1 Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School2 Háskolinn i Reyklavik
This research deals with a multitude of perspectives on ethics education in business schools, seen by the eyes of top level managers. This paper deals with Icelandic managers’ perception of the role business schools can play in ethics education. The authors examine whether ethics education or more precisely, the lack hereof, played any role in the financial collapse of Iceland in 2008, and whether business schools should contribute to developing the moral characters of their students, who will ultimately become the next generation of business leaders. By surveying a sample of more than 400 managers of the largest Icelandic private and public organizations, this research verifies that business schools are partly to blame for the unethical business behavior displayed by their graduates. Furthermore, managers demand that Icelandic Universities take active responsibility in fostering students’ business ethics by introducing and developing special curriculum integrated in various courses in every program. The respondents also argue for business schools’ participation in the society’s discourse on business ethics, perhaps in the forefront of these discussions. Managers further admit that there is a need for them to improve their own stance through re-training and continuous education in business ethics. Finally, the research outcomes illustrate what may be needed to enhance ethics education at a University level.
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The 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference. 2013