Monday, July 13, 2009

Remembering Ethics

In a recent opinion piece in the Otago Daily Times, Ian Harris noted that business schools, particularly in the USA, have been criticised for not doing more to prepare graduates for the ethical challenges of the business world. Now, teachers at Harvard and elsewhere say students are demanding courses on social ethics and responsibility to round out their business studies.

The students are now able (but not obliged) to take an oath along these lines.
The swear to:
• Act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.
• Safeguard the interests of my shareholders, co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate.
• Manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding against decisions and behaviour that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.
• Understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my enterprise.
• Take responsibility for my actions, and represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
• Develop both myself and other managers under my supervision so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the wellbeing of society.
• Strive to create sustainable economic, social and environmental prosperity worldwide.
• Be accountable to my peers and they will be accountable to me for living by this oath.

See the full opinion piece here.

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