The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society recognizing business excellence, is featuring business leaders known for their commitment to building strong, ethical corporate cultures in the Society’s launch of the Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership – an online resource for information and ideas on effective ethical leadership practices.
Executives including Douglas Conant, president and CEO, Campbell’s Soup Company, Anne Mulcahy, chairman and former CEO, Xerox, and Timothy Flynn, chairman, KPMG International, among others, are participating in the initiative by sharing what they do as leaders to ensure ethical leadership is practiced throughout their organizations.
“The Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership was created to assist our more than 625,000 members and the entire business community to adhere to the highest ethical standards and to show that this is one of the most important aspects of the 21st Century,” said David H. Blake, chairman, Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership and professor of strategic management at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine.
“We feel extremely fortunate so many outstanding business leaders have agreed to sit down and discuss so openly the ethical cultures within their organizations.”
The Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership was conceptualized by the Society’s Board of Governors in 2006 while they were seeking impactful ways to serve members, alumni and the broader business community. The Board determined the new initiative would focus on the most critical, ongoing issues of business – ethical business practices. However, instead of concentrating on business ethics itself, Beta Gamma Sigma wanted to address the role of leadership – a perspective that seemed to be missing from the dialogue.
“Leadership is a critical component to ensuring that ethical behavior will be the norm throughout an organization – not by happening, by saying so, or a credo on the wall. It happens by leadership, not just at the top, but throughout the organization,” said Blake.
The Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership houses information on a variety of ethical business leadership topics. Visitors can access an extensive media library and watch several video clips of executives discussing the importance of leadership, how their organizations develop and maintain a culture of ethics, recruit employees, and operate in a global economy.
In one clip, Mulcahy, who has been widely credited for the transformation of Xerox when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, explains how a company’s leadership must emulate an organization’s value system. “In a company that certainly cares about performance, you have to give equal, if not more, attention to the quality and caliber of the leadership.
“Then you do have to make sure that it permeates – that the messages and the approach permeate – everything you do. If they are words sitting in a file drawer, clearly they will not be meaningful. They will not be what people turn to. It has to be real. It has to be integrated into the business process. It has to be on that checklist of how people get promoted, about how we reward people. It has to be consistent. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, the one thing worse than not having a really strong code-of-conduct and value system is to have one and not act consistently with it. Then people truly dismiss it as not having integrity and not being really meaningful in the environment they work in.”
In addition to these candid video interviews, visitors will soon be able to access background materials companies have developed regarding their ethical business practices. Future plans for the Beta Gamma Sigma Ethical Business Leadership Center also include the implementation of interactive platforms such as discussion forums, blogs and more.
About The Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership
The Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership (eblcenter.org) is a global, online resource developed by the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma to provide its members and the greater business community with information and ideas about effective ethical business leadership.
About Beta Gamma Sigma
Beta Gamma Sigma (betagammasigma.org) is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International.
Beta Gamma Sigma has established 488 collegiate chapters on six continents in19 countries and territories around the world, and has inducted more than 625,000 outstanding students into membership since its founding in 1913. These members have served in corporate, government, non-profit, educational, and other management positions at every level of responsibility. Members currently reside in all 50 U.S. states and more than 160 countries around the world.