WAT Topic for MBA: Ethics and morals cannot be taught in classrooms only

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MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
January 4, 2014
This article is in the series of GD PI WAT preparation for MBA Admission 2014.This WAT/ essay on the Topic "Ethics and morals cannot be taught in classrooms only" will provide inputs for your WAT round at Admission 2014
WAT Topic for MBA
Classroom based education can only give a theoretical understanding of a malafide but in the end society has the last role to play to form the set of rules.

The presence of qualities showing high ethics in a person is often termed as morality. Most of the times the term moral are associated with the lesson one learns from the society. The beliefs which he adheres to in his day to day professional as well as personal dealings are morals while ethics are the codes or standards of conduct expected by the group to which the individual belongs. These principles and values provide a correct evaluation of his ideas and the way he looks towards the problems of the society as a whole.

Nowadays, with the advancement in technology and modernization in a society like India ethics and morals have become buzz words with many educational institutes starting their own courses in ethics development.

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Society: The best teacher of ethics and morality
The set of values that a society always keeps in mind are morals and ethics which are always supposed to be adhered to. They include a prescriptive code of conduct and don’t merely describe a state of affairs; they direct how things should be. A civilized society has moral rules which action guides are carrying with them a sense of obligation, defining how people ought to conduct themselves. These injunctions apply not just to actions but to attitudes and motives as well. Every society has its own set of ethics and morals. A few actions of violence may be acceptable in a society but totally unacceptable in another one.

Man, being a social animal is supposed to learn the things, taught to him by the society and the way they work. Before going for formal school education, his personality is shaped as per the requirements of the society and family to which he belongs.

Schools certainly play a big role in shaping up a person’s worldview and the way he looks upon the things and happenings around him but it’s the impact of the social learning which takes him forward in shaping the standard of ethics. When the pirates in Somalia unauthorized detain a ship and ask for ransom, they think they are not doing anything unethical since the law of the land allows them to do so although there may be many lessons on moral education against this act in their books.   

Classroom based education can only give a theoretical understanding of a malafide but in the end society has the last role to play to form the set of rules. Numbers of management colleges have come up with particular courses on the ethics because in a professional life the forces and pressures of the market make a person easily forget his morals and ethics for petty gains which most of the times are not very long lasting.

It is very tough to change the moral build-up of a person just through a dozen of classes in colleges and institutes unless the students are exposed and encouraged to involve in some social initiatives. Unless they go back to the society and use the education got in classrooms to understand the plight of the section of the society, the usual approach will be the thought that it is in its destiny to live an underprivileged life.

Present Scenario of losing values
Renowned American ethicist Bruce Weinstein advocated following basic principles of ethics that are common to all the societies worldwide Do no harm; Make things better; Respect others; Be fair; Be loving

But, nowadays it is always lamented that social ethics and moral values are not being taken as seriously by the fast developing society as they were taken seriously earlier. The result is rise in number of corruption cases in public and government offices, murders, rapes and terrorism.

Most of the times the struggle to exist successfully in the highly competitive markets forces us to set aside our morals and ethics by being carried away by greed and jealousy. In the material world if we decide to work outside the rules and regulations the gains are manifold, so temptation to set aside ethical standards and morals is always present in us.

Role of Corporate sector
The Corporate Social Responsibility projects carried out by most of the corporate houses is one such step towards visualizing our ethical duties as business managers towards the society which has played a great role in shaping us up.  CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model.

In some models, a firm's implementation of CSR goes beyond compliance and engages in "actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm. CSR is a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders.

No matter how much famous and successful we become in our professional lives we can never forget the responsibilities which we have towards the society which has played an immense role in shaping up our persona. The things which matter most are how do we behave as a part of the society and humanity as a whole. Ours ethics and moral values play an important role in making us more humane towards the sufferings of our fellow human beings and adhering to the ideals of morality. 

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