News and Events
The report on the Educating for Integrity conference held in Toronto, Canada between November 5 and 7, 2015 is available here: report
Managing Integrity: What executives need to know-
Executive Training in Bucharest, Romania June 29-30 2015
The Center for Integrity in Business and Government organized its its third executive training in Bucharest, Romania on 29th and 30th June 2015.
Participants represented a heterogeneous group that consisted of managers, lawyers, compliance officers and consultants from the entire region: Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Chosen moderators and trainers have been dealing with integrity issues in their professional life for many years in academic, business and non-governmental sector.
The main objective of the executive training in Romania was to discuss and analyze with participants the importance of business integrity and incorporating it in their work through the lens of management, anthropology, law and business intelligence.
The detailed report on the event is downloadable here.
Have you ever attended a controversial board meeting?
The Center for Integrity in Business and Government together with the Governance and Transparency Committee, AmCham Hungary organizes a
SIMULATION OF A BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING
The Board of Directors of a publicly held (stock exchange listed) company intends to approve an M&A transaction allegedly vital to the survival of the company. Besides the uncertainties of the deal preliminary questions of conflict of interest and integrity arise involving the CEO and questionable pre-transaction practices at the target level surface at the Board meeting. How do responsible board members react? What are the moral and legal considerations to take into account? How can one determine the right priority?
Topics to be debated at the Board Meeting
• Conflicts of interest: adequacy of disclosure
• Corporate ethics
• Compliance (transparency)
• Whistleblower (action and protection)
• Compensation appropriateness and opportunities for potentially corrupt behavior
• Responsibility, accountability and consequence
Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1st 2015.
Find us on Facebook: Board Simulation event
Integrity Course at CEU Summer University
The “Leadership and Management for Integrity” course at the Central European University (CEU) seeks to impart the principles, strategies and applied skills necessary to equip practitioners to effectively diagnose integrity gaps and – most importantly - to implement strategies for addressing them.
The course takes an inter-disciplinary approach to raising integrity standards in public and private institutions and presents one of the few targeted, applied and yet conceptually grounded efforts currently available internationally for developing effective integrity strategies in some of the world’s toughest governance environments.
From July 6 to July 11, 2015, some of the foremost experts and practitioners in the field of integrity and anti-corruption will teach and facilitate discussions to help forge creative and contextually-sensitive solutions to a problem that burdens many societies and poses a major risk to programmes in business, government and civil society.
See more at: Intergrity Action
News and Events
CEU Business School MBAs Runners-Up in Ethics Case Competition
Three CEU Business School MBAs (James Baho, Cecilia Ban, and Hari Subedi) volunteered, competed, and were Runners-Up for their ethics case in this year’s 2014 International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC). This competition, organized by The Center for Ethics and Business at Loyola Marymount University, the Opus College of Business of the University of St. Thomas (MN), and the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association (ECOA), was held from May 6-9 in conjunction with the ECOA’s Sponsoring Partner Forum in Tucson, Arizona. IBECC is the oldest and most-recognized business ethics competition of its kind.
Teams of students participated in a variety of competitions judged by practicing ethics and compliance professionals. Each team selected a topic from any area of business ethics and described both the problem and a proposed solution. The 2014 IBECC had 17 teams representing universities from USA, Canada , France, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The students also had the opportunity to learn about organizational ethics by attending ECOA conference sessions and interacting informally with the world's leading ethics and compliance officers.
What got you interested in the Business Ethics Case Competition?
Our team knew about this competition coming into the school year, each hearing good things from previous team members. The opportunity to represent the school on such an emerging business topic was a real motivation for this group of ambitious team members. With ethics being more deeply ingrained into modern business philosophy, participating in this event was an excellent way to see how theory met practice.
(As a team, we were interested in the multi-dimensional inputs and impacts of business ethics in the modern business environment. Not only should ethics be considered in business goals and strategy, but it should define how we as business leaders – and those we work with – evaluate ourselves, our employers, and our work.)
How did you prepare for the competition? How difficult was it to juggle preparation and your regular studies?
Over the winter break, the team met to brainstorm possible topics, which included CIA surveillance practices and the Canon accounting scandal. Settling upon Bangladesh, where corporate responsibility meets workers’ rights, we worked to understand the problem, define our message and create our presentation.
Managing ongoing projects and numerous teams is part of the MBA experience. Adding one more is not without its difficulties, especially because delivering the presentation does not just happen in room 101, but requires a lot of planning and consideration. What we learned was it came down to organization and preparation. With those in hand, the work can be managed.
How does your participation (and victory) in the case competition prepare you for the future (i.e. what did you learn from the case competition)?
With or without our victory, the whole experience was worth it. After sitting through several discussion groups and lectures, the professional conference showed how corporations are dedicating so much time and energy into conducting work on an ethical level. It reveals how serious they take government regulations and how good self-governance can be much more profitable in the long-term than a quick profit.
Many of the people we met did not attend school to work specifically in compliance, but made good careers in it by having a good set of general skills in planning, communications and problem solving. These people were elevated to important positions within manufacturing companies, consulting firms, publishing and several other areas. It reinforced that intelligent people are needed across all fields of business.
FURTHER INPUT FROM THE TEAM:
1. What made you decide upon the Bangladesh clothing industry and that the ethical problem and solution you developed would win?
We thought the problem was unique, had a global impact and involved billions of dollars while paying wages that seriously impaired workers from improving their living conditions. Not only that, workers were risking their lives just to work. One thing that changed was how we viewed western multinational involvement in this supply chain. After doing further research, the situation became complicated by a 3rd party player who really seemed to be creating the situation and that is when our solution became very much a real-world business solution, not just some cheery, politically correct suggestion.
2. After you received your initial feedback from the professors, how did you improve your presentation (content, style, etc.)?
Our core content was there, but structuring it became the key issue. We did not suffer from a lack of ideas or material to present, but we struggled with what to exclude while keeping the narrative intact.
Professor Hardi’s suggestions helped separate the minor details from the major ones.
3. What advice or guidance from Professor Hardi was most helpful as you went through the process of developing your presentation?
He helped us refocus on the fact that we would be speaking with corporate executives, which helped moderate our tone and our search for a solution.
4. What were one or two of the biggest challenges you faced preparing for the competition (can be any aspect: selecting the co., working as a team, presentation content/structure, etc.)? How did you overcome them?
Coordinating our time was quite hard. How we solved that was working mostly individually, and then coming together as a group often enough to compile our work, show it to each other, talk about our direction and our needs, and then start the cycle over again.
5. How does this experience enhance/support your overall education in the MBA program?
The event was serious professional development. The event’s attendees were knowledgeable of the field and speaking with them about their experiences married the classroom’s theory to real-world practice. When we heard about lecturers and attendees talk about FCPA and how they used some of that legislation to write their own internal policies, we were able to both comprehend and carry on conversations with veterans of the business field.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS & INFORMATION
1. Can you please share any related materials to your case, e.g., executive summary you initially submitted, presentation itself.
Topic: Working Conditions of the Bangladesh Garment Industry
The International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) is the oldest and most recognized intercollegiate business ethics competition. As a participating team we have opted to investigate the upstream supply chain of the retail clothing industry. We look to put forward our recommendation on behalf of a consultancy firm to the industry leaders within garment retailing that use inexpensive, typically Asian/Southeast Asian sources of labor as their source of product.
Our interest in this topic stems from the recent disasters, namely the sweatshop fire in November 2012 and Rana plaza building collapse in April 2013. These events brought to light the dismal working conditions of the workers employed in such manufacturing units for well-known brands such as GAP and H&M, among others.
We wish to highlight that whereas these companies have to abide by social, professional and ethical rules set by their governments and consumers at home, in Bangladesh they are not accountable for following these rules if they are contracting a local company for production. We will show the complexity of ethical responsibility that is due to the current state of global trade. In our presentation, we intend to address the legal, financial and ethical dimensions of the case, and lay special emphasis on the ethical aspect of doing business in third world countries that afford cheap labor for large MNCs.
In conclusion we seek to come up with ethically acceptable and financially viable solutions to the problems highlighted in our case. The modern perspective believes that both companies and factory owners are just as much stakeholders of employee benefits as workers themselves: their brand and corporate values, their profitability and credibility are vulnerable to degradation of perception. Additionally, it can be argued that multinational corporations are using the current legal frameworks to reap their profits and minimize liability. Through current legal constructs, they are protected, but that protection is not impenetrable. It would be worth considering new business models for clothing companies to voluntarily adopt and have their supply chain efficiently running when legislative and social change does arrive. Lastly, the key ingredient that is required for fostering supply chain transparency, improving working conditions and basic infrastructure is a change in the investment mindset. Merely policing factories and imposing stricter regulations will not bear a positive result without building long-term mutually beneficial relationships between the buyers and the producers.
2. Do you have a link to the full list of winners and breakdown of winning levels (what does divisional consist of, for example)?
Runner Up, Graduate St. Jude Division