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What Is the New Standard for Ethics in Management?

UCLA Anderson students comment on the crucial differentiator for 21st-century businesses
What Is the New Standard for Ethics in Management?

As UCLA Anderson holds its inaugural Ethics Summit and ethical leadership case competition, we asked students in various programs their thoughts on the question, Why are ethics in management more important today than ever?

Against a backdrop of declining trust in companies and civic institutions, a commitment to ethical leadership by a company’s top managers is a positive differentiator in the eyes of employees, shareholders and the general public. Consistently following through on this commitment — the far more difficult part — is of great importance as consumers increasingly seek to do business with companies that lead in ethical business practices.

— Brendan Folan (MBA ’20)

With global borders becoming more fluid and information spreading faster and wider than ever before, changes in one part of the world have an immediate and measurable impact across the globe. In the absence of a central moral compass and universally accepted standards of ethics, we risk losing everything modern civilization has built and achieved over the years.

— Aanchal Kumar (EMBA ’20)

In today’s competitive business landscape, consumers and clients no longer accept corporate complacency. There’s a baseline expectation that organizations will define what they stand for and consider how they impact society.

— Amanda Sol Peralta (MBA ’20)

With change and disruption moving faster than ever thanks to technology, ethics is one of the sole aspects of management that is consistently required in any situation.

— Connor Douglass (MBA ’19)

Given the viral nature of misinformation today, it is imperative that business leaders set an example of valuing honesty. Without honesty, leaders will fail to confront the most pressing problems for their organizations and people.

— Joe Schibi (MBA ’20)

Instead of thinking about immediate payoff, be guided by the values you believe are most important. Believing in good values and sharing ethical conduct start with each one of us as corporate citizens.

— Fiona Yu (FEMBA ’21)

The transparency brought by open internet and social media is a magnifying glass of the business world. The consequences of unethical management decisions are graver than ever.

— Marina Makarova (MSBA ’19)

With the increasing impact of business on technology, politics and society, it’s critical for leaders to think through their decisions and the broader influence they’ll have on our world.

— Debra Chang (MBA ’19)

Tech companies are the titans of industry of our time. We are more connected than ever before, we have products that make our lives easier and more enjoyable, and we are accomplishing things straight out of science fiction novels. However, modern advances can also be used for ill, and the businesses creating tech tools need not only to be cognizant of this, but also to actively protect society from their negative applications.

— Molly Tarrant (MBA ’19)

Given the anticipated disruptions to society from both automation and artificial intelligence, ethics in management will be more important than ever in order for the common good to prevail.

— Lizzeth Rosales (MBA ’20)

Integrity in leadership is something we all desire. We want leaders who are trustworthy and who live honorable professional and personal lives. As technology drives increasing transparency, organizations with ethical leaders will be rewarded both relationally and economically.

— Lucas Nichols (MBA ’20)

With the availability of very personalized data, the lines begin to blur between offering great customer experience and intrusion into privacy. It is important to step back and reflect upon what data is ethical to collect and analyze versus what is not.

— Sowmya Lingamneni (MSBA ’19)

In digitized markets, customer data is concentrated in the hands of a select few technocrats and managers with access to extremely sensitive information. If we want to unlock the potential that analytics offers to the economy, good governance is paramount.

— Rayan Fardoun (MSBA ’19)

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