Listed below are some examples of possible topics. The possibilities are virtually endless. Any topic related to business and ethics is acceptable. It is allowable to use published cases, although judges tend to respond more favorably to current issues.
*Special note on topics: In prior years, a number of teams chose topics that were more closely related to “ethics and economics” or “ethics and public policy” than to “business ethics.” Accordingly, for this year’s competition, we are asking teams to make sure that their topics relate directly to an issue faced by a company or industry.
A NOTE REGARDING TOPICS:
First, teams are free to choose whichever topic you want. However, please be sure that your topic relates to a business ethics issue. Even though topics related to nonprofits, public policy or governments may have a financial dimension, this doesn’t make it a problem in business ethics.
Second, one of the most distinctive features of IBECC is the ability of teams either to identify ethical issues before anyone else has or to come up with creative solutions to persistent problems. Accordingly, I would like to encourage teams to apply their talents to two particular, ethical issues—one that’s been intractable in the U.S. (gun deaths), and an emerging global issue (the spread of “false news” via new technologies). Teams still have the option to work on any topic they choose, and working on either of these two topics won’t give a team an advantage in scoring. But these topics do represent important and interesting challenges.
Thomas White, Founder and Director, IBECC.
- In the last few years, more than 200 people have been killed in mass shootings in the United States. This includes the slaughter of nearly 30 children in Newtown, Connecticut. In response, nearly 90% of the American public supports some sort of increased gun control. Household gun ownership in the U.S. has been dropping and is now at only about 36%. Attempts to enact legislation to address this problem, however, have failed. This raises the question of whether firearms companies might be more effective in finding a way to protect the lives of innocent people while not compromising the welfare of their companies and the rights of their customers.
Companies deciding to take action could certainly do so under the rubric of being good “corporate citizens.” After all, from an ethical perspective, when a company sets itself up in a country, it agrees to abide by not only a community’s laws, but the fundamental ethical principles that undergird that society. Any U.S. company, for example, can reasonably be expected to respect the basic idea that in a democracy, the will of the majority should be respected. It’s also reasonable to expect that a principle of protecting innocent people from foreseeable harm should be respected. Companies in all industries regularly recognize that being ethical means going beyond simply following the laws and being a leader.
What, then, are the ethical obligations of the companies that make up the $8 billion firearms industry? What concrete actions could they take in order to reduce the number of preventable deaths of innocent people?
- The last few months have shown new, troubling ethical challenges emerging for businesses in the “information industry.” Central among them is the ease with which lies, propaganda and other attempts to manipulate the vulnerable populate platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
An article in The Economist entitled “The post-truth world: Yes, I’d lie to you,” is plain about the dangers of an assault on truth:
“There is a strong case that, in America and elsewhere, there is a shift towards a politics in which feelings trump facts more freely and with less resistance than used to be the case. Helped by new technology, a deluge of facts and a public much less given to trust than once it was, some politicians are getting away with a new depth and pervasiveness of falsehood. If this continues, the power of truth as a tool for solving society’s problems could be lastingly reduced.”
Read that last sentence over and over again. Technological advances have given us an “information industry” that makes it possible to widely distribute completely false information with no check whatsoever. It’s impossible to exaggerate the harm this could produce.
Facebook has recently announced some actions, but do you think they’re strong enough? Twitter has come under fire for allowing the spread of lies and harassment. Are the “Twitter Rules” for users strict enough? Do webhosting companies have a duty to monitor the content of the websites on their servers? At the very least, do they have a duty to investigate and take actions if a complaint is filed?
From an ethical perspective, the search for profit must be tempered by the duty to protect the importance of the truth. Accordingly, it seems reasonable to argue that businesses that facilitate the distribution of information have a duty to take action to try to prevent the spread of falsehoods–especially those aimed to sow fear, hate and distrust.
What concrete actions can companies in the “information industry” take in order to meet their ethical obligations?
CAUTIONARY NOTE: Please note that explorations of this issue must focus on the “business ethics” facets—not political issues. Before the internet, the main channels for the mass distribution of information via newspapers, television and radio had at least some gatekeepers (news editors and editorial boards) who would try to make sure what they reported was true. With the decline of these traditional outlets, “fake news” and the harm that can come from it are widespread. This topic asks teams to look for practical solutions to the problem of limiting the spread of falsehoods.
IT, China and human rights
Downloading music and videos
“Slave insurance” and reparations
Food issues: trans-fat, hydrogenated oils
Native American casinos
Sales incentives in the pharmaceutical industry
The price of pharmaceuticals
Using off-shore labor: athletic shoes, garment industry, IT support, etc.
Human rights issues and international corporations, e.g., Unocal and Mynmar
Mutual fund scandals
The cost of textbooks
Stem cell research
California power industry
Sale of term papers, etc.
E-commerce, internet and privacy
Genetically engineered foods
Courtney Love and record contracts
Drug and supplement use in professional sports (screening, impact on young, etc.)
Children, violence, television (Surgeon General’s report)
Migrant farm workers
WWII corporations and slave labor
Media images of women (impact on girls)
Cost of prescription drugs
Employee rights: surveillance, drug testing, AIDS testing, privacy (e-mail, dating, health information), procedures regarding hiring and firing
Labor issues: migrant workers, minimum wage, sweatshops
Discrimination: race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation
Personal executive liability
Potentially harmful products: tobacco [cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco] (especially regarding offshore markets), alcohol, firearms [especially assault weapons], product liability (breast implants)
Violence: television shows, films, video games
Pornography: print, films, videos, Internet
Advertising: misleading and deceptive, use of sex
Abortion: clinics, RU-486 (“abortion pill”)
Professional athletics and anti-trust issues
Controversial marketing practices (e.g., “yield management” in the airlines)
Pensions and health benefits
Downsizing; mergers and acquisitions
Toys (Barbie, images of women/violence in video games)
Various issue in biotechnology: cloning, genetically modified organisms, etc.
Bribery (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act)
BUSINESS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Amazon rain forests
Pollution: water, air (automobile industry, CFCs and the ozone layer), acid rain
Disposable products (e.g., diapers)
“Green” marketing and production
Energy: alternative forms (renewable), nuclear
Forests: old growth, endangered species
Agriculture: factory farming, pesticides
Waste: toxic, nontoxic
Rights of nonhuman animals: product testing, research, food production, zoos, whaling, hunting
Business students looking for academic paper topics have a great variety of subjects to choose from. International business research paper topics give students an opportunity to write on the impact of cheap overseas labor on import prices, the effect of subsidies and tariffs on trading, etc. The capitalism concepts, for example, allow students to write about the implementation of Reaganomics in the 1980s.
Choosing International Business Research Paper Topics
If you are assigned to write a research paper your primary task is choosing international business research paper topics. You should consider the following things:
- Even if your professor offers a topic, try to choose the one that interests you.
- Ensure the topic of your international business research paper isn’t too narrow or too general. You’ll find a lot of materials if you are looking for information on broad topics, and not enough facts in the second case.
- Once having chosen a subject, look through the library catalog and Internet databases for good ideas.
- Look for the articles with headings “How to Find Research Paper Topics”, “100 Ideas for Research Paper,” etc.
- Look up current events and news on international business sites.
- Look through several reference books (handbooks, encyclopedias, reports, dictionaries) when choosing international business research paper topics. They will provide you with necessary background information and general topic overview.
International Business Research Paper Topics: Planning Research
After choosing international business research paper topics, make sure you plan and conduct your research properly:
- Determine the sources and materials within the particular time frame and other limitations.
- Pay special attention to the supervisor’s assistance and a working bibliography.
- Start data collecting at once after choosing a particular topic.
- Ensure the quality of your resources.
- Check the age of the source – it is extremely important when you are going to write a research paper on a relevant international business topic.
International Business Research Paper Topics Ideas
Here are some examples of good research paper topics on international business:
- Give examples of the most successful startups for the last five years. Analyze what the most important factor was that has led them to success.
- How has Apple’s strategy changed since Steve Job’s death?
- What were the most effective advertising campaigns in 2016?
- The quantity of strikes in Britain has dramatically reduced in 2015. What are the reasons for this decrease?
- China has advanced much further in mobile technologies than the US. What are the factors that influence the development of the mobile industry in China?
- The British government has rejected the deal on a nuclear power station. Predict the economic consequences of this decision.
- How do you explain the new tendency of large American companies to change the suburbs of a city?
- The soap company Savon de Marseille insists that the government should give them the label of originality because cheap Chinese and Turkish knockoffs try to force them out from the market. What should the government do in this case?
- According to the prediction of the clothing retailer Next, the demand for cloth will be poor for the rest of the year. How can you explain this?
- What kind of business can you operate completely from home and gain high income?
- The US government urges wars in Africa with the aim to distribute guns. Prove or disapprove this opinion.
- What would be the consequences for the poor if all the countries live only on the products that they manufacture?
- What are the most popular mistakes of many startups that lead to their failure?
- If artificial intelligence is invented now, how much time would people need to provide all employees with jobs?
- Which big international companies are likely to go bankrupt if they fail to change their strategy as soon as possible?
- Is it reasonable to hire an experienced manager that will develop a startup? Or, should the creator promote the business personally?
- There’s a tendency in logo design to change the shape of the design to flat. Who started doing this first and why?
- The economic impact of immigration in the United States in the last five years: how do immigrants affect the US economy in general?
- Make a list of five types of small businesses that will definitely bring a return.
- Do you think that all big companies should be present in social media?
- Terrorism influences the economics of a country in general. Does it affect private business in particular?
- How do governments profit from war? What kinds of companies grow in the conditions of constant war?
- Give examples of companies that have failed on the international market but succeed on the national market. Why have they failed?
- How does a government stabilize currency during a crisis?
- What ways do you know to predict US recessions? Which of them is the most effective in your opinion?
- Try to explain why the prices on houses have increased after Brexit.
- How does the foreign exchange market work?
- What other languages besides English could be international languages for business?
- How does Brexit influence the economics of the EU?
- What types of companies should be obliged to make payments on health care budgets?
Here you can find other outstanding research paper topics within different areas of studies.
International Business Research Paper Topics Help
Business research papers are usually assigned to college and university students. This type of paper is a part of a student’s semester work and influences the final marks. From the very beginning of the semester supervisors put an emphasis on the importance of writing really well-thought out research papers.
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