Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Staying Current

As we try to stay up-float while our leaders stabilize the global economy, a huge magnifier glass is pointed at Top B-Schools as can be seen in this NY times piece or this CNN one. The current crisis has been going on for some time and that has given us the time to take a breath and examine what we did wrong. Failed leadership is a theme that keeps coming up. Who can we blame for this? The business schools, of course as can be read from a FoxNews article pointing out the schools that wrecked the economy.

Everybody wants to see that b-schools make sure this situation would never happen again. A story I've heard from a professor at Darden tells of a company that came to visit Darden while they were considering their recruitment options. Once they saw the UVa honor code we have in every classroom, their mind was made up. Incidently, this was shortly after the corporate scandals in the begining of the century, although Darden's emphasis on ethics was established long before that.

I will be taking my first ethics class this week, so I'll be able to share a more personal view within a few weeks.

But Darden is definitely keeping up to date with updates to the program. I started a new course today: "Marketing Inteligence". The professor shared with us the updates to the curriculum, some of which, include some legal studies so that when we come up with creative ideas later in our jobs, we won't get "too creative".

It doesn't end there; We have had a number of "green" draft cases this year examining the current crisis from various perspectives. We have been asked to put ourselves in the various situations and decide what we would do instead of Bernanke or this company CEO or that new graduate consulting to one company or another.

We've also had speakers and panels talking about the current crisis and we've learned a lot from the wisdom of others.

Is this enough? Can the schools do more?
The NYTimes piece mentioned earlier mentions a study that claims that 56% of MBA students cheat. What can a B-School really do to change the values of a 28 year old that believes it is ok for her to cheat?

B-Schools provide a 1-2 year training program, equiping us with a kit of tools and experiences to help us make good judgements at jobs. The rest is on us.


Jackie said...

Nice post! Appreciated reading your insights.

Mandy said...

great post, sweetiepie. so proud to have you here at darden. i am confident that when the class of '09 scatters to the proverbial wind, the school is in good hands. viva la d'10!

Metal said...

Nice post, but with all due respect I think Ethics is something that cannot be taught in classes, with books. Ethic comes from within. You know it when you betray your conscience, it doesnt matter whether or not you studied ethics or not. Nice Blog btw, keep up the neat work.

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