Teaching Ethics to MBAs

Written on May 15, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

A common criticism targeted at business schools is that they do not give sufficient importance to teaching business ethics to their students.

This may have been true in the past. But for several years now, most MBA programs have included diverse modules on business ethics and social responsibility. Furthermore, the most relevant international agencies in business education, such EQUIS, AACSB, or AMBA, require that business schools deliver specific courses and sessions on this matter in order to award accreditation.

So, it is simply not true to suggest that MBAs are not exposed to ethical issues.

Whether this is sufficient, of course, is open to question – and goes to the heart of the debate about what sort of managers we want to produce in future. An arguably more nuanced alternative is not to make ethics a specific subject, but to incorporate it into all subjects. This was the option recommended by the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education. Its Beyond Gray Pinstripes survey assesses business schools in terms of how they incorporate ethical and sustainability issues into their teaching.

Thomas Piper, co-author of Can Ethics Be Taught and a distinguished Professor at Harvard Business School, also argued that the best way to teach business ethics is not just by delivering a specific course looking at leadership and social responsibility, but by addressing these questions throughout the whole MBA program. First, he says, because, “ethical dilemmas arise in all functional areas and at all levels of the organization.”[i]   Second, because when teachers avoid the subject, “we send an unintended but powerful signal that they are not a priority”. Effective business ethics teaching depends in large part on its inclusion across the board as an integral part of acquiring a business education. An important message for all faculty: their responsibility in dealing with the deontological aspects of management, in their respective subjects.

At the same time, it is essential that teaching ethics be done with the same rigor and to the same high standards that characterize the rest of a school’s teaching. Aine Donovan, the Executive Director of the Dartmouth Ethics Institute, asked: “Does teaching ethics in general help counter individual cheating and group collusion?” Her answer was: no. “Unless taught properly by people who understand what they’re doing, the result can be worse than no ethics training at all.” [ii] Read more…


IE Campus Life Spotlight: Susana Torres Prieto

Written on May 4, 2017 by Susana Torres Prieto in Education, Video


Africa: The Next Big Thing in Higher Education

Written on May 3, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s region with the biggest potential for growth in higher education. According to a report of the Africa-America Institute (AAI), only 6 percent of young people in Africa attended university in 2015, as compared to the global average 25 percent. But the pace of growth is unparalleled: In the past decade the number of university students more than doubled in the region.

As I am heading towards Nairobi, Kenya, to attend the State of Education conference organised by AAI, I am reflecting on the fabulous opportunities for academic entrepreneurs in Africa. Also on the potential risks, such as imitating old fashioned educational models, outdated and questioned, or using traditional management models.

A cultural caution is pertinent as well. Even if we may talk soundly about higher education in Africa on the aggregate, the continent is hugely diverse. In fact, it would be more appropriate to talk about several Africas, particularly in the case of universities. Higher education is closely linked to the idiosyncrasy of each particular society, still heavily dependent on the regulation of national governments.

The rapid growth of higher education in Africa has witnessed the entrance of many new players, both local and international, over the past years. The AAI report identifies 200 public universities along with 468 private institutions in the region, which also shows the high expectations on the economic potential of higher education.

This amazing growth evidences the attractiveness of the continent, supported by its young and dynamic population. However, as I have shown elsewhere [1], returns from education always require longer periods to substantiate as compare with others industries, a fact that only few investors, the true long term entrepreneurs, realize. Read more…


The Humanities Center at IE University opens the possibility for internal Faculty members to enjoy a research stay in CRASSH, University of Cambridge, either during the first or the second semester of the academic year 2017-2018.

The research interests of the applicants will have to be related to the current research projects at CRASSH (http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/programmes/projects). The Fellow’s accommodation and fees will be supported by IE University (excluding transportation). The Fellow will be accommodated at Wolfson College. Meals are available but not without charge. The Fellow will be provided with adequate working space in the Centre and will be given access to seminars, research events and research facilities at the University of Cambridge. It is expected that the Fellow will actively engage in the life of the Centre at Cambridge by attending weekly seminars and appropriate number of lectures on his/her own research conducted at Cambridge.

  • Who can apply?
    • Internal Faculty of the Humanities Center, the School of International Relations, the School of Communication.
  • How long is the Fellowship?
    • There is a short Fellowship during Michaelmas Term (Oct-Dec) and a long Fellowship (Jan-Jun). The teaching assignments will be rescheduled to the other remaining semester of the academic year in case of successful applications.
  • How to apply?
    • Please send a CV (including list of publications) and a research statement to Susana Torres (Susana.torres@ie.edu) before April 15th.


Written on March 29, 2017 by Fernando Dameto Zaforteza in Literature

One more year, on the occasion of the World Book Day we are hereby inviting you to take part on a very special event. This year we commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Isaac Asimov, an outstanding landmark in contemporary literature. Regarded as the father of science fiction and one of the greatest humanists in literature.

Representatives from various departments gathered together to organize it and we encourage you to enjoy this exclusive event with us, which will take place at the WOW Room in María de Molina 4 (with access from Pinar Street) next April the 21st. From 15:00 to 16:00.

The event has been divided into three parts: (1) an audio introduction, (2) continued reading of a short story written by Isaac Asimov by participants from different countries of the diverse IE community, (3) ending with a talk followed by a debate headed by Manuel Alonso Coto, our Digital Marketing Professor.

Through this e-mail we would like to invite you to take an active part on the reading of the short story, reading a text in English which we will previously send you, for a total of 20 seconds approx. With an average of 25 people, connected and reading in sync. at the WOW room. If you like to take part, you just have to send us an e-mail at your earliest convenience at ieeditorial@ie.edu, with your name, nationality and the program in which you are enrolled.

Places are limited and will be awarded by order of registration!!!. Sign up as soon as possible!!!. It is going to be a very special event!!!.

We look forward to count on you!!

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