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Mary Gentile: The practical ethicist

Bill Coffin | May 16, 2017

Mary Gentile, Ph.D’s professional career began with her work at Harvard Business School, where she helped put together the school’s first MBA programs around values-driven leadership, ethics, and decision making. When she left Harvard in 1995, she started consulting with companies and business schools around the same issues of values and leadership, and became disillusioned with the general approach of ethical training. Whether it was training business students or academics, Gentile saw that the standard was to give students ethical scenarios and ask them to figure out what the right thing to do would be. And what she saw over and over again was that even if people came in to these training sessions with an idea of what the right thing to do was, the conversation usually led to the most skeptical or cynical positions being the ones that held sway. She felt ethical training had become counterproductive, and there had to be a different way to think about this. What began as an effort...

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