Monday, May 28, 2012

CEOs with Military Experience

The Boston Innovation blog reported on a new study today about CEOs with military experience. New research by Efraim Benmelech of Harvard and Carola Frydman of Boston University found that CEOs with military experience tended to engage in less fraudulent behavior than those executives who had never served in the armed forces. The study findings suggest that the leadership training and emphasis on honor and ethics at the military academies may have a lasting impact on personal behavior - years after the individuals depart the military. Does this research suggest that we can teach ethics in places such as business school and thereby increase ethical behavior of business leaders? I'm not sure it is quite that simple. The military inculcates a certain sense of honor and character in many ways, well beyond the classroom. In short, the armed forces employ a holistic approach to building character. If business schools wish to enhance ethical behavior, they must do more than teach a class or two on ethics and morality.

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