Queen’s School of Business’ corporate social responsibility weekends lay groundwork for future business leaders

November 6, 2009

The other week, I asked whether business schools were effectively teaching ethics. That question was answered, at least in part, the other day when I spoke at Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario. In talking with many of the 200-plus students gathered for the event, I discovered something encouraging: All is not lost on the ethics front.

For the past several years, the university has been holding annual corporate social responsibility weekends. The impetus for these events was the realization, on the part of business faculty leaders, that their department’s educational experience had to go beyond traditional disciplines — accounting, finance, marketing, and management — to encompass a larger concept: Business isn’t just about the production of profit or the satisfaction of shareholders. It’s about contributing to a greater good, which could take a variety of forms: sustainability, environmental protection, and the preservation of human capital, among others.

This year I happened to be the keynote speaker. The faculty wanted students to get a “real life” taste of what can lead a well-educated, intelligent person to make uneducated, unethical choices. And, well, who would know better than someone who landed in federal prison for effecting a Ponzi scheme?

The students were engaging, and open with their questions. They certainly didn’t hold back. Many of them reflected a depth of wanting to understand the ethical implications of business choices. Not just the implications but the triggers that would cause someone to make what, in retrospect, might be considered unethical choices.

All in all, a day well spent. Kudos to Queen’s Business School for bringing the role of corporate social responsibility to the conversation — and keeping that conversation going year after year.


Business Ethics Competition in Canada Features Chuck Gallagher as Keynote Speaker

November 11, 2008

The only Business Ethics Case competition in Canada is being hosted by Dalhousie University. The competitive advantage of a sound knowledge of business ethics is something each team member participating in the upcoming Dalhousie Business Ethics Case Competition (DBECC) will be sure to strive for as their teams vie for top honors. It is an advantage that could serve them well in a time of increased focus on corporate social responsibility as the world struggles to deal with the current credit crisis.

Scheduled for November 13-15, the DBECC is the only business ethics case competition in Canada. Eight universities from the United States and Canada will partake in a three-part case competition which will be judged by volunteers from government, well-known corporations and academic institutions. The students will be required to analyze complex situations in a real-life context. Their presentations will be judged based on ethical, financial, legal, and social consequences of their decisions.

Business Ethics Speaker, Chuck Gallagher, will be the featured keynote speaker for this international event. Chuck Gallagher - The Ethics Expert Gallagher brings a unique perspective to this Business Ethics Case competition. As a motivational keynote speaker and business executive, Chuck’s message contains a blend of motivation, success, choices, consequences, illusions, failure, ethics, and integrity based on personal experience.

This student-run case competition has been months in the planning. Matt White, Chair of DBECC, is very excited for the competition to begin. After building the planning committee in March 2008, his vision has been clear, “We want to help prepare students to make ethical decisions and provide a better face to business in these turbulent times. DBECC is a case competition that is very important to Dalhousie and we want to continue to build a sustainable competition for students to attend in years to come.”

The participating teams will be representing Purdue University, theiversity of Florida, Memorial University, Sir Wilfred Laurier University, The Ivey School of Business, Queen’s University, Bishop’s University and Dalhousie University.

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