Money and Other Motives
Discerning Businesses’ Role in Environmental Sustainability
Tensions In Sustainability Forum Series, Center for Ethics, Emory University
This module helps participants understand the range of roles that businesses can play in society. To this end, the following overarching goals have been identified for this module.
- Participants develop a richer understanding of what businesses’ role in society can and should be.
- Participants conceptualize ways they can support businesses that reflect their values.
To prepare for this module kindly take some time to familiarize yourself with this guide and the resources provided. Before the module starts, distribute pens and make sure the room is arranged to allow space for writing. If tables are not available, a few clipboards or legal pads will do.
- Create an “Opinion Spectrum” by taping 6 pieces of paper in a line across the room, either on a floor or on a wall. The Opinion Spectrum can be found in the Teaching Materials section of this module.
- To prepare for the Business Quiz, see the Teaching Materials section at the end of the module for Definitions of Terms. You should have a basic understanding of these terms and be equipped to answer questions that may arise during discussion.
- Print copies of the Business Quiz Handout found in the Teaching Materials section of this module. Try to ensure that each participant has a copy.
- Download the Business Quiz PowerPoint from http://www.CREATEForumSeries.com. If facilitating this module without a projector, print a few copies of these slides for participants to view. Each team should have one copy of the entire Business Quiz PowerPoint slide deck, printed so that one slide displays per page.
Preparation time should be about 2 hours. The implementation of the module will take 1 hour. Throughout the guide suggested times are provided for sections and sub-sections to assist the facilitator with time management.
- Introduction Exercise
- Business Quiz
- Milton Friedman Discussion and Opinion Spectrum
After the module, participants should:
- Be familiar with a range of ethical opinions on the purposes of business in society.
- Be familiar with ethical opinions of their community of peers on the purposes of business in society.
- Be able to craft or clarify their own beliefs about the purposes of business in society.
- Be aware of opportunities to support businesses that promote personal values.
- Projector and computer for the Business Quiz PowerPoint, available for download at http://www.CREATEForumSeries.com. Alternatively, you may print 2 – 4 copies of the Business Quiz PowerPoint. Print so that one slide displays per page. Each team should have one copy of the entire Business Quiz PowerPoint slide deck.
- Copies of the Business Quiz Handout for each participant.
- Friedman’s thoughts on the role of business: Pick one of the following three articles that you feel is best for your group of participants.
- Option A — Printed copies (1 per person) or projected image of the first 11 paragraphs of the article found at this web address: http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/ libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html. 1
- Option B — Printed copies (1 per person) or a projected image of the article found at this web address: https://bfi.uchicago.edu/news/feature-story/corporate-socialresponsibilty-friedmans-view. 2
- Option C — Printed copies (1 per person) or a projected image of the article found at this web address: https://bfi.uchicago.edu/news/feature-story/corporate-socialresponsibilty-friedmans-view. 2
- Pens for each participant
- Prize for winning team of Business Quiz (optional)
- Printed Opinion Spectrum, cut up into six strips
- Tape or other adhesive (as appropriate to the space) to attach pieces of the Opinion Spectrum to a wall or floor spanning about 12 feet long (or more depending on the size of the group)