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LCA: Therapy for Business Leaders

February 18th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

LCA (Leadership and Corporate Accountability) is easily my least favorite class this semester.  It’s basically Business Ethics – which makes for perfectly fascinating bar conversation, but impossibly aggravating 90-person case discussions.  Part of it has to do with the way it’s taught.  I think our professor was a therapist in another life, and he teaches the course like we should bare our souls with a healthy dose of group hugs and shoulder-crying. 

More it’s just the lack of structure that bothers me.  The case method is inherently fluid and without answers – which is a great thing (!): there’d be no point having a discussion if there were only one answer.  The problem with LCA is there are also no correct processes, no correct frameworks, and essentially, no way to effectively compare & contrast opinions. 

In most case discussions, you think X and I think Y.  Fine.  We can discuss the pros / cons of each and possibly arrive at a compromise or at least fully evaluated strategic options.  In LCA, you think X and I think Y.  We smile and nod congenially, and someone else chimes in that they think Z.  Oh, and A.  Or maybe C?  Does it matter?  Not really.  Where were we again?  Exactly.  Annoyed?  Me too. 

Again, this would be a great course if the class size were only five people, but it falls flat on its face with ninety. 

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Alex

    Is this a required class? And how do you feel about that? Uh huh, let’s explore that some more.

  • rob

    hahaha… love it.

  • rob

    oh, and, unfortunately — it is required. i think they put it in the curriculum as a result of the Enron scandal and the resulting HBS-backlash.

  • cs@hbs

    ha, only goes to show it all depends on the professor…
    while I theoretically agree with you, we had a fabulous LCA professor and we all loved this class. We actually chose him this year as our Capstone professor.
    Similarly, my favorite first term class was FRC – which I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years, and again all thanks to our amazing professor.
    Ah well, I’m sure you have other killer professors – you win some, you lose some…

  • j

    I think our professor was a therapist in another life, and he teaches the course like we should bare our souls with a healthy dose of group hugs and shoulder-crying.

    – This sounds a little bit like a dig towards therapists. I wonder if that was a conscious, or unconscious slip :p

  • Santiago

    Hey, I am writing a school paper on ethics at the HBS. It would be great if I could write to you. Would you give me your e-mail adress?

  • rob

    Sure! You can just send me a note: “admin” at insidehbs dot-com.

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