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Duquesne Business School Ranked Among Best in Ethics Content

Duquesne University’s John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business has been identified as one of only three schools scoring in the highest category of ethics content in a recent academic survey.

All three of the high-scoring universities—Duquesne, Georgetown and Notre Dame—are Roman Catholic institutions.

The business schools’ ethics programs were surveyed in an article in the Academy of Management Learning and Education. The sampling showed 87 percent of the 183 business schools surveyed scored in the bottom half of the ethics content scale because they had only one required or elective business course or none at all. Schools involved included those ranked by Business Week and U.S. News and World Report, and others with full-time MBA programs, including Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as Duquesne.

“In the clearest finding of the study, MBA programs at religious affiliation universities are more likely to include ethics-related courses in their curricula,” wrote Joel M. Evans, Linda K. Trevino and Gary R. Weaver in the article Who’s in the Ethics Driver’s Seat? Factors Influencing Ethics in the MBA Curriculum. The authors noted that “inclusion of the three outlier schools (Duquesne, Georgetown and Notre Dame) would have greatly strengthened the main finding of this study: Religious affiliation is highly influential in determining the amount of ethics content in the curriculum.”     
Duquesne’s graduate program was distinguished because MBA students are required to complete not only an applied business ethics course, but also can take electives in the areas of information ethics, organizational ethics and global ethics. Independent studies in the area of business ethics also are available.

“All business students come away with skills in subjects like accounting, but we also educate them that ethics is part of decision-making,” said Dr. Jim Weber, director of Duquesne’s Beard Center for Leadership in Ethics.  “Being in the core curriculum means that ethics is one of the basic skills that students need for their major. Ethics is an important course they have upfront and can use in other classes.

“People don’t perceive what they do as ethics, but ethics influence your interactions with every other person,” Weber said.

In the classroom, ethics can translate into discussions of surveillance, drug testing, gift giving, compliance, confidentiality, competitive intelligence and insider trading.

 “We develop training programs so a practical, applied approach to ethics can be used by people who are working,” Weber said.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.