Community Values

At Harvard Business School we believe that leadership and values are inseparable. The teaching of ethics here is explicit, not implicit, and our community values of mutual respect, honesty and integrity, and personal accountability support the HBS learning environment and are at the heart of a School-wide aspiration: to make HBS a model of the highest standards essential to responsible leadership in the modern business world. Our values are a set of guiding principles for all that we do wherever we are and with everyone we meet.

Our whole pedagogy is dependent on the notion that this is a collective endeavor and that we cant really accomplish our mission without relying on each other.

Robin Ely
Robin Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration


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 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 this 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 here. Through our personal commitment to these values, we can create an environment in which all can achieve their full potential.