Following a national review of universities and colleges, Lockheed Martin Corporation selected the University of North Georgia (UNG) and five other institutions to partner with in their Academic Ethics Exchange, an initiative designed to share the corporation's resources and ethical expertise with students.
Lockheed is working with the BB&T Center for Ethical Business Leadership, a unit of UNG's Mike Cottrell College of Business, to coordinate the details of the partnership.
"This is an avenue for Lockheed Martin to share their best practices around ethics and values," said Rose Procter, director for the BB&T Center for Ethical Business Leadership. "Lockheed Martin has great expertise on prepping our next-generation leaders, in both college and high school, on how to voice their values and to work through real-life scenarios. This is one of the reasons they are a leader in their industry."
There are several programs and opportunities emerging from the partnership, including:
- Ethics training for Lockheed employees brought to UNG students — this will be included within UNG's Business Ethics Leader program
- Partnership with Lockheed Martin Ethics and Human Resources to strengthen the Ethical Culture Indicator, an assessment tool created by Dr. Bryan Dawson, assistant professor of psychological science, and Perry Tomlinson, executive in residence with the Mike Cottrell College of Business
Another opportunity already in progress is the Leadership in Business Pilot Program, created to teach different aspects of leadership to students through experiential learning. Forty UNG students — comprising both cadets and civilians — were divided into 10 teams, and each team created an imaginary entertainment company based in Dahlonega. The teams are operating the companies through simulation software. In partnership with Hall County Schools, 10 teams of five high school students were paired with the UNG teams and are participating in live simulations on campus throughout the semester.
"The high school students serve as employees of the virtual companies. They are going through values education and decision-making, effective communication, and leadership development, all led by the UNG student teams," Procter said. "UNG students are not only graded on the effectiveness of the leadership by their peers, but also by the high school students they led throughout the semester. At some point, each UNG student will serve more than two weeks as CEO of their company. Lockheed Martin is assisting with the simulation providing expertise and advisement to UNG students throughout the process."
Cottrell Scholar Allie Costley said it's important to empower younger students so they can succeed in college and not have to rely on trial and error in learning the ropes of ethics in business.
As company leadership teams, the UNG students had to create their company's values, define them and use them in conversation with their employees — the high school students.
"This is a great opportunity to get immersed in scenarios for ethics and leadership," said Emily Trice, a senior at North Hall High School. "It's also really good experience for learning about future situations I may face in business and how to handle them."
Other institutions selected for the partnership were California Polytechnic State University, California State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Montgomery College, and University of Maryland.