Posted by: Louis Lavelle on September 16, 2008
The Washington Post is reporting today that George Washington University is overhauling its MBA, introducing a new curriculum with a big focus on ethics. Unlike most MBA programs, which at most have a single required ethics course (if that), the GWU program will infuse ethics into the entire curriculum, making it part of virtually every course.
The question, of course, is whether or not prospective MBA students will want such an MBA, and will want it from a school like George Washington University, which is not in the BusinessWeek Top 30. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, GWU says they will.
GWU's associate dean for graduate programs, Murat Tarimcilar, told the Post:
We really took a huge risk. When we say we really would like people who are committed to be ethical leaders, we may be making the applicant pool very small. For many MBA students, the driving factor is the money. But we thought we had a responsibility, as a university, to really work on their character, as well.
The other major shift that GWU is making is giving the MBA curriculum a bigger global focus, which is a bandwagon that a lot of MBA programs are hopping on these days, so it won't really distinguish the GWU MBA the way the focus on ethics will.
But back to ethics...does anyone think the GWU curriculum overhaul will attract students? Is an "ethical MBA" something that today's students are demanding?