Thomas R. Piper
Lawrence E. Fouraker Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus
THOMAS R. PIPER, Baker Foundation Professor and Lawrence E. Fouraker Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, is a faculty member in the Finance and Accounting Units at the Graduate School of Business Administration. He has taught in the MBA Program, as well as in other Executive Education courses, including the Advanced Management Program and General Management Program. He served as chairman of the MBA Policy Committee and was senior associate dean for 13 years.
Presently, he is studying ethics and corporate responsibility for future business leaders and shares responsibility for the School's efforts in the area of values, leadership, and corporate responsibility. He also oversaw two Senior Executive Programs sited in the Middle East and South Africa and was instrumental in an initiative to help establish outstanding market-oriented business schools in Central and Eastern Europe.
Professor Piper is the author of The Economics of Bank Acquisitions and a coauthor of Case Problems in Finance, now in its eleventh edition (with W. Fruhan, W. Kester, and R. Ruback) and Can Ethics Be Taught? (with M. Gentile and S. Parks). He is a consultant in the field of corporate financial management and was a director of FleetBoston Corporation, Marriott Corporation, and GenRad.
Business Leaders and Corporate Responsibility
Thomas R. Piper is trying to establish an appropriate sense of ethics and corporate responsibility for future business leaders. Earlier research provided compelling evidence that many future leaders seriously doubt that their interpersonal ethics can be brought into their professional lives. Their skepticism about the morality of business is coupled with a fear of being perceived to be naive, and their reluctance to challenge misconduct and act on their ethical principles is reinforced by powerful messages transmitted by internal and external financial systems. Piper's research recognizes the importance of profitability in assuring access to capital, continued corporate control, and successful fulfillment of the corporation's traditional role of creating real wealth. But he also recognizes the likelihood that corporations, as dominant institutions in American society, will in the future be expected to provide solutions to increasingly complex national challenges. Moreover, the breakdown of hierarchical organization and decentralization of decision making may require that trust be based on a shared set of ethical principles. Piper's study, part of a larger project (with Carl Kaysen) on the role of the modern corporation in society, is an outgrowth of earlier research on leadership, ethics, and corporate responsibility that yielded a number of teaching cases and the book Can Ethics Be Taught? (coauthored with Mary C. Gentile and Sharon Daloz Parks).