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The Daily Grind

Responsible Value Creation

The NYT’s “A Promise to Be Ethical in
an Era of Immorality” by Leslie Wayne (May29, 2009) is an article that stimulates thought about how to develop ethics one MBA grad after another. You can read it at

The MBA OATH is a voluntary, Harvard Business school student lead movement and can be found at
I suggest that if the leaders in your company don’t discuss these issues regularly and emphasize the ideas as part of the culture, you might want to do so. It might even be a good idea to encourage each
other to read and sign the oath.


As a manager, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no single individual can create alone. Therefore I will seek a course that enhances the value my enterprise can create for society over the long term. I recognize my decisions can have far-reaching consequences that affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and in the future. As I reconcile the interests of different constituencies, I will face choices that are not easy for me and others.

Therefore I promise:

• I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.

• I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders, co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate.

• I will manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.

• I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my enterprise.

• I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.

• I will develop both myself and other managers under my supervision so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the well-being of society.

• I will strive to create sustainable economic, social, and environmental prosperity worldwide.

•I will be accountable to my peers and they will be accountable to me for living by this oath.

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor. (by Daniel J. DeWitt, PhD)

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