For NEOMA, ethics is more than wishful thinking
Published on 12/23/2020
Published on 12/23/2020
In June 2020, NEOMA announced an overhaul of its Master in Management (PGE) programme. With the addition of a range of themes seeking to address the challenges of the 21st century. Amongst them : Contemporary World Ethics. Then over the course of a week in October, the first year students attended a series of classes and lectures.
“The question of ethics is real, yes! If I want to centre my future achievements around ethics, it is because our work must be a reflection of ourselves. Without ethics, the world is simply not viable,” says Nora Felk, a first-year MiM student. “It is up to our generation to bring about change,” says Agathe Thiery, who is following the same programme. “In every area, it is our responsibility to continue what has already been done, and even to accelerate this evolution”.
In effect, the main theme of the ‘Capsule’ seminar for first year Master in Management students is contemporary world ethics. Last October, a week of “intensive teaching” was held on the NEOMA Reims and Rouen campuses, as Hadrien Simon, the pedagogical coordinator, explains. “Students could choose between four themes: Art and Capitalism, Gender and Society, Geopolitics and Soft Power, Ethics and Finance. The ‘dimensions’ were analysed in depth with 11 hours of classes; and all the students had to attend the lectures on the four main themes.”
Nora Felk, former Literary prep. school student, opted to follow “Ethics and Finance” in order to challenge herself with an unlikely theme. “Like many people who know nothing about finance, I had quite a few preconceived ideas, which the capsule allowed me to deconstruct,” the NEOMA student says. “The lecturer explained how a financial system works, but more importantly, she demonstrated that without ethics in finance, finance is impossible. The was proved during the Subprime crisis.”
“Sustainable finance is a very interesting subject,” says Agathe Thiery, who would like to take up a career in this sector. “Our group worked on the theme of religious ethics and finance. We had to submit a dissertation, and our research revealed the existence of religious finance. I had no idea this existed. And now I’m listening to a lot of lectures and podcasts and reading a lot of books on the subject.”
Through this concentrated teaching approach, NEOMA aims to open minds, provide the keys to understanding a rapidly changing world and the answers to the questions students are asking themselves: what is their role within a company? What behaviour should they adopt when interpersonal references change from one generation to the next? How can they develop a critical view of future management practices? And in turn, broaden ethical notions beyond the business world. “Presentations on ethics in business schools are fairly uncommon,” explains Nora Felk, “and this is the teaching approach adopted by NEOMA. I find it really interesting to include this in the curriculum, and to present such a global vision.”
“Yes, ethics is an important issue. We would love to be completely ethical, but is it possible considering what we have inherited?” says Agathe Thiery, who cannot see herself working for a company that does not share her values.
Ethics and finance
Theme: Crises are becoming more and more frequent, and more and more serious. Finance needs to be rethought beyond deontology and regulation, to make ethics a part of people’s behaviour. Finance needs to serve the economy, the planet and society.
Speaker: Thierry Philipponnat, an economist specialising in finance and the link between economic theory and practice, Head of Research and Advocacy of the NGO Finance Watch, and member of the AMF.
Art & capitalism
Theme: The arts fell into the market a long time ago. The art world, as the world of sport, is amongst the most unequal. How do these inequalities come about?
Speaker: Pierre-Michel Menger, professor, Collège de France. Art and capitalism, focusing on the question of talent and artists’ remuneration,
Gender & society
Theme: How to react in a situation of male-female inequality? This is a crucial issue within a company. The sociology of gender allows us to deconstruct these inequalities and provides us with the keys to react as managers.
Speaker: Cécile Régnard (PGE 1999), member of NEOMA Au Féminin. Nearly 20 years’ experience in the luxury, retail and cosmetics sectors.
Geopolitics & soft-power
Theme: Can soft power revolutionise geopolitics and diplomacy in the 21st century? The notion of power that characterises relations is evolving. Yesterday, relations were based on the classical notion of power (military, economic, demographic force). Tomorrow, they will be based on influence (cultural influence, education, appeal of the model).
Speaker: Souhaïl Belhadji, PhD in political science.