The College of Business Annual Thomas J. Masterson Ethics Essay Competition, now in its tenth year, is sponsored by Rich Masterson, A JMU College of Business alum and highly successful entrepreneur, and Rich's sister, Beth Masterson Beahm, a JMU alum and strong JMU supporter (along with her husband and JMU alum Mike Beahm). The contest is named in memory of their father, Thomas J. Masterson.
Guidelines and Requirements for the Case Analysis and Personal Statement
To participate in the Thomas J. Masterson (TJM) Ethics Essay Competition, you must submit both a personal statement and an analysis of a short case.
Your personal statement should recount and discuss an occasion in your life when you faced an ethical dilemma and what you learned from it. An ethical dilemma typically involves a "right or wrong" situation or decision in which someone benefits in some way and someone else is harmed (or in which someone's rights are denied). This need not be an occasion when you behaved well, though it could be. But it must be an occasion when you faced an ethics-oriented choice, made a decision, and acted (or failed to act) - and then learned something; e.g., a valuable lesson about right and wrong. The example can be drawn from any time in your life and from any part of your life (e.g., from school, work, sports, church, a romance, or time spent with friends). In the discussion, be sure to make it clear why this was an important event in your life and what you learned from it.
Your 2011 "WeNet" case analysis should address several issues, including (not necessarily in this order):
- a clear statement of the ethical dilemma(s) in this case
- summary of important issues known from the ‘facts’ in this case
- possible motivations behind key actors’ behaviors (Paul and Sandra)
- Paul’s alternatives (i.e., different courses of action Paul might consider taking)
- likely consequences of each alternative course of action
- your recommendation for Paul (what you believe is his best course of action and why you think this).
For both your personal statement and case analysis, competition judges also will consider your writing skills and your adherence to the directions (as stated above and in the writing instructions below). In addition to proper word choice, grammar, and spelling, they will look for a clearly stated issues, appropriate organization of your response, balanced logical argumentation, and content that maintains reader interest.
Please make sure you follow these guidelines: