An Important Lesson for America's Future Business Leaders
(ARA) 'As one financial crisis after another has gripped our nation, a serious social issue has become all too clear -- there is a critical need for early ethics education in the United States of America.
According to a new Junior Achievement/Harris Interactive poll of teens, 33 percent would act unethically to get ahead or make more money if there was no chance of getting caught. 'These results confirm our belief that ethics education must begin in elementary school,' says Barry Salzberg, U.S. Managing Partner of Deloitte, one of the nation's leading professional services firms. "We have teamed up with Junior Achievement to help communicate a clear message to our nation's youth; 'it's never okay to act unethically.' "
Deloitte has committed $1 million to Junior Achievement (JA) -- the national leader in economics and business education -- to develop and implement 'Excellence through Ethics,' a series of lessons that teach kids why it's so important to make decisions that are ethical.
- Excellence through Ethics' activities have been designed to teach kids in grades 4 through 12 the concept of intellectual property rights, the importance of presenting themselves truthfully and accurately during a job search, why insider trading is illegal, and why ethical standards are important for business people. The curriculum is available nationwide through JA offices and online through the JA/Deloitte Business Ethics Center.
Elementary school students will get their first introduction to the curriculum in the fourth grade. They will be taught the role business plays in environmental stewardship. The lesson delves into a scenario with a pencil company that cuts down too many trees without replanting new ones.
Middle school students will be taught more complex concepts. They will learn about the importance of presenting themselves truthfully during a job interview, and examine the pros and cons of moving production operations to foreign countries.
High school students will learn concepts they can take out into the working world with them when they graduate, such as why businesses are obliged to ensure worker safety, what insider trading is and why it's illegal, and the importance of good corporate citizenship.
- Ethical behavior is the cornerstone of the American free enterprise system and the key to success in business. The message we're sending to America's future CEOs, analysts, marketing directors, purchasing managers, and accountants is that honesty is always the best policy,' says David S. Chernow, president and CEO of Junior Achievement Inc.
For more information about the 'Excellence through Ethics' program, visit www.ja.org/ethics.