Business Ethics: the Irony in between
November 21, 2006 2:54pm CST
Just a few years ago, business schools have seen the need to put more emphasis in ethics. Students experienced a rapid growth in electives in ethics, as such, Harvard Business School lengthened the period of classes for Decision Making and Ethical Values course. Many business professionals attribute this to the trading scandals of the 1980s. Professors teaching ethics in business schools, however, do not impose actions to be taken and transform the students. Instead, they enforce them to face situations that involve ethics, to encounter ethical dilemmas from case studies in order for them to respond according to how they would want to. On the other side of the coin, business schools also teach, and they actually focus on it, economic theories in finance and business management classes. It is something that harps on the capitalization of interest, of self interest most of the time. I have been into volunteer works, helping poor people, and I barely had colleagues who were into business courses. I remember a lot of times when business students would say that volunteer works are good but they would rather focus on applying their business theories to be able to help the poor ones. I don’t know if it’s a valid excuse to get away from agencies which do not pay much or do not have pay at all. The point is business is actually for the maximization of one’s interest while ethics is concerned of the interest of everybody or at least the majority. To be faced with an ethical dilemma in the business world is to experience the great irony then.