Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education


An Exploratory Study of the Curricular Integration of Ethics in Executive MBA Programs

News headlines of corporate scandals have unleashed a contentious debate of whether or not graduate management education has contributed to corporate collapses and the resultant financial crisis. In particular, questions abound as to the willingness of Executive MBA program (EMBA) administrators and faculty to integrate ethics into the curriculum.

A sizable amount of research has been conducted and published on the curricular integration of ethics in graduate management education. Unfortunately, very little is known about the curricular integration of ethics in EMBA programs. Over time, the number and popularity of EMBA programs have grown. Executive MBA programs--by the nature of their admission requirements attract a diverse range of working professionals. And as such, enrollment in EMBA programs is generally of corporate executives, managers, and other business leaders who have many years of professional or managerial experience.

Career paths of EMBA program graduates will vary as the career paths of most graduates but those who choose to continue their careers in management and reach the executive rank have the potential to make decisions that may have a deep and penetrating effect which ripples across the globe, often times reaching seismic proportions. Given the potential impact of unethical decision-making of EMBA graduates on global economies, it is paramount that a closer look be taken at the curricular integration of ethics in EMBA programs.

The research conducted in this study includes a documentary examination of seven U.S. Executive MBA programs, which are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The purpose of the study is to investigate to what extent and in what ways Executive MBA programs are designed to address ethical decision-making for business executives who matriculate in these programs. To that end, this study seeks to identify ethics-related knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with Executive MBA programs such that graduates acquire the tools needed to ensure--to the extent possible--appropriate ethical decision-making.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.