South-Western - Management  
Capitalism and a Moral Education
Topic Ethics and Social Responsibility
Key Words ethics, capitalism, morality
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

Recently, we have seen top executives at Xerox, Worldcom, Enron, Tyco, Lucent and Anderson, among others, engage in insider trading, misrepresent financial status, and shred legal documents. William Bennett feels these circumstances are rare, but may hint at a problem with the moral compass of the corporate world. The scandals that have occurred demonstrate what happens when capitalism is pursued without limits. He makes the point that this is a problem with humanity in general. Morals are being taught from elementary schools to business schools. Positive role models are effective, but there are plenty of negative role models in the corporate world today.

Questions
1.

Explain what Aristotle meant by "the most effective way to teach morality is to demonstrate morality." Why is this important in today's business climate?

2.

What are your ideas about what business schools should be doing to teach business ethics? Make a list of ways corporations can insure ethical business activities.

Source William J. Bennett, "Capitalism and a Moral Education," Chicago Tribune, July 28, 2002, Section 2, p. 9.
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