Ethics in a Global Context
Lesson Plan 1 – Contestation of Ethics in a Global Context
- Problems in global ethics
- Conceptualization of global ethics
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNaTv5-2PYU
- Showing the contestation between using a global standard of ethical practices and a local standard of ethical practices
- Class activity: Students to be assigned a country and research the public relations landscape in the country prior to writing a code of ethics for a company of their choice in the country. Compare the code of ethics with the real one in the company’s home country. Ask students to explain based on what principles and how they came up with the code of ethics.
- Problems in global ethics: Going through the list of problems in the development of global ethics.
- New Zealand Vs. Israel: Showing the study on different practitioners’ approaches to ethics
- Approaches to global ethics: Showing the two studies on how to conceptualize global ethics
- Class activity: Students to read the case study and select a case of their choice in which global ethics is a problem.
(a) 3 open-ended self-assessment questions (in the PowerPoint slides) and (b) 13 multiple-choice questions (in the set of final assessment questions)
Mercedes in China
- Lesson 1 Lesson Plan
- Lesson 1 PowerPoint
- Lesson 2 PowerPoint (PDF)
- Lesson 2 Plan
- Interview with Roger Bolton, president of Page and former senior VP of communications at Aetna, on ethics in a global context
Lesson 1 Overview
In the practice of global public relations, whether a local or global standard of ethical practices should be adopted is debatable. This lesson will provide an overview of the different factors to consider in adoption of a local or global standard of ethical practices. Based on several research studies, it presents the different perceptions that practitioners in different countries have toward ethics and the approaches to understanding these differences.
- What are the factors to consider in the adoption of a local vs. global standard of ethical practices?
- What, how and who do you think should determine what standard of ethical practices should be put in place?
- What do you think caused the differences in foreign publics’ different perceptions toward ethics in different countries?
Lesson 2 Overview
It is inevitable that what organizations do makes an impact on society. Globalization has increased the interconnectedness of the world, meaning that what we do in one country could affect other countries.
In public relations, we learn to segment and prioritize publics using some theoretical frameworks so that organizations could best utilize their resources to build relationships with the most important publics. But there are ethical factors which should be considered in the use of these theoretical frameworks. The concept of situational ethics reminds us that publics’ ethical priorities could differ from one country to another.
This lesson provides an overview of the ethical factors to consider in the use of the theoretical frameworks in the global context.
- Describe the personal, organizational, professional, societal and global ethical principles which could affect practitioners’ decision making.
- How would you go about making ethical decisions for a public relations campaign in a foreign country?
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Dr. Lisa Tam
Assistant Professor, Queensland University of Technology
Lisa Tam (Ph.D., Purdue University) is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Strategic Communication at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Her primary research interests include public relations as relationship management, relational public diplomacy and the interdisciplinary application of communication research. She has developed the Relationship Assessment of Diplomatic Interaction Outcome (RADIO) scale to propose the integration of the concept of relationship in public relations into public diplomacy. Her research has been published in academic journals, edited books and conference proceedings, including upcoming and recent issues of Communication Research and Practice, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, Asian Journal of Business Ethics and Journal of Public Affairs.