The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is reportedly using a $250,000-donation from an anonymous source to develop a proprietary teaching and assessment tool that will enhance how faculty teach and measure the development of students' ethical judgment.
The School, which proposes to introduce a comprehensive re-design of its curriculum in 2012, and implement it fully in 2013, will be incorporating the result of the development process - envisaged as the Ethics Simulation Tool - together with an accompanying symposium and instructional material in the new program.
Once implemented, every student in Kelley's 5,000-strong undergraduate program will go through the eight-week simulation, during which they will be tested on their ethical judgment in situations of moral dilemma that they are most likely to find themselves in as practicing managers. Completing the program will be a necessary pre-requisite for achieving the degree.
While the program will be housed within Kelley's Department of Business Law and Ethics, students will continue to encounter the topic within courses on accounting, marketing, supply chain management, general management and other topics.
Though students will be taught the conceptual frameworks which can be used to reason and think critically in order to find solutions to ethical dilemmas, the focus will be on a practical grounding in dealing with such situations. According to R. Thomas Lenz, chair of the Kelley Undergraduate Program and the Glaubinger Professor of Business Administration, Ethics is best taught experientially...you have to get dirty with it and sort of grind it out and see it and make mistakes and correct yourself. We think that will enhance their ability to spot and resolve issues.
The crash of the financial markets in 2008 has led to a hawk-eyed scrutiny of business schools and what they could do to produce leaders of integrity who would add long term value in an increasingly complex and dynamic global business environment. As if in response to the call of the times, graduates from the Class of 2009 and 2010 at Harvard Business School took The MBA Oath, promising to serve the greater good. Undoubtedly, the initiative at Kelley will add to the steadily growing steps taken by b-schools across the globe towards effecting a change in image and creating truly responsible leaders for the future.