Ethics at the Core: Training Responsible Leaders

Pierre Tapie, president of PAXTER, an international service and consulting company specialized in academic affairs, shares his thoughts on training ethical compasses, rather than the traditional thought of "teaching" business ethics.


Pierre Tapie: [00:13] Today, we are in front of the challenge of really preparing ethical and responsible leaders for tomorrow. It's not so easy, because it will not be through basic business ethics classes that we will infuse that.

[00:31] I have been a professor of business ethics for a while. I think you cannot teach business ethics, which can be paradoxical. You can train the ethical compass of your students, which is pretty different.

[00:46] The way you can train this ethical compass is in fact to give students much higher self consciousness, self awareness of what would be their spontaneous reactions. Very often students, especially if they are in the younger age, they would not imagine their spontaneous reaction in particular case which will be an ethical dilemma.

[01:11] You can educate this moral compass by revealing them, what would be their natural reaction, how they're proud or not proud at all, or shameful about their natural reaction because sometimes they're very surprised from their natural reaction, receive feedback from their peers, understand that even the value of life and death will depend on the region of the world they are and the time of the region.

[01:42] The big challenge is to reroute students within their own history, their personal history, but also the history of the place they belong to in order to enable them to take decisions which are founded decisions, they would agree to have taken after the decision in order to really be a citizen of the world. It's a long effort.

[02:10] It has been an effort which must be shared among all the disciplines. The issue is not to put some business ethical courses somewhere. The issue is to put ethics as the core of every type of decision that someone within the business context will be able to take.

Filmed April 2019 at AACSB's International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM) in Edinburgh, Scotland.