An Improved Pedagogy of Corporate Finance Essay

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An Improved Pedagogy of Corporate Finance: a Constrained Shareholder Wealth Maximization Goal by Michael R. Santos , Gina Vega , John T. Barkoula INTRODUCTION Bloom's taxonomy (1956) has guided pedagogical structure and innovation for half a century in the United States, and its focus on developmental learning remains relevant and instructive for us. The six developmental levels (knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) separate basic knowledge acquisition from the critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for making ethical decisions or judgments. Answering questions about business ethics requires knowledge from multiple disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, political science, sociology, economics, finance, organizational management, and law. Analyzing such a vast body of data in ethical frameworks requires the highest levels (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) of critical thinking as expressed in the taxonomy. Corporate governance, an interdisciplinary subject addressed in all these disciplines, explores the inter- workings of both for-profit firms and not-forprofit firms and is an area requiring business students to evaluate ethical issues when making decisions. Despite the broad responsibility of teaching corporate governance in the finance classroom, the pedagogy of finance has been restricted to ideas derived primarily from economics, statistics, and finance. Competing ideas from other disciplines are generally unwelcome and/or are treated with skepticism. Even the ideas of some researchers from the fields of economics and finance such as Hart (1995) and Tirole (2001) who promote alternate solutions to corporate governance beyond agency theory are ignored or overlooked. As a result, business ethics and corporate governance topics often are introduced in apro forma, compulsory fashion that may

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