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Business Ethics Center Established in Eller College
The Center for Leadership Ethics is committed to improving the ethical culture of organizations through research, education and outreach.
The University of Arizona's Eller College of Management has formed the Center for Leadership Ethics, or CLE, which brings together top research faculty, established educational outreach programs and corporate partnerships to effect broad change in ethical leadership across business sectors.
"Despite the acknowledged importance of promoting moral behavior at work, research shows that attempts to promote ethical actions through business education haven't yet been successful," said Stephen Gilliland, head of the department of management and organizations and executive director of the CLE.
"As a college, we have been building a reputation for innovative ethics programs and research for 10 years now, and the CLE is a natural platform from which to expand the impact of this important work."
The CLE proposes a model focused on behavioral versus philosophical ethics, which is disseminated through outreach channels specifically designed for audiences including high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and practicing managers in the public and private sectors.
A robust research agenda, already supported in part by a leadership gift from EthicsPoint, will increase scholarly understanding of leadership ethics and also will supply educational and outreach programs with cutting-edge knowledge to share in the classroom.
Some ethics-focused research in progress include the following:
- Russell Cropanzano, the Brian Lesk Professor of Management and the Merchants Information Solutions Director of Leadership Ethics Research, is studying the impact of ethical and moral leadership on employees and organizations.
- Professor Lisa Ordóñez, Levine Family Faculty Fellow, is examining the effects of priming on unethical behavior. Preliminary results indicate that subtle primes that indirectly get people thinking about ethical issues are enough to significantly decrease cheating behavior.
- Stephen Gilliland is studying greed; preliminary results demonstrate that people are more likely to complain about greed when they are losing money – and the popular press is more likely to write about greed when the stock market is falling.
Existing outreach programs now presented under the CLE banner include:
- The High School Ethics Forum, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which currently serves students in Tucson, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
- The Collegiate Ethics Case Competition, which brings undergraduates from more than 30 top schools around the world to the Eller College to analyze, develop and defend a position on a thorny ethical case drawn from the real world.
- The Executive Ethics Symposium aims to introduce a framework of ethical thinking to the board room through panel discussions and debate.
- The Southwest Leadership Program, which provides Arizona public and nonprofit administrators with executive education focused on leadership development.
The CLE is preparing to announce industry partnerships, including a founding partnership with Merchants Information Solutions of Phoenix, to further its goals of research and teaching in ethics.
In addition to executive director Gilliland and research director Cropanzano, the CLE is led by founding director Paul Melendez, the EthicsPoint Distinguished Lecturer in Business Ethics. Melendez is the current director of the ethics program at the Eller College and developed the college's existing outreach programming in ethics.
The Eller College of Management at the UA is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in entrepreneurship and social responsibility.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 13 among public business schools, and four of its programs are among the top 25 – entrepreneurship, MIS, management and accounting. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA full-time program No. 55 in the U.S., and the Evening MBA program at No. 31.
The college leads the nation's business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a full-time MBA program, the Eller College offers an evening MBA program, an accelerated MBA program, and the Eller Executive MBA.
The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in Tucson.