Vital Role of Ethics in Business

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Byline: VIV KINNAIRD

THINK of the major themes in business, politics and football that have dominated the past year. All have centred on ethics.

From the World Cup bid to the MPs' expenses scandal, debates have focused on the moral judgements of those in high-profile, responsible positions and highlighted the way that their sometimes questionable attitudes to ethical behaviour have affected the standing of their organisations.

The role of university business schools in creating ethical leaders has been a hot topic for some time.

Developing ethical managers is undoubtedly a priority for business schools, which are nurturing the next generation of business leaders. It is also a critical issue for any company that wants to create a culture which will generate long-term trust and loyalty from customers and employees.

What I think is most important for business schools is that rather than ethics being studied as a discrete module of, say, the MBA, ethical challenges should instead be embedded within all core business and management degree modules.

An increasingly globalised business community requires managers who automatically reflect and consider the implications of actions.

The United States responded to the Enron scandal with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which requires US listed companies to have detailed ethical codes. …