Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science and Law
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Jack Baldwin LeClair
This thesis explores the hypothesis that ethics training for corporate personnel will significantly increase ethical behavior and thereby significantly reduce the incidence of corporate malfeasance.
For over 100 years the federal government has been trying to curb malfeasance by managers of public corporations and their boards of directors. This thesis examines the history of that legislation and those regulatory efforts, concluding that these legislative and regulatory attempts have met with varying degrees of success, but, on balance, that success has been transitory at best. It also comes to the conclusion that corporate training programs in ethics, in the absence of strong corporate leadership, have not had a significant impact on improving corporate governance.
Since laws, regulations and ethics training have been only moderately effective, the thesis looks to possible alternatives to provide improved corporate character, and shows that character education at the K through 12 level, when properly presented and strongly supported, has had a demonstrably positive effect on character at that level. Extrapolating to the effects in adulthood, the thesis posits that such a program could make a difference to future corporate character, which could arguably result in more ethical and improved corporate governance.
Muney, Richard L., "Improving Corporate Governance : Character Education as a Supplement to Corporate Ethics Training" (2007). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 1211.