Can Business and Ethics Coexist?

Upperclassmen gathered together in Boon 411 for a class called “Business Ethics” and Dr. Hartl opened the class with a story:

“When I told someone that I teach a class called ‘Business Ethics’, they responded by saying, ‘Isn’t that a contradiction?’. I responded by saying, ‘Well, that’s what people who know nothing about business say’.”

In the first few weeks of taking Business Ethics, I’ve already learned a lot more than I expected. Not only do ethics apply to business, but they’re a big part of it. One’s ethics determine how they make choices, treat other people, and conduct most other business activities. Sometimes, the law motivates people to be ethical. Sometimes, it’s what they think other’s expect of them, but these motivations only last for so long and under certain circumstances. The only way someone can be truly motivated to make ethical decisions is if they understand moral reasoning within themselves, and desire to abide by it.

This can seem pretty straightforward, especially to Christian business people as we (hopefully) desire to follow Biblical principles in every area of our lives. As kids, we are taught to treat other people well and not be selfish, but what happens when your morals conflict with those of another culture? Is there a clear right and wrong? Whose morals should we use to determine right and wrong? These are the kinds of questions that are asked and answered in a class like Business Ethics.

CTA button for Blog UGOne of Nyack’s core values is being intentionally diverse, and I have noticed this to be very evident in recent classes I have taken. Since technology continues to make the world a smaller place, students are expected to know how to conduct business with people of cultures different than their own. It’s an incredible asset to be able to learn these lessons in a diverse community like Nyack College. With students  from all over the world, and professors who have worked in international corporations, there are many stories to be told and lessons to be gleaned from the experiences of those around me. In such a competitive field, I’m thankful to Nyack College for giving me an advantage that many in the job market won’t have: learning about other cultures straight from the culture it’s self.

Jennifer Cook

About Jennifer Cook

I am a senior at Nyack College Rockland campus. I'm a business major currently doing graphic design, web development, and marketing for a small salon in downtown Nyack. I love travel, reading, writing, beauty, and design. Connect with Jennifer on Google+
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