Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education
Corporate accountability is never far from the front page and Harvard Business School trains many future business leaders. But how does HBS formally and informally ensure its members embrace proper business standards? Relying on his faculty experience, Michel Anteby takes readers inside the School to draw vivid parallels between the socialization of faculty and of students.
In an era when many organizations are focused on principles of responsibility, HBS has long tried to promote better business standards. Anteby's rich account reveals the surprising role of silence in HBS's process of codifying morals and values. As he describes, specifics are often left unspoken; for example, teaching notes given to faculty provide much guidance on how to teach but are largely silent on what to teach. Manufacturing Morals demonstrates how faculty and students are exposed to a system that operates on open-ended directives that require significant decision-making on the part of those involved, with little overt guidance from the hierarchy. Anteby suggests that this model—which tolerates moral complexity—is perhaps one of the few that can adapt and endure over time.
Manufacturing Morals is a perceptive must-read for anyone looking for insight into the moral decision-making of today's business leaders and those influenced by or working for them.