Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teaching Ethics: Business School Deans' Perceptions Regarding the Presentation of Ethics within the Business Curriculum
by Scrivens, Michael Joseph, Ed.D., University of Rochester, 2019, 110; 27912196
Abstract (Summary)

Although some people might think that the term business ethics (BE) is an oxymoron, understanding ethics and how it is implemented in making a business decision is important. This study looks at business schools, specifically the deans of business schools, to see what their beliefs and perceptions are concerning the teaching of business ethics to their business students. Since the late seventies, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), has mandated their member schools to cover ethical issues in business (Madison, 2002). The data for this survey started with emailing the questionnaire to 480 business school deans from the AACSB within the United States. One hundred twenty (25%) of the participants completed the survey. Over the past 50 years, academics, researchers, and society have debated whether BE should be taught to college-aged students and if so, how should ethics be taught? The objective of teaching ethics within business schools is to help students understand the complexities of ethical decision-making (Hartman & Desjardins, 2008). In doing so, it is thought that teaching students' philosophical theories, such as Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Virtue Ethics, and so on, are necessary to help business students apply ethics to their decision-making process (Felton & Sims, 2005). Should ethics be taught as a stand-alone BE course, integrating ethics within the functional business courses, or both integrating ethics into the functional business courses and a stand-alone BE course? This study was conducted to see if there is a best way to teach ethics to business students. The arguments were extensive for both a stand-alone BE course and integration; however, it was clear that the business school deans preferred an integrated approach to teaching ethics to their students. Since the AACSB does not mandate or recommend a specific approach to teaching ethics, it is up to the schools to decide what is best for their students (AACSB, 2013). Some key findings include the following: • 97% of the deans strongly agree or agree that BE can be taught to undergraduate and graduate business students. • 99% of the deans felt that integrating ethics into some of the functional business courses would help undergraduate business students make better-informed business decisions. • 93% of the deans strongly agree or agree that integrating ethics into the functional business courses is the best way to teach ethical understanding and reasoning ability skills to undergraduate business students. • 78% of the deans felt that integrating ethics into some of the functional business courses would help graduate business students make better-informed business decisions. • 99% of the deans strongly agree or agree that integrating ethics into the functional business courses is the best way to teach ethical understanding and reasoning ability skills to graduate business students. • 48% of the deans strongly agree or agree that a required BE course would help prevent some of the unethical business practices that occurred in 2001 and 2002 (e.g. Enron & Tyco) Many academics, researchers, and society still argue that business schools are not doing enough to educate their business students on the importance of incorporating ethics into their decision-making process. In addition, there is much debate whether ethics should be taught, and if so, how ethics should be taught. This study will shed some light on this subject. Hopefully, academics and society can come to a consensus on how to educate the future business leaders of business. The sooner, the better.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brent, Brian
Commitee: Guiffrida, Doug, Hazien, Logan
School: University of Rochester
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 81/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Business administration, Education, Philosophy
Keywords: Deans of business schools, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
Publication Number: 27912196
ISBN: 9781658422789
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