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Bentley on Bloomberg: Why Ethics Matter for Companies And College Students

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Bentley on Bloomberg: Why Ethics Matter for Companies And College Students

When it comes to business ethics, a lot has changed and a lot has remained the same since the fall of Wall Street and subsequent global recession in 2008. According to a June 2015 Gallup poll, a mere 9% of the American public says they trust big business “a great deal,” up from 6% in June 2009. The only institution Gallup found to be polling lower than big business is Congress, which a historically low 4% of Americans trust a “great deal.”

Have companies learned from their mistakes? How can we train the future workforce to be ethical, responsible leaders?

Students must role-play dilemmas in class to prepare for ethical dialogue at work- @Cynthia_E_Clark

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Bentley President Gloria Larson joined Bloomberg Radio’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, along with guest experts, to discuss how companies are enforcing and promoting ethical behavior and what universities are doing to teach ethics in the classroom. (Interviews are linked to guests' names below.)

  1. Create a culture of ethical conduct in the workplace

Make it a priority to train and educate employees on what constitutes ethical, responsible behavior through corporate programming, communications and storytelling - and continually reinforce it. Encourage a “speak-up” culture and be sure to set an ethical tone at the top that is infused throughout company levels.

-Tim Schultz, vice president of ethics and business conduct, Raytheon

  1. Watch out for misconduct in a good economy

According to a longitudinal study done by the Ethics and Compliance Initiative every two years since 1994, when times are tight, companies tend to strongly enforce corporate integrity whereas when times are lucrative, companies tend to take more risks, making them more likely to push the limits and loosen their ethical standards in favor of increased performance.

-Patricia Harned, CEO, Ethics and Compliance Initiative

  1. Give students case-based ethics scenarios and infuse ethics across the curriculum

Present students with real-world dilemmas in the classroom so that when they graduate into the workforce, they are confident engaging in an ethical dialogue. Do this by role-playing and asking pressing questions that require them to think about why they made certain decisions and what will be the consequences of their choices.

-Cynthia Clark, management professor and director of the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, Bentley University

Learn more about Bentley on Bloomberg.

Bentley’s PreparedU Project examines challenges facing college graduates, the companies that employ them, and the colleges and universities that prepare them.

Learn more about Bentley’s PreparedU Project, which examines challenges facing millennial workers, the companies that employ them and the colleges and universities that prepare them.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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