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Rethinking Ethics Education in Business Schools in the Post-Financial Crisis Epoch: An Icelandic Perspective

Rethinking Ethics Education in Business Schools in the Post-Financial Crisis Epoch: An Icelandic Perspective
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Author(s): Vlad Vaiman (Reykjavik University, Iceland) and Throstur Olaf Sigurjonsson (Reykjavik University, Iceland)
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.ch020

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Abstract

This chapter deals with a multitude of perspectives on ethics education in business schools and provides a compelling example of Iceland, where unethical behavior of its business elite and the total disregard for commonly accepted ethical rules of conducting business led to unsustainable expansion of the financial industry and its subsequent collapse in the fall of 2008. The authors examine whether ethics education or more precisely, the lack thereof, played any role in this financial collapse, and whether business schools should contribute to molding moral characters of their students, who will ultimately become the next generation of business leaders. Here are a few important highlights of what has been found. First, a consensus seems to have been reached that business schools have an important role in developing the moral character of their students, something they haven’t practiced sufficiently according to managers. Second, business schools ought to take a more direct part in a society’s discourse on business ethics and perhaps be in the forefront of these discussions. Third, there is a clear need for not only asking business schools to contribute to molding the moral character of students but to reshaping that of practicing managers through re-training and continuous education.

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