With a series of boardroom battles, frauds and scams continuing to rock the corporate India over the past few years, the top business schools of the country have increased their focus on ethics, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance in their management programs. The idea is to shape a new generation that does business the right and ethical way.
Top-rated business schools in India, including SPJIMR Mumbai and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have redesigned their programs; after receiving inputs from global experts they have developed relevant case studies for their students. These case studies will involve some of the major scams and incidents in the corporate world, including the ones about Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Infosys row and the Uber scandals.
Talking to the media in this regard, Padmini Srinivasan, the chairperson of the IIM Bangalore’s 2-year MBA course said, “We hope that various courses such as corporate governance and ethics influence students to move beyond a knowledge and skill-building objective to a more purposeful existence that can bring a positive change to the society.”
Is it the ultimate solution?
However, is ethics really something that can be taught and inculcated successfully at the B-schools?
Experts are of the opinion that ethical business practices should be moved out of the classroom domain, which is often a lot about theory, and taken to the day-to-day business situations. Companies need to hire people who come with strong values and there should be means to determine the integrity levels of new hires.
Ethical practice is something that should come from within the individual and not necessarily shoved down his/her throat through a classroom program. A change is required at the individual level wherein the students not only understand the importance of business ethics but how the absence of it can impact their personal and social surroundings.
Although simply having a course in this regard won’t solve the problem entirely, it’s nevertheless a step in the right direction. Earlier such values weren’t even perceived as important in the business spheres, but today there is an improved understanding that business managers must inculcate such qualities, and that they are a must.
In the opinion of business schools, preventive ethics is far more important than reactive ethics.
The way business ethics is taught in the B schools should be such that it helps real managers solve real-world problems in practical business situations. These courses must cover real ethical problems of everyday managers, and how they can overcome them, without falling prey to the tempting and sometimes irresistible propositions.
These courses introduced by the business schools will focus on the ethical conflicts and dilemmas often faced by managers in their careers. The future managers will then be provided with essential processes and frameworks they can make use of, to take correct decisions in such situations.