US China Joint Plan to Improve Ethics in China

Monday, November 16, 2009 21:19

Over the years, some of the more interesting and heated dialogues I ahve seen surround the issue of ethics.

Linked to IP Protection, corporate governance, graft, and a whole host of other issues that firms face, many Westerners have long believed that as China’s economy developed, this would become a hurdle.  That, while the “ways of the old” may certainly have greased the system, eventually a transformation would have to take place for there to be long term stability.

So the theory goes.

My own opinion on the matter was a bit different though, and was largely different because over the last 5 years I have come to understand that while moral compasses and court systems were certainly needed.  That as foreign groups pointed towards lacking court systems and moral boundries, and Chinese pointed back to cultural difference, a third  – more critical – area was being overlooked.

Education.

When coming across the recent article,Chinese, U.S. Science Scholars and Educators Plan Joint Projects in Ethics Education, detailing the recent meetings of academics and scientists on the subject of improving ethical standards through education, I knew that I should pass it on as it highlighted a lot of very important core issues – and the people responsible for tackling the issues

Over the course of the meetings, top science policy officials, educators and ethics scholars explored a range of topics—the history of science ethics in each country, ambitious new efforts by Chinese science leaders to bring ethics instruction into undergraduate teaching, and the potential of both formal and informal education to improve the ethics environment.

“What we heard from these very thoughtful representatives of China were perspectives that were very different than anything we have here,” said Michael Kalichman, director of the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) Research Ethics Program. “They showed us new ways of thinking about these issues.”

Overall, what I liked about this piece was that it was void of finger pointing, wasn’t overly academic, and provided some very useful insights into the issues Issues that many business managers, foreign and Chinese, face in China.

So, take the 10 minutes to read through the piece, and tell me what you think.

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