Business ethics is important in developing trust and consumer confidences in business. On Friday, March 30, students from the University of New Mexico will take on this difficult challenge at the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Competition at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro.

The competition, hosted by the UNM Anderson School of Management and New Mexico State University, will bring undergraduate student teams from UNM, NMSU, New Mexico Tech, and New Mexico Highlands together to compete in a principle-based ethics exercise. Team members will take on the role of business executives who must deal with a situation that has ethical implications. Teams will receive the behavioral simulation on Friday morning and have three hours to identify the ethical issues and make recommendations as to how to how the organization should proceed.

Linda Ferrell, Bill Daniels Professor of Business Ethics at UNM Anderson, says ‘role play' prepares students for what they will find in the business world. "When students engage in behavioral simulations, they are applying critical thinking skills to actual problems that they will potentially face in the workplace," says Ferrell. "The team dynamic is representative of organizational ethical decision making and better prepares them to deal with these issues in the future."

The presentations will be judged by a panel of New Mexico business professionals including: John A. Carey, President of the New Mexico Society of CPAs; JoLou Trujillo-Ottino, President of Mediaworks; Loren Kuehne, Executive Secretary. Rotary District 5520, Las Cruces; Michael Lowrimore, Senior Vice President and NM Regional Manager for Bank of the West; and Linda Parker, CEO of Retirement Strategies.

The competition is part of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative that supports student leadership and principal-based ethical conduct in business. Twice a year, the Initiative also sponsors workshops for faculty from all New Mexico universities and community colleges on how to advance their skills in teaching business ethics.

"We are having an effect on students and faculty throughout New Mexico," said O.C. Ferrell, Bill Daniels Professor of Business Ethics at UNM. "We feel this to be a very mutually beneficial relationship."

The 2012 Teaching Business Ethics Workshop will be held in May in Santa Fe. For more information on the workshop and other Initiative programs go to: Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative.