Catching up on the business-school oath story

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As part of what will be a continuing series of posts on things I should have written about weeks ago, but was too busy checking my book’s Amazon ranking to get to (it’s now bouncing around the mid 100s, which makes checking less fun, although it did debut on  the WSJ business best-seller list Friday, at #12), here’s what’s up with business schoolers and their oaths.

Clearly I was onto something with the piece I wrote in May about the Thunderbird Oath of Honor, a pledge-not-to-be-naughty recited at graduation by the MBAs at the Thunderbird School of International Management in Arizona. Soon afterward, a group of Harvard Business School students decided to get into the act with their own oath—which was, unlike Thunderbird’s, not endorsed by the school’s administration. Matthew Bishop did a nice job of summing things up in the Economist, and at BusinessWeek Anne VanderMey told of how the idea is now spreading—to Northwestern’s Kellogg’s School, NYU’s Stern School, Oxford’s Saïd School and elsewhere. Pledging to behave honorably appears to have become downright fashionable among MBAs. I’m a little unclear on the broader meanings of this: It could be a sea change, it could be a fad. But in any case, you read about it here first.

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