When prominent doctors, lawyers, and journalists are caught betraying the ethics of their respective professions, it is their peers in the medical, legal, and media communities who typically are the first to condemn their behavior. In sharp contrast, the collective silence of American business leaders was deafening during the Enron, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom, Tyco and other turn-of-the-millennium corporate scandals. Nary a CEO spoke out publicly against the illegal and unethical practices of the likes of Messrs. Lay, Kozlowski, et al. Instead, as Federal Express’s CEO Fred Smith recently admitted to BusinessWeek, he and his fellow executives decided 'to lay low' until the storm blew over.
Dang! I may have to add this institutional history of business schools (of all things!) to my reading list.