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« May the Force be with him | Main | All Obama, all the time »

June 16, 2009

Marxist (Harpo, not Karl) Managers

Harpo Mike Metzger over at the Clapham Institute has written an article about how business managers fail to use moral language at work -- even if they are "acting for moral reasons." Because they fear it will hurt their career, "they perform as moral mutes instead" (hence the Harpo Marx reference).

Metzger cites several studies that confirm this problem, including one survery of 13 top business schools that showed a "B-school education not only fails to improve the moral character of students, it actually weakens it." 

Another study reveals how the problem springs from the modern educational system that dismantles the moral order that America was once based upon: "Students are taught a definition of reality that makes an absolute distinction between facts and values. Facts are the province of science and business while values are the province of religion. Facts are propositions; values are preferences. Fact language includes economics. Values language includes ethics. Students graduate with an unshakable faith that using moral language even remotely hinting at faith has no place in the workplace."

One result of this mindset is "our current economic crisis" caused by managers who could not see beyond their "own narrow ambitions" -- as evidenced by the scandals and economic meltdowns at Enron, Worldcom, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, etc.

Metzker sees one glimmer of hope: 20% of 2009 graduates from the Harvard Business School have voluntarily signed "the M.B.A. Oath" in which they pledge to "serve the greater good" and to "act responsibly, ethically, and refrain from advancing their own narrow ambitions at the expense of others." 

However, my reaction was one of dismay since only 20% were willing to sign the pledge. Seems to me that such a step should be required for all college graduates, regardless of their major. Restoring the sense of what we ought to do -- based on Judeo-Christian ethics -- is critical if we want to turn America back from her current self-destructive path.

(Image courtesy of IMDb and MPTV)

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