Teaching Ethics is an Issue for All Businesses

Teaching Businesses Ethics

Universities are Focused on Teaching Ethics which Helps Businesses

Universities play a major role in the education of employees when dealing with ethics. Because of major scandals over the last few years, this role is even more important.

Education and ethics often go hand in hand in the workplace. But many businesses over the last few years have had problems with employees acting unethically in the workplace. In some cases, these problems have involved high profile companies and their CEOs and other high placed executives. To combat this problem universities have begun to place a higher priority on classes that teach ethical behavior in the workplace.

Ethics is Taught by Institutions of Higher Learning

The teaching of ethics by colleges has become an increasingly important part of business education. The lessons a person learns about the subject of ethics are not usually taught at the high school level because the emphasis there is on general education. Because of this the responsibility for teaching ethics falls to universities. The point of teaching ethics in college is not about teaching the difference between right and wrong but instead, it's about raising awareness about doing what is right even though sometimes it is the harder of the two choices.

Employees and Education

Many business degree programs in fact have made ethics classes a part of the core curriculum. For many years this focus did not really exist. Ethics classes were an afterthought for many business schools and programs. But with the cases of Enron, Worldcom, and Tyco garnering such a large amount of media attention the question arose about what could be done to prevent other such incidents. And while it is not the job of universities to solve such problems they do realize that they can be a part of the solution.

Employee Temptation

The workplace is full of temptation. And many employees do not view their jobs as careers. It’s possible they have spent some time at a particular company though and they know the ins and outs of it. Because they are familiar with the workings of the business they know what they can and cannot get away with. This provides temptation. Classes on ethics are about curbing this temptation. They teach about doing the right thing even when no one else is looking.

A Solution for Employees

The solution for businesses in this situation is simple. Just as a business might provide classes on cultural sensitivity and sexual harassment, classes can be taught on ethics. Employees need to be made aware that the business takes this issue extremely seriously. And that the company expects all of the employees regardless of position to act in an ethical manner at all times. Encouraging employees to take such classes can benefit both them and the company.

Resources used for this article:

Now is the Time for Ethics in Education By Amy Haas for the CPA Journal This source was cited because ethics is taught by higher education institutions and recent business scandals over the last few years show that more ethics education is needed.

Business Students Get a Dose of Ethics By Joe Smydo Pittsburgh Post Gazette

This source was cited because it shows that colleges are increasingly aware of the importance of providing education in ethics to their students.

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