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Departments | BGS
  • Ethics Unwrapped Marketing Banner Image

    Beyond Business Ethics

    Why do good people do bad things?

  • Martin Luther King Statue

    Managing relationships

    with governments, NGOs, and other external stakeholders

  • Professor Prentice teaching


    business ethics is as much about
    emotional intelligence as technical proficiency.
    Professor Robert Prentice

  • Supreme Court Building


    law and regulation into business decisions

  • Students in class
  • UT Tower


    the social and ethical dimensions of business problems

Business, Government & Society

Business, Government & Society Launches "Ethics Unwrapped"

“Ethics Unwrapped,” a series of free ethics teaching videos, was launched in Fall 2012 by the McCombs School of Business. The videos are available at the Ethics Unwrapped website.

McCombs' Newest Department

The Business, Government, & Society department focuses research and teaching on the regulatory, political, legal and ethical environment of business. Today’s global marketplace is more competitive, more transparent, more culturally and politically diverse, and more fluid than ever before. Future business leaders will need to be able to navigate the legal, ethical and cultural demands of government and society. The BGS department helps students cultivate the skills needed to successfully manage the dynamic business environment of the future.

Department News

Forum in Palm Beach, FL

On January 16-17, Robert Prentice participated in the 15th Annual James A. and Linda R. Mitchell/The American College Forum on Ethical Leadership in Financial Services in Palm Beach, FL.

Paper: "Structural Adjustment and Regional Labor Markets"

On January 24, Dr. Jerry Nickelsburg of the Anderson School of Business at UCLA presented a paper entitled “Structural Adjustment and Regional Labor Markets: Lessons from Post Cold-War Base Closures.”  The BGS Department thanks the Bates Family Foundation for making this presentation possible.

Panel Discussion in Washington DC

On November 20 in Washington DC, Robert Prentice participated in a panel discussion entitled “Auditor Incentives and Behavior-Related Considerations Regarding Fraud Detection” in a meeting of the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

Ethics & CSR Speaker Series

On November 14, Prof. Julie Irwin hosted a panel discussion on environmentally-friendly entrepreneurship featuring Paul Delong of Car2Go! and Elliott McFadden of Austin B Cycle. The presentation was sponsored by the BGS Department and the McCombs Ethics & CSR Speaker Series.

Fall 2014 Faculty Honor Roll

BGS faculty members Dean Bredeson, Christopher Meakin, Fran Pedersen, and Timothy Werner were named to the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Faculty Honor Roll in a ceremony on November 10.

Professor Spence Quoted on Fracking

Cities in Texas, California and Ohio had initiatives on the ballot this fall to ban or restrict hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a controversial production technique for extracting oil and gas from shale.  Professor David Spence of the BGS department has studied these local ordinances (of which there are more than 400 in existence nationwide), and was quoted in coverage of the issue by the Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, and Bloomberg News this election season.  Prof. Spence's article analyzing the legal issues triggered by local fracking bans will be published in the Texas Law Review later this year.

On September 11, Ethics Unwrapped released eight new ethics videos that, like all its others, are free, easily available (on Youtube or at, research-driven, and award winning.

Professor Werner Presents Research

Over the past month, Professor Timothy Werner has presented his research on non-market strategy to management and political science seminars at Rice University, Ohio State University, and Boston University.

Professor Timothy Werner, along with co-author Mary-Hunter McDonnell of Georgetown University, won the Best Conference Paper Prize at the Strategic Management Society's Annual Meeting in Madrid, Spain. Werner and McDonnell's paper, "Blacklisted Benefactors: The Political Contestation of Non-Market Strategy," demonstrates that social activist protests can disrupt corporate political activity, such as campaign contributions. The awards committee named the paper as the best out of the over 700 papers presented at the conference.

CEO of Global Ethics Institute teaches McCombs Students

On September 25, Anthony Gray, CEO of the Global Ethics Institute, taught McCombs students how to make reasoned and defensible decisions when confronted with difficult ethical choices. The talk was made possible by the Bates Family Foundation, Bob and Ann Pratt, Will and Beverly O'Hara, and Charlie and Mary Teeple.