Economists have taken a lot of flak for supposedly imbuing students with a more cynical attitude, which somehow is supposed to be linked to the rising (?) instances of unethical and illegal behavior in corporations (see, for example, this article from a few years ago in the Washington Post).
So, what's the latest solution offered by business schools to help make students more ethical? Well, Illinois State University has instituted a dress code for its students requiring them to come to class in business casual dress. This step was taken at least in part, according to one school official, because "colleges felt pressure from corporations, which wanted to know how students were being prepared for the moral responsibilities awaiting them after graduation."
Why don't we stop here to give you a chance to go back and read that last sentence again? I have read it a bunch of times and still can't believe someone actually said that.
I am not sure I see the link between wearing Dockers instead of shorts to class and becoming a more moral or ethical individual. If you want people to behave a certain way, perhaps it would be better to look at their incentives to engage in that behavior rather than expecting revolution via khaki pants.
From what I've seen in the working world, the best way to prepare business students for "the moral responsibilities awaiting them after graduation" is the method the SS used: it required graduates of its training program to strangle a pet dog they had raised from puppyhood with their bare hands.ReplyDelete
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