Author: Gentile, Mary C.
Source: The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education; E Journal USA
Number of pages: 9
In the wake of a new series of corporate scandals – Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen – business educators in the United States are once again facing difficult questions about their ability to prepare future managers to lead their organizations responsibly and ethically. I say “once again,” because we have been here before. There were the insider trading scandals of the 1980s, and the defense industry scandals before that. In fact, the question of ethics and values has been a central part of the espoused purpose of formal schools of business in the United States since their origins in the early twentieth century.
But the discussion is not restricted to the United States, nor is it restricted to the narrowly framed subject of “business ethics.” This year, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the international accrediting body for schools of business, has issued new guidelines for the integration of ethics and governance into global management education, recommending attention to four areas of inquiry: the responsibility of business in society; ethical leadership; ethical decision-making; and corporate governance.
(A slightly edited version of this essay was originally published in the February 2005 issue of E Journal USA, a publication of the U.S. Department of State.)