Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004
The Stand Alone Course in Business Ethics
Put an Ethicist on the Team!
A Promising But Neglected “Third Way” to Teach Ethics in a Business School
How can business schools best prepare their students to deal with the ethical challenges they will face in the ‘real world’? For three or four decades members of business (and other professional) schools have debated the relative merits of teaching ethics in a stand-alone “foundational” course or teaching a little bit of ethics “across the curriculum” in every course. This paper explores a third option—having an ethicist as a member of a team that teaches an integrated approach to management—which combines the advantages of the two traditional options while avoiding some of their shortcomings. The paper begins with a lengthy discussion about the interdisciplinary nature of the field of business ethics and about the pedagogical implications of this conception of the field. And it concludes with a case study of the team-teaching approach at the Sauder School of Business of University of British Columbia.