Classroom Exercises

Laughing Man Coffee

This exercise describes Laughing Man Coffee, a coffee company started by Australian actor Hugh Jackman. Jackman started Laughing Man Coffee and the Laughing Man Foundation after meeting an Ethiopian coffee farmer named Dukale. In 2009 Jackman was working for World Vision filming a documentary about the importance of fair trade coffee to farmers like Dukale. He decided to start his own fair trade coffee business. Laughing Man now has two shops in Manhattan, and Jackman donates all of the profits he makes to the foundation. Laughing Man also caught the attention of Keurig Green Mountain, which partnered with Laughing Man to offer its coffees as K-cups. More recently, Kroger has jumped on board. The plan is to begin selling Laughing Man branded K-cups in 1,800 stores across the nation.

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New Mexico Employee Embezzles Money from Company - Again

This exercise discusses how CFO Daniel Marsh embezzled $316,000 from New Mexico-based Weststar Mortgage. Marsh stole the money over two years and used it to fund housing improvements, property purchases, his gambling addiction, and prostitutes. However, this was not the first time Marsh was caught committing fraud. When he worked at Kachina Petroleum Company, the firm discovered after he resigned in 2006 that checks were missing. It realized Marsh had been stealing from the firm. The company filed a civil suit against Marsh and recovered $100,000. However, he was not prosecuted and was therefore able to commit the fraud at another unsuspecting company.

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Joe Boxer’s Kmart Controversy

This exercise discusses a marketing ethics issue involving a controversial Kmart advertising for Joe Boxer shorts. Kmart is known for its humorous advertisements that play on words. Yet its launch of an advertisement around Christmas generated consumer concern that the ad content was inappropriate. The ad depicts six attractive men wearing Joe Boxer shorts who ring the song of Jingle Bells by swiveling their hips. The advertisement received mixed reviews from advertising critics. Some view the ad as a fun way of trying to revive Kmart’s tired brand. Others believe it was too risqué and was released simply for its shock value.

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Air Force Cheating Scandal Reflects Negatively on Organizational Culture

This exercise describes the Air Force cheating scandal at the Malmstrom Air Force base in Montana. The cheating involved a proficiency test in areas such as safety and launch protocol. It is estimated that up to 92 officers were involved in the scandal. One of the officers texted the answers for the test to many of the others. Other officers knew about the cheating but did not report it. Although the officers are responsible for their individual conduct, it seems that the Air Force might have an organizational cultural problem. Many officers have related that they feel compromised to cut corners, as scoring high on the tests is necessary for promotion. The Air Force has admitted that it might give too much credence to tests. This indicates a cultural issue at the Air Force.

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ClassHook Educational Video Clips

Use these clips from movies and television shows to engage your students! This website features enjoyable clips covering a variety of topics, including business ethics, marketing, and human resources. Visit the ClassHook site for additional videos and information.