Academia de Studii Economice Bucuresti

Amfiteatru Economic
Facultatea de Business si Turism

The Integration of the Ethical Dimension into Business Education

Author:Monica Petcu and Eduard Dinu

JEL:I25, A20


Keywords:business education, ethics, ethical behaviour, curriculum, competences

Organisations are marked by the complexity of interdependences and non-linear feed-back whose synergetic character has a strong impact on the dynamics, de-structuring and restructuring of the socio-economic systems that these are included in, in a continuous process characterised mainly by instability and rapid changes. In this context, the necessity to focus on ethics as a prerequisite in regular decision-making at the level of these organisations represents a major challenge for higher education, in particular for the business administration field, which has to ensure the comprehensibility of these phenomena. The research is divided into three main sections that focus on the ethical dimension of human activities in the economy, starting from the need to integrate ethics into business education: problems and objectives of the curriculum regarding ethics, requirements for elaborating the curriculum, as well as students’ perception of the introduction of “Business Ethics” in the curriculum. Based on the specialised literature review, the observations at the level of organisations, the analysis and structuring of structural-phenomenological information, we disseminated the objectives and requirements of a curriculum focused on business ethics. The quantitative analysis of students` perception of the discussed issue was made by means of a survey carried out among students enrolled in Master`s programmes, based on a questionnaire. The relevant elements were identified to validate the research hypotheses: relevant business factors (profit, risk, financial viability, the need for ethics and the involvement in community problems), the explanatory variables of ethical behaviour (the education, the mission and the value system, the existence of a code of ethics and of a person responsible for ethics-related issues), the requirements of the business environment in education (focus on practical aspects of Business Ethics courses, combining theoretical sessions with practical ones, cooperation with the business environment, the use of case studies as a didactic tool and updating the content of Business Ethics courses), as well as the competitive advantages gained by introducing “Business Ethics” in the curriculum (high degree of comprehension, more opportunities, competitiveness, efficiency in fulfilling responsibilities). The use of statistical instruments made it possible to reach conclusions regarding the necessity to include ethics in business education and its formative impact, as well as regarding the existing correlations between ethical behaviour and education
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