Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Conference Focuses on Character in Business and Education

For "At Our Best: Moral Lives in a Moral Community," a February 2001 conference focusing on business ethics and character education, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics invites submission of papers on

  • Virtue and character in business ethics
  • Moral imagination
  • Stakeholder theory
  • International business ethics
  • Ethics and finance
  • Ethical issues in high technology businesses
  • Moral development
  • Ethics and leadership

The conference features business ethicists Patricia Werhane (University of Virginia), Edwin Hartman (Rutgers University), W. Michael Hoffman (Bentley College), and Thomas Dunfee (Wharton School of Business). In addition, the event will showcase a panel of junior scholars speculating about the future directions of the field.

Commenting on the conference’s focus on character, Dennis Moberg, acting executive director of the Ethics Center, said, "In the fast-paced world of business, decision makers don’t have time to ponder and contemplate about the moral implications of every action they take. Being ethical must be instinctive, and that is where character comes into play. As businesses struggle with the strategic need to attract and maintain an effective workforce, character provides the foundations for credible and trustworthy business relationships."

Business ethics is one of two tracks featured at the conference, which runs from Feb. 22–25, 2001. The other, focusing on character education, will be highlighted by presentations from Thomas Lickona (State University of New York-Cortland), William Damon (Stanford University) and Kevin Ryan (Boston University).

According to Steve Johnson, director of the Center’s School Programs, educators "are interested in what our kids know and are able to do, but they are also concerned about the kind of people our kids become—character." Through the conference, "parents, teachers, and communities can come together to look at the kind of people we want to be and the virtues we want to continue into the next generation," Johnson said.

Sessions will have multiple strands with crossover opportunities for participants from a wide variety of constituencies, including

• business ethics scholars and practitioners

• corporate statespersons and business people

• educators

• parents and family organizations

• religious organizations, especially parishes and catechists

• staff and faculty from Santa Clara University

The conference is part of the University’s sesquicentennial celebration. For more information, contact the Center at 408-554-5319.