Service learning in business ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1347-1351 (1997)
Abstract
Those of us engaged in the education of future businesspersons need to ask about the efficacy of our efforts. The business person is, first and foremost, a member of the community, a citizen, attempting to meet the needs of that community by providing goods and services.The general public often perceives the businessperson as violating the ethical standards of the community. Business risks losing its social legitimacy by such activity. Universities are the appropriate institutions in which to inculcate the importance of ethics and should go as far as it can to influence the ethical reasoning of graduates. However, research suggests that the traditional way of integrating ethics education into required functional courses actually results in a decline in moral reasoning. It is suggested that ethics educating needs to be personalized based on the individual student and that there is a need for experiential learning methods which would supplement and enhance standard classroom based ethics education. An appropriate goal for business ethics courses would be to make students aware of the ethical and social dimensions of the business decision making process.
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