Posted by: Louis Lavelle on January 21, 2010
If you haven’t seen it already, the Debate Room has an interesting debate about the MBA Oath. To readers of the b-school channel, which has covered the oath phenomenon and had its creators address the oath’s critics, a lot of it may sound familiar. But it’s another chance to weigh in on the ongoing kerfuffle over whether MBAs should swear an oath to do no harm, much like doctors and lawyers do now. It’s also a chance to use the word “kerfuffle” in a blog post, which doesn’t happen very often.
Charles Green, a Harvard Business School alumnus, author, and founder of TrustedAdvisor Associates, takes the pro position, arguing that by linking managers’ actions to a larger purpose the oath will prevent future misdeeds. INSEAD professor Theo Vermaelen says that’s a lot of hooey (I’m paraphrasing). He says the oath invites managers to violate their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders.
Where do you stand?