ETHICS ISSUES: EDUCATION

ETHICS in EDUCATION:  ACADEMICS AT WORK…

One need look no further than the uppermost reaches of academia for examples of ethical disintegration.  And it’s being taught…

From the ethics chair at the Harvard Business School: “What is a lie under circumstances in which no one expects the truth to be told?”

And a professor at the Chicago School of Business tells us that people lie because they are expected to lie–he calls it an “expectations trap.”  There’s more, but the article concludes: “A little lying might, indeed, go a long way.”

From an article “Why Be Honest if Honesty Doesn’t Pay?”(Harvard Business Review): “There is no compelling economic reason to tell the truth or keep one’s word.”  Money is an excuse? More from a Harvard Business Review: “The ethics of business differs from the ethics of religion,” and we are advised to “sin bravely” in business; and another from the same hallowed source: “There are no concrete rules when it comes to ethical implications of cheating, and…“as long as you’re getting your work done, (cheating is) forgivable and…forgettable.”  And: “ethics depends on the specifics of a situation.”

If this isn’t enough, a Professor (Business Ethics) at Utah claims that “We all carry around two sets of ethical standards” which he calls “gaming ethics” and “personal ethics.”  Further, he says that it’s OK to do some wrong things sometimes.  One might wonder how these folks would deal with cheating on exams…  Or define morality…

And from “How To Cheat On Your Boss,” in the March 1999 Entrepreneurs’ Business Start-Ups:  “(W)ith a proper ethical perspective and a keen eye toward caution, stealing a few hours off the time clock can actually prove to be beneficial…even for your boss, since many ‘cheaters’ admit to working harder at their day jobs to keep from getting caught.”

An entrepreneur(?), apparently following this axiom, admits to working on other projects while billing a client for his time and, “as long as I feel (?!) like I’m providing the service I’m being paid for, then it doesn’t bother me at all.”  We aren’t told if it bothers his clients.  Could these examples (all verifiable) be the reason for business ethics’ reputation (as a contradiction in terms)?

Is it any wonder that the country’s in trouble?  Comments welcomed, as usual…

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