Business and moral ethics textbook writers need to find a new hero, and FAST. Joe Paterno just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
I’m about halfway through a course in business ethics, which is a part of my track for an MBA. What I found absolutely startling is the fact that in more than half of the business ethics textbooks I have reviewed, Joe Paterno is used as an example of high ethical and moral standards, congruity between formal and informal organizational ethical communications systems (yeah, it’s jargon), and a model of how corporations should construct and define their own ethics and compliance programs.
It looks like he had everyone suckered.
Remember, this is not about legal requirements. This is ETHICS – our conduct in regards to the law AND in regards to those “grey areas.” Yes, Paterno may have fulfilled his basic legal requirements. But his moral and ethical obligations to the victims, the team and the community? Not so much.
Because really, who cares if you have a “clean” football program if you allegedly convince the athletic director of your school to keep his mouth shut about the child molester prowling your locker rooms?