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Greater Focus on Ethics in Business Schools

The scandals and shake-ups that have rocked the financial industry in recent years have not left the business school world untouched. In fact, as a Nov. 16 article for U.S. News & World Report points out, many b-schools have taken the opportunity to incorporate ethics into the MBA curriculum. According to a recent survey from the Aspen Institute, the number of business schools requiring coursework in ethics or a similar subject has jumped from 34 percent in 2001 to 79 percent in 2011.

While some may criticize the new emphasis on ethics as little more than a pacifying gesture, it seems many b-schools genuinely want to reshape the business culture for the better. Nitin Nohria, dean of the Harvard Business School, is quoted in the article as telling the Wall Street Journal that the purpose of a business education is "more than high-paying jobs and more than a place to build elite social networks."

Harvard's Business School is one of many top-tier MBA programs to intensify their focus on ethics in the classroom in recent years. Other business schools, like the one at the Wharton School, established an ethics program well before the economic decline.