Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004
The Stand Alone Course in Business Ethics
Heidi von Weltzien Høivik
Learning Experiences from Designing and Teaching a Mandatory MBA Course on Ethics and Leadership
The paper describes the particular design of a mandatory course in business ethics for MBA students at the Norwegian School of Management. The title “Ethics, Values, and Integrity in Management” instead of “business ethics” was chosen on purpose in order to allow students—who all come with extensive job experience—to distinguish on their own between moral leadership and ethics management by the end of the course. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students understand the normative demands of good leadership without sacrificing either managerial effectiveness or ethics. Especially, when the international student body consists of participants from different parts of the world, it was important to make sure that students could relate ethics to the concept of leadership based on their own cultural traditions. A short survey conducted for this paper among the alumni MBA students yielded information about the usefulness of the course after it has been running for 10 years. The survey confirmed increased ethical awareness and the usefulness of skills for moral reflections and decision making.