The Lubar College’s Business Ethics Case Competition offers Lubar students an interactive opportunity to challenge their moral reasoning, develop an understanding of the importance of business ethics, and compete for tuition support awards. Student teams collaboratively analyze a thought-provoking case and then present their recommendations to a panel of experienced business educators and professionals.

This annual competition is sponsored by the M&I Marshall & Ilsley Center for Business Ethics. It occurs in the spring semester, with the competition culminating in mid-April during the Lubar College’s Business Ethics Week.

Students who wish to join an existing team or are looking for members to create a team should contact Dr. Ed Levitas for assistance.

The Lubar College’s Business Ethics Case Competition is open to all current Lubar students. For the purposes of the competition, a current student is defined as one who is enrolled in good standing in undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral courses at the Lubar College during the current academic year. Each team must consist of 2 – 4 Lubar College students.

Each team will be evaluated based upon its ability to identify the ethical issue, stakeholders, and legal, financial and philosophical considerations involved in the case.

There will be two categories of competitors: undergraduate students and graduate students. The competition will be limited to 8 undergraduate teams and 8 graduate teams. If more than 8 teams in each category apply, a committee will be convened to select, based on their Phase III work, the top 8 undergraduate teams and the top 8 graduate teams to compete in the final presentations.

Each competitor category will compete for the following tuition support awards:

1st Prize: $2,000
2nd Prize: $1,500
3rd Prize: $1,000

Phase I:  Intent to Compete

Interested competitors must complete the Intent to Compete form.
Each team must designate a team captain and must provide the following information regarding all team members:

  • First and last name
  • Student ID number
  • Major
  • UWM email address
  • Personal email address
  • Phone number

The 2024 deadline will be set early in the spring semester.

Phase II: Ethics Case Emailed to Registered Competitors

The case will be available to registered teams on on a date set early in the spring semester and will be emailed to the team captain at his/her UWM email address.

Phase III:  Submission of Written Case Analysis

You have approximately 3 weeks after the beginning of Phase II to evaluate the case and email your written analysis to Professor Ed Levitas. The deadline for your written analysis will be set early in the spring semester.

Parameters for the written analysis:

Competitors are required to submit a managerial/marketing plan (4 pages maximum; 12 pt. font; single spaced) that critically analyzes the situation and includes:

  • A summary of the events described in the case.
  • A clear identification of challenges/problems (public relations, financial, etc.) being faced.
  • Recommendations on how you would capitalize on the identified challenges/problems in order to rebuild the brand, maintain or enhance financial performance, and turn the challenges/problems into opportunities for the stakeholders, investors, and /or consumers.

Please note: 

  • No outside help or coaching will be permitted after the case is distributed.
  • By requesting the ethics case, a team must agree to, if selected by judges to advance to the final round, present a final presentation by a deadline set early in the spring semester.

Phase IV:   Notification of Selected Competitors for Final Presentation

Those teams selected to compete will be notified on a date set early in the spring semester. Upon selection, teams will be assigned a time for final presentation, and will be given presentation instructions.

Phase V:  Final Presentation to Judges

Formal presentations will be scheduled on a date set early in the spring semester. Groups entering the competition must insure in-person, physical availability during those times.

Each team will have 10 minutes to present and 15 minutes to answer focused questions posed by the Judging Committee.

The judges will utilize the following criteria in evaluating teams presentations:

  • Delivery
  • Depth of analysis
  • Persuasiveness
  • Creativity
  • Recommendations that are both ethical and practical in a business context
  • Responses to questions

Winners will be announced during the Business Ethics Seminar held during Business Ethics Week.


Professor Edward Levitas
Business Ethics Case Competition Director
Lubar Hall S375