A team of second year Smeal MBAs won 1st place at the National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership, competing with business schools across the country. The competition was held on 10-11 November 2016 in Waco, Texas and was the highlight event of the annual Dale P. Jones Business Ethics Forum organized by Baylor University’s Hankamar School of Business.
The team analyzed a social business set in Uganda struggling to manage its people and dealing with issues like theft and embezzlement of company funds. This was a great opportunity for MBAs to learn about the Ugandan and African cultures, about their people and the tremendous role that businesses and social enterprises can play in giving people marketable skills and in uplifting them out of poverty. This was also a lesson about fostering an organizational culture for ethical leadership that exists in a country where the standards of ethical behavior is affected by poverty and corruption. The Smeal team, in addition to using core management and business principles, reflected on how the Smeal Honor Code and events such as Integrity Insights, Donuts and Dilemmas, etc. at Smeal have bolstered a culture of ethical behavior at Smeal.
The Smeal team included F. Jordan Crespo, Chris Blanchard, Greg Wommer and Zahidul Naim Zakaria. While Penn State took 1st place, MBA teams from Brigham Young University and University of Minnesota took 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Other participating schools included Auburn University, Baylor University, Brigham Young University, Case Western Reserve University, Iowa State University, Pepperdine University, Texas Christian University, University of Miami, University of Notre Dame and University of Washington.