New Ethics Boot Camp Mandatory For Entering MBAs

Press Release

A mental trek through the Himalayas will be one of the ways that the University of California, Davis, exercises the ethical muscles of incoming Master of Business Administration students.

At a time when major ethical failings by corporate America have eroded public trust, the Graduate School of Management is introducing a mandatory ethics boot camp for its 150 entering MBA students. In this innovative program, the students will focus on a case study about providing assistance to a dying man they encounter in the mountains. They'll discuss leadership, values, and individual and corporate responsibility.

"Business is increasingly complex," says Dean Nicole Woolsey Biggart, who established the program. "Students who are well meaning and honest need guidance in navigating what can be ethically complex situations."

Before coming to the ethics boot camp, the students must complete selected readings in ethics and submit an essay about how they resolved a difficult ethical dilemma. About 60 full-time students attended boot camp on campus Wednesday, Sept. 17. About 90 students in the MBA program for Working Professionals attended an earlier session.

Woolsey Biggart, an expert in organizational behavior who teaches a section on ethical systems in a course exploring social issues in the workplace, says the boot camp will help prepare students for the teaching of ethics throughout the management school's curriculum -- from truth in advertising to privacy issues in information systems.

Leading the students through the boot camp was John Reynolds, who has more than 25 years experience in business. "The boot camp will underscore the importance of ethics to effective management and leadership," he says.

As managing partner of a Bay Area consulting firm that helps companies acquire and keep customers, Reynolds has faced many of his own ethical dilemmas. He has had a special interest in business ethics since early in his career when he quit a job after unsuccessful attempts to confront insider trading. Reynolds himself has an MBA from Stanford University.

The impact of a manager, Reynolds says, is magnified in a global economy and with the proliferation of technology. "The real challenge is recognizing when a situation calls for keen analysis to make the right decision," he says. "I want students to learn to think critically about ethical issues, to have the tools at hand to resolve those issues, and to find the moral courage to act."

The boot camp is one of several orientation sessions designed to ensure that students have the tools they need to be successful in their studies -- from basic accounting and business math skills to familiarity using data analysis and presentation software.

You may like these other stories...

Your 15-year-old may be tech-savvy enough to debug your computer, back-up data on your mobile devices, and help you stream episodes of Game of Thrones, but chances are you can’t expect them to display the same level of...
Event Date: August 5, 2014, 3 pm ETThis webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.Participants will learn:How to account for:ConsolidationsJoint...
On a typical June day, Kentucky high school students David Wagner, Kayla Cook, and Michael Kiraly would be kicking back, enjoying all the pleasures of summer—playing video games, hanging out by the pool, or binge-...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.
Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.