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Why teach ethics at BYU? A survey of Marriott School Alumni Compiled by Paul C. Godfrey.

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Presentation on theme: "Why teach ethics at BYU? A survey of Marriott School Alumni Compiled by Paul C. Godfrey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why teach ethics at BYU? A survey of Marriott School Alumni Compiled by Paul C. Godfrey

2 Management Society Chapters/ Universities Visited Management Society Chapters New York Kansas City East Bay (Oakland) South Bay (San Jose) Chicago Universities University of Missouri— Kansas City Portland State University University of Notre Dame Top 10 MBA Program content review (in process)

3 Industries Represented Health care Semiconductors Media (Content/ Advertising Real Estate Professional Accounting (SEC Regional) Legal (National and Regional) Technology Development Business Consulting Investment Management Engineering Architecture Energy Trading Retail

4 Firms Represented Acquila Energy HCA Hallmark Westin Hotels General Electric Citigroup Goldman Sachs Southwestern Bell (SBC) Novations Insurance Intel Pepsico Bank of America Deutsche Bank ING FMC Bombardier Accenture A few Entrepreneurs

5 Overall Findings: How important is Ethics? Large companies take ethics very seriously –Enron effect (SOX) –Elliott Spitzer effect –Big targets for special interests –Reputation effects (competitive advantage & risk management) Large companies have formal programs and policies Yearly training and signoffs (Intel, BofA, HCA, GE, FMC) Low or zero tolerance policies Trend is toward “ethics and compliance” Small companies serious, not as formal

6 How Important is Ethics?: Individual Level BYU MBA Grad: “No one took ethics seriously, that was wrong; ethics is every bit as important as finance, marketing.” Ethics can be a key element of promotion decisions –# 1 criteria for new managing partner at Acctg. Firm –Many grads have gotten jobs because they could be trusted to do the “right thing” Alumni feel the “frog effect” –“What is ‘industry standard’ and what is unethical?” –Pressure escalates slowly and over long periods Serving a mission in a foreign country does not prepare you for the ethical business challenges in a foreign country “As an individual, I’m worthless without ethics”

7 How Important is Ethics?: Intel "Intel is a uniquely conscientious company. This comes from the top down. The company takes all concerns and questions seriously and sets publicly measurable goals regarding social and environmental issues. That's very rare.“--Julie Gorte, Director of Social Research, Calvert Funds 2002 began “Business Practice Excellence” group Ethics a manifestation of “doing business with total integrity”—a corporate value Ethics is the organizational counterpart of  operational quality programs. Yearly training in ethics and compliance

8 Strengths of BYU MBA (and other) Grads Standards, people who generally try to do the right thing—they have good motives Our students are good at holding themselves accountable.

9 Weaknesses of BYU MBA (and other) Grads BYU MBA’s are naïve and sanctimonious They leave good money on the table out of fear Very timid, false notion of humility Lack experience making tough, “hot” calls (like firing) Will tell people what they want to hear, not necessarily the real truth Have little appreciation for power of diversity Teach by moral club rather than example Our grads don’t know how to translate their religious beliefs into business values— they don’t use the power they have. Tendency to be too trusting, not see potential ethical issues

10 What should you have when you leave?? 10. Logical and critical thinking skills 9. Better understanding of other perspectives, no religious lock on ethics 8. As new entrants to an organization, you have no leverage, no standing, and no knowledge of what is “common practice” and what is unethical 7. Have them face real situations, like day-to-day mid-level manager cases and issues 6. Help them see the slippery slope—many never do 5. Teach them how to transmit their values to others 4. The importance of collective ethical reasoning—developing a collaborative culture such that no individual ever makes an ethically charged decision unilaterally. 3. The importance of teaching students to “navigate the gray”—sophisticated reasoning skills 2. Teach them the international component and how to deal in very murky ethical climates. 1. Teach them to look at themselves, and understand themselves in a deep and reflective way


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