Where Will They Lead? MBA Student Attitudes about Business & Society 2003

What are MBA students thinking about the role of business in society? What attitudes are they bringing with them as they enter the world of business upon graduation? In a path-breaking survey research project beginning in 1999 at leading international business schools, the Business and Society Program sought to find answers to these questions. The key objectives of the research were threefold:
– To gather in-depth and specific information about how MBA students view the role of the company in society;
– To determine whether/how students’ attitudes toward the roles and responsibilities of the company are shaped during the MBA program;
– To capture the messages MBA students are receiving from their MBA programs about acceptable values/behaviors in business.

The initial research study was a longitudinal one, conducted over a two-year period from 1999 to 2001. Results from that survey were published in December 2001.

In the fourth quarter of 2002, the Business and Society Program initiated a follow-up survey to learn how MBA student attitudes may have changed in the aftermath of a severe economic downturn, increased international tensions and revelations of extensive corporate wrongdoing.

Thus, this latest survey research report includes data on:
– How MBA students define a “well-run” company;
– MBAs’ concern about values conflicts in the workplace…and what they expect to do about them;
– MBA attitudes about the benefits for corporations of fulfilling their social responsibilities;
– Their assessment of underlying factors contributing to the recent corporate scandals;
– How – and whether – students think social responsibility issues should be integrated into MBA programs;
– What factors matter to students in their job selection; and
– How gender influences MBAs’ attitudes.

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