A List of Outstanding Business Ethics Research Paper Topics


Business ethics is a subject where some of the most fascinating and controversial research topics can be found. Here are just a few examples.

  • Collection of customer personal data by corporations.
  • Many people are concerned about corporations having too much of their personal data. Should corporations be prohibited to gather certain types of data that they are allowed to collect now? Is it technically possible for users to control all ways in which a business subject, e. g. a search engine, can gather information about them? What should be done by the government to restrict possible personal data abuse?

  • Targeted online advertising.
  • Should companies be able to utilize user data and demographics to create targeted ads or it is a form of discrimination? Should companies be allowed to use impersonal “big data” without the users’ consent? Is it potentially dangerous to privacy?

  • Selling public surveillance technologies to non-democratic countries.
  • In countries with authoritarian governmental regimes, video surveillance technologies can be used for purposes that violate human rights. Should companies that sell such technologies to these countries be punished?

  • Development of GMO organisms.
  • Should any forms of genetic engineering be prohibited as unethical? Should companies be obliged to inform consumers whether a food product contains GMO or not?

  • Sale and exploitation of robot cars.
  • The recent creation of motor vehicles that do not need a driver has raised some extremely interesting ethical concerns. If a robot car gets into a road accident, who should be blamed – the car owner or the company that has developed and sold this car? How the behavior of a robot car during an accident should be programmed in order to be ethical? Should the car aim at minimizing the damage to its owner only or to all participants of the accident? How can the appearance of robot cars on the roads influence the behaviors of drivers and their perception of their own safety?

  • Environmental protection.
  • Should companies go beyond compliance with a particular country’s environmental legislation? Can they be expected to do it, considering that every business’s primary goal is profit maximization?

  • Human rights and labor practices.
  • Not all countries in the world have the same strong human right protection laws as Western nations. When Western corporations come to the third-world countries, they may enforce exploitative and discriminative workplace practices, with no local legislation to stop them. Do most corporations actually take this way? Is it possible to prevent such practices, and who should have an authority to do it?