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Description: Recent events at Penn State University, while certainly reflecting a very serious issue that should not be taken lightly, provide a unique opportunity to explore several aspects of management. The decision to use this situation as a basis for discussion should be carefully considered.

Source: J. W. Miller, & R. Bachman, “Paterno Ousted at Penn State,” Wall Street Journal

Date: November 10, 2011

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Questions for discussion:

  1. Was the situation at Penn State a matter of ethics for Joe Paterno? Why or why not? In a general sense, why might ethical behavior be important for a head football coach?
  2. Evaluate the situations, both prior to and following the indictment of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky from the standpoint of alternative views of ethics.
  3. Was there an ethical dilemma in this situation? For whom? Why?
  4. Discuss how Coach Paterno’s response to the situation reflected moral development.
  5. There was a whistleblower. From what you know about the situation, discuss why whistleblower protection is important. Critique Penn State’s handling of the whistleblower. Do you believe it would have been handled differently in any other organization?


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