New course aims to boost ethical management skills

by Brett Henebery28 Jun 2017
A diverse workplace can mean more than just a cultural melting pot. Diversity can also mean the coming together of different genders, age groups and worldviews.

With many organisations promoting, and implementing, diversity policies, ethical management skills are more important now than ever.

But what are ethical management skills, exactly?

At its most basic level, ethical management includes refraining from using inappropriate language (both face-to-face and online), sharing inappropriate materials and leading my example by upholding a culture of respect in the workplace.

Promoting core values is a way to engage employees, increase their commitment and loyalty, and encourage ethical decision making, according to Marlene Neill, assistant professor of journalism, PR and new media in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.

Neill’s study found that building a business reputation “from the inside out” – with employees acknowledging their company as an ethical place to work – is increasingly being praised as a way to get an edge on competitors (alongside customer service and quality products).

Earlier this month, BT Financial Group (BTFG) announced a move to put its advisers and leaders through The Ethics Centre’s Ethical Professional Program, with its first 500 due to complete the course by 30 June 2017.

Now Excelsia College has announced that it is boosting ethical management skills through its new postgraduate course.

The course is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), which is Australia's independent national regulator of the higher education sector.

Excelsia’s new Master of Business Administration (MBA) integrates values-based learning into an online postgraduate course that equips business leaders with the ethical management skills to achieve career goals in the business, government or not-for-profit sectors.

Professor Felix Tan, Head of Business at Excelsia College told L&D Professional that integrity is the “single most essential professional skill” as all other ethical behaviours naturally flow if an employee possesses it.

“For instance, value and respect employees and stakeholders; act justly – fairness matters; and transparency – help colleagues understand why decisions are made,” he said.

Tan said employees with workplace integrity possess core values that influence their workplace decisions and behaviours.

“An organisation with employees that have integrity will more readily develop a culture of respect, trustworthiness, fairness and compassion,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it is about doing the right thing. Ask yourself: how will your colleagues remember you and what will your legacy be?”

Studies show that MBA graduates are more likely to be hired in a competitive job market and to thus benefit from the higher salaries that such enhanced job opportunities bring.

The QS Top MBA Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2015/16 – which collated data on salaries earned by MBA graduates around the world – found that Australian MBA holders earned the third highest average worldwide, with an average accredited MBA graduate salary of $171,299.

Excelsia’s online MBA, to be offered from late October, will be available over six study periods a year. Participants are free to start at almost any time, rather than waiting for mid-year intakes or traditional semester start dates.

Related stories:
Financial giant to train its leaders on ethics
Does promoting ethics improve employee performance?