Friday, May 15, 2009

Late Stage MBA-Josh Moritz- Ethics, Sharing and Babson Fast Track MBA

My blog about my mother and the Maserati generated a solicitation from a site that allows people to share papers, projects, e-books, etc. for graduate and undergraduate students. There was no decision here: I rejected the comment out-right and it will not be published on this blog.

There is an element of self-righteousness here, and I am no angel--sure I have shared work with colleagues and in return they have shared with me in private with understanding that the sharing is to generate thought, not steal it --- but what is being drilled into the heads of my Fast Track Babson class is not just the concept of the law but what is also ethical. To wit: Such a blatant solicitation to share potentially copyrighted material, e-books and papers in a public venue without the potential of attribution or payment is odious.

The concept of law and ethnics is not just focused on one class, but is a theme that permeates the program. While we are being trained as large "C" capitalists, we are also taking a serious look at the philosophy behind our business conduct. It is a matter of understanding what we are selling and that the buyer understands what they are getting. There is limited stomach for promoting a product like a CDO (that odious word that is likley to get some people reared up for comment) when we don't understand exactly what it does, but selling it anyway to people who think they know what it does, but then does not.

We are encouraged to develop a general, yet flexible rule, to establish the guidelines upfront before faced with an ethical issue.

We are studying the law, but also the ethical construct behind the law. Our readings include: Kant, Aristotle, Confucious, Jeremy Bentham, John Mill, as well as others.

Perhaps the philosphy that Babson is trying to get across, more than finance, marketing, supply chain management, or strategy can be summed up by a quote from Peter Cooper in 1874, just after the rampage of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall in New York City:

"I have always recognized that the object of business is to make money in an honorable manner. I have endeavored to remember that the object of life is to do good."
Good philosphy, hope to do it.

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