Education in Business Schools in India: An Exploratory Study
M.Com., M.B.A., LL.B.,
Status of Ethics, Corporate Governance, CSR and Environment Education in Business Schools in India: An Exploratory Study ABSTRACT The last two decades have witnessed unprecedented excesses by businesses across the world. The largest corporate frauds have raised questions on the limits of responsibility of business. The recent financial crisis has brought into question the managerial greed and the manner in which incentive structures have perpetuated such dysfunctional behaviors in organizations. With rapid growth and internationalization of businesses, there is an urgent need to examine the vocabulary of business organizations to include deliberately sustainability, ethics, governance and corporate responsibility. There have been several calls from thought leaders in business and academia to incorporate a deeper understanding of the principles pertaining to responsibility of business in the business school curriculum. The research is an attempt at understanding the state of the field of teaching in corporate governance (CG), ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environment and sustainability. While it is recognized that teaching of this subject is essential, not much is known about the content delivered in the courses, the pedagogy in the classroom, the teaching material used and the adaptation done for different kinds of nature of participants on the courses . This study was conducted using content analysis of websites and survey using a questionnaire to understand the status of education in this field. Some of the significant findings were that a large number of business schools in India offered courses in the field of ethics, CSR, CG and environment. The widespread prevalence of business ethics courses offered in business schools and a dearth of CG courses are also of significance. 1 Padmini Srinivasan, Assistant Professor; Vasanthi Srinivasan, Associate Professor & R.V. Anand, Research Associate at Center for Corporate Governance all @ IIM Bangalore. The financial support provided by NFCG for the project is acknowledged. 3 1. Introduction In recent years, CG has attained significance all over the world. Two important factors have led to rapid developments in the field, namely the integration and globalization of financial markets and a surge of corporate scandals such as Enron, World Com and others. The recent financial crisis and its aftermath that the world economy is still experiencing have led to erosion in the faith of society towards large businesses. In particular, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has raised significant questions on the role of the financial sector in a global world. While the dominant discourse has focused on the greed of leaders and compensation structures that promote and incentivize short-term behaviors, an equally strong discourse is the systematic manner in which the compliance to norms, and standards of responsible conduct have been decimated. Many editorials on CG have spoken of the regulatory failures at the level of corporations. It is important that any education in the field of management needs to have an element of the regulatory and compliance aspect of governance. India is poised for substantial growth, and it is predicted that Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries will rise as influential economic powers in the global economy (Wilson & Purushothaman 2003). The combined GDP of the BRIC countries is likely to be higher than that of developed countries raising some fundamental questions on the responsible role of business corporations in these countries. The global financial crisis of 2008 and the more recent corporate fraud at a leading information technology company have raised a lot of concerns about governance practices in India. Adding to this, a substantial investments flow by foreign...