"This oath I make freely, and upon my honour" : Business Schools Preach Social Responsibility

by Aman Singh Das | November 09, 2009

  • My Vault

An article today in The Globe and Mail discusses three business schools that recently initiated oaths of ethical conduct for all graduating MBA students. These oaths are student-sponsored and preach pursuing goodness instead of riches.

The three schools include the Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa), Harvard Business School and the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario).

An excerpt: MBA programs around the globe are rushing to prove that they teach students to be good – not just rich – by revamping their curricula and encouraging debates about ethical corporate behavior. There is even a student-led movement to create an oversight body that would regulate managers, as other organizations do lawyers and doctors.

While self-administered oaths have been around for a while, especially Harvard's, that had international students signing up for it as well, these socialistic moves in the midst of a recession -- or a financial meltdown -- spell an identity crisis for business schools, who in many ways trained the executives that led Wall Street.

Now the same schools are calling for a responsible approach, one that inculcates CSR principles in its teachings and graduates entrepreneurs who want to work for the greater good and not institutional bonuses. How far this will go and whether this is a recessionary self-serving (and therefore, short lived) trend, of course, remains to be seen.

To read the oaths, click here.

Filed Under: CSR

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