Can Biz-Schools Teach Ethics to the Unethical?

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Sep 10, 2002
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Columnist John Malmo, writing on the gomemphis.com web site, takes exception with graduate business schools claiming that their programs can teach ethics to current and future managers.


Mr. Malmo’s assessment: “The implication is that our recent crop of corporate yeggs don’t know right from wrong, don’t know that what they did is unethical, immoral, dishonest and illegal. Then why did they go to such lengths to hide their actions?”


Marketing ethics classes is simply a way to reverse declining enrollment from Mr. Malmo’s perspective. Because of Andersen, Enron, etc., ethics is a hot topic in the business media. Schools are simply looking to cash-in on the market opportunity.


Moderator’s Comment: Is there value in adult students
taking business ethics classes?


We liked Mr. Malmo’s suggestion that MBAers skip spending
thousands on ethics classes and read All I Really Need to Know I Learned
in Kindergarten
instead. On Page 6, Mr. Malmo says that readers will learn
the following lessons in ethics:



  • “Don’t take things that aren’t yours.”

  • “Play fair.”

[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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