Can Business Ethics Be Taught?: A New Model of Business Ethics Education

Journal of Business Ethics 17 (9/10):965 - 977 (1998)
Abstract
This paper highlights the potential harms in the current state of business ethics education and presents an alternative new model of business ethics education. Such potential harms in business ethics education is due largely to restricted cognitive level of reasoning, a limited level of ethical conduct which remains only responsive and adaptive, and the estrangement between strategic thinking and ethical thinking. As a remedy for business ethics education, denatured by these potential harms, a new dynamic model of business ethics education is proposed. The new model is composed of a basic foundation for business ethics education and three practical components of business ethics education. The basic foundation comprises of ethical reasoning, moral sentiments, and ethical praxis. Three practical components of business ethics education are, respectively, to intensify moral imagination, to develop ethical wisdom and courage, and to enhance meta-strategic competences. The ultimate purpose of these practical components is to help moral subjects to conduct ethical leadership, to actualize integrity between individuals and organization, and to fulfill the social responsibility of business firms. This new model is expected to attract attention to the effective business ethics education both in college and in industry, and to be used as a benchmark for new curriculum designs and development of teaching methods. Finally, some teaching methodologies and pedagogical experiments are introduced and discussed according to this new model of business ethics education.
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