Campbell Business students take first place at business ethics competition

DELAND, Fla. – A team of students from Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business placed first among 14 public and private colleges in the national Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition, held virtually February 19th and hosted by Stetson University. Aaron Schnoor of Apex, NC and Caroline Inman of Winston-Salem, both members of the Trust Business Fellows Program in Campbell’s business school, took home the $3,000 prize. The teams competed in a 20-minute presentation format, followed by five minutes of questioning. Semifinalists were then chosen from each of the three brackets to compete in shorter eight-minute presentations for the top spot.

The case involved the dilemma faced by Darden Restaurants in immunizing nearly 178,000 employees against the COVID-19 virus. Data show the efficacy of two vaccines currently available in the US, but many people are reluctant to get vaccinated. The Campbell team’s position was for the company to not pay its employees to get the vaccine as that would undermine the social capital among its employees this company has spent decades developing. Instead, it should use the goodwill already established between the employees and management to encourage Darden’s employees to get vaccinated for the betterment of the company and the country.

“This was a challenging case, and the Campbell team did an excellent job presenting a compelling reason why Darden Restaurants should not pay employees to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Mark A. Steckbeck, who mentored the team for the competition. “The win showed that Caroline and Aaron had the strongest ethical argument for this complex, real-world case.”

Schnoor, a senior, said, “The challenge allowed me to grow in my critical thinking and public speaking skills, analyzing an issue through the lens of ethics. And winning the competition was a wonderful capstone to my undergraduate career; it’s a memory from Campbell that I’ll treasure forever.”

Inman, a junior, noted, “This competition provided me a great opportunity to learn more about ethical evaluations of business practices, presenting before an audience, and further developed my marketing skills.”

This is Campbell’s second time winning first place in the Templeton Business Case Ethics Competition in the past four years. In 2018, Dylan Blackburn and Sarah Page, now attending UNC Law School and Wake Forest Law School, respectively, won with a case involving Allegan, a drug company that sought to sell its patent to an Indian tribe in order to extend its patent for Restasis, a drug for treating chronic dry eye. Other teams competing in this year’s contest include Georgetown University, Clemson University, the U.S. Naval Academy, The University of Florida, Belmont University, Iowa State University and Boston College.