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Module 5 Sharing Practical Knowledge Reports

Professionals Thinking and Acting


Professionals are expected to act with professionalism and integrity, but they sometimes fail us in various ways. There is usually an asymmetry of power and knowledge and professionals sometimes take advantage of their power, expertise, and influence. Sometimes the misconduct is deliberate or intentional (e.g., clear bias, clear failure to do one's duty, sexual misconduct, bribery, theft of intellectual property, and embezzlement). This sharing practical knowledge report will allow us to reflect on the ways that professionals engage in clear (usually intentional) misconduct and try to learn from their mistakes.

Full credit for this sharing practical knowledge report requires completion of parts 1 and 2.

Part 1

For part 1 of this sharing practical knowledge report, you should do the following:

1. Find and read a newspaper or magazine article involving a case of clear misconduct by a professional or public servant. The article may involve a case in your chosen profession or career path, but this is not required.

2. Write a post (up to 250 words)

(1) Briefly summarizing the key facts;

(2) Explaining what may have gone wrong in the agent's decision-making process. You should rely on one or more of the concepts discussed by Bowman and West that are relevant to your case (e.g., bounded rationality, system 1/system 2 thinking, motivations, bias, organizational context). You can also rely on the ethical theories or principles, to the extent relevant. 

(3) Providing a solution (e.g., how professionals should reason or should act under such circumstances, what the profession or members of the profession should do to avoid such misconduct in the future).

Samples news articles

Enron Fast Facts ( (Links to an external site.)


Everything You Need to Know about the VA and the Scandals Engulfing It ( (Links to an external site.)


Another Harasser Resigns ( (Links to an external site.)


Part 2

For part 2, you should comment on at least one of your classmates' posts. If you need guidance on leaving a comment, consider one of these questions. Do you agree with your peer's explanation? Why or why not? Do you think your peer's solution is adequate, feasible, or effective? Are you aware of similar cases of misconduct among the members of your chosen profession or career path?

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