Teaching Ethics in Finance: An Applications Approach Utilizing the Flipped, Hybrid Course Format
Business is a field fraught with ethical and moral land mines. The recession in 2008 brought this to the forefront once again when the mortgage crisis and the failing of financial institutions had their roots in ethically-questionable behavior. The need for more ethics education has not been lost on the business world with calls for business schools to teach ethics. Traditionally this is accomplished in an ethics course, but AACSB and other accrediting bodies recommend ethics education be integrated into the functional knowledge areas of the curriculum. Finance lends itself well to the study of ethics contextualized by the discipline’s functional knowledge.
Given the volume of material covered in an introductory finance course, finding capacity to add more ethics to the finance course is difficult; difficult to provide more than a cursory review without sizable shifts in the course content coverage.
Technological tools proliferate, however, and provide the opportunity to adjust the curriculum to include more emphasis on business ethics. Studies show that MBA students like the flexibility that technology affords them, yet the question remains: how do graduate programs use technology to provide the desired flexibility while enhancing the students’ educational experience? Particularly in an MBA program, where the value of developing a network and enhancing peer interaction is important to students, technological solutions can be a challenge.
This paper presents a model for using a flipped, hybrid classroom approach to extend the learning experience of graduate business students, and, in particular, to provide a more robust discussion and exploration of ethical dilemmas in finance.