School of Business competes in video competition

After finding success in the 2014 competition, Liberty built on last year’s momentum and placed nationally in the Center for Public Trust’s 2015 Ethics in Action Video Competition. This year, three teams from the School of Business were entered into the contest.

The annual competition officially opened to national entries in 2011 and is hosted by Libscomb University. According to the competition’s website, the competition invites business students across the United States to create either a short film or commercial “focusing on ethical behavior in the business world.”

Liberty students started participating in the contest in 2014 after Dr. Eric Richardson, the professor who headed up the teams, began looking for ways to improve his Organizational Ethics course.

“I was thinking about different projects that the students could do in that class, and … I ran across the website for the center for public trust, … which hosts the ‘Ethics in Action’ video contest,” Richardson said. “I integrated the option to participate in the national competition as part of the class but took the framework (of the contest) to create the assignment.”

Three teams from Liberty submitted videos in the 2014 contest and performed well, according to Richardson.

“Out of the three teams that participated in the (2014) short film contest, all three Liberty teams placed nationally,” Richardson said.

Though his class did well in their first year of competition, Richardson evaluated the project process to improve it for the 2015 contest.

“We spent a lot more time planning this semester because we learned a lot of things last time that worked and didn’t work,” Richardson said. “Things that worked were planning (ideas) well in advance. A thing that was better readjusted was having the deadline where all students had to turn (the project) in at the same time …versus having those competing turn theirs in earlier. … Also, having some example videos that were from (Liberty) versus other places was a better thing.”

The goal of the competition was to raise awareness of ethical issues and practices in the business workplace, according to However, Richardson explained that the video competition did more than just reveal the ethical side of the business world.

“There are several goals for this project,” Richardson said. “One is to take knowledge and incorporate it into the class room. Also, technology in the classroom, learning about an ethical issue … and collaboration and working together as a team for the project.”

This year, students chose ethical topics that included company theft, bribery and lying or falsification, according to Richardson.

Though the topics were on common ethical issues in the business world, Richardson explained that the projects were far from typical.

“We found that students really enjoyed working through the process, and … there is nothing that says the video has to be boring or strictly academic, so lots of groups had fun with it and … made their videos comedies,” Richardson said. “Some of the other cool things that students have done with their videos (include hiding) Easter eggs in the video, … a mock version of ‘The Apprentice’ (or) a mock version of ‘The Office.’”

In the end, the project closely mirrored the goals of the School of Business as well as those of the Organizational Ethics class.

“Our goal for this course is to teach … how ethical issues are not always clearly defined,” Richardson said. “The end result of this project is for students to take an ethical issue and really focus on making an educational experience for the class and for themselves.”

The winners of the Ethics in Action competition were announced April 9. Utah State University won first place in the Short Film category, with an award of $1,000 for the video “Should One Tweet Be Worth a Career.” The University of Colorado won second place for the video “The Consequences of Insider Trading (The Tragedy of Mr. Ethan Anderson).”

The Viewers Choice first place award of $700 for the Short Film category went to Lipscomb University for its video on “Discrimination in the Workplace.” The Viewer’s Choice runner up award of $300 went to Colorado State University for the video “Gold Bricks.”

The Commercial category winners included Utah State University first place and Lipscomb University in second place. For the Commercial category, the Viewer’s Choice Awards went to Florida State University (first place) and Ethical Products (second place).

STEPTOE is a news reporter.

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