Posted by: Francesca Di Meglio on April 30, 2009
The ethics of business school students and MBAs in general has been making headlines lately – from the Duke and GMAT cheating scandals to the role business schools and their curriculum and culture might have played in contributing to the current economic crisis. Now, a new story out of London Business School again raises the question, “Does the culture at business school breed a win-at-all-costs mentality?” Although the incident in question seems minor compared to the recent cheating scandals, it might say something about how the day-to-day happenings on campus influence the culture.
Reportedly, the LBS Private Equity Club is holding new elections for its officers because votes were cast on behalf of students who had not voted. One reader anonymously tipped off BusinessWeek by sending an e-mail suggesting that this was a case of stuffing ballots. The e-mail appears to be the text of a blog post that was subsequently removed. E-mails to this anonymous reader bounced back. Still, participants in the BusinessWeek B-Schools Forum have discussed the issue in a thread.
E-mails sent to the co-presidents of the Private Equity Club and officers of the Student Association went unanswered. But a spokesperson for LBS confirms that there were voting irregularities involving an MBA student club election, but did not identify the private equity club as the organization in question. The spokesperson writes in an e-mail that there is no evidence of wrongdoing and that the school is taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation.
"As soon as the situation became clear, London Business School’s Student Association, which represents the interests and concerns of students within the wider school community, responded immediately with a full investigation," writes the spokesperson. "The findings of that investigation concluded that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by any of the candidates but that the voting system used by the club in question had been compromised. In the spirit of fairness, the decision was taken to rerun the election under the impartiality of the Student Association. There are no accusations of wrongdoing toward any party involved in the election. Steps are being taken to roll out this new voting system school-wide across all club elections, and we’re confident that this regrettable situation will not happen again in the future."
What do you think? Is LBS doing the right thing? Was this just a technical glitch or just another example of the cutthroat business school culture gone horribly awry?