Why businesspeople need moral principles

I recently received feedback from the students in my MBA business ethics course earlier this year. While a number of them were enthusiastic in...

We need more selfishness, not less

Contrary to conventional wisdom, selfishness is a virtue--and we need more of it. For most people being called selfish is an accusation, not praise....

Teamwork vs. independent thinking?

If we are to believe people like President Obama who famously said: “You didn’t build that”, we would conclude individual accomplishment is insignificant; only...

Why isn’t there more rational selfishness?

I am teaching business ethics to a class of MBA students. The course covers the main alternative moral codes:altruism—the most widely adopted code...

Are there right answers in ethics?

Ethics education is blossoming in business schools (see a Financial Post article). Yet, the scandals don’t seem to go away: corruption at Canadian construction...

Why is there racism in business?

A recent trip to the Southern United States made me aware of a sad truth: racism is live and well, decades after racial segregation...

How objective moral principles make decisions easier

A new semester, a new business ethics class. Although the students are self-selected—my course is an elective, I motivate them in various ways. For...

Altruism is not a guide for living—or for business

Most of us pursue self-interest every day: we eat nutritious food, engage in productive work (to have a purpose and to make a living),...

Are you a “people-pleaser”?

A graduate student once told me that he was feeling anxious about disagreeing with his supervisor about the direction of his thesis work, because,...

Why every business student needs to learn about rational ethics

We all need ethics, a set of moral principles, to guide our choices and actions. Since we have no automatic knowledge of the right...

How mistaken moral views explain bad economics

Morality poses the question: For what purpose should I live and how? Economics studies how to organize production and trade of goods and services...

Profit maximization is moral!

In the last class of my MBA business ethics course, a student commented that while he agreed that businesses must pursue profits to survive,...