THE VALUES WE TEACH: DOES ONE SIZE FIT ALL

A. Nadolny, S. Ryan

University of Newcastle (AUSTRALIA)
In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, business schools are accused of teaching the wrong theory to the wrong people in the wrong way and thus producing unethical MBA graduates. The paper begins with a discussion of the links between human and business values and business education and graduate values. The arguments for and against business schools corrupting the values of their graduates are then summarised. Because the accusations have been directed at the elite US business schools, the arguments are examined in terms of their applicability to non-elite business schools such as most Australian business schools. The examination finds that the nature of these schools and their students exempt them from blame in damaging the moral character of graduates and causing the world financial distress. Rather, the problem for non-elite schools is that they have little if any impact on the character of their students. An obsession with following the elite school model regardless of the differences in situations, students and institutions renders the non-elite schools incapable of influencing the character of its graduates. The final section of the paper proposes ways in which non-elite business schools might make a difference to their own and their graduates’ moral characters through teaching content and methods that present alternatives to the elite business school model are more relevant to a post GFC world.