North Lawndale College Prep Charter HS
Senior Project: 100 Sample Business-based Driving Questions
Good Driving Questions
are open-ended, not close-ended;
lead to argumentative claims/essays/presentations;
are challenging; and
are more specific than they are vague.
Sample Driving Questions:
1. Why is the current median household income in the United States only $32,000 for blacks,
versus $54,000 for whites and $64,000 for Asians?
2. Why is the average net worth of black families so low when compared with other racial
groups in the United States?
3. Why is increased “ownership” a key to sustainable wealth for families and communities?
4. Why is business globalization impacting employment opportunities in the United States?
5. Why is the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States undermining the long-term growth
of domestic jobs and business opportunities?
6. Why do countries that “make” things have better long-term wealth opportunities than
countries that “service” things?
7. Why has income and wealth “inequality” accelerated so rapidly in the United States during
the past 30 years?
8. Why is the creation of successful “green” companies going badly in the United States when
compared with China and some European countries?
9. Why are the business applications of nanotechnologies continuing to accelerate?
10. Why is there less access to businesses that provide healthy food choices in black urban
communities when compared with other communities?
11. Why is the lack of affordable, universal health care limiting business performance for
companies based in the United States?
12. Why is the “glass ceiling” finally beginning to diminish in United States corporations?
13. Why is the reduction of the use of fossil based fuels critical to business growth and
sustainable wealth in the United States?
14. Why is increased financial and contract literacy a critical issue for black students and their
15. Why is there increasing controversy on the value of earning a college degree in the United
16. Why are many HBCUs struggling to survive in the 21st century?
17. Why is exposure to foreign cultures and languages an increasingly important element for
successful business careers?
18. Why have integrated global supply chains increased business profitability, but also increased
19. Why is there a growing belief that government should “privatize” services, when that in fact
may lead to more expensive, less effective services for citizens in the long-run?
20. Why do political decisions significantly impact wealth distribution in the United States?
21. Why do local and state tax policies have less impact on the business decisions of successful
companies than most people believe?
22. Why is health care in the United State such a poor value when compared with health care in
other developed countries?
23. Why do 80% of businesses fail each year in the United States?
24. Why should Economics be a required course for every high school graduate in the United
25. Why do most highly successful “non-profit” organizations adopt the same leadership,
management, and operational practices of successful “for profit” businesses?
26. Why are some government regulations good for both businesses and consumers?
27. Why does the lack of economic power in the black community lead to a loss of sustainable
political power and social justice in the United States for the black community?
28. Why do persistent levels of high unemployment and high underemployment in a community
lead to the destruction of the social and economic fabric of that community?
29. Why do black communities today consistently fail to adequately support the operations of
black owned businesses in those communities?
30. Why do today’s businesses use “shareholder value” to drive decisions and policies, rather
than “stakeholder value” that includes customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders?
31. What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
32. As an organization gets larger there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the
“inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?
33. How do you encourage creative thinking within an organization?
34. Where do the great ideas come from in an organization?
35. Which is most important to an organization—mission, core values or vision?
36. How do leaders in an organization communicate the “core values”?
37. How do leaders encourage others in an organization to communicate the “core values”?
38. Does a leader set aside specific times to cast vision to the employees and other leaders?
39. How does a leader ensure that the organization and its activities are aligned with its “core
40. Why do some types of businesses do very well in bad economic conditions (like the current
Great Recession), while other businesses do badly?
41. How does a leader help a new employee understand the culture of the organization?
42. When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how does the leader determine whom to
43. What is one characteristic that every leader should possess?
44. What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
45. What is one mistake leaders make more frequently than others?
46. What is the one behavior or trait that have derailed more leaders’ careers?
47. Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking and Web 2.0 has made on your
organization or you personally?
48. What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into
becoming a better leader?
49. What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
50. What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
51. Why are businesses allowed to make profit from creating products that knowingly can
potentially be harmful to consumers, (cigarettes, fast food, etc...)?
52. What factors have lead to inequitable funding of public schools that have also contributed to
generational poverty cycles in certain areas?
53. Many people in the private sector believe schools would improve if allowed to be run as a
for-profit business. Is it ethical to allow a public school to be run as a traditional business
where there is an owner(s) who can make a profit?
54. What are the pros and cons of building "big box" stores (such as Wal-Mart) versus smaller
independently owned businesses, and why is there a growing opposition to these stores in
55. As for profit businesses, how do banks make money from loans and credit cards, and why
should consumers be better educated around credit?
56. Why has the demise of unions in the private business sector led to worse economic, political,
and social conditions for many “middle class” families in the United States during the past 40
57. Why do government immigration policies have significant impact on businesses and
employment opportunities in the United States?
58. Why is Social Security considered a valuable public program by many citizens, but under
attack as a terrible “entitlement” program by conservative politicians?
59. Why are higher prices for products and higher interest rates for loans justifiable for poorer
people and poorer communities?
60. How do you hire the best people? Second-rate people produce second-rate work. Employ
people that you know will be better at doing the work than even you can.
61. How big is the threat of new entrants into an industry?
62. How much power do suppliers have?
63. What price will customers pay for a product?
64. Why is the cost of living today compared with X years ago an important concern
65. What is advantage and disadvantage of international trade?
66. How do you answer 'Why should we recruit you' in a job interview?
67. Marketing: Small business Karma: Is it anything but instant?
68. Marketing: Planning to use social media to market and network for your small business?
69. Branding: What sets a business apart?
70. Sales: How do you respond to objection?
71. Finance: How to manage small business finances.
72. Tech: How can you best automate your home office for business?
73. Customer Service: Why you should NEVER delete a negative review of your business,
product or service?
74. Startups: Why are most reasons to delay starting your new business wrong?
75. Public Relations: How do you combat negative press?
76. Are employers assessing how the aging of the workforce might affect their organizations?
77. Do employers see the aging of the workforce as a vulnerability or a competitive advantage?
78. What are the key factors in a life worth living?
79. State whether you are a free market optimist or pessimist (according to Maitland) and defend
your position. Give reasons for your answer and provide at least one counter argument and
80. To act ethically in business is only necessary to follow the law. Agree or disagree. Give
reasons for your answer and provide at least one counter argument and rebut it.
81. Take a side in the debate over whether or not the practices of payday loans are exploitative of
the poor or a fair business transaction serving high risk clientele. Give reasons for your
answer and provide at least one counter argument and rebut it.
82. Should small towns stop the expansion of Walmart into their areas or not?
83. Discuss what is meant by the virtue compassion. Does it have any place in the world of
business? Give reasons for your answer and provide at least one counter argument and rebut
84. Discuss what you think are the main reasons why students cheat even when they know it's
85. Is ecotourism a good thing?
86. Would the governments of the Western world would do better to buy the opium and coca
harvests from poor countries rather than burn them?
87. Why do people have businesses?
88. Who are some of the people who make a business work?
89. How does a business work?
90. What is needed in order to have a business?
91. How will American business change in the next 20 years, and how can we acquire the skills
we need to adapt?
92. What goals are necessary to achieve our full potential?
93. Why is product positioning so crucial?
94. What are the risks of pre-movie advertising?
95. What is a good marketeer?
96. Do general worker strikes harm people who are not involved?
97. Should workers who strike be fired?
98. What presently unknown sector will lead the US economy from its downward spiral?
99. Can leadership in business be learned or is it something one is born with?
100. Do the increasing number of bankruptcy reports undermine public confidence in the