Thunderbird Prez Calls for Management Code of Conduct

cabrera_angel1-2009“The time seems ripe for the establishment of a global code of conduct for business that will cover the most critical areas of value creation and potential social harm associated with management as a profession,” says Ángel Cabrera, president of Thunderbird School of Global Management, in a BusinessWeek editorial posted Thursday.

Over the past year, much of the tongue wagging and finger pointing about the root of the financial crisis has been aimed squarely at businesses and those who manage them. The fallout hit business schools particularly hard, with many programs scrambling to add or bolster an ethics component in their curriculum.

Cabrera argues that business leaders should be held to the same standards of professional conduct as other professions. While Harvard Business School‘s much talked about MBA Oath, a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to “serve the greater good,” came in the wake of the economic meltdown, Thunderbird adopted its own student-driven “Professional Oath of Honor” back in 2005.

If a global code of conduct is to succeed, though, Cabrera says it will have to take root at business schools around the world. “It is there that new young managers first develop their value systems, and it is there where we can instill a more responsible approach to management””one that emphasizes sustainable value creation over short-term greed.”

Do you agree with Cabrera that all business schools should adopt a code of conduct equivalent to the Hippocratic oath? We’d love to hear what future B-school students think…please leave your comments below.

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