Can Ethics be Taught?

April 20, 2007

by Drs. Mitch Neubert, Jeff Tanner and Anne Grinols

Can ethics be taught? Hankamer faculty certainly believe so and are committed to exploring new and better ways to develop the ethical conscience and decision making skills of business students. Teaching ethics was the focus of the Spring 2007 Hankamer Faculty Teaching Seminar, held April 13th. Faculty members heard a dynamic presentation by world renowned ethics scholars O.C. and Linda Ferrell, participated in break-out sessions exploring AACSB and Wall Street Journal ethics resources, and were led by the Ferrells through an original business behavioral simulation balancing ethical positions in decision-making.

Dean Maness, in noting our BusinessWeek ethics specialty ranking of third in the nation, commended the efforts already made in this vital area, and encouraged further exploration in ways we can help our students benefit from new ways to explore this topic across disciplines. While the obvious headliners such as Enron, Tyco, and Worldcom may dominate the media, challenges for principled leaders can be far more subtle and difficult. Workshops like this one broaden how Baylor Business faculty engage students in meaningful discussions of ethics. Faculty and students realize that acute sensitivity to ethical issues and competence in thinking through complex business issues are both essential to lead with integrity.

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