The MBA Oath - It's About Time

I like listening to The Economist.com's podcast - it gives a different flavor to international and domestic news than we get here. I'll usually listen to a handful at the same time, normally on a Sunday morning. This round, I was excited to see an episode entitled "A Hippocratic oath for MBAs". The opening monologue is paraphrased below:

...When you see a placard on the wall in a doctor's office, it reassures you. You don't get the same feeling when you walk into a business office...

I can certainly see why this is true in today's wacky economic and business climates - business folks are in the wrong no matter where you turn. But what if these folks had to answer to a higher standard, both professionally and ethically?

I like the idea of an MBA oath. It's in its early stages of development, and there is much work to be done. I remember taking courses during my CFA studies, and a big part of it was agreeing to the principles and standards of being a charterholder. No matter where you went in the world, the CFA designation meant something - it held value.

I'd like to see this happen with the MBA programs from different schools, even if it's something that starts off small and grows as other programs invest and join. And it makes sense that the founders of this movement are coming from Harvard Business School, since most MBA case studies used in different programs are derived from HBS courses.

It looks like NPR recently posted an article with an accompanying audio podcast. Along with The Economist.com's recent article, let's hope this ethical movement continues to pick up steam.