Re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic? Teaching ethics in higher education

  • P Prinsloo Institute for Curriculum and Learning Development, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
  • C Beukes Department of Management Accounting, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Can corporate moral degeneration be countered through higher education? In the wake of reported unethical conduct of corporations and multinationals worldwide this article explores the challenges facing ethics education in the world of accountants and business leaders. A short overview is provided with regard to the development of and relationship between ethics and corporate governance in South Africa. Legislation, codes of ethics and regulatory frameworks do, however, not seem to provide sufficient guarantees that corporations will abide by them. Cognisance of the latest legislation is already a part of the curriculum of all Master of Business Administration (MBA), ?? (CTA) graduates and business degrees. Yet, it does not seem to stop corporate moral degeneration. The role higher education can play to prepare business and corporate leaders for ethical, responsible and sustainable business practices are investigated. Any educational strategy not taking into account the paradoxes and complexities which accountants and business leaders face will be in vain. Teaching accountability and ethical conduct, therefore, needs to be critical of the meta-narratives in society in their shaping of the value-systems of individuals and corporations.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 19(5) 2005: 931-942
Published
2006-05-30
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1011-3487