Community Values Program

The goal of the Community Values Program is to create an environment in which all HBS community members strive to align their actions with our stated values. Through speakers, forums, outreach events, informal conversations, and special initiatives, the Community Values Program seeks to help community members keep value-based decision-making top of mind. Key components include:

“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

Leadership and Values (L&V) Committee

Comprised of twenty Leadership and Values Representatives from the RC and EC, the L&V Committee creates and implements programmatic work and helps foster a positive learning environment within the classroom. Much of the work of the L&V Committee has its roots in the Leadership and Values Initiative formed in 2002. The Initiative, led by students in partnership with faculty and staff, was created to broaden Community Values into an aspirational and integrative program. The L&V Committee carries on the work of the Initiative today, promoting integrity, trust, and the ambition to make a difference.

Key elements of this work include:

  • Alumni Speaker Series: Alumni of the School come to campus to discuss ethical issues and moral dilemmas they've faced in their careers.
  • Distinguished Speaker Series: Business leaders are invited to speak about the integration of ethics into business practices.
  • Topical Roundtable Discussions: Students lead sessions to scrutinize and debate ethical situations in the headlines today.

Curriculum

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.

Compliance

In addition to inspiring all community members to live by and promote our shared values, the Community Values Program is committed to addressing policy violations and conduct issues as they arise. While most matters are dealt with informally by the administration, some require review by the Conduct Review Board, comprised of faculty, staff, and students.