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College of Business tackles ethics

News + Events : College of Business tackles ethics

11/08/2009

In one business classroom, students pored over case studies about wineries' attempts to adopt an environmental management system. Earlier in the day, another group of students discussed the expansion of genetically modified crops in southern India, while students in a marketing class on another floor learned about the ethical issues of advertising online.

A photo of students in a classroom in the Downtown Campus.

Students encountered business ethics in a variety of classes and events during Business Ethics Week.

For the fourth consecutive year, faculty in the College of Business dedicated a week to exposing students to business ethics in a variety of classes and special events across all disciplines. The event, one of the largest ethics efforts at a University in the country, prepares undergraduate and graduate students to face ethical dilemmas in business through case studies, speakers and discussions.

"We want students to engage with business ethics and realize that they can be change agents and active decision-makers toward ethical problem-solving within an organization," said Denise Kleinrichert, assistant professor of management and co-organizer of Business Ethics Week with Marketing Chair Bill Perttula.

Nearly 4,000 students in 100 sections of classes discussed business ethics this week -- with an even larger number incorporating business ethics into curricula during the year.  In addition to in-class work, the College hosted talks and presentations by industry sustainability leaders from Genentech and All About the Future.

"One of the benefits of the approach at SF State is that students are more likely to see business ethics as a significant subject in every business discipline and not a subject to be studied only in a special workshop or single course," Perttula said.

Business Ethics Week continues the College of Business' longstanding tradition of melding business and social justice. SF State's MBA program was recently ranked No. 23 in the U.S. and No. 29 in the world in the Aspen Institute's 2009-10 Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey. The biennial survey measures how well institutions prepare students for environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business.

"In our increasingly global, diverse and complex business environment, a solid understanding of how to approach ethical decision making and a sense of commitment to personal and professional integrity, will be critical to success," College of Business Dean Nancy Hayes said.

For more information on Business Ethics Week, visit http://cob.sfsu.edu/ethicsweek/

Michael Bruntz


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