MBA grads need to understand that ethics is a necessity in 21st Century organizations
A wider ethical spotlight has been cast on modern businesses. The first decade of this millennium featured headlines about scandals surrounding Enron, WorldCom and Bernard Madoff. These scandals exposed the depths and destructiveness of unethical business practices. Businesses and MBA programs alike sought to expand ethics education with the goal of having positive impacts on individuals, organizations and the society.
The concept of social responsibility is at the foundation of business ethics. Daily actions and decisions are made with thoughtfulness about the effect they will have on other people and the organization. It’s not just about profits, but the larger role in the community.
Leaders today face many challenges. Technology, globalization and the need for greater transparency have created many items vying for a spot as a top business priority. Ethical values must remain in place and be incorporated into the actions a business takes. Ethics are viewed as one of the most important factors in the success of a company.
Ethics are not only at the backbone to decision-making, but are integrated into the culture of an organization. Business ethics are embedded into the mission, vision, values, strategies and goals of most successful businesses.
The benefits of ethical behavior and social responsibility include:
- Loyal and satisfied customers, employees and partners
- Workforce retention and increased productivity
- Ethically minded investors
- Strong and positive internal relationships between leaders and staff
Ethics must be placed high as an area of focus for businesses today. Managers and leaders serve roles in which they can influence and encourage ethical behavior. Their care, empathy, honesty and integrity can go a long way in building an ethically sound company.
To help MBA students at Alvernia understand the importance of ethics and business, they are required to take an Ethics and Moral Leadership course. The course is designed to present a vision for the development of reflective, responsible, and socially engaged citizenship and leadership for the community, workplace, society and the world.