Just because someone is competent in business does not automatically mean he or she is ethical. We all remember too many business scandals to deny that truth.
We also remember the outcry from the public that business schools needed to place a fresh emphasis on ethics. Fortunately, over the last 20 years many schools responded to that outcry.
When I did my MBA (2009), I was very gratified to see that conflicts of interest, ethics, ethical dilemmas, and morality were laced throughout our discussions, assignments, papers, and research projects. In every single case study or other major paper I wrote, I was required to include a section entitled, Ethical Dilemmas. In that section I was expected to demonstrate I had fully analyzed all moral, ethical, and relational dimensions of the situation. My solutions could not merely be business savvy; they had to be ethically defensible.
Going through that experience was richly rewarding to me for two reasons:
1). It reinforced my own intrinsic, personal commitment to a high ethical standard in all dimensions of my life.
2). It inspired me to meditate on the broader and deeper dimensions of ethical issues than I ever had in the past. I grew deeper in my understanding and appreciation of complex ethical issues.
My observation is most MBA programs nowadays take a similar approach. This is very encouraging. The vital issue is that MBAs must not only be concerned for the sell of business, but also for the soul of business.
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