“Our whole pedagogy is dependent on the notion that this is a collective endeavor and that we can’t really accomplish our mission without relying on each other.”
-Professor Robin Ely
As early as the School's founding in 1908, the issue of how to instruct students in business ethics has been explored by the faculty. Since that time, ethics has been an integral part of the curriculum, sometimes as a separate required course, but always as a key component of classes such as human resource management, corporate finance, and others.
The curriculum today includes a wide range of both required and elective courses that deal with the issues of ethics and leadership. For example, Leadership and Corporate Accountability is an interdisciplinary course that draws on economics, law, psychology, and organizational behavior to help prepare students for the challenges of leadership in a changing global society. Leadership and Organizational Behavior focuses on how managers become effective leaders by addressing the human side of enterprise. Additionally, more than 500 cases developed by HBS faculty explicitly address ethical concerns.
Our Community Values
The mission of Harvard Business School is to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. Achieving this mission requires an environment of trust and mutual respect, free expression and inquiry, and a commitment to truth, excellence, and lifelong learning.
Students, program participants, faculty, staff, and alumni accept these principles when they join the HBS community. In doing so, they agree to abide by the following Community Values:
Respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others
Honesty and integrity in dealing with all members of the community
Accountability for personal behavior
HBS can and should be a living model of these values. To this end, community members have a personal responsibility to integrate these values into every aspect of their experience at HBS. Through our personal commitment to these values, we can create an environment in which all can achieve their full potential.
MBA Program Honor Code
The mission of Harvard Business School is to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The MBA Program does this through a learning model in which students and faculty teach and learn from one another. This process of active participation and shared learning – crucial in any academic community, and the very foundation on which the HBS MBA Program rests – depends on individual preparation of all materials, small-group discussions to explore and expand on this initial
work, consistent attendance in class and full engagement in class discussions, and post-class reflection. The Honor Code supplements the School’s statement of Community Values and reflects the commitment students and faculty make as members of the community to participate in, foster, and uphold this learning model.
It is a commitment of the students, individually and collectively, to prepare for and participate fully in classroom and academic activities; refrain from giving or receiving unauthorized aid in class preparation or classwork, during
examinations, or in any other work that is to be used by an instructor as part of a course or as a basis of grading; and act as stewards of the Honor Code in upholding its spirit and letter and encouraging others to do so as well.
It is a commitment of the faculty, individually and collectively, to demonstrate confidence in the honor of their students; act as stewards of the Honor Code in upholding its spirit and letter and encouraging others to do so as well.
Additionally, while the faculty alone has the right and obligation to set academic requirements, the students and faculty will work together to establish optimal conditions for honorable academic work.
Any activity that violates the spirit or letter of the learning model is a violation of the Honor Code and Harvard Business School’s Community Values.