An Examination of the business ethics education curriculum in Kenyan business schools in the light of Mele’s personalist virtue ethics approach
Olwal, Anne Achieng’
MetadataShow full item record
In the past two decades, business schools have come under sharp criticism for failing to promote ethical business practice. Moreover, scholars argue that the prevalent approaches to business ethics education in the schools fall short in developing students’ moral character. Hence, Domenec Mele has proffered a personalist virtue ethics approach to business ethics education which focuses on enhancing students’ moral character. In the Kenyan context, corruption and corporate malfeasance have crippled the country’s economic growth for several decades. Concurrently, a dearth of empirical research exists on business ethics education in Kenyan business schools. Hence, this research examined the business ethics education curriculum in Kenyan business schools from the perspective of Mele’s personalist virtue ethics approach. The research objectives of the study were to identify the current extent of business ethics education in degree programs in Kenyan business schools; to establish the approaches to business ethics education in degree programs in Kenyan business schools; and lastly, to evaluate the approaches to business ethics education in degree programs in Kenyan business schools from the perspective of Mele’s personalist virtue ethics approach. The researcher employed a mixed method research design. The target population of the study consisted of business school deans and faculty who teach business ethics in Kenyan Association of African Business Schools (AABS) member schools. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data which were analyzed using statistical and thematic data analysis techniques. The study found incidence of business ethics education in Kenyan AABS member school degree programs with a majority of business ethics courses occurring in a few undergraduate degree programs. A majority of business ethics faculty in the schools were found to have adopted a normative approach to business ethics education characterized by Kantian, Aristotelian, and consequentialist ethics. Nonetheless, the faculty concurred with the principles and purposes of business ethics according to Mele’s personalist virtue ethics approach. The study recommends Mele’s approach to business ethics and encourages business ethics education in all undergraduate and graduate business degree programs.