Investigation to practicality of a professional code of ethics from MBA graduates

Johnston, Andrew (2013-03)


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of implementing an MBA Oath in a South African context for Business Professionals to utilise in their Professional careers, across industries within the economy. The idea of formulating and implementing an MBA Oath to shape the ethical outlook of Business Professionals graduating with MBA degrees was brought into existence at Harvard in 2009. This movement quickly spread throughout internationally acclaimed Universities garnering both widespread support and criticism. This paper will examine the topics relating to Business Ethics, the implementation of Codes of Ethics and other Professional Codes of Ethics in a detailed literature review in order to better understand the context and relevance of the study in the South African setting. Through abstraction of what the Top 40 listed entities on the JSE by market capitalising prescribe to be the most fundamental values and core guiding principles, combined with insight assembled from numerous interviews with subject matter experts in the field, a survey will be tabulated. The survey will look broadly at ethics within the South African economy and industry context to frame the current issues. It will then navigate down to a company compliance level to discover how people perceive the ethical structures within their organisations. It will look to explore the possibility of implementing an MBA Oath through Business Schools within South Africa and investigate the associated challenges. Finally, it will seek to identify a road forward; promoting ethical behaviour in local companies for generations to come. The final phase will look to analyse and synthesise all of the data that has been collected to form meaningful conclusions. The research paper provides a solid starting point for further investigation into initiating and implementing meaningful ethical frameworks aimed at increasing awareness, influencing people’s decision making processes and for promoting more ethically sound organisations in the South African economy.

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