Spotlight on Professor Zhao Meng

IMBA's Leadership & Business Ethics Course

2017-06-09

LBE is designed to prepare students to become ethical and effective leaders. Leaders who know themselves well and consciously develop their leadership abilities of making ethical decisions throughout their lifetimes will be more effective and more successful leaders and will lead more satisfying and fulfilling lives. To do so, leaders must take responsibility for their own development, rather than relying entirely on their organizations for leadership development.

So where are the ethical boundaries? Leaders may find that small deviations early on lead to larger ones later. This course helps students develop a sense of their life stories, crucibles, values, principles, ethical boundaries and purpose before they find themselves in the midst of a crisis in the real business context. The purpose is to enable students to: (1) better prepare for navigating through difficult decisions and dilemmas; (2) reflect on their values and establish their ethical boundaries before those boundaries are tested under the pressure and seductions of the real world.

There are two class patterns combined to fulfill the class target:

The first one relies mainly on the professor Zhao’s narration of the case, supplemented with the group discussion and presentation. The chosen cases and the setting of thinking questions in this session are consistent with the world's top business schools. Significant case reading preparation is required before the class bringing their own opinions to the class. In the process of expression and feedback, students can identify the values that are unique to them, test their values under pressures and challenges, define their leadership principles which define the way in which they apply their values every day and then establish the ethical boundaries in advance. So they can have clarity about what to do when pushed to the limits.

The second one relies mainly on the group discussion, supplemented with the professor Zhao’s narration, called LDG (Leadership Development Groups). One of the most important skills that every graduating MBA should have is the ability to facilitate small groups. In this session, the class is separated into 6 groups, with 5-6 members each. Students will have the opportunity to facilitate their LDG 1-2 times during the course. The facilitator for the particular class should arrive the classroom one hour before scheduled meeting time discussing the topic with professor Zhao. The facilitators will facilitate the discussion based on the tenet of openness, trust, confidentiality, differences, tolerances, feedback, and challenges. The group members shared their life story each other, explored how their life story has influenced their development and guided them into leadership roles. Based on the suggestions from the group members, students can reflect their own leadership style and other observed leadership experience. The relationship between the leadership and the business ethic can be understood better through the discussion and the facilitator’s ability to govern the group is also be developed.

In the social environment filled with various temptations, the abilities of making ethical decisions in different dilemmas is critical to the success of a leader. There are so many examples of the consequence from the ignoring of the ethical problems in the business operating and concentrating merely on the interest. The course, Leadership and Business Ethics, can give the MBA students a boosting and a fortress for the future success and the contribution to the society and the country development.