
Faculty at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina voted to establish the Chowan Center for Ethics in 1997. The Center's principle objective is "to heighten ethical awareness and 'moral imagination'" by encouraging discussions about today's ethical issues. Numerous resources can be found in sections like the Ethics and Community Resource Sites.

Examples:

E-Ethics Center
http://www.e-businessethics.com
The goal of the E-Ethics Center at Colorado State University is to "create a virtual community of organizations and individuals that share best practices in the improvement of business ethics." Businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and other academic institutions have provided much of the information found at the Center's Web site.

Example:

Ethics Case Studies: Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)
http://www.icpas.org/icpas/consumer/ethics-casestudies.asp
Dr. Howard A. Kanter at the DePaul School of Accountancy and the ICPAS Ethics Committee have developed the case studies found at the Illinois CPA Society Web site. The cases presented cover areas like discreditable acts, compliance with standards, accounting principles and general standards.

Ethics Updates: Ethics Case Studies
http://ethics.acusd.edu/resources/cases/HomeOverview.asp
Lawrence Hinman founded this site in 1994 to be used primarily by ethics instructors and their students, and he continues to edit and maintain it. Case studies covering ethics topics in business, family, academic and social situations are provided in this section of the Ethics Updates site. A discussion forum for each case is coming soon.

Examples:

The Ford Pinto Case
http://www.law.wfu.edu/courses/Law&value-Palmiter/Papers/1999/Leggett-pinto.html
In May 1972, a Ford Pinto stalled out on a Minnesota highway and was struck from behind at 28 m.p.h. After impact, the fuel tank burst into flames, killing the driver and severely injuring and disfiguring the passenger. Did Ford know about the flawed design, and if so, was the company guilty of murder? This study discusses the case that followed the 1972 incident. There are numerous versions of the Ford Pinto case, and this site merely presents one version of the scenario.

Gray Matters
http://college.hmco.com/business/ferrell/ethics/5e/students/gmatters
Gray Matters is an ethics game used by Lockheed Martin to discuss ethical dilemmas with company employees. Not all the answers to the game are clear-cut, and some sections present only partial answers.

IMA Ethics Center
http://www.imanet.org/content/About_IMA/EthicsCenter/ethic1.asp
IMA, the Institute of Management Accountants, is a nonprofit organization of management accounting and financial management professionals that was founded in 1919. In 2002, IMA issued a challenge to its members to "uphold and reaffirm the highest standards of professional ethics." Ethical resources, including case studies, are provided by IMA.

Example:

Inc.comGuide: Case Studies in Business Ethics
http://www.inc.com/personal_and_professional_growth/guides/20806.html
Editors at Inc.com select the resources found at this site. Ethics case studies covering topics such as environmental challenges, community involvement and global connections can be found in this section of the Inc.com site.

Other Inc.com guides can be found at http://www.inc.com/home/.

Institute for Global Ethics (IGE)
http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/default.tmpl
The mission of the Institute for Global Ethics is "to promote ethical behavior in individuals, institutions, and nations through research, public discourse, and practical action." Cases presented at this site come from real-life stories told by participants in IGE Ethical Fitness™ Seminars. Business, education and medical issues are some of the topics covered by the cases.

Example:

Institute of Business Ethics (IBE)
http://www.open.ac.uk/business-ethics/index.htm
The development of the IBE site was a joint effort between the Open University and the Institute of Business Ethics and is sponsored by the Foundation for Business Responsibilities. It is designed to be an online information center for academics and students interested in business ethics.

Example:

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/cases.cfm
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics was founded in 1986 and has grown into one of the most active university applied ethics centers in the country. It is based at Santa Clara University and was initially funded by an endowment by Linda and A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr. Articles, cases, briefings and dialogue in all areas of applied ethics can be found at this online center.

Example:

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History

Chowan Center for Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm
Faculty at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina voted to establish the Chowan Center for Ethics in 1997. The Center's principle objective is "to heighten ethical awareness and 'moral imagination'" by encouraging discussions about today's ethical issues. Numerous resources can be found in sections like the Ethics and Community Resource Sites.

Example:

History News Network: Plagiarism Cases
http://historynewsnetwork.org/articles/article.html?id=504
The Stephen Ambrose plagiarism controversy has gained a lot of press coverage and has brought the issue of sloppiness versus deliberate copying into the limelight. The History News Network has links that track the Ambrose case from the initial reports in the press to its present status.

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Journalism

Chowan Center for Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm
Faculty at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina voted to establish the Chowan Center for Ethics in 1997. The Center's principle objective is "to heighten ethical awareness and 'moral imagination'" by encouraging discussions about today's ethical issues. Numerous resources can be found in sections like the Ethics and Community Resource Sites.

Example:

Ethics Updates: Ethics Case Studies
http://ethics.acusd.edu/resources/cases/HomeOverview.asp
Lawrence Hinman founded this site in 1994 to be used primarily by ethics instructors and their students, and he continues to edit and maintain it. Case studies covering ethics topics in business, family, academic and social situations are provided in this section of the Ethics Updates site. A discussion forum for each case is coming soon.

Example:

Institute for Global Ethics (IGE)
http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/default.tmpl
The mission of the Institute for Global Ethics is "to promote ethical behavior in individuals, institutions, and nations through research, public discourse, and practical action." Cases presented at this site come from real-life stories told by participants in IGE Ethical Fitness™ Seminars. Business, education and medical issues are some of the topics covered by the cases.

Example:

Journalism Ethics Cases Online
http://www.journalism.indiana.edu/Ethics/
The School of Journalism at Indiana University has compiled numerous ethics cases for this often cited resource. Barry Bingham Jr. developed the core set of cases found at this site, and they were initially published in his newsletter, FineLine. Cases are designed to be used by teachers, researchers, professional journalists and anyone interested in media ethics.

Journalism.org: Case Study Curriculum for Journalism Students
http://www.journalism.org/resources/education/case_studies/default.asp
Nine cases are available, with more to be added, that discuss issues surrounding media events like Watergate, McCarthyism, and the Olympic Bombing and Richard Jewell to name a few. Abstracts of each case are provided, but an e-mail address must be entered before full cases can be downloaded.

Poynter.org
http://www.poynter.org
Nelson Poynter, former publisher for the St. Petersburg Times, founded the Poynter Center to act as a vehicle that would add academic excellence to the field of journalism. The motto of the Center is "everything you need to be a better journalist."

Example:

Texas Seven Interview Provides Case Study in Media Ethics
http://www2.drury.edu/rtvj/PDF%20files/March01.Static.pdf
Lee Hood, Teaching Standards Committee Chair of RTVJ, the Radio-Television Journalism Division of AEJMC, discusses whether or not the decisions made by a Colorado Springs (Colorado) television station helped law enforcement officials capture two of the "Texas Seven" fugitives hiding out in their area. Hood presents criticisms voiced regarding the station's decision to give into demands made by the fugitives and the factors considered by the station in making their decision to cooperate.

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Plagiarism

Ethics of Education
http://www.uvsc.edu/ethics/curriculum/education/
The Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley State College (Orem, UT) developed this set of cases for their Ethics across the Curriculum seminar. Topics addressed by the cases presented at this site include equipment usage, software sharing, fair grading policies and copying.

Examples:

History News Network: Plagiarism Cases
http://historynewsnetwork.org/articles/article.html?id=504
The Stephen Ambrose plagiarism controversy has gained a lot of press coverage and has brought the issue of sloppiness versus deliberate copying into the limelight. The History News Network has links that track the Ambrose case from the initial reports in the press to its present status.

Plagiarism in the News
http://www.bridgewater.edu/WritingCenter/Workshops/PlagiarismCases.htm
The Bridgewater College (VA) Online Writing Lab has designed this site to help foster discussions on the ethical use of sources by writers. Lab staff have compiled and posted numerous articles on plagiarism issues, including the Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose scandals.

Selected RRP Case Studies & Materials
http://www.responsibility.research.umich.edu/casematerialsdir.html#plag
Shaké Ketefian adapted this case for the University of Michigan Research Responsibility Program (RRP). The case was taken from Teaching the Responsible Conduct of Research through a Case Study Approach (Association of American Medical Colleges, 1994).

Suspicious Signs Exercise
http://www.lib.umich.edu/acadintegrity/instructors/case_studies/beat_movement.htm
Renoir Gaither, Shapiro Undergraduate Library at the University of Michigan, constructed this case that represents what might be considered to be a problematic paper submitted by an undergraduate student. The design of this case is conducive to discussions in a workshop environment.

Teaching Ethics for Research, Scholarship & Practice: Case Studies
http://www.research.umn.edu/ethics/case.html
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota have developed this site to be a resource for faculty who are integrating research ethics into their curriculum. It is also designed to "foster increased awareness of ethical issues", and numerous resources are provided.

Example:

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Research

Applied Ethics in Professional Practice: Case of the Month Club
http://www.niee.org/case-of-the-month/index.htm
In 1997, Ronald E. Bucknam, P.E., Ph.D., developed the "Case of the Month Club." This frequently accessed site is used by more than 100 universities. The program presents cases taken from "professional practice in order to stimulate greater emphasis on ethical issues in a real-world context."

Example:

The Case of John Roland Darsee
http://www.unmc.edu/ethics/data/darsee.htm
Darsee was considered to be a golden boy in the area of scientific research. After suspicions were raised that his abstracts contained no actual research, his career was detrimentally damaged. This case outlines details surrounding the Darsee situation and what happened after he admitted to falsifying data.

Case Scenarios
http://grove.ufl.edu/~rolandc/scenarios.html
A mixed bag of case scenarios are presented at this site, and there are even a few addressing ethical issues that arise in the art world. These cases are intended for college-level groups, but they may be adapted to any level.

Case Studies in Engineering Ethics
http://clawww.lmu.edu/~jkasmith/phil330/cases.htm
The 8 cases presented at this site have been written by James K. A. Smith and are based on actual cases. This project was funded in part by a grant from the Center for Teaching Excellence at Loyola Marymount University to "support collaborative learning and teaching innovation."

Example:

Cases on Research Ethics
http://rcr.ucsd.edu/tools/cases.htm
The case studies posted at this site are intended to facilitate discussions about scientific integrity. Scenarios provided address issues such as research misconduct, data management, publication and conflict of interest.

Chowan Center for Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm
Faculty at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina voted to establish the Chowan Center for Ethics in 1997. The Center's principle objective is "to heighten ethical awareness and 'moral imagination'" by encouraging discussions about today's ethical issues. Numerous resources can be found in sections like the Ethics and Community Resource Sites.

Examples:

Clinical Research Workshop Program
http://ethics.ucsd.edu/workshops/CRW/cases/case6.htm
The Clinical Research Workshop Program site is a collaborative effort between the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Michael Kalichman (PhD, UCSD) and Susan Eastwood (ELS, UCSF) developed this site to operate as a framework for workshops that focus on practical and ethical research activities. Case studies are provided for each topic category. Michael Kalichman has also been involved in the Ethics and Survival Skills Workshop.

Example:

College Administration Publications: Case Studies
http://www.collegepubs.com/ref/CaseStudies.shtml
College Administration Publications was founded in 1973 and provides periodicals, monographs and seminars. Publications focus on law and policy issues in higher education. The case studies provided at the site address topics such as academic integrity, free speech, harassment and suicide prevention.

Ethical Case Studies
http://www.jgsee.kmutt.ac.th/exell/JEE613/EthCases.html
Many of the case studies presented at this site are from the booklet On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research (1995).

Example:

Ethical Dilemmas in the University: University of British Columbia (UBC)
http://www.cstudies.ubc.ca/facdev/services/newsletter/89/mar89-1.html
Academics at the University of British Columbia (Canada) began a series of workshops designed to address ethical dilemmas encountered at UBC. The cases presented at this site have been excerpted from The Teaching Professor (January 1989).

Ethics Decisions Exercise
http://www.outopia.org/teach/intro/EthicsEx.pdf
Thirteen different ethics scenarios are provided that address possibly questionable situations. A set of four instructions are outlined and are to be applied to each of the cases presented at this site.

Ethics in the Science Classroom
http://www.wmich.edu/ethics/ESC/
This project, developed by Theodore D. Goldfarb (Department of Chemistry-SUNY-Stony Brook) and Michael S. Pritchard (Department of Philosophy-Western Michigan University), began as an NSF-funded program designed to encourage teachers to include ethics and values content into the classroom. Ethical dimensions of science are addressed, as well as the incorporation of ethics into the science classroom curriculum. Six different case studies outlining a variety of ethics scenarios that may be encountered in the field of science are also presented. Some of the cases are based on actual events, while others are fictional.

Example:

Ethics of Education
http://www.uvsc.edu/ethics/curriculum/education/
The Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley State College (Orem, UT) developed this set of cases for their Ethics across the Curriculum seminar. Topics addressed by the cases presented at this site include equipment usage, software sharing, fair grading policies and copying.

Ethics Updates: Ethics Case Studies
http://ethics.acusd.edu/resources/cases/HomeOverview.asp
Lawrence Hinman founded this site in 1994 to be used primarily by ethics instructors and their students, and he continues to edit and maintain it. Case studies covering ethics topics in business, family, academic and social situations are provided in this section of the Ethics Updates site. A discussion forum for each case is coming soon.

Examples:

Information Literacy Ethics Cases
http://www.ycp.edu/library/ifl/etext/etcases.htm
Kimberley Donnelly and Susan Campbell, professors at York College (PA), developed the cases posted at this site for an Information Literacy 101 class. Each of the 12 case examples are designed to spark discussions about the ethical dilemmas posed in each case, as well as possible solutions to the situation described.

Institute for Global Ethics (IGE)
http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/default.tmpl
The mission of the Institute for Global Ethics is "to promote ethical behavior in individuals, institutions, and nations through research, public discourse, and practical action." Cases presented at this site come from real-life stories told by participants in IGE Ethical Fitness™ Seminars. Business, education and medical issues are some of the topics covered by the cases.

Example:

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/cases.cfm
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics was founded in 1986 and has grown into one of the most active university applied ethics centers in the country. It is based at Santa Clara University and was initially funded by an endowment by Linda and A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr. Articles, cases, briefings and dialogue in all areas of applied ethics can be found at this online center.

Memorial University of Newfoundland: Case Study Workshop--Resource Materials
http://www.mun.ca/sgs/grip/cases.html
The section on Case Study Workshop Resource Materials provides links to case studies on issues such as authorship, data fabrication, laboratory selection plus other areas of research misconduct. Some of the cases focus on the areas of microbiology and medical science.

The Milgram Obedience to Authority Experiments
The Milgram experiments are considered to be psychological experiments, but the results are telling from a sociological perspective as well.

Background: Stanley Milgram conducted his "Obedience to Authority" experiments from 1961-1962 at Yale University. The experiments tested whether or not subjects would do what they were told even when they considered those actions to be morally wrong.

Examples:

Blass has also written an article that appeared in Psychology Today called "The Man Who Shocked the World", and it can be found at http://www.psychologytoday.com/htdocs/prod/ptoarticle/pto-20020301-000037.asp.

Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research: Cases for Teaching and Assessment
http://www.indiana.edu/~poynter/mr.pdf
Materials found at this site were developed for the "Teaching Research Ethics: A Workshop at Indiana University (TRE)" program in December 1995. It is designed to help instructors formulate responses to ethical situations that arise in science. Case studies plus information on how to use these materials and how to judge responses to moral problems are just a few of the sections included in this document.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at the University of Buffalo is not an ethics case site like Ethics Online (http://ethics.acusd.edu) or the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (http://www.scu.edu/ethics), but it does discuss dilemmas faced in various subject areas.

Examples:

National Institute for Engineering Ethics (NIEE): Ethics Cases
http://www.niee.org/cases/index.htm
NIEE is an "official component" of the Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism in the College of Engineering at Texas Tech University. Ethics resources, provided by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), include cases dating back to 1976, ethics reference guides and the NSPE Code of Ethics.

Example:

On Being a Scientist, Responsible Conduct in Research
http://search.nap.edu/readingroom/books/obas/content.html
This 40-page publication is a joint production of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. It was first published in 1988, and the current edition was released in 1995. The 1995 version reflects changes in the area of ethics over the years and the way those changes affect the field of science. Scenarios included are hypothetical situations that are designed to be discussed and debated.

Example:

The Online Ethics Center for Engineering & Science
http://onlineethics.org
The Online Ethics Center is a great ethics resource for the sciences. It was established in the fall of 1995 under a grant from NSF, and its mission is to "provide engineers and scientists and science and engineering students with resources useful for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their work life." Links to cases, essays, codes of ethics and reference materials are merely a few of the resources found at this site.

Examples:

Commentaries on this case can be found at:

Kenneth Pimple's Home Page
http://php.indiana.edu/~pimple/
Kenneth Pimple is the director of the Teaching Research Ethics Programs at the Poynter Center. His home page has numerous ethics resources including papers, presentations and letters on federal policy. Eight ethics case studies are also included among the plethora of materials available at this site.

Examples:

Selected RRP Case Studies & Materials
http://www.responsibility.research.umich.edu/casematerialsdir.html
The cases presented at this site have been adapted for the University of Michigan's Research Responsibility Program (RRP). Responsibility in research, authorship issues, conflict of interest and data management are a few of the topics addressed by the cases.

SHiPS: Research Ethics
http://www1.umn.edu/ships/ethics/research.htm
Ships began in 1989 and is made up of a network of science teachers. They developed this online library to help researchers learn more about the social sciences and about social science issues. The section on Research Ethics contains classroom and historical case studies, institutions & policies, periodicals and essays.

The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is very much like the Milgram Obedience to Authority experiment in that it was designed to be a psychology experiment. As was true with the Milgram experiments, though, the Stanford Prison Experiment is an interesting commentary on power and our society.

Background: Philip Zimbardo began his prison experiment during the summer of 1971 at Stanford University. The study was designed to answer the following questions:

  1. What happens when you put good people in an evil place?
  2. Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?

Examples:

Teaching Engineering Ethics: A Case Study Approach
http://ethics.tamu.edu/pritchar/an-intro.htm
A list of numerous cases dealing with issues such as acknowledging mistakes, conflict of interest, dissent, environmental & safety concerns, ownership and more can be found at this site.

Teaching Ethics for Research, Scholarship & Practice: Case Studies
http://www.research.umn.edu/ethics/case.html
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota have developed this site to be a resource for faculty who are integrating research ethics into their curriculum. It is also designed to "foster increased awareness of ethical issues", and numerous resources are provided.

Examples:

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Sociology

Allen and Unwin - Sociology Extra
http://www.allen-unwin.com.au/academic/soccase.asp
This site is divided into two modules, each containing 6 different cases, that cover issues such as gender & violence, globalization and race. Dr. Peter Kelly with the Behavioral Studies Program at the University of Queensland developed the cases that are posted at this site.

Chowan Center for Ethics: Case Studies
http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm
Faculty at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina voted to establish the Chowan Center for Ethics in 1997. The Center's principle objective is "to heighten ethical awareness and 'moral imagination'" by encouraging discussions about today's ethical issues. Numerous resources can be found in sections like the Ethics and Community Resource Sites.

Cyber-Stalking
http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/cyberstalking/5.html?sect=19
Wayne Petherick, an adjunct teaching fellow in criminology at the University of Queensland, has developed this case study on cyber-stalking. His research interests involve criminal profiling, and Petherick has examined that technique to see how it affects the new crime of cyber-stalking.

Ethics Decisions Exercise
http://www.outopia.org/teach/intro/EthicsEx.pdf
Thirteen different ethics scenarios are provided that address possibly questionable situations. A set of four instructions are outlined and are to be applied to each of the cases presented at this site.

Ethics Updates: Ethics Case Studies
http://ethics.acusd.edu/resources/cases/HomeOverview.asp
Lawrence Hinman founded this site in 1994 to be used primarily by ethics instructors and their students, and he continues to edit and maintain it. Case studies covering ethics topics in business, family, academic and social situations are provided in this section of the Ethics Updates site. A discussion forum for each case is coming soon.

Examples:

Institute for Global Ethics (IGE)
http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/default.tmpl
The mission of the Institute for Global Ethics is "to promote ethical behavior in individuals, institutions, and nations through research, public discourse, and practical action." Cases presented at this site come from real-life stories told by participants in IGE Ethical Fitness™ Seminars. Business, education and medical issues are some of the topics covered by the cases.

Example:

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/cases.cfm
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics was founded in 1986 and has grown into one of the most active university applied ethics centers in the country. It is based at Santa Clara University and was initially funded by an endowment by Linda and A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr. Articles, cases, briefings and dialogue in all areas of applied ethics can be found at this online center.

The Milgram Obedience to Authority Experiments
The Milgram experiments are considered to be psychological experiments, but the results are telling from a sociological perspective as well.

Background: Stanley Milgram conducted his "Obedience to Authority" experiments from 1961-1962 at Yale University. The experiments tested whether or not subjects would do what they were told even when they considered those actions to be morally wrong.

Examples:

The Online Ethics Center for Engineering & Science
http://onlineethics.org
The Online Ethics Center is a great ethics resource for the sciences. It was established in the fall of 1995 under a grant from NSF, and its mission is to "provide engineers and scientists and science and engineering students with resources useful for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their work life." Links to cases, essays, codes of ethics and reference materials are merely a few of the resources found at this site.

Example:

The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is very much like the Milgram Obedience to Authority experiment in that it was designed to be a psychology experiment. As was true with the Milgram experiments, though, the Stanford Prison Experiment is an interesting commentary on power and our society.

Background: Philip Zimbardo began his prison experiment during the summer of 1971 at Stanford University. The study was designed to answer the following questions:

  1. What happens when you put good people in an evil place?
  2. Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?

Examples:

Teaching Ethics for Research, Scholarship & Practice: Case Studies
http://www.research.umn.edu/ethics/case.html
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota have developed this site to be a resource for faculty who are integrating research ethics into their curriculum. It is also designed to "foster increased awareness of ethical issues", and numerous resources are provided.

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Additional ethics resources can be found at the following sites.

Anthropology Ethics

Art Ethics

Bioethics. See also the Biotechnology Web Page (UIUC)

Business Ethics

History Ethics

Journalism

Plagiarism

Research Ethics

Social Science Ethics: A Bibliography

Sociology Ethics

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*This site is an adaptation of Web pages I created for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Created by Sharon Stoerger, MLS, MBA
©March 31, 2003

Updated November 16, 2003