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Business Schools Add Courses On Ethics, But Are Graduates More Ethical?

by Ben Schiller
Publication: Fast Company

May 22, 2012


The following is an excerpt from Fast Company that mentions the Notre Dame MBA program’s No. 4 ranking in the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes. To read the entire article visit: Business Schools Add Courses On Ethics, But Are Graduates More Ethical?

Post-financial meltdown, business schools are trying to make their graduates more responsible. But does taking one class on ethics work, or does a new ethical model need to permeate the curriculum?

Many industry watchers saw business schools as contributing factors in the financial crisis, arguing that, by failing to challenge orthodoxies, and overlooking “socially useless” activities, they helped create conditions for collapse. That nearly every relevant banker, regulator, and politician was an MBA graduate helped make the case.

But what about now? Have b-schools changed?

Yes, and no, according to a survey of how schools are teaching social, environmental, and ethical topics.

On the one hand, MBA programs are teaching more social, environmental, and ethical content than ever. Four-fifths now require students to take a business and society course, compared to just 34% in 2001, when the Aspen Institute first conducted its Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey.