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Raising Ethics and Integrity Awareness by Incentivizing Professionalism

Raising Ethics and Integrity Awareness by Incentivizing Professionalism
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Author(s): Timothy S. Clark (Northern Arizona University, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 14
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.ch012


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Far more than in the fields of business, research scholarship in the medical and legal fields has considered the integrity of students and graduates. Within the broader concept of professionalism, integrity is manifest in these fields as behavioral qualities such as bedside manner, client relationships, and dedication to quality. Yet in business scholarship, research into professionalism extends little beyond exploration of it antonyms as evidenced in the moral conduct of certain notorious executives. Conspicuously absent from business literature is much consideration of the positive behavioral qualities desirable in our institutions’ students, neither with respect to scholastic progress during college, to employability and career progression following graduation, nor to the foundations of conduct that characterize pro-social business practitioners. In this chapter, the author offers an exploration of professionalism as a concept within which integrity is implicit and critical, and around which business schools can structure programs to raise awareness and standards among their students and graduates. The chapter begins by fleshing-out the concept of professionalism, including brief review of the word’s etymology and history. Next, an argument is developed as to the relevance of professionalism to students and, therefore, to faculty and administrators of business schools. Finally, the intentions and experiences at the college of business at a mid-tier state university, where colleagues and the author have developed and launched what is called the Professionalism Recognition Program, are presented in the spirit of positive organizational scholarship to provide other business faculty and administrators with a potential idea for addressing professionalism at their institutions. The author concludes with discussion of additional research related to the concept of professionalism and it’s applicability in business schools’ planning.

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