Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004
The Stand Alone Course in Business Ethics
A Required Foundation Course for Moral, Legal, and Political Education
Corporate scandals reveal the need for deep transformation of management education so as to profess and promote moral leadership. AACSB and business schools bear partial fault for the recent situation. New 2003 AACSB accreditation standards do highlight business ethics. But the 2003 standards undermine moral, legal and political education by defining “ethics” narrowly and tending to signal pure “infusion” in place of any independent foundation coursework. This paper states a case for an independent foundation course, required universally at undergraduate and graduate levels of business or management education, addressing businesses in societies, legal environment of business and business ethics. Independent foundation instruction by specialists should be followed universally by systematic infusion of these areas throughout business curricula. Neither standalone coursework nor pure infusion is satisfactory. The paper discusses roles, content and location of a required foundation course—followed by systematic infusion—for moral, legal and political education of future managers.