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Nurturing Integrity in Management Education with the Development of an Alternative Web of Metaphors

Nurturing Integrity in Management Education with the Development of an Alternative Web of Metaphors
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Author(s): Luc K. Audebrand (University of British Columbia, Canada) and John W. Burton (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 15
Source title: Handbook of Research on Teaching Ethics in Business and Management Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Charles Wankel (St. John's University, USA) and Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch (Silesian University of Technology, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-510-6.ch021

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Abstract

In recent years management education has sought to integrate into both undergraduate and graduate programs a concern for ethics and integrity. If this goal is to be achieved management educators must address the way in which an overreliance on mainstream metaphors (e.g., business-as-war) perpetuates an approach to management which is at odds with ethics and integrity. They need to be mindful of how metaphors are used and the images that they evoke. Part of the challenge in fostering ethics and integrity is to challenge the preconceptions which students have about the nature of business activities. Such attitudes are generally in line with these mainstream metaphors. In this chapter, the authors’ goal is not to find the perfect metaphor; one which will best incorporate a praxis of integrity as a part of management education. Rather they suggest that overuse of any metaphor has distorting effects and that what is the needed is to develop a web of metaphors which will provide management students with a capacity for seeing events from a broader perspective which includes considerations of ethical and value implications. Exposure to different metaphors will lead to different lines of reasoning and decision-making. By using different metaphors to understand the complex and paradoxical character of management, students have the opportunity to see possibilities for action and implications of decisions that they may not have thought about otherwise. In short, it is their claim that management education needs metaphorical pluralism if it is to nurture ethics and integrity.

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