Professional Management Code: The MBA Oath

Ethics and Responsibility


Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Professional Management Code: The MBA Oath

Doctors and lawyers have been taking a professional oath for many years. A similar initiative (on a voluntary basis) is recently started for MBA graduates, by a group of Harvard Business School Students.
If you graduated from any business school (whether recently or years ago), you can take the following oath (short summary) on
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.
Are you welcoming this initiative? Should it be extended to include all (senior) managers? Why (not)?


Anthony Belon, Malaysia

MBA Oath - an Added Value

When values are what we believe in, then the values govern how we behave. The MBA Oath is an innovat... Sign up

Josemejia, Ecuador

Continuous Ethics and Altruism

I believe that integrity and practice of ethics and altruistic service, all the time, continuously, ... Sign up

Leigh, Australia/China

Ethics Oath is Meaningless Without Consequences

This oath has been around for years. The number of MBA under/graduates that are willing to sign thi... Sign up

Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, Nepal

Ethics and Responsibility Depends NOT on Oath

Yes, the progress and development of any society, company and country depends on the practice of peo... Sign up

Keith Spicer, South Africa

Use What is Available

If saying these words gives someone a nice warm feeling in the pit of the stomach, then let them fin... Sign up

Paul D Giammalvo
Professor and Consultant, Indonesia

Code of Ethics of SCCE

While I think Codes of Ethics are a good thing, I tend to lean more towards Keith or Leigh's views. ... Sign up

Ornelas, Brazil

Ethics & Competition in Industries

Each industry found its values. But in 2009 what we really understand is that stuff (service & prod... Sign up

Patrick Crockett, South Africa

Ethics Movement in South Africa

Corruption is the scourge of South Africa - and, perhaps in many other countries as well. It has bee... Sign up

Bulisa Nazo, South Africa

MBA Oath and Servant Leadership

The Oath is a good thing, only when those who take it respect, abide and live by it. The challenge ... Sign up

Osano Kute, Kenya

MBA Oath also for Non-Profit Use

The Oath is perfect for government officers and there is also need for reward and consequences for o... Sign up

Benard S. Otube, Kenya

MBA Oath is not the Main Issue

The main issue is not about not taking the oath. Anybody and everybody can take the oath. But as it ... Sign up

Dr.Goli, India

MBA Oath should be Mandatory

In present days of total self orientation and globalization, the MBA Oath is to be made mandatory fo... Sign up

Decoodt, Belgium

Management Has Nothing to Do with Ethics

The simple fact that such a thing emerges from Harvard Business proves how unscientific all this MBA... Sign up

Salvatore Decarlo, USA

Mba Oath Vs. Today's Financial and Business Realities

As I read the MBA Oath above MBA are held to a standard ethical standard requiring basic honesty, fa... Sign up

P Kamesh, India

3 Stages in Ethical Way of Working

The mere thought of an idea like the MBA oath has been projected because people felt that there is s... Sign up

Prince Philip, India

MBA Oath Brings Long Term Profit

Ethics will bring long term profit.... Sign up

Ajaegbu Uzochukwu, Nigeria

MBA Oath Meaningless Without Determination

Many people in government offices or in places of responsibilities who take oaths breach the ethics ... Sign up

Richard, UK

Take an Ethics Course Besides the MBA Oath

Any oath is meaningless if the person taking it has few ethics in his personal value system. On my ... Sign up

Patrick Heenan, UK

Treat Ethics as Branding

Ethics I feel, should ultimately be synonymous with branding. In recent times, companies that state ... Sign up

Olamilekan Kayode, Nigeria

Oath Taking

Oath taking has no relevancy in the current macro-economic stabilities. Because of non-implementatio... Sign up

Pam Davou, Nigeria

The Value System Determines Adherence

Oath taking is something anybody can do without having any sense of responsibility. What is most imp... Sign up

Paul Ojambo, Uganda

Ensuring Adherence to Professional Ethics

An oath can only be meaningful if there are stringent measures in place that can ensure that people ... Sign up

Zen Benefiel, USA

Ethics, Code of Ethics and Behavior

As I understand ethics, they are the behaviors we show up with in any environment and are consistent... Sign up

Mehak Vaswani, India

Ethics in Business

An oath is a guiding factor for our code of conduct. We all do believe in integrity, trust & doing ... Sign up

India, Raj

Ethics Can Not be Taught

Ethics can not be taught, it is an inherent value which comes with the way of upbringing, otherwise ... Sign up

Cesar Alexis Viteri Perez

Ethics Can Be Taught

If human beings cannot learn new things and behaviors... Then mankind has not any hope.... Sign up

Shuvalov, United Kingdom

Oath and Ethics in Business

I consider that MBA graduates have influence on society development, as other specialists have. The ... Sign up

Mohammad Basharat, United Arab Emirates

Professional Ethics

It is a strong basis for long term trust building, whether it is in a business, profession, society,... Sign up

Radha Raj

MBA Oath is Too Broad and Inconsistent

This MBA oath is too broad and sometimes conflicting, as interests of all stakeholders would not be ... Sign up

Isabel Silva Carvalho
Director, Portugal

Ethics Oaths are Sound Bites or Maybe Just Being Naif

Is it truly possible to accomplish, for instance, "... Strive to create sustainable economic, social... Sign up

Samir Desai, India

Ethics and Mankind

@Cesar Alexis Viteri Perez: Human being has progressed, because mankind learns. There may be a sense... Sign up

Radha Raj

Ethics Oath can make a Difference

This ethics oath is good, though far reaching. Even if some managers remember, think and act accordi... Sign up


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Ethics and Responsibility

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