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MBAs need CSR: now January 16, 2012

Posted by thinkphd in : Miscellaneous , trackback

A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek entitled Occupy Our Business Schools (by David L. Ikenberry and Donna Sockell) posed some interesting thoughts about MBA programs. Most programs do not include social accountability studies. Rather, the stress is on finance, marketing, and management with the view that only these add value to our society. Indeed, value is received through products, services, buying, selling, and creating worth, yet there is an obvious lack of focus on the human element. Is “value” simply immediate and ephemeral, and without lasting and significant impact on tomorrow?

Corporate social responsibility includes sustainable actions, i.e., using resources and creating value in society today that does not bankrupt future generations. An easy example is designing a toy that all children want to have, but choosing to use lead paint becuase it is cheaper. The toy manufacturer added value to society (according the MBA model) by creating worth through a product. Yet, parents will SCREAM about the health risks of the new toy. Did the toy manufacturer managers and engineers consider all of the implications to society, including the future implications, of distributing that toy?

Our MBA programs (and BS/BA programs, for that matter) must contain studies about the ethical and social implications of actions today, so that we protect our tomorrows. I don’t think we need separate social responsibility courses. Corporate social responsibility studies must be fully integrated within each course so as to prepare our next generation of business leaders.

That is, if we have a next generation.

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1. Don Baldwin - January 17, 2012

George Fox University offers an ethical and CSR component as part of their MBA program. (I went there and graduated)

2. Dan Wubbena - January 18, 2012

You may or may not remember me, but I have been following your blog through my journey through NCU — I posed a question to you maybe a year or so ago about the CP (I believe). I have progressed through the DIS courses and have make significant progress on the dissertation, but I have been struggling for the past 6 weeks to find a company to work with. I have exhausted nearly every professional and personal contact possibility that I have….I have searched Google for hours on end. I can’t find any “advice” or “tips” on how to find a company….can you help?!?!?