According to The Atlantic, between 2001 and 2010 the annual rate of scholarly article retractions increased by a factor of 11. A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences took a closer look and found that out of the 2,047 retracted papers reviewed, 67.4% were the direct result of academic misconduct rather than genuine error. With scholarly transgressions on the rise, it comes as no surprise that many universities are taking action to stop collegiate dishonesty at the student level through implementation of strict plagiarism policing. In his Distinguished Scholar Invited Essay entitled “Reflections on the Role of Character in Business Education and Student Leadership Development” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, Thomas A. Wright of Fordham University discusses the importance of character and character leadership development in business education as a way of not only reducing academic misconduct misconduct but developing scholars’ search for life’s meaning.
From the introduction:
The role of character is critical in the development of our own, as well as our students’, search for life’s meaning (Frankl, 1984). Focusing on the role of character, in both our teaching and research, four objectives are undertaken designed to highlight the importance of character and character leadership development in business education. First, a discussion of why character is relevant to business education assessment is provided though the 3-H (“head,” “heart,” and “hands”) approach to student learning (Hill & Stewart, 1999; Stuebs, 2011). While many academics traditionally focus on the “head” approach, we need to also focus on how students affectively (“heart”) and behaviorally (“hands”) learn about character. Second, considered within the context of what is character, an overview of how I have assessed character is presented emphasizing my “top-5” profiles in character approach to both personal and professional leadership development (Wright & Quick, 2011). Third, building on Bandura’s (1977) social learning model, I propose that a lack of positive role models constitutes one significant reason why we are today faced with such moral challenge in business education. My reflection closes with suggestions for the continued role of character education and research in both our classroom and beyond. A brief overview is provided next of why character is relevant to business education assessment.
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