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The ethos of business students

Publication of Business Innovation
J.J. Baardewijk,van, | Article | Publication date: 28 December 2020
Business schools are the “nurseries” of the corporate world. This article offers an empirical analysis of the business student ethos on the basis of research conducted at three Dutch universities. A theoretical framework in the tradition of virtue ethics and dubbed “moral ethology” is used to identify the values business schools convey to their students. The central research question is: What types of ethos do Dutch business students have? Forty‐three undergraduate students participated in Q‐methodological research, a mixed qualitative–quantitative small‐sample method. Five different types of ethos were generated: Do‐Good Managers, Market Managers, Searching Managers, Balancing Managers, and Radical Market Managers. Some general characteristics that apply to all the types of ethos were identified, such as the search for efficiency. It is argued that business schools should pay much more attention to the values that are endorsed in both life and business and should help students to address situations in which values are neglected.

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