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B A 243: Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business

basic legal research guide for B A 243


As part of your Group Project, you will be submitting some of your work to the librarians, then meeting with them to discuss your work. This is to help ensure you're finding relevant, high-quality sources to inform your research project (and improve your grade)! Below are the items you will submit to the librarians. Please see your course syllabus for complete project requirements!

1 document submitted by team leader (or assigned team member) that includes:

  • 5 sources from each team member, cited using APA style, with 3-4 sentence explanation on what you consider the most important information in each of the sources.
  • Must have 1 case (one source must be about an actual case related to your issue). Other sources should provide the history/background of the issue and 3 arguments both for and against.
  • All sources must come from the Penn State Library website.
  • Each person’s work must be clearly identified.
  • Document must also include each member’s roles and responsibilities.

Email rough drafts to Beth and Amy ( and

Due: Feb. 24th, 2018

Sign up for a group meeting here for the week of Feb. 26th, 2018 to go over rough draft.


Exploring Social Issues

Social issues are problems that negatively affect or oppress groups within a society. Social issues are often polarizing, with groups strongly for and against any laws or regulations related to that issue. Social issues can impact:

  • which products people need or desire
  • whether or not people are willing to deal with a business (or a business is willing to operate in a state), based on their relationship to the social problem

For example, support for legalized marijuana is shifting and states that have legalized marijuana have generated large a new market for drug paraphernalia. In another example, performers (including Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen), events (including the NCAA and ACC championship basketball games), and businesses have rescinded plans in North Carolina, with the intention to boycott the state, following passage of H.B. 2 or the "bathroom bill," viewed as a threat to the safety of transgendered people and rights of the LGBTQ+ group in general. North Carolina's stance on this social issue has already cost them millions

In both of these examples, it is STATE LAWS rather than FEDERAL LAWS that are the driving factor. Who makes the laws related to your issue might determine the best places to research. Please talk to the librarians if you're unsure where to look.