A Case Example: Integrating Ethics into the Academic Business Curriculum

Journal of Business Ethics 54 (4):371-384 (2004)

Abstract

This paper combines a review of existing literature in the field of business ethics education and a case study relating to the integration of ethics into an undergraduate degree. Prior to any discussion relating to the integration of ethics into the business curriculum, we need to be cognisant of, and prepared for, the arguments raised by sceptics in both the business and academic environments, in regard to the teaching of ethics. Having laid this foundation, the paper moves to practical questions such as who should teach ethics, and when and how can ethics be taught. The paper presents alternative models for the teaching of ethics in the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate business programmes. An integrative model is elaborated on in more detail with a case example describing the six-stage process undertaken in the move from a single entry course to an integrated approach. The case study details not only the planning and initial implementation of ethical education in the context of an undergraduate business degree programme, but also the means by which a change in the way that ethics is taught was achieved in a business faculty in a tertiary institution.

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