Ethics Case Competition

Each year, business students gather in Arizona to compete in an international ethics case competition. Several years ago, a group of students from Leaders in Ethics and Academic Discipline (LEAD), the Building Ethical Leaders Using an Integrated Ethics Framework (BELIEF) Program's student organization, started an ethics case competition at NIU. This annual event benefits not only the College of Business, but the entire university as well. Our competition includes a high school division and provides an opportunity for teams of two individuals to present their solution to an ethical dilemma to a panel of judges. We have received positive feedback from participants, encouraging us to continue hosting the event.


  • Obtain exposure to ethical dilemmas in the business world.
  • Understand that dilemmas occur everywhere and every day to everyone who makes choices.
  • Learn about dilemmas that do not have clear-cut answers.
  • Obtain and improve decision-making skills in high-pressure, time-sensitive situations at a leadership level.
  • Get a jump start on résumé building.
  • Network with high school students, NIU students, staff, faculty and corporate sponsors of the BELIEF Program.
  • Feel pride in participating in a rare and productive event.


"The ethics case completion is a win-win for both the students and the judges. It is beneficial to students in that it increases their awareness of our decision-making tool and gives them an opportunity to apply it in a case-based situation. Serving as a judge for the BELIEF Program was a great experience for me as well. It gave me new insight as I prepare to have my students evaluate various ethical dilemmas. The case competition is one important way to help ensure that students are well prepared to make ethical decisions and be ethical leaders."  Kathleen L. McFadden, Ph.D., dean’s distinguished professor, NIU Department of Operations Management and Information Systems

"The BELIEF case study was a grounding experience for me as a professional. The bright students at the competition showcased excellent communication skills conveying excellent rationale deducted from moral reasoning. I derived exceptional value from my day as a judge, seeing how students were applying ethical framework to real-world scenarios. This program provides NIU students and high school students with backbone as they prepare to enter workplace environments where their ethics will be challenged on a regular basis."  Joey Avraham, account executive, Microsoft

"The case competition brings to light real-life ethical dilemmas, allowing students and judges alike to look at things through a different lens. Having the outside perspective brought from the teams is enlightening, and hearing how the fellow judges viewed their positions was fascinating to me. We are all unique as individuals, and my thinking was reframed by several teams. It was a great experience."  Adam M. Cox, managing director, Northwestern Mutual


  • High school student registration - coming soon
  • NIU student registration - coming soon

Additional Information

  • Competition rules - coming soon

Contact Us

NIU College of Business
Barsema Hall
740 Garden Road
DeKalb, IL 60115

Neil Doughty, Director, BELIEF

NIU College of Business AACSB Accredited

P&Q Best Undergraduate Business Schools logo