WS12: Global Business Ethics and Corporate Governance: A systemic perspective

Workshop Abstract

During the last decades, there was need for transparency, fairness and accountability in business. Thus, the concept of corporate governance arose to cover such needs. However, different legal, cultural, political, economic and social environments led to a different approach of the issue. The presentation is part of an effort that studies the comparative analysis of the corporate governance of the firms among various advanced economies. Additionally, by analyzing the “stakeholder” corporate governance theory, we will capitalize on the business ethics’ impact on stakeholders. Real-life business cases demonstrate that a systems approach of ethical organizational culture can be a key factor regarding effective operation through moral decision-making, mainly by exploring whether ethical values are generalizable across organizations and whether there is achieved a universal framework for ethical organization culture. The institutionalization of strong ethical values may result in several competitive advantages, including higher levels of efficiency in operations, better financial performance and also allows each organization to approach holistically its stakeholders’ demands. Finally, new trends will be demonstrated concluding in the possible convergence or divergence of Business Ethics across the globe. Are we entering an era of “Business Ethics’ Globalization”, or Corporate Governance is meant to be morally adjusted to limited national or international reality levels?

Dr. Ioannis (John) Thanopoulos

Professor of International Business, and Dean, Business and Economics, IST
Emeritus Professor, University of Piraeus
Past Professor, University of Akron, Ohio
World Education Congress Best IB Professor (2012)

John Thanopoulos studied in Greece, France and England before receiving his doctoral degree in Marketing from the University of Arkansas, in the U.S.A. He started his career as a business practitioner having achieved by the age of 26 more than $25,000,000 in sales. Eventually, however, he joined the academe and, from 1983, the University of Akron in Ohio as a Director of the International Business Programs where he taught Marketing and International Business. During his academic life he received various awards and recognitions, such as from the World Education Congress, Best Professor in International Business (2012), or from the University of Akron, Teaching Innovation Award (1997), Publication Award (1997), Teaching Excellence Award (1988), and many more. In 2000 he joined the University of Piraeus, in Greece as a Professor of International Business where he served in a variety of roles, and in 2015 he was welcomed as a Professor of International Business and Dean of the Business and Economics Division of IST College, a private institution of university level learning in Athens, Greece. During his academic career he has contributed to hundreds of international events papers, speeches, reviews and related services. His academic contributions appeared in a variety of media, including Journal of Teaching in International Business, Journal of Economic Integration, Journal of International Business Studies, and so on. He has published more than twenty textbooks, six of them related to Business Ethics.

Does corporate governance Head towards convergence or divergence?

A series of economic scandals world-widely led the authorities to legislate corporate governance principles that firms should adopt and apply. However, as every system incorporates its unique characteristics, each country has set dissimilar corporate governance standards according to its legal, cultural, political, economic and social environment. Firms in advanced economies led the way not only to adopt these principles but also to evolve them according to their needs. Even though it is reasonable to find different corporate governance codes from firms among the continents and levels of development, but it is shown that there are significant differences even among firms from advanced countries in the same continent. Nevertheless, the question remains about the convergence or not of the corporate governance codes as there is no explicit answer.

Dr. Nikolaos Papazoglou

University of Piraeus, Greece

Nikolaos (Nikos) Papazoglou holds his Ph.D. in International Business Strategies at the University of Piraeus. He has also graduated from the same university with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Athens. He has taught several courses in universities and colleges mainly in the field of international business, business ethics and a business simulation game. His main scientific interests fall into international business, financial management, business ethics and corporate governance. He is also the president of the audit committee of the University of Piraeus Alumni Association, the former president of this Association and a scout leader for eighteen years.

Managing Business Ethics: Why be ethical?

More questions than answers are rising with the inquiry of Business Ethics. Is morality a matter of individual choice? Is it culturally determined? Is the claim defensible that there is a universal morality, applicable to all people and all times? A multitude of factors influence ethical behavior. However, when it comes to corporate governance, ethical values communicated by a key member of a company, affect the company’s overall culture, including many important activities and relationships, such as personnel policies, competitive strategies, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and forming the relationship with multiple stakeholders. Ethical culture is considered to have a significant organizational influence on individuals’ ethical awareness, judgment, and action, along with the individual differences and other influences. Investigating the relationship between organizational ethics, business ethics, and social responsibility may provide insightful conclusions, crucial for corporate governance. While good and ethical governance is already proven to be financially rewarding, “ethical systems design” is already in the market with many providers offering management systems as a service. So, are we a step closer to the institutionalization of ethical business values?

Katerina Paschalidou, Lawyer, MSc, PhD(c)

Democritus University of Thrace, Greece.

Katerina Paschalidou is a Lawyer, holds a Master’s Degree (MSc in Bioethics, DUTH) and she is a PhD candidate in Business Ethics. She has constant cooperation with law firms throughout the country, as well as with Banking Institutions, debt management companies, real estate research companies, etc. She is also an Associate Lawyer of the Democritus University of Thrace and the Foundation for Youth and Lifelong Learning and she is an external collaborator to the Hellenic Statistical Authority as well. Her scientific interests include ethics, business ethics and bioethics, with a focus on ethics’ perceptions of managers, organizational culture, consumers’ perceived ethicality and how the above constructs are correlated.