Onus of Ethical Lapses Lies on Business Schools

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Concept Paper
Seminars in HRM Final Project
Bushra Fatima, MBA 2k8

13 May, 2010

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Bushra Fatima, NUST Business School, 2010

2

Ethical Lapses in Businesses: Onus lies on B Schools?
I joined NUST Business School two years back, after I did my engineering degree. The logical premise, I gave to justify my choice to enter a Business school was not that I was passionate about studying business administration in anyway, but was the fact that the MBA is a good add-on to my degree, ensuring better and well paying career options in the long run. In my view back then, a business school was meant to churn out managers, like so many medical and engineering schools that churn out doctors and engineers. By the end of my first semester of MBA, my perception was changed. Getting an MBA doesn’t make you a manager. Management is more of a practice, something that needs to be done outside the safe environment of Business school. According to one of my professors: “It’s like swimming; you cannot learn it by sitting cozy in an air-conditioned classroom listening to the lecture”. However, like most professions you need to understand the theory behind the practice. Hence, the case with teaching ethics in business schools and the responsibility of the institute to instill ethical values in the students is challenged. Business people act in unethical ways when they start evaluating the risk and rewards of being a moral person. Business school should teach that economic analysis is only helpful and proper when all of the options being considered are morally correct. Aristotle believed ethics was more than just learning a set of rules. Ethics was a way of living. "One becomes a lute player by playing the lute, one becomes a builder by building; likewise, one becomes courageous by doing courageous acts (a virtue for Aristotle)..." Before I hold the business schools responsible for the ethical lapses that happen in the business world, let us delve into some reality check.

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