Corporate Compliance Education: Where Are Business Schools?
W. Richard Sherman
If it can be said that law schools produce "adversaries" ( Bok 1983), then business schools produce "competitors." All their lives, business students have been competing--competing to get into quality schools so that they can compete to get high grades in their college courses so that they can compete for good job offers and/or for placement into prestigous MBA programs so that they can compete for even more attractive job offers. This is not to say that other college students are not competitive--far from it. But if there is one characteristic that separates the business student from his or her counterpart in the liberal arts and sciences, it is this sense of being in a competition in which the ultimate scoring system is defined in what are essentially monetary terms. Money is the name of the game--not so much for what it can buy, but because that is how success is measured.
Not surprisingly, the business curriculum reinforces this focus on the dollars-and-cents aspects of life. Courses in accounting, finance, and marketing are all primarily taught from and based on a perspective in which costs and benefits can be quantified and expressed in monetary terms for rational decision making--viz., for the maximization of profits. Even the "softer" disciplines of management and human resources (often called the "touchy-feely" fields of business) are becoming more and more quantitative and statistical. Indeed, one common trend throughout the continually evolving business curriculum is this