Saturday, May 30, 2009

MBA Oath - A Pledge to be 'Ethical'

This is an interesting development. A group of Harvard MBA students have taken the pledge to be ethical. Check it out here. There were no such initiative I know when I received my MBA before the turn of the century. Well, better late than never. If you are an MBA, you may want to consider taking the oath here.

=============== THE MBA OATH (from =========

As a manager, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no single individual can create alone. Therefore I will seek a course that enhances the value my enterprise can create for society over the long term. I recognize my decisions can have far-reaching consequences that affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and in the future. As I reconcile the interests of different constituencies, I will face choices that are not easy for me and others.

Therefore I promise:

  • I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.
  • I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders, co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate.
  • I will manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.
  • I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my enterprise.
  • I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
  • I will develop both myself and other managers under my supervision so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the well-being of society.
  • I will strive to create sustainable economic, social, and environmental prosperity worldwide.
  • I will be accountable to my peers and they will be accountable to me for living by this oath.

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

Creative and a noteworthy development.



Al Erisman said...

This could be a very powerful idea if it is done without coersion. It is symbolic and could be remembered at times of decision.

YAPdates said...

Of course. Oaths should never be done at knife-point, if I understand your definition correctly.

What do you mean by coerced? Will trying to do it 'just because everyone else in the class is doing it' constitute a form of coercion? (Social pressure?)


Al Erisman said...

I am not sure how it should be done. But I could picture a peer pressure situation that would perhaps have less value than one truly voluntary. Al

YAPdates said...

There will always be peer pressures. It is thus, a test of personal character (major ethical factor) and commitment whenever people take their oaths, citizenship, professional, religious or any kinds of oath. Ultimately it is a promise/covenant made freely between one and the higher authority/principle. Otherwise, it will be frivolous.

The last sentence in the oath should address your earlier concerns.

"This oath I make freely, and upon my honor."


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