Teaching Ethics in B-School is Irrational Behavior

by Vault Education Editors | May 09, 2011

  • My Vault

Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and Duke Fuqua professor, on the most irrational behaviors he sees in business schools:

I think that business schools don’t understand conflicts of interest. For example, they think that if they offer classes on morality and ethics, people will stop being immoral or unethical. That won’t necessarily happen.

Also, one of the things I hate the most in business education is case studies, because case studies give people the illusion that they’ve actually learned a concept. Students only learn about one story in a case study. They cannot learn the whole situation.

And on one of the most important tools business students can learn:

I think we need to teach students more statistics. They need to know how to use existing data and how to generate new data in case the existing data does not provide an answer. The world works in statistical probabilities. As researchers, we generate a lot of data, about how compensation works, about what really motivates people, and who gets motivated by what. But we don't transmit that information nearly enough.

[BizEd, via Paul Bodine]

Filed Under: Education

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