Living (not learning) ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 14 (1):71 - 81 (1995)
Much has been written recently about both the urgency and efficacy of teaching business ethics. The results of our survey of AACSB member schools confirm prior reports of similar surveys: The teaching of business ethics is indiscriminate, unorganized, and undisciplined in most North American schools of business. If universities are to be taken seriously in their efforts to create more ethical awareness and better moral decision-making skills among their graduates, they must provide a rigorous and well-developed system in which students can live ethics instead of merely learn ethics. A system must be devised to allow students to discover and refine their own values rather than simply learning ethical theories from an intellectual point of view.After reviewing the literature on business ethics in undergraduate curricula, we make a series of recommendations to deliver experiential ethical education for business students. The recommendations include student and faculty written codes of ethics, emphasis on ethical theory within the existing required legal environment course, applied ethics in the functional area capstones using alternative learning, a discussion of employee (and employer) rights and responsibilities during the curriculum capstone course, and a public service requirement for graduation. These recommendations may be implemented without substantive additional cost or programming requirements.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00873738
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