Date of Award

5-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Holmevik, Jan Rune

Committee Member

Haynes , Cynthia

Committee Member

Katz , Steven B

Abstract

This thesis explores business ethics instruction as a rhetorical problem and discusses critical play as a means of learning. Artistotle's concept of phronesis, or practical wisdom, is used as a way of demonstrating the problematic nature of business ethics pedagogy theory and practice when viewed through a lens of social epistemic rhetorical theory. Rather than attempting to quantify business ethics, this work argues for a subversive paradigm achievable through critical play.

Game space is observed in two domains of ethical learning. I argue that the business ethics classroom space of Clemson University is a form of remediated non-space constrained by game-esque mechanics and social conventions. A Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing game (in this case, World of Warcraft) offers illustration of aligning business ethics learning with play. Critical play permits subversion and/or unlearning (replacement of existing paradigms with new ones), and is observed in classroom (non-space) and World of Warcraft (virtual mixed-ecology space).
For educators and theorists interested in business ethics instruction, this thesis suggests both a mechanism of 'viewing' and 'teaching' that responds to the rhetorical problem of business ethics and concludes with a call for interactive ethics across the curricula.

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