Can business ethics be taught?
On the face of it, not much has changed in corporate behaviour since business schools began putting all their educational eggs in the ethics basket. Why not?
Are business schools failing in their duty to teach new generations of business people right from wrong? Can ethics in fact be taught? In the 10 years since they received a public roasting for churning out many of the corrupt business leaders who, by omission or commission, caused the global financial crash, business schools have put greater resources into imbuing students with the correct moral and ethical standards. It started out with standalone ethics courses, in the hope that the occasional droning lecture would do the trick. Then came the realisation that ethical behaviour, or the lack of it, affects every corner of business. So now it is taught within other subjects. Ethics and governance, schools boast, is at the heart of all they teach. But what has been the impact of this moral crusade? On the face of it, not much. Globally, corrupt business practices flourish as they always have. In SA, Steinhoff, KPMG, McKinsey, Eskom, SAP, Denel and Nkonki are among the firms caught in ...
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