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W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics
We are deeply saddened to announce that on December 6, 2018, Dr. W. Michael Hoffman, the founder of W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics, a national pioneer in the field of business ethics, and a beloved member of the Bentley community for 44 years, passed away.
Mike began working at Bentley in 1974 as the chair of the Philosophy Department. At the time, the United States was reeling from the Watergate crisis and an erosion of trust in public institutions. Mike recognized that at a business college, he was in the right place to teach future leaders about moral leadership, so he introduced to the Bentley curriculum a course on business ethics. Soon afterward, in 1976, he opened at Bentley the first center dedicated to all aspects of business ethics and became an evangelist for business ethics through a series of national conferences and many other initiatives.
As more universities around the country began to offer business ethics courses, Mike joined with other scholars to establish the Society for Business Ethics and the Business Ethics Quarterly. He also joined with leaders from the private sector to found the Ethics Officer Association, the first professional association for ethics professionals working in corporate settings. Mike was the association’s founding executive director, with Bentley serving as the facilitating institution. Today, virtually every publicly listed company and countless private companies in the United States and around the world have an ethics and compliance officer.
A prolific scholar, he has authored or edited 15 books and authored or coauthored over 100 articles. In 2016, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the center that he founded, the trustees announced that it would be renamed the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics.
Mike had a legendary stature in the field he helped to create, and yet, he met everyone with warmth, humor, and kindness. He will be profoundly missed by many, but his career-long dedication to the field ensures that generations of scholars and practitioners will carry on his life’s work toward a more ethical business world.
The family has requested that, if desired, memorial donations may be directed to Bentley University - Hoffman Center for Business Ethics, and sent to the attention of Liz Siladi, University Advancement Office, Bentley University, 175 Forest St., Waltham, MA 02452. To read more about Dr. Hoffman, click here.
Pioneering the Field of Business Ethics Since 1976
The W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics (HCBE) at Bentley University is one of the world's leading research and educational institutes in the field of business ethics. It is also among the oldest and most respected, having been established in 1976.
HCBE is a nonprofit educational, research and consulting organization whose vision is a world in which all businesses contribute positively to society through their ethically sound and responsible operations.
HCBE's mission is to give leadership in the creation of organizational cultures that align effective business performance with ethical business conduct. It endeavors to do so by the application of expertise, research, education and a collaborative approach to disseminating best practices.
HCBE strives to:
- Connect ethical thought and action
- Inspire ethical leadership
- Enrich ethical knowledge and
- Promote ethical collaboration
Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility
Given Bentley University’s mission to educate ethical and socially responsible organizational leaders via impactful knowledge within and across business and the arts and sciences, we created the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility (BAESR) in 2003. The role of the BAESR is to amplify and extend the work of the autonomous centers and initiatives on campus, supporting and encouraging greater awareness of, respect for, and commitment to ethics, service, social responsibility and sustainability in our research, curricula and campus culture. W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics is proud to be a partner in the Alliance.
For more information, click here.