Category Archives: Communication Ethics

Resources for Discussing Racism in the Workplace

Current events have put renewed emphasis on the subject of racism in contemporary society, and the workplace is one of the most important aspects of this vital conversation. To provide ideas for class discussion, particularly as it relates to business communication, we have pulled together a variety of articles that you may find useful.  Harvard […]

Intelligent Communication Technology: Social Listening Tools

Every day on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, millions of consumers and business customers rant, rave, brainstorm, offer help, and ask for help. Smart companies recognize that this global chatter is a gold mine of valuable insights, and they use social listening tools to figure out what people are saying about them and […]

Intelligent Communication Technology: The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

As one of the most powerful technologies ever developed, artificial intelligence (AI) is already influencing human life in multiple ways and promises to do so even more in the future. AI is now used in a variety of business communication applications, from message testing to employee recruiting and evaluation. Although many of these developments are […]

Free Video for Classroom Use: Communication Ethics: How to Make Good Choices When Your Choices Aren’t Clear

Here is the sixth video in our new series that addresses a variety of specific communication challenges and offers practical advice that students can apply now in their coursework and take with them on the job. This video gives students a four-step decision model to guide them in making ethical communication choices. Instructor version (concludes […]

Free Video for Classroom Use: Do Your Visuals Tell the Truth?

Here is the third video in our new series that addresses a variety of specific communication challenges and offers practical advice that students can apply now in their coursework and take with them on the job. This video helps students understand the nuances of visual ethics and gives them a framework for making ethical choices when […]

Using the Business Communication Course to Teach Professionalism

One of the major benefits of the business communication course is that it helps students practice so many valuable skills, from research and analysis to organization and document design. The course also creates an opportunity to incorporate these communication-focused skills into the larger context of being a business professional. We define professionalism as the quality […]

Instagram Effects Are OK, but Photoshopping Is Not? Where Do Your Students Draw the Line on Image Manipulation?

The raging popularity of the photo-sharing smartphone app Instagram offers a great opportunity to discuss the ethics of digital image manipulation. A recent opinion piece in Ad Age asked why Instagram was not taking flak for the photo-altering filters it offers while Photoshop gets attacked as a tool for distorting the truth. (Note: the article […]

Please Don’t Buy This: Patagonia’s Un-Marketing on Cyber Monday

From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday, business communication over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is all about buy, buy, buy. In this hypersaturated message environment, this email missive from the outdoor-clothing supplier Patagonia on Cyber Monday definitely stood out, starting with the large headline "Don't Buy This Jacket" and a large photo […]

Using the Cook’s Source Copyright Infringement Episode for Class Discussions

You may have read about the recent episode of copyright infringement by Cook's Source magazine, in which the magazine's editor, Judith Griggs, justified her actions by asserting that the Web is "public domain," and therefore it is acceptable to reuse published material without permission. Moreover, Griggs claimed that this sort of usage occurs frequently, "especially […]

BP’s "Gulf of Mexico Response" Website Links to Parody Twitter Account

We can only assume that BP’s website has been hacked. As of October 7, 2010, the “Contacts” page in the “Gulf of Mexico Response” section of BP’s website links to a parody Twitter account, @Oil_Spill_2010. The downloadable PDF (see link above) has current captures of the BP webpage, the parody Twitter account, and BP’s real […]