Why Business Ethics Classes Should Be Required

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Business Pages: 2 (578 words) Published: October 13, 2008
The world has been shaken in recent years with news of countless corporate scandals. With the business principals and ethics of these corporate leaders under scrutiny, both the corporate and academic communities have begun to examine what exactly is being taught to undergraduate business students. A noticeable flaw in the curriculum of most business degree programs is a lack of required ethics courses. To ensure that undergraduate business students develop a proper ethical foundation to survive in the socially responsible corporate realm, it is essential that all accredited business degree programs make business ethics courses a mandatory part of their curriculum.

The education of ethical business practices is a vital part of a successful economy. Not only are businesspeople responsible for their company’s own shareholders, but they also have a greater responsibility to the stakeholders who will ultimately be affected by their actions (Adler). All too often, however, the subject of ethical behavior is lost in the capital-driven corporate world. Without a good understanding of the public’s expectations, ethical standards can become overshadowed by the appeal of profit, no matter the costs. Even if a company is economically profitable, if their corporate power is abused, society will not allow the company to survive. (Crews) To avoid this potential outcome, a broad knowledge of all business-related subjects should be introduced to all undergraduate business students before they reach the corporate level, making them aware of society’s moral expectations. However, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), to be considered an accredited business program, only “traditional business subjects” are necessary in the degree program’s curriculum; none of these subjects are dedicated solely to business ethics. (Swanson) As witnessed through the unethical actions of multiple corporate leaders and the devastating economic...

Cited: Adler, Paul S. "Corporate scandals: It 's time for reflection in business schools." Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 16, No. 3, Aug 2002: 148-149. Business Source Premier. University of Missouri. 7 September 2008. .
Crews, Sandy. “Why Be Ethical? (Why Bother? Who Cares?).” Cornell Hall. 8 Sept. 2008.
Swanson, Diane L. "Business Ethics Education at Bay: Addressing a Crisis of Legitimacy." Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 20, No. 3, Aug 2005: 247-253. Business Source Premier. University of Missouri. 7 September 2008. .
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