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Corporate fraudulent business practices have precipitated cash crises and subsequent bankruptcies



Ethics a much felt need by Corporate India and the Country at Large, to replace the existing ways of doing business and adopting sustained Ethical ways. With the aim to discuss some of the most pertinent questions related to Ethics and its significance in today’s business scenario , XLRI – Xavier School of Management, one of India’s premier B-Schools, in collaboration with XLRI Alumni (Mumbai Chapter) had organized the ‘2nd Business Ethics Conference’ in Mumbai.

The event was inaugurated by Fr. E Abraham, S. J. (Director of XLRI), Fr. Ozzie Mascarenhas, S.J. (JRD Tata Chair Professor of Business Ethics at XLRI and founder of XLRI Ethics Research Center – XLERC), and key note address was delivered by Mr. Mukund Rajan (Brand Custodian, Member, and Group Spokesperson – Group Executive Council, Chief Ethics Officer, Tata Sons) in presence of other dignitaries.

“Given XLRI’s Jesuit background as an institution with grounding in social justice, we have always stressed upon the importance of pursuing an ethical code of conduct both in the workplace and in the business world. We believe that no management education curriculum is really complete, unless and until the students are instilled with a set of enduring values – that are indispensable ingredients for any aspiring business leader in today’s world. It is for this reason that a core course on “Managerial Ethics” is compulsorily offered to all our students at XLRI since early nineties,” remarked Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI.

Mr. Mukund Rajan, Brand Custodian, Member, and Group Spokesperson – Group Executive Council, Chief Ethics Officer, Tata Sons said, ’India needs to create a positive environment for whistle blowers since  anonymity is a concern. We would have to adopt similar policies followed in developed economies where whistle blowers are considered an essential aspect of corporate governance.’’

Fr. Ozzie Mascarenhas, S.J. JRD Tata Chair Professor of Business Ethics at XLRI and founder of XLRI Ethics Research Center (XLERC) and the host of the event said, “Ethics deals with human behavior and is currently reckoned as a responsible action program for the betterment of individuals, groups, organizations and societies. Ethics empowers us to chart and live a new value-laden direction in life. It becomes relevant wherever people interact and function together. Hence, every field of business such as planning and strategy, accounting, finance, human resources management, business law, marketing, business research, and production management involves ethical issues and challenges”.

“Most corporate failures today reflect low levels of wisdom and phronesis, low level of ethical maturity, and often, a badly trained conscience.  In the past two decades, corporate fraudulent business practices have precipitated cash crises and subsequent bankruptcies – consider Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Qwest Communications, and Tyco; Satyam, 2G, 3G, CWG and Sahara. Organization that stays ethical in all its products and services will have corporate advantage that translates to higher revenues, market share, profitability, and market capitalization,” he remarked.

“The researches of XLREC focus on major classic and modern ethical concepts, constructs, theories, paradigms, models, strategies, cases, and best practices in the areas of basic ethics research and applied ethics research. Specific soft skills in ethics research include those of executive ethical thinking, understanding and explaining, executive moral reasoning, ethical reasoning, rationalizing, and decision-making, ethical problem-identification, formulation, specification, alternative solutions valuation and final selection of best solutions, and ethical planning, strategizing, choosing, implementation, monitoring, prediction and control,” Fr. Mascarenhas further added.

Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI, remarked, “Ethics is a subject which most people and organisations will want to discuss and strive to achieve,  for  in doing so, they will be addressing the Interests of all their stakeholders. After this conference we look forward to host many similar Conferences to discuss global and national issues concerning ‘Corporate Ethics that lead to Corporate Advantage’.”

The Conference included various panel sessions on topics such as:

  • Relevance of Business Ethics: Moving beyond Compliance to a Way of Life
  • Shades of Grey – Failure of Ethics in organizations, and Remediation points from Policy,    Organization and Behavioral angles
  • Ethics as a Sustainable Competitive Advantage – Best practices for Sustainability
  • Operationalizing Ethics in Business Models- Lessons for Social Enterprises
  • Future of Corporate Ethics – Building an Implementable Framework for Organizations through   Corporate Entrepreneurship

Among the panelists at the conference were – Mr. Amit Chopra(Managing Director, Thermo Fisher Scientific, India), Mr. Arvind Vasudeva (CEO Formulations, Aurobindo Pharma), Mr. K Ramkumar (Executive Director on the Board of ICICI Bank & President of ICICI Foundation) , Mr. K S Kumar (VP, Human Resources, Castrol India Ltd), Ms. Meera H Sanyal(Chairperson, Urban development Committee at Indian Merchants’ Chamber), Mr. Michael P Pinto (Former Secretary, Shipping Ministry, GoI), Mr. Milind Sarwate (Founder and CEO, Increate Value Advisors LLP), Mr. Parshuram Date (Chief Risk Officer, Chief Internal Auditor and Chief Ethics Counselor, Tata Power), Mr. R Ramakrishnan (Vice Chairman, Joint MD and Group CEO, Polycab Group), Mr. Raman Madhok (Managing Director, CMI FPE Ltd & CMI Group Head – South Asia), Mr. Royston Braganza (CEO, Grameen Capital India) , Mr. Saumen Chakraborty (President, CFO and Global Head of IT & BPE at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories), Mr. Srinivas Kantheti (Member, Group Management Center, Wadhawan Global Capital,) Mr. Suresh Gupta (Executive Chairman of Huhtamaki-PPL Ltd.) and Ms. Swati Rustagi (ex- Executive Vice President & Head Global Human Resources, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals).