Keynote speaker talks ethics with business students

Guest speaker John Knapp stands in a full classroom

Lundy-Fetterman School of Business students got an expert’s perspective on ethics in the business world when John C. Knapp visited Professor Rich Rubin’s BADM 580 Special Topics Digital Marketing class on Oct. 29. 

Addressing the standing-room-only audience with a timely discussion about “Ethics, Leadership, and Business,” Knapp said, “Trust is like oxygen, you only notice when it’s in short supply.”

Focusing on the role leaders play in building trust in organizations, Knapp drew from his experience studying and working with organizations to help them teach values and ethics proactively, rather than reactively after an incident occurs.

Karen Mishra, visiting associate professor of management and marketing, said, “One point that struck a chord with many of my students is that ‘those who cannot lead at the worst of times are not ready to lead at all.’ As we talk about leadership in management (BADM 331), this was a very impactful statement for my students to think about.”

Mishra also cited Knapp’s example of how ethics are taught in the military as particularly meaningful for students in the audience who have served in the military. “His points helped them understand how their own experience could translate into civilian leadership,” she added.

Knapp is president of Washington & Jefferson College and professor of religion. An internationally recognized speaker, his work has spanned the education, non-profit, and business sectors. Previously Knapp was founding director of Samford University’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, and director of the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.