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  • When Businesses are Unethical – Business English Listening

    Business English classes

    We have some great business English classes that help you improve your English for negotiating, giving presentations, participating in meetings and engaging in small talk. As part of these classes, we have designed lessons that include several topics.

    One of the theme based topics is business ethics. It turns out, thanks to several recent high profile scandals, that this is the perfect time to talk about business ethics.

    In today’s listening exercise we look at three recent scandals that are examples of businesses behaving unethically.

    Business English Class One:

    Story 1: Big Pharma Goes Bad

     Answer questions in comments, and we’ll respond.

    1. Why did he hike up the price of the drug (according to this video)?
    2. Is there another drug that has the same effects and is used for the same treatment?
    3. What did social media do?
    4. What does she mean by ‘seeing a perfect storm’? a) There is a hurricane. b) You can see lightning in the distance. c) An expression that describes a rare combination of circumstances,
    5. Has Martin Shkreli ever raised drug prices before?
    Does your country have this problem? Does your government regulate medication prices?

    Business English Class Two

    Story 2: Killer Peanuts


    1. Does the punishment ____ the crime?
    2. How long might Parnell spend in prison?
    3. What was different about this particular case in the peanut factory versus other outbreaks?
    4. Are these normal charges for a food company?
    5. What did Parnell’s daughter say about the peanut butter?

    Can you answer the first question? 

    Business English Class Three

    Story 3: Volkswagen Busted

    Click here to watch the video.

    1. Why did the CEO of Volkswagen resign?
    2. What countries are opening investigations about Volkswagen?
    3. Would the people who bought the VW have made more for a greener car?
    4. Were the three people interviewed negative or positive about buying a VW in the future?
    5. Shares in the brand have ________.

    What do you think the repercussions should be for Volkswagen? 

    Finally, we would like to open a discussion on who is responsible in corporations, when governments should step in, and whether CEOs and executives be held criminally accountable for their actions. What do you think? How strict are the business regulations in your country? What are the most recent business scandals?

    Ok, type your answers in comments and we’ll respond.