Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Background of the Business Ethics Partnership

Since the 1970s, corporations have addressed business ethics in various ways, including the introduction of compliance programs, the addition of board-level ethics committees, the development of codes of conduct, the preparation and dissemination of values statements, and training programs of all kinds. As events of the past several years continue to demonstrate, these efforts, unfortunately, have not reduced the pressure for companies to do more. Continuing examples of questionable behavior by individual employees and executives have given rise to critical questions of how corporate ethics efforts can be improved and address the underlying causes of misconduct, let alone the growing demands for proactive, socially responsible, and sustainable business practices.

The Business Ethics Partnership is a response to these developments. Sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the partnership provides a forum for executives and scholars to work together on managing ethics in business organizations. Santa Clara University, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is the home of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, one of the leading applied ethics study centers in the United States. Santa Clara has one of the largest concentrations of business ethics faculty of any institution in the world. Three professors specialize in business ethics; others study and research the intersection of their fields (finance, accounting, economics, marketing, etc.) with ethical concerns.

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