For a student and practitioner of management, the MBA Oath has a deep significance because of its two unique features: first, it provides some clear ethical guidelines for the new age manager based on a holistic vision of business, expressed in terms of the traditional as well as emerging values in modern business. Secondly, it articulates with clarity the ethical imperative facing the new age executive and professional.
The MBA Oath begins with a following passage which expresses a clear understanding that business is a part of society and therefore its decisions and action have consequences for the well-being of the society as a whole:
“As a manager, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing together people and resources to create value that no single individual can build alone. Therefore I will seek a course that enhances the value my enterprise can create for society over the long term. I recognize that my decisions can have far-reaching consequences that affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and in the future. As I reconcile the interests of different constituencies, I will face difficult choices.”
The rest of the oath is stated as consequences in terms of responsibilities and choices facing the manager. The Oath goes on to say:
“Therefore I promise:
I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.
I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders, co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate.
I will manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.
I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my enterprise.
I will take responsibility for my actions, and will represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
I will develop both myself and other managers under my supervision so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the well-being of society.
I will strive to create sustainable economic, social, and environmental prosperity worldwide.
I will be accountable to my peers and they will be accountable to me for living by this oath.
This oath I make freely, and upon my honour.”