Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Center Director Honored by Aspen Institute

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Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson, Santa Clara University Professor of Organizations and Soceity, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Business Education at the Aspen Institute November 16. Hanson was honored for his 36 years of teaching and research, including his most recent publication, a four-volume series, The Accountable Corporation, co-edited with Mark J. Epstein.

Hanson has been involved in business ethics since 1971, when, as a student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he founded the group Concerned Business Students. In accepting the award, he said, "When I first created Concerned Business Students-and even when I first joined the Stanford Business School faculty in 1978-I could not have imagined the breadth of the business and social responsibility academic enterprise in 2007."

Hanson expressed his appreciation for being recognized within this growing field, especially by an award that was previously given to business ethics pioneers CK Prahalad (Distinguished University Professor of Strategy, University of Michigan) and Max Bazerman (Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University)

Hanson served on the Stanford faculty until 2001, when he came to Santa Clara University to direct the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. He also was the first president of the Business Enterprise Trust, a national awards program on corporate social responsibility created by leaders in business, government, labor, and academia (1989-1995).

Hanson said that ethics education is on the verge of acceptance in mainstream business education, "but we are not there yet." Finance, accounting, economics, and decision science faculty, he continued, must realize "you can't teach those subjects without dealing with the social, environmental, and ethical dimensions."

November 2007

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