Gordon Ford College of Business News
Business Students Complete Ethical Leadership Certificate
- Abigail Brown, GFCB Communication Intern
- Thursday, April 4th, 2019
Young professionals are ill-prepared to handle the ethical dilemmas they will face in their careers. In fact, 22 percent of all employees in the United States felt pressured to compromise their standards and values at work, according to the 2016 Global Business Ethics Survey.
“Sadly, in many workplaces today, employees are faced with an ethical dilemma within the first six months of employment,” said Dr. Evelyn Thrasher, professor of Information Systems. Which is why since fall 2017, she has integrated the Ethical Leadership Certificate Program to some of her Business Data and Analytics classes. Sponsored by NASBA’s Center for the Public Trust, the Ethical Leadership Certificate online program helps college students identify and respond to ethical issues, which enhances ethical decision-making.
The Certificate closely relates to the Structured Data Analysis course, Dr. Thrasher said, because in many workplaces, ethical dilemmas often revolve around data and the manipulation of it.
“We are preparing our Business Data Analytics students for the workplace so we need to arm them with knowledge of ethical leadership and ethical decision-making,” she said. “We also need to equip them to recognize unethical requests and situations as well as how to handle those situations.”
Since Dr. Thrasher began offering students the opportunity to complete the certificate program, approximately 175 students have completed the course. Students say the certificate has opened their eyes to recognizing ethical dilemmas and how they may affect workplace culture.
“Companies want to be seen as trustworthy in the public eye and want all of their stakeholders to know they are being taken care of in an ethical and fair way,” said Kylie Rodgers, senior business administration major. “People look for ethical companies to invest their time and resources into, which can give them a competitive edge over those other companies that do not put ethics in the forefront.”
Earning the certificate may help students like Kylie by showing employers they are already thinking about how to handle themselves professionally in the workplace.
“I have taken the extra step on my own to become more ethically aware,” she said. “I am striving to make the best and most ethical decisions possible when conflicts or problems arise.”