Realizing a need to educate students on issues around ethics, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, Indian B-schools are redesigning their courses. These include names like Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), XLRI Jamshedpur and SPJIMR Mumbai.
With new courses around ethics and governance, these B-schools wish to help shape a generation of right-minded business leaders.
We hope that various courses such as corporate governance and ethics influence students to move beyond a knowledge and skill-building objective to a more purposeful existence that can bring a positive change to the society,” said Padmini Srinivasan, Chairperson of two-year MBA course at IIM Bangalore.
In recent times, India has witnessed a series of scams, involving big names like Uber, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. Considering the increase in the number of malpractices in workplaces, expanding the scope of learning and creating awareness about such issues is crucial.
While the earlier course on corporate governance had focused on law and its compliance, compensation structures, and shareholder wealth maximization, now the emphasis will be on how executives and managers can deal with ethical dilemmas and conflicts they will face in their careers. It will also provide them with the essential frameworks and processes to take the right decision.
B-schools such as IIMs, SPJIMR and XLRI have brought in global experts and have included inputs from them to make their courses more relevant. These newly designed courses also include case studies of Nirav Modi's and Vijay Mallya's case.
While XLRI has added more than 30 recent business cases in its ethics course “to reflect the contemporary corporate turbulent markets of today", Mumbai-based SPJIMR redesigned its business ethics course last year. SPJIMR has made it mandatory for every participant to do interviews with top business leaders on ethics as it is practiced, including ethical dilemmas, the role of leadership, and related issues.
B-schools have now realized the importance of preventive ethics and how it is better than reactive ethics. However, it is not essential that simply having a course on ethics will solve the problem of ethical leadership. But an initiative to prepare the future leaders to respond ethically to complex situations and dilemmas can be useful. The added discussions in the courses will impact their thought process and shape their future.
"Given the way we teach it, the rich examples from industry and interaction with a range of practitioners, it is usually the participants who will look back on the journey to say that they have been impacted by the discussions and the conversations,” said Jagdish Rattanani, SPJIMR faculty member for business ethics.