The purpose of debate is to challenge perspectives on any number of topics. In the world of business, different companies, organizations and people have different perspectives on the best business practices for an institution or industry. Opening these topics for debate -- in a classroom setting, at a conference or even in a journal -- is an opportunity for students and business leaders to take note of these diverse views and gain new perspectives.
Current News Events
Some of the most compelling business debate topics are ones that are currently in the news. To get inspiration for a debate, look to the headlines for news stories that can be the center of conversation. Publications that focus specifically on business, such as The Wall Street Journal or Forbes magazine, can be excellent resources for this discussion. Scandals and new legislation that affects business can all be fodder for debate.
Technology in the Workplace
Developments in technology are constantly shaping the way business functions. In some ways they benefit management and staff, but in others they can cause shifts in business practices that have possible consequences. Some possible topics for debate for this arena are the accessibility of personnel files on the Internet or the potential for technologies to create jobs or to cause job losses.
Employee Interest Groups
Employee interest groups, such as regional and federal unions, are very active in many different industries. However, there is some debate as to whether their influence hurts or helps employees and the business environment. The reach of union power and their funding and policies can be topics of debate.
Government Policy and Interaction
Government plays a role in business. From government bailouts of businesses and entire industries to taxation and funding sources, the influence of government on day-to-day business operations can be debated from a professional or political perspective.
The way a business or industry operates can also be up for debate. For example, although some may believe employees benefit from management transparency and employee input, others might think that businesses run more efficiently when run with an “iron fist.” Along with management styles, marketing campaigns, organization strategies, and hiring and firing practices can be possible business debate topics.
The effects of human behaviors on the environment has become a hot topic of debate in the academic, professional and political realm. Some possible debate topics include the benefits and consequences of alternate energy sources, reducing energy and waste in the workplace and the role of business in protecting the environment.