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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 (and downloading instructions) 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

Ethics Unwrapped won a 2014 Silver CASE award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The winning video, "Fundamental Attribution Error," was written and narrated by Robert Prentice and features MBA and undergraduate students from UT. The animated video explores a fundamental flaw in our thinking that can cause us to misjudge and misinterpret unethical behavior in ourselves and in others.

Meakin Receives Awards for MBA Teaching

Senior Lecturer Christopher Meakin received MBA Applause Awards for his elective courses in both Spring 2013 and Fall 2013. The MBA Applause Awards are chosen by the full-time MBA students at the McCombs School of Business each fall and spring semesters.

Dean Bredeson Promoted

Dean Bredeson was recently promoted to Distinguished Senior Lecturer. Dean teaches Business Ethics courses for the  Business, Government & Society Department.

Come elections in November, the city of Denton could be split between two very different futures. The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG) recently got enough signatures on a petition to place an ordinance banning fracking within city limits on local ballots. Though other communities in Texas have passed restrictions on fracking, a moratorium on drilling activity within Denton could spur the rise of similar legislation across the state. If the ban passes it will likely provoke a precedent-setting legal battle that would help clarify the authority of local governments over oil and gas operations in Texas.

BGS Faculty on BBA Honor Roll

Professors Fran Pedersen, Dean Bredeson, and Robert Prentice of BGS were among 12 McCombs faculty members named to this year’s BBA Faculty Honor Roll, based on their Fall 2013 course instructor survey results. 

Professor Werner Presents at MPSA

BGS Professor Tim Werner presented two papers at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago, April 3-6.  The first paper with Professor Brian Roberts of UT's Government Department develops a measure of sensitive individual industries are to changes in politics and uses that measure to explore how and why firms engage in politics.  The second paper with fellow BGS Professor Brian Richter examines whether or not Congressional candidates suffer in terms of either their vote or fundraising totals when they refuse contributions from political action committees.

( "This fear is dismissed by David Spence, a professor of business and energy law at the University of Texas in Austin. Spence said Energy Department analysis suggests that, once all six terminals are exporting, domestic prices would rise to $5-$6 per 1,000 cubic foot range from about $4 now..."

Professor Spence Speaks at ACTL

BGS Professor David Spence spoke about the regulation of oil and gas production to the spring meeting of the American College of Trial Lawyers in Palm Springs, California on March 8th.  Professor Spence has published several articles on the subject, and his remarks focused on the psychological roots of the polarized public debate over hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), and how to overcome that polarization.   Fracking is a technique for extracting hydrocarbons from otherwise impermeable rock, usually deep shale layers more than a mile underground. Professor Spence’s articles and papers concerning fracking can be found here.

On March 1, Professor Timothy Werner conducted a Q&A with the Washington Post regarding the role of business in the defeat of Arizona Senate Bill 1062.  Drawing upon research in his recent book, Werner discussed why big businesses, due to their commitments to non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, put pressure on the governor of Arizona to defeat the bill.

On March 1, Robert Prentice presented a paper on teaching behavioral ethics using Ethics Unwrapped videos at the Association for Professional and Practical Ethics (APPE) annual meeting in Jacksonville, FL.