Progressive Revival

In this time of questioning the moral compass of the business community it is nice to see that some students have signed a self imposed a moral code for students in MBA programs.  This summer I spoke at the Chautauqua Institute on the Ethics of Capitalism where the question of how to instill values into the business
community was being asked from a variety of perspectives.   I had heard of the MBA oath and
mentioned it in the Q&A of my talk. 

The tenor of the MBA Oath reminds me of my
great-grandfather’s short treatise on Love called Dare We Be Christians
in which he warns that quote: “The
severest test and the most urgent task of love today is in the field of
business life. Unless love can dominate the making of wealth, the wealth of our
nation will be the ferment of its decay” 
Prescient no?

Using the well recognized words of love found in
Paul in Corinthians,  Rauschenbusch

“If I
create wealth beyond the dream of past ages and increase not love, my heat is
the flush of fever and my success will deal death”  and “Though I have foresight to locate the fountains of
riches, and the skill to tap them and yet have no loving vision for humanity, I
am blind.”

makes me very glad to see that morally mature students are attending MBA
programs and see the welfare of the whole of humanity as part of their
responsibility as they become masters of the universe.  Perhaps Ethics and Capitalism are not opposing values after all.  

See the
MBA Oath Below and take a look at the MBA Oath Website

Take the Oath

read the oath below, then click the link at the bottom of the page to continue.

To read a longer
version of the oath, and to print a pdf copy, click here.


a manager
, my purpose is to serve the
greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no
single individual can create alone. Therefore I will seek a course that
enhances the value my enterprise can create for society over the long term. I
recognize my decisions can have far-reaching consequences that affect the
well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and in the
future. As I reconcile the interests of different constituencies, I will face
choices that are not easy for me and others.

I promise:

I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in
an ethical manner.

I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders,
co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate.

I will manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding
against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm
the enterprise and the societies it serves.

I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in
spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my

I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will
represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.

I will develop both myself and other managers under my
supervision so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the
well-being of society.

I will strive to create sustainable economic, social,
and environmental prosperity worldwide.

I will be accountable to my peers and they will be
accountable to me for living by this oath.

oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

Please click here to continue…




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