Publications Keying In


Keying In
January 2005, Volume 15, Number 3

Ethics in Business Education
"A student teller who works at Bank of America once told Barbara Wilson, a professor in the College of Business and Economics at California State University Northridge, that a man approached her at her station and asked if she was interested in selling customer account numbers and signatures. Another student who worked for a limousine company in Beverly Hills said someone once offered him several thousand dollars to buy customer profiles. A third student, a baggage handler for the airlines, mentioned how easily items are taken out of now-unlocked luggage.
Wilson often asks students to report on unethical situations they’ve witnessed. She uses it as a starting point for discussions on business ethics.

"Students are only too willing to share what happens to them or what they’ve observed," Wilson says. Interestingly, though, what students call "unethical" is often more correctly classified as illegal and clearly wrong.

"That’s not what ethics is all about, it’s about moral choices," Wilson says.1

Like the one she faces about retirement. Wilson is due for a sabbatical. Trouble is, that sabbatical is scheduled for the year before she retires. The ethics of taking a sabbatical and then teaching only one more year before retirement bothers her.

"I don’t think I can do that. Something wouldn’t be right about it," Wilson says. She realizes that’s her own personal feeling, and it’s hard to explain to others who don’t share her view."

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Catalog No. 135.94