FAQs

If you have questions that are not answered below, please email us at info@mbaoath.org

  1. What is the MBA Oath? What is its purpose?
  2. What does it mean if I sign the MBA Oath?
  3. Is the MBA Oath voluntary or mandatory for graduation?
  4. Who created the MBA Oath?
  5. Who can sign the MBA Oath?
  6. Is the MBA Oath legally binding?
  7. How can we get others to sign the MBA Oath?
  8. How do you plan to enforce this?
  9. Do you need an MBA to take this Oath? If so, why?
  10. Is the Oath language, structure, and mission set in stone?
  11. Why are names of those who take this Oath listed on your website?
  12. Is it possible to take the Oath and sign up but not be listed on the website?
  13. What is the purpose of an accountability partner?
  14. Who defines or judges whether certain actions fit within the pledge?
  15. I signed up for the Oath but I do not see my name listed on your site? Why not?
  16. Can a future employer ask why I am not on this list? Should I feel pressured to sign up for fear that not-signing up would be strong negative signal?
  17. How can I get involved?
  18. How soon do I need to sign?
  1. What is the MBA Oath? What is its purpose? The MBA Oath was created to make a real impact on the meaning of the MBA degree and on the role people expect business to play in society. While other professions have certain guiding principles/pledges that are administered at graduation or after passing certain professional examinations, this does not presently exist for business school students.  The students who designed the MBA Oath believe the purpose of the Oath is to set a new standard for how people conduct business in the future. top
  2. What does it mean if I sign the MBA Oath? If you sign the MBA Oath, you join a group of like-minded MBA students who believe in a greater purpose for society that the MBA is designed to serve.  It also means that you believe in and agree to uphold the tenets of the Oath.
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  3. Is the MBA Oath voluntary or mandatory for graduation? The MBA Oath is established to be a voluntary pledge that graduating MBA students can opt to sign. It is not meant to be mandatory. We believe that the Oath will have more meaning if the participation is self-driven by those who have considered thoughtfully the tenets of the Oath and agree to conduct business in a manner that adheres to the Oath. top
  4. Who created the MBA Oath? The MBA Oath was created by a grass-roots movement of 2009 graduates at Harvard Business School. 
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  5. Who can sign the MBA Oath? The students behind the MBA Oath envision that, over time, all graduating students from accredited MBA-granting institutions having the opportunity to sign this Oath or one like it. At this time, the Oath will only be offered to students graduating from Harvard Business School in June 2009. The vision for the near future is to collaborate with other business schools and expand the pool of students who can sign on to the Oath. top
  6. Is the MBA Oath legally binding? The MBA Oath is not intended to be a legal document but rather to serve as a code of conduct and a set of career principles. top
  7. How can we get others to sign the MBA Oath? Please pass this website and information along to your HBS friends/contacts who are also graduating MBA students. top
  8. How do you plan to enforce this? The current structure of this organization is not intended to be a regulatory body and therefore will not be participating in any enforcement actions. It will not be making judgments as to who can have their name remain on the MBA Oath list based any specific actions. The intent is for individuals to hold themselves to a higher standard.  In addition, the organization intends to promote individuals using accountability partners to help each other adhere to the Oath’s goals. top
  9. Do you need an MBA to take this Oath? If so, why? Yes, we are limiting this oath to students who are receiving their MBA this year. One of the original purposes of the MBA Oath is to raise the bar on what the MBA degree means and what the management profession should hold itself accountable to.  Also, it is meant to offer a new way for graduating MBA students to think about their approach to conducting business.  We understand many managers in the business world that do not have an MBA; it is not the intent of this organization to set a standard for all. top
  10. Is the Oath language, structure, and mission set in stone? While the organization believes that the current Oath is an appropriate representation of what the grass-roots movement of students behind the Oath want to aspire to, it also realizes that the Oath will evolve over time with the input of the many signees involved. top
  11. Why are names of those who take this Oath listed on your website? We believe that the act of making a public statement allows each student who signs to send a strong signal to the community at large about his/her level of commitment to following the Oath standards throughout his/her career. top
  12. Is it possible to take the Oath and sign up but not be listed on the website? At this time, we believe strongly that those students who want to sign the Oath should do so publicly in order to be accountable and take a pro-active and outward decision to improve the world through business.  Thus, all students signing the Oath will be listed on the website. top
  13. What is the purpose of an accountability partner? The organization behind the Oath sees value in all Oath signees lining up an accountability partner to help ensure that people are holding each other to a higher standard. Many ethical decisions in management, whether in business, government or non-profit, are not 100% clear, and we believe having an accountability partner will help ensure that each person’s decisions are made in accordance to the principles of the Oath. top
  14. Who defines or judges whether certain actions fit within the pledge? Business ethics and appropriate behaviors in today’s complex environment are naturally difficult to define with a hard and fast set of rules.  The Oath was established as set of principles to provide guidance for the many decisions that managers face on a daily basis. The people that will judge the actions are both the individual signee as well as accountability partners or other mentors. top
  15. I signed up for the Oath but I do not see my name listed on your site? Why not? The MBA Oath team currently screens sign-ups to best maintain a valid list. This screening does take time and we apologize for any inconvenience. top
  16. Can a future employer ask why I am not on this list? Should I feel pressured to sign up for fear that not-signing up would be strong negative signal? The list is not currently to be used for any candidate screening purposes. We acknowledge that certain people may have high ethical standards but for whatever reason may choose not to sign up and take the MBA Oath. It is an individual choice. However we believe that the oath represents a set of principles that, while challenging, should be nearly universal aspirations for managers. top
  17. How can I get involved? Thank you for your interest! Beginning early next school year, we plan to look for other people to help promote this effort across the nation. Please send us your email/contact information to help us build our 2009-2010 team.top
  18. How soon do I need to sign? Our goal is to sign up as many students as possible in the Harvard Business School class of 2009 on or before graduation day (June 4th, 2009).  However, we intend for this oath to continue after this year and would encourage graduates to sign after thoughtfully reviewing and agreeing to the MBA Oath, regardless of the date. top