Will You Take The MBA Oath?

Author: Cynthea Lam, Marketing Manager

The MBA Oath

The MBA Oath. Hot topic and centre of heated debates. What is your take towards it? Do you think that it is necessary for the change this world badly needs or do you think it is just a meaningless piece of paper? After all, myriad oaths are taken every day and broken just as quickly. What is the significance of another oath, presumably taken by business minds who only have the bottom line to take care of? The creation of the MBA oath began in the spring of 2009, when two MBA students at the Harvard Business School, Max Anderson and Peter Escher, wondered what the future of MBAs should be, and in consideration with the recent spate of world events, if a kind of pledge could be put in place as a guiding philosophy or in a heavier sense, a lifetime vow to set higher standards for business leaders in view of profits, people and planet.

The goals of the MBA oath are to:
1. to make a difference in the lives of the individual students who take the oath,
2. to challenge other classmates to work towards a higher professional standard, whether they sign the oath or not, and
3.to create a public conversation in the press about professionalizing and improving management Like a doctor would take the Hippocratic oath before his practice of medicine, the MBA oath assigns public accountability for the inherent obligations to society of which MBAs as future leaders are bound to. Not everyone would agree, or think an oath like this is necessary to guide his or her actions, but it would certainly allow the MBA to precisely and publicly declare his or her convictions.

We take a look at the MBA oath.
As a business leader I recognize my role in society.
• My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone.
• My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and tomorrow.
Therefore, I promise that:
• I will manage my enterprise with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society.
• I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my enterprise.
• I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.
• I will protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my enterprise, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.
• I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.
• I will report the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
• I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards.

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor. [source: http://mbaoath.org/]