Frame and Fortune: Context is Key to Making Ethical Decisions


Think you know where you stand on a question of business ethics? Before you act, consider how you’re choosing to frame your decisions. If you’re viewing the situation as only a matter of profits or company loyalty, you might be overlooking larger questions of right and wrong.

“We need to look beyond the obvious frame of reference in business — ‘Will this be a profitable decision?’ — and consider our actions from a broader ethical perspective, like ‘How will this look when it’s reported on the front page of the newspaper?’” McCombs professor Robert Prentice says in the video series “Concepts Unwrapped,” part of the ongoing Ethics Unwrapped project.

We’re highlighting segments of the series on Texas Enterprise, and you can watch all the videos including “In It To Win,” a documentary about Jack Abramoff, at


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Faculty in this Article

Robert Prentice

Professor, Business Law

Robert A. Prentice is chair of the Department of Business, Government and...

About The Author

Sarah Beckham

Senior Editor, McCombs School of Business

As a senior editor for the McCombs communications department, Sarah Beckham oversees the Texas Enterprise and McCombs Today websites, as well as...


#1 a sure sign that you need to

a sure sign that you need to be worried is when you start saying things like "sure, it's nice to [engage in some pro-social activity], but..."

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