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MBA MINUTE: Maintaining Ethics in Online Environment

One of the most important things in your life should be maintaining ethical behavior at all times, in all situations. That is one of the advantages of attending an online Christian university; the coursework for the online MBA degree or any other online graduate degree places the topic, the importance of ethics, in every aspect of the MBA program, as well as other graduate online degrees. The MBA degree online at a Christian university weaves ethics into all courses, as it is critical to being a successful student, a Christian reflecting the values of Christ, an honest businessman or woman, and a responsible citizen.

In secular contexts, ethical behavior is defined as adhering to behavior that most people consider right. The difference in the definition of ethical behavior in an online graduate MBA program in a Christian university is that it is defined as what is right is what God approves of and what is wrong is what God says is sinful. The measuring stick of ethical behavior in secular universities is people’s opinions, and the measuring stick of ethical behavior in Christian universities like Abilene Christian University is what God says. As people’s opinions and standards run in many different directions, the ethics of a situation based on our unchanging God provides the student earning an online MBA in a Christian university a firm foundation of ethical behaviors.

One of the tenets of ethical behavior is right and wrong. The Christian online university operates under the philosophy that there is right behavior and wrong behavior, as defined by Scripture. If God says it is wrong, it is. While the Christian online university adheres to this belief, the secular university believes in situational ethics. That is, the belief that there is no definite right or wrong action, and that the appropriate action depends on a particular situation and is decided by an individual. The online Christian university provides a measuring tool for ethical behavior, and this tool is God’s Word. The Christian pursuing an online MBA will not be asked to abandon his or her belief system to write about or study issues that require compromising his or her faith. Based on the Ten Commandments, instructors at a Christian university maintain that students should not lie or steal. Therefore, there is in-depth explanation of plagiarism, which is lying and stealing another’s work, and care is taken to follow this honor code in all online graduate coursework.

Another tenet of ethical behavior is fairness. A follower of Christ is fair in all endeavors, and fairness is a foundation of coursework in the online MBA program. Students are required to be fair to other students in the online discussion boards and other communications between students. The instructors are fair in their assignments and grading in an online Christian University, which is not always the case in secular institutions.

A third tenet of ethical behavior is integrity. Integrity is the maintenance of respect for one’s self and other people. In a Christian online MBA program, the importance of integrity permeates all assignments and studies. Integrity is doing the right thing, based on God’s Word, and maintaining a reputation as a student, church member, businessman or woman, and community citizen who demonstrates integrity at all times and in all places.

Another important standard of ethical behavior is accountability. One who has earned an online MBA from a Christian university has been well schooled in the belief that one has to be accountable for his or her behavior and be responsible at all times, in all settings. If a student earning a graduate online MBA at a Christian university makes a poor grade on a test, he or she does not blame the instructor, but holds himself or herself accountable for the grade and looks at what can be done to earn a better score next time. He or she is responsible for his or her behavior and uses failures to learn.

A final aspect of ethical behavior is showing integrity in working with others. As teamwork is the core of many business organizations today, the importance of learning to work ethically with others is critical. At an online Christian university like Abilene, earning an online MBA involves working and discussing issues with others. Fairness in teamwork means discussing issues and listening to another’s viewpoint without harsh criticism or harassment. Sometimes the demands of teamwork require the individual to agree to disagree on issues, and an ethical person has to accept that another person is entitled to different methods or strategies to achieve goals. Hostility to those with different ideas is unethical, and acceptance of others is an important part of being a follower of Christ and an ethical graduate student.

Commitment to the organization is another important quality of ethical behavior. As a student, commitment to complete assignments in a timely manner with your best efforts demonstrates commitment to earning your degree and your university. Respect for instructors and classmates is part of this commitment. With commitment, trust develops, and trust is an important part of any relationship, including student-to-student relationships and student-to-instructor relationships. With commitment leading to trust in the MBA degree studies and the home and workplace, those who exhibit commitment are more productive in whatever environment they find themselves in.

Not only does practicing ethical behavior in all times and all places provide you with a reputation of integrity and honesty, studies show that ethical behavior in the workplace makes business organizations more profitable. Knowing this, potential employers seek to hire those who have earned their MBA online degree in a Christian setting, where ethical behavior is taught and expected. Current employers seek to promote those who have earned an online MBA degree from a Christian university to leadership positions. As those who practice ethical behavior increase an organization’s profit and productivity, managers look for those with an online MBA from a Christian university.

ACU is prepared to provide you with the Christian MBA degree that you are seeking. Contact an enrollment counselor today to discuss the benefits that an ACU MBA can provide for you as a Christian and as a professional.