The University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication is one of the leading Austrian business schools and the Center for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics is the leading national institution for these topics.
One purpose of our Center is the advancement of interdisciplinary discourse regarding economic and corporate ethics. Since 2012, we have been organizing the CGBE Lecture series on a regular basis. In this series, internationally renowned experts from the scientific and business communities present their perspectives on a variety of topics related to business ethics, corporate governance, CSR and sustainability.
The lectures are attended by our students and faculty as well as external guests from the private sector, policy-making bodies and the CSR community. In the past the speakers have included i.a. Prof. Dr. Thomas Beschorner (University of St. Gallen), Prof. Dr. Andreas Georg Scherer (University of Zurich), Prof. Craig Smith (INSEAD) and Prof. Guido Palazzo (University of Lausanne) as well as numerous prominent practitioners.
Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, FHWien University of Applied Science for Management and Communication has decided not to hold any on campus courses and events.
We therefore have to acknowledge that the “CGBE Lectures” in March 2020 are cancelled.
The next CGBE Lectures take place at the University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication, Währinger Gürtel 97, 1180 Vienna, Austria, in October 2020.
Thursday, 05 March 2020
Prof. Dr. Tobias Hahn
Professor, Department of Society, Politics and Sustainability
ESADE Ramon Llull University
Management And Strategy As If Sustainability Mattered
Our societies are facing unprecedented sustainability challenges. Ecological crises such as resource overconsumption, climate change, and mass extinction pair with social challenges such as poverty alleviation, inequality, and public health.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) reflect the complexity and multiplicity of these challenges. More and more companies that the UN SDGs as a reference point. But what does it mean to manage as if sustainability really matters? Some companies such as Microsoft or Starbucks have recently taken pledges to become net positive in terms of their environmental impact. At the same time, resource consumption, emission levels, and social inequalities continue to increase and the majority of business models are still deeply rooted in an unsustainable approach.
Changing course will require businesses and decision makers to face the inconvenient truth we are facing and leave the comfort zone of established business models and practices. Such a transition is likely to create tensions and conflict until, eventually, new more sustainable business cases may be built.
Thursday, 12 March 2020
Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz
Head of Research Cluster
Endowed Chair of Corporate Governance & Business Ethics
FHWien der WKW
What Is The Purpose Of Business?
A well-known economic theory teaches that the only purpose of business is maximizing profit for the shareholders. This concept was developed by the Chicago economist and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate Milton Friedman in the 1970s. It quickly became the leading paradigm in business school education, in the investment community, and corporate boardrooms for decades. Recently, powerful investors as well as an alliance of globally leading CEOs have demanded that companies should abandon the one-dimensional goal of profit maximization. These groups find the new purpose of business in creating a broader stakeholder value.
In this lecture, I explore the background to this seemingly radical change and its relevance for European businesses. In addition, I aim to sketch the changes and tools that companies need to install in order to faithfully live up to the promise of creating a broader stakeholder value.
Thursday, 19 March 2020
Prof. Dr. Johanna Mair
Professor for Organization, Strategy and Leadership
Hertie School of Governance
Social enterprises address social problem by means of markets. Over the last two decades, they have become increasingly popular across geographies. During this time open contestation and ideological debates over the promise, intention and meaning of social entrepreneurship have dominated public discourse but also inhibited the development of a solid knowledge base on social enterprises as a form of organizing in the spectrum of private action for public purpose. The dominant way of seeing social enterprises as pursuing dual – commercial and social – goals and as ideal sites to study the battle of logics confines our way of looking and limit the theorizing potential around social enterprise. In my resent study, I advocate for disciplined exploration approach to study social enterprises to expose this potential. I draw from a collaborative research project involving 1,045 social enterprises across nine countries and show patterns and common features of social enterprises regarding their choice of legal form, their participation in the market for public purpose, their social footprint, and their role in changing local institutional arrangements. I argue that embracing rather than taming the diversity of social enterprises opens opportunities for developing new but more importantly for recasting, refining and connecting existing theories.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Dr. Sebastien Mena
Senior Lecturer in Management
Cass Business School
On The Social Impact Of Corporate Sustainability
In the past, we have mostly focused on the antecedents of corporate sustainability: why and how companies would contribute to sustainable development. We are now paying increasing attention to the consequences, or impact, of corporate sustainability activities. Yet, even if corporate sustainability’s impact is increasingly quantified, measured, and reported on, it is mostly done in economic (e.g. financial performance) and sometimes environmental terms (e.g. carbon emissions). We know comparatively little about the social impact of corporate sustainability activities, and in particular how they may affect the social fabric of communities where they are implemented. In this talk, building on in-depth field research, I explore, conceptualize, and illustrate the possible, intended and unintended, social impacts of corporate sustainability activities in a number of different social spheres.