BP oil spill and MBA ethics


Like most Americans, I've been watching the way this oil spill has been playing out, thinking it's absolutely ridiculous, and asking myself, "what went wrong?"

And interestingly enough, I saw that here on find-mba, there's a pretty new article about CSR (corporate/social responsibility)

http://find-mba.com/article/469/beyond-the-greenwash-mba-programs-for-positive-impact

All this is going through my head as I'm getting ready to apply to business school: it seems like more and more MBA programs are focusing on ethics, social responsibility, and the like - but at the same time BP hasn't really made any adjustments along these lines.

Do you think that the notion of CSR is so recent in the business world that it will take a few generations to be included in outward business practices? I'm just wondering if in 20 years, will a spill like the one we've been witnessing happen again, even with ingrained notions of "business ethics?"

On another thread here I saw that Harvard got a new dean - one who is dedicated to sustainability and business ethics... Maybe that's a sign of the times...
Like most Americans, I've been watching the way this oil spill has been playing out, thinking it's absolutely ridiculous, and asking myself, "what went wrong?"

And interestingly enough, I saw that here on find-mba, there's a pretty new article about CSR (corporate/social responsibility)

http://find-mba.com/article/469/beyond-the-greenwash-mba-programs-for-positive-impact

All this is going through my head as I'm getting ready to apply to business school: it seems like more and more MBA programs are focusing on ethics, social responsibility, and the like - but at the same time BP hasn't really made any adjustments along these lines.

Do you think that the notion of CSR is so recent in the business world that it will take a few generations to be included in outward business practices? I'm just wondering if in 20 years, will a spill like the one we've been witnessing happen again, even with ingrained notions of "business ethics?"

On another thread here I saw that Harvard got a new dean - one who is dedicated to sustainability and business ethics... Maybe that's a sign of the times...
quote
Rhino
Capitalism is the problem!
Maybe I am a bit socialist, just like Obama =P
But in the sake of money, and job security, when shareholders want to get high growth in profit.
One will do everything to grow the business.

There is nothing a company can change to be more ethical.
Even if they change, it is definitely for public relation image.
What the govt can do is to create fiercer watch dog. So people like maddof, "fabulous fab", paulson can be detected early.
That will force people to think thrice before doing some evil deeds.
Capitalism is the problem!
Maybe I am a bit socialist, just like Obama =P
But in the sake of money, and job security, when shareholders want to get high growth in profit.
One will do everything to grow the business.

There is nothing a company can change to be more ethical.
Even if they change, it is definitely for public relation image.
What the govt can do is to create fiercer watch dog. So people like maddof, "fabulous fab", paulson can be detected early.
That will force people to think thrice before doing some evil deeds.
quote
What the govt can do is to create fiercer watch dog. So people like maddof, "fabulous fab", paulson can be detected early.

That will force people to think thrice before doing some evil deeds.


I agree with you and don't think that that argument is fundamentally socialist. It's been proven time and again that an unchecked free market can not be effectively regulated without oversight. This current financial crisis should wake people up - and in more ways than just pretending to greenwash MBA programs.

That said I don't think that's happening, at least not yet. People are flocking to MBA programs in record number, and perhaps that's actually because of the financial crisis - and I sincerely doubt more than a couple percent of them actually care about corporate social responsibility or sustainability in business.
<blockquote>What the govt can do is to create fiercer watch dog. So people like maddof, "fabulous fab", paulson can be detected early.

That will force people to think thrice before doing some evil deeds.</blockquote>

I agree with you and don't think that that argument is fundamentally socialist. It's been proven time and again that an unchecked free market can not be effectively regulated without oversight. This current financial crisis should wake people up - and in more ways than just pretending to greenwash MBA programs.

That said I don't think that's happening, at least not yet. People are flocking to MBA programs in record number, and perhaps that's actually because of the financial crisis - and I sincerely doubt more than a couple percent of them actually care about corporate social responsibility or sustainability in business.
quote
fishball
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/business/09blame.html

You know, I'm pretty sure that BP didn't want the oil spill as much as everybody else - even more than the average joe, simply because they've lost so much money over a miserable spill like that.

It's easy to point a finger at BP and say "hell yeah, those greedy capitalist bastards" but realize this - BP, like any other profit seeking venture, did NOT intentionally seek to create an oil spill.

I think there's a distinct difference between the likes of Goldman Sachs, BP and a straight up fraud like Madoff.

A business is in the business of making profit. Its responsibility to its shareholders and society is to make profit. Its responsible to the government to make profit. If a business is all about ethics and other strange forms of responsibility and NOT about profit - IT'S NOT A BUSINESS!
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/business/09blame.html

You know, I'm pretty sure that BP didn't want the oil spill as much as everybody else - even more than the average joe, simply because they've lost so much money over a miserable spill like that.

It's easy to point a finger at BP and say "hell yeah, those greedy capitalist bastards" but realize this - BP, like any other profit seeking venture, did NOT intentionally seek to create an oil spill.

I think there's a distinct difference between the likes of Goldman Sachs, BP and a straight up fraud like Madoff.

A business is in the business of making profit. Its responsibility to its shareholders and society is to make profit. Its responsible to the government to make profit. If a business is all about ethics and other strange forms of responsibility and NOT about profit - IT'S NOT A BUSINESS!


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