Two 2010 MBA students present very different viewpoints on the MBA Oath in the Harbus, HBS’ weekly student paper. Larry Estrada calls the oath “an opportunity to reassert the purpose of the business profession”.
As MBA students and future business leaders, we have an opportunity to promote a higher standard aimed at professionalizing business and ensuring a purpose rooted in responsible long-term value creation not simply short-term value extraction.
Meanwhile Andrew Sridhar is skeptical of the Oath’s aims.
Follow the law and your personal ethics, but resist the urgings to “play fairly.”
The Oath acknowledges the usefulness of capitalism, drive, and the profit motive, but also encourages managers to consider a broader sense of purpose. Is there an insurmountable chasm between the two viewpoints?
I just want to congratulate you on a fantastic and long-overdue initiative. MBA programs play such a vital part in molding future business leadership and creating a culture of commerce, yet social, environmental and ethical aspects have for far too long been treated as an optional add-on, rather than the core values they should be. With your initiative, we can have faith tomorrow’s companies will be in good hands. Thank you.