Monday, March 27, 2006

Business Week MBABlog -- "Teaching Ethics in Business Schools"

(Click to enlarge picture)

To quote Steve Shu:

"But I think in my discussions with the b-school professors, I think the position I hold (which is not so optimistic about teaching ethics in the business schools) is a minority position. The general consensus seemed to be that ethics should be taught more actively in business schools. That leaders need to have such skills" [

Steve's position is that although he is for ethics, he doesn't think people in their mid-20's to late 30's can be taught ethics.

Ethics Cases In Point:

USC's Marshall School of Business, Center for Management Communication, offers an excellent special interest (previously BUAD 499) "Ethics, Independent Research, and Public Communications" class. Students (in their mid-20's to 30's) actually partake in real-life ethics cases to learn how to recognize specific ethical dilemmas and to seek solutions to these real-life ethical problems.

My response to you, Steve, is that irrespective of age, it depends on what is important and of interest to you.

Although ethics is debatable in perspective, business students can and should learn strategies to identify and deal with ethical issues in the workplace.

If employees (post-undergraduate and post-graduate) face ethical dilemmas and cannot recognize them or identify strategies and solutions to resolve the issues through social responsible means, and if Enron and Worldcomm executives are sentenced for legal and ethical violations -- then there clearly is a need for ethics training on the undergraduate and graduate level.

Ethics is a foundation on which to build corporate goals that includes corporate policy/governance/responsibility. Students should learn and build on that foundation.

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