In his lecture ‘Reimagining Capitalism- A new exciting agenda for business leaders’, on CRB Founding Day, Professor Dirk Matten, Hewlett-Packard Chair, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, said, “We have to think of alternative ways of doing capitalism, as the current mode is not working. The critique of capitalism is normally looked at as a leftist argument. Crisis has always been something capitalism has suffered from, over cyclical periods. Historically capitalism has proven to be quite resilient. We see a lot climate change happening, and global disorder. We see different forms of democracy rising that are happily compatible with authoritarian regimes. He concluded, “There are three main areas of action- Fighting short-termism in business, correcting the focus on shareholders, and introducing an ownership mind-set. There is no single ‘blueprint’ for capitalism. There have always been varieties of capitalism. The implications from a CSR angle, business might be an economic actor, but it also has a social and political role. Hoffman said- If we are to maintain our free capitalistic economy, enlightened businessmen must intensify their activities as crusaders for the general public interest”.
In his presentation – “The theory of philosophical concepts and the reality of business practice” Professor Klaus Leisinger, University of Basel, Switzerland, President, Global Values Alliance and UN Special Advisor on the Post-2015 Agenda; said, “We have a much vital challenge at the moment, which is transforming the world through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Companies’ responsibility for sustainable development is one of the main pillars here. Immanuel Kant said you act in a way which is right because it is right thing to do, not because there is a business case to it. Moral autonomy is central to humanity. Every one of us has the opportunity, if not the duty to think about what is the impact of my business, what I ought to do. In the long-run you have to successful, and that’s what sustainable development is about.”
He also added, “Corporate management should reflect on the available knowledge and use moral imagination to find strategies that allow for an optimal profit with the least negative internal and external impact on society, environment and future generations. Increasing consensus on basic elements of a good society, on a fair societal distribution of responsibility and on strategic and behavioural commandments with regard to the creation of more options of future generations”. Lesinger concluded by saying, “There is a need to disaggregate, contextualize and specify. Yes, we can learn a lot from philosophical wisdom, but we have to contextualize and apply it in a situation ethics way.”
Co-Director of Aston India Centre for Applied Research, University of Birmingham & Board Member, CRB, Professor Pawan Budhwar, chaired this special event while Chairperson of CRB and Faculty at Aston Business School, Birmingham, Dr Bimal Arora, opened the series of lectures.
Prof. Matten is a co-editor of the journal Business & Society (SAGE). He has a doctoral degree and the habilitation from Heinrich-Heine-University of Dusseldorf. He also serves as Schulichâ€s Associate Dean, Research and the Co-Founder and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (COERB) at Schulich School of Business. Prof. Matten has published 24 books and edited volumes as well as more than 80 articles and book chapters which have won numerous prestigious awards. His work has appeared in many international journals including Academy of Management Review, California Management Review, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Studies. He is frequently cited and interviewed for newspapers and TV and writes Op-Eds for papers such as Der Spiegel and The Globe and Mail. The Cambridge based think tank CSR International ranked him among Top 100 CSR Leaders.
Klaus M. Leisinger is a social scientist and economist. Klaus Leisinger is also Professor of Sociology at the University of Basel, where he pursues research and teaches business ethics, corporate responsibility, and business and human rights. He served as an invited lecturer at University of Notre Dame, the MIT Sloan School of Management (Cambridge), DePaul University and the Harvard University. He has held numerous advisory positions in organizations such as the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and the World Economic Forum (Global Agenda on Human Rights). In addition, he is president of the Board of Trustees of the German Network of Business Ethics, a member of the advisory council of Mary Robinson's Ethical Globalization Initiative (EGI). Kofi Annan appointed Klaus Leisinger Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for the UN Global Compact. He has been the Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Novartis Foundation.
He is also the Joint-Director of Aston India Centre for Applied Research, Co-Editor-in-Chief of British Journal of Management and Associate Editor of Human Resource Management (HRM). He is also the co-founder and first (now past) President of Indian Academy of Management, an affiliate of the Indian Academy of Management. Prof. Budhwars research interests are in the broad area of managing human resource in emerging markets with a specific focus on India. He has published over 100 articles in leading journals and has also written and/or co-edited 17 books. Over 50% of his publications are related to various aspects of people management in India. Pawan served as an advisor to the Commonwealth Commission for scholarships and fellowships from 2007-2013 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, British Academy of Management, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Indian Academy of Management. He is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Dr. Bimal Arora is the founding CEO and Chairperson of Centre for Responsible Business. He is a Faculty at Aston Business School, the University of Birmingham, UK, and Joint Director of Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR). He also holds Visiting Research Fellow position at International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR) at Nottingham University Business School, and fellowship of Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative of UNDP. His active policy, teaching and research interests are in the areas of political economy of CSR and sustainability, global governance, ethical trade, sustainability standards, multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs), and collaborative sustainability partnerships and initiatives. Bimal has published in academic journals and business magazines. Bimal obtained his Masters degree from London School of Economics and PhD in CSR and Sustainability from ICCSR, Nottingham University Business School.
November 14th is a very special date for CRB. Incubated by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH of Germany, Social Accountability International (SAI) of US and Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) in 2010, CRB evolved as an independent organization on November 14th, 2011.
To commemorate the contribution of its founders, allies and well-wishers spread all over the globe, to celebrate the journey so far, and to firm up itself further to facilitate an ecosystem for uptake of sustainable business practices to create impacts on the ground CRB organizes Special lectures and academic seminar on its founding day.