Q: What classes do you teach here in Shanghai?
A: The course I teach used to be called Managerial Law, and it’s recently been changed to Law and Ethics. The idea is that managers need to not only learn about law, but also how to do business in a better way, how to focus on doing business more for what’s good.
Q: Is the ethics focus recent, given the current environment?
A: Well, I’ve always been teaching this course with an ethics focus the whole time. It wasn’t so much about changing the class, but about showing how ethics is a critical part of both law and business.
Q: What kind of research have you done in the past on business ethics?
A: In the 1990s, I did some work on real estate finance and law; I looked at "redlining" – how banks were conspiring to deny minority groups mortgages.
Q: What kind of differences have you noticed between your students in China and the US?
A: The EMBA program, in both places, has students of approximately the same age, with intense skills and knowledge, who are eager to climb up the corporate ladder. In China, I’ve seen an even higher devotion among students to push themselves, to never say no. What they are learning in my class are not only new concepts of law, but concepts based on an entirely different system than from the one they’re used to in China. When I read their papers, I’m frequently amazed. Their grammar and spelling may not be perfect, but their understanding of the material is crystal clear.
Q: What do you like most about teaching in China?
A: I’ve been teaching in Shanghai since 2003. I really enjoy the huge diversity of students here, that all nationalities come together. This year we have a class of students from 16 different countries, which is pretty amazing.