MBA News Bites

Stacy Blackman’s Weekly Roundup of B-School Intelligence

‘Business ethics’…oxymoronic or no?R. Edward Freeman, director of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics at Virginia’s Darden School of Business, had a lot to say about the state of business ethics today in Emily Badger’s recent piece for Miller-McCune. “We think the purpose of a business is to make money, that’s all,” says Freeman. “That’s kind of like saying the purpose of my life is to make red blood cells. I need red blood cells to live, but it doesn’t follow that making them is the purpose of my life.”

Chicago Booth to offer executive MBA concentrations — Participants in Chicago Booth’s EMBA program can now earn a concentration in finance, marketing or strategy, the school announced this week. The introduction of concentrations is part of an expanded curriculum that will benefit all EMBA students regardless of what track they choose. This new opportunity is available to students who enter the program beginning this year.

The contaminating force of wishful thinkingScienceMode featured a piece this week on researchers from McCombs School of Business and Cornell University. A new study shows that wishful betting can contaminate beliefs throughout markets, as other participants infer wishful bettors possess more favorable information than they do. ScienceMode reports that, as a consequence, investors who initially held accurate beliefs become overly optimistic about stock values.

Find your happy place Paul Ingram of Columbia Business School has an article on Portfolio.com with info we can all use right about now. In “How to Be Happy During the Crisis,” Ingram shares the results of a survey he administered along with doctoral student Xi Zou to check whether happiness has really declined now that our economy is in freefall mode. Turns out, overall happiness hasn’t taken such a hit after all.

BofA ditches foreign MBAsFinancial Times is reporting that, due to the terms of its government bail-out agreement, Bank of America is forced to withdraw job offers made to foreign MBAs graduating this spring. While only about 50 international students have been affected by this clause, business schools are concerned that other financial institutions will follow suit. One ripple effect: students may look elsewhere for their b-school needs. “There might be an inclination for people from around the world to vote with their feet,” says David Schmittlein, dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

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