Three snapshots of business ethics education at South African business schools: Sharp or still blurred?

  • T. Louw
  • J.S. Wessels
Keywords: business ethics education, business schools, Master of Business Administration, behavioural moulding, business leaders, unethical behaviour

Abstract

This article reports on a study comparing three recordings (snapshots) of the provision of business ethics education in MBA curricula at South African business schools. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the occurrence of business ethics education in South African MBA programmes increased between 2003 and 2011 and between 2011 and 2016. A review of the relevant scholarly literature has shown that, although business education can be included in MBA curricula through its integration in the various modules of the programme, or through dedicated modules for business ethics, both these ways of inclusion can be regarded as necessary conditions for meaningful inclusion. This study focused only on the inclusion of dedicated business ethics modules. A  directed content analysis was done of reports of the Council on HigherEducation as well as MBA and MBL curricula documents of business schools. The comparison of the three snapshots revealed a decline between 2003 and 2011, as well as a further decline between 2011 and 2016 in the number of MBA programmes with a meaningful inclusion of business ethics in their curricula. The results of this study have confi rmed that there is cause for concern about the quality of the MBA.

Key words: business ethics education, business schools, Master of Business Administration, behavioural moulding, business leaders, unethical behaviour

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Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1998-8125
print ISSN: 1561-896X