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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

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics conference presentation

On February 21, Program Director Cara Biasucci presented Ethics Unwrapped’s Curriculum Integration Initiative at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics conference in Costa Mesa, California with colleagues from the School of Undergraduate Studies and the College of Fine Arts at UT Austin.

Professor Spence quoted in the Texas Tribune and KUT/NPR.

David Spence was quoted recently on EPA’s regulation of coal-fired power plants: first in a story on the Supreme Court’s review of the agency’s mercury emissions regulation in the Texas Tribune; and again in a story on regional haze rules on KUT/NPR.

Professor Werner presents at University of Minnesota

On February 20, BGS Professor Timothy Werner presented his paper “Blacklisted Benefactors: The Political Contestation of Non-Market Strategy” (co-authored with Mary-Hunter McDonnell of Georgetown University) to the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management’s Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship Department’s seminar series.

You can download the paper here.

Making Media that Makes a Difference

In February 2015, Street-side Convos interviewed Program Director Cara Biasucci to discuss Ethics Unwrapped, ways to create ethical organizational culture, and how media (and moral intuition) can make a positive difference on our lives.

Talk on Business Ethics by former Enron CEO, Andy Fastow

On February 12, Robert Prentice moderated a talk on business ethics by former Enron CEO Andy Fastow.  Fastow, who was brought to campus by the University Finance Association, said that Enron had been a promising company that was mismanaged by leaders, including himself, who paid more attention to temporarily improved the balance sheet than to creating long-term value for the company.

Professor Spence talk on state-local conflict over hydraulic fracturing

In early March 2015, Professor David Spence spoke on state-local conflict over hydraulic fracturing in Boulder, CO and Calgary, Canada.  Press coverage of the Boulder speech can be found here.


Professor Werner Published in Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization

A paper examining the potential policy consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC written by BGS Professor Timothy Werner (along with co-author John J. Coleman of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) was just published in the Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. Werner and Coleman’s study demonstrates that in those states in which corporations could make independent expenditures directly from their treasuries, corporate governance laws systematically favored management over shareholders. These findings suggest that when managers engage in political activity it may serve their own ends and not those of their firms.

 You can download the paper here.

Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum conference presentation

On October 4, 2014, Ethics Unwrapped was presented at the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum in Phoenix, AZ. Program Director Cara Biasucci co-presented with  Jess Miner, School of Undergraduate Studies, and Alice Gerhardt, Office of Sustainability, to share UT Austin's cross campus ethics initiative.

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.

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.