Darden to run ethics institute
With public confidence
in American corporations shaken in recent years by the financial
wrongdoings of several big-name companies, the Business Roundtable,
a group of 150 leading chief executives, decided that something
was needed to renew and enhance the link between ethical behavior
and business practices. The members turned to U.Va.’s Darden
Graduate School of Business Administration, with its strength
in applied ethics, to create a new Business Roundtable Institute
for Corporate Ethics.
The institute’s mission brings together the business and
academic worlds to provide practical, hands-on training in ethical
business practices to current and emerging business leaders.
“The institute will aim to fulfill the essential need to
incorporate current ethics education within our corporations as
well as in our system of business education,” said Franklin
D. Raines, co-chairman of the Business Roundtable and chairman
and CEO of Fannie Mae.
The institute will conduct research, create a cutting-edge business
ethics curriculum, lead executive seminars on business ethics
and develop best practices in the area of corporate and business
ethics. Academic advisers will come from other leading business
schools as well as Darden.
“At the Darden School and U.Va., we see leadership and ethics
as inexorably linked, which is precisely what the Business Roundtable
Institute for Corporate Ethics is all about,” said Darden
School Dean Robert S. Harris. “It will leverage our school’s
core strengths of teaching, leadership and ethics while drawing
world-class teaching faculty from other top business schools,
and their experience developing and delivering educational programs
for MBAs and executives.”
Professor R. Edward Freeman, director of Darden’s Olsson
Center for Applied Ethics, will head the institute’s advisory
council along with Raines.
“We have assembled a number of the most distinguished professors
in business ethics from leading business schools across the nation
to form our academic advisers team, which will be focused solely
on business ethics,” Freeman said. “The interaction
with and direct access to the 150 Roundtable CEOs will provide
a wealth of experience that we can use to develop executive curricula
and best practices for use by businesses and business schools.”
Participating business schools include Harvard, Wharton, Northwestern,
Michigan, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Penn State and Texas.
The CEOs who are part of the Business Roundtable represent well-known
companies, from AutoZone to Xerox. Formed 30 years ago, the Roundtable
is a self-described “association of chief executive officers
of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than
10 million employees in the United States and $3.7 trillion in
“As the Chief Ethics Officers at our companies, we know
setting and maintaining the highest ethical standards starts at
the top,” said Hank McKinnell, co-chairman of the Business
Roundtable and chairman and CEO of Pfizer. “This effort
will support business leaders to maintain a cutting-edge culture
of ethical business practices within our organizations.”
The Institute will offer a series of executive-level training
sessions for CEOs and any member of a corporate senior leadership
team. MBA students also will be involved in the design, construction
and teaching of all seminars and research. Two sessions will be
held in 2004, with the number of sessions expanding over the next
couple of years. Public events focusing on aspects of research
or topical issues also will be planned.
For information, see the institute’s Web site at www.corporate-ethics.org
and the Business Roundtable at www.businessroundtable.org.