- How does the teaching of values and business ethics compare from that of a generation ago to today and what role has the media played in enhancing these ethics and values?
In the first reading on business ethics, the authors claim that there is much cynicism amongst students in regards to the investment banking industry. One study even cited that have of the students taking the study had less trust in big business following the 2008 financial crises. With that said, one has to ask the question if the 2008 financial crises and the various scandals preceding it throughout the 2000s have led to an increased focus on business ethics being taught in the classroom. Furthermore, one has to also look at the role the media has played in projecting theses business ethics and values. Consequently, I believe that there has been an increased focus on business ethics being taught in the classroom to the modern generation of students. One reason why this has occurred is because of the various real life examples of fraud and economic debacles that have taken place over the past decade. These examples are being widely disseminated in classrooms to students in order to further illustrate proper business ethics and values one is supposed to apply in the investment banking world. If this wasn’t enough, the media has played an integral role in promoting these values through continually running stories on the newest case of economic collapse or malpractice taking place on Wallstreet. As a result of this increased focus on business ethics, the reading indirectly argues through citing several studies that the modern generation of students have developed a keen awareness of the role business ethics plays in a business environment.
2. As discussed in class it is common for people to think that the change that is occurring during their life time has been unprecedented in history. With that said, how does C. Wright Mills view how people should look at their circumstances in life?
It is common nowadays to look at one’s situation and the world surrounding him or herself and think that things have changed to much to compare with any other day or age. I myself have at times thought that the pace of groundbreaking events I have witnessed in my lifetime have not and will not be seen again. However, C. Wright Mills argues that one has to go beyond the scope of looking at one’s situation by just looking at modern circumstances. Throughout history, individuals have developed similar patterns in the way they live their lives. In addition, individuals have developed similar patterns on how they view their lives. Thus, one of C. Wright Mills’ main points is that one must develop the sociological imagination that in his words “enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society” (Mills, 6). Hence, one must find a common ground between one’s current situation and history in order to develop a proper view of society.Is the rate at which world events are occurring so fast that ethics and values applied to every day life are not catching up?
3. Is the rate at which change occurring in the business world so fast that ethics and values applied to every day life are not catching up?
Someone once said that change is the only constant in our lives. With that said, whether it occurs at a fast or slow pace drastically affects how people or entities are able to adapt to change. Thus, the rate of change in big business has occurred at such a quick rate over the past 20 years that large corporations and their employees have had to constantly adapt and overcome these changes in order to remain competitive in their respective industries. As a result, several of these corporations and employees have increasingly sought to ignore ethics in order to adapt to these changes more swiftly. However, as John S. McCallum states in his article “Adapt or Die”, large corporations often forget that it is impossible to adapt to rapid changes in the business world without taking the proper small steps and applying ethics. In his article, McCallum argues that the technology boom over the past twenty years has increased the amount of financial products and the rate at which they can be offered. As a result, he states that change in the business world is occurring at an unprecedented rate. However, he does suggest that it is realistic and profitable to adapt to these changes through taking several steps, two of which are the proper small steps and the application of business ethics.