The Business Case for Ethics

This Wednesday, we kicked off our Sustainability Speech Series by hosting a talk on ‘Understanding the business case for personal and professional ethics’ at Xi’an JiaoTong Liverpool University in Suzhou.

To help students gain an insider perspective on the topic, we invited Mr. Drew Meyer, Associate Director of Control Risks and former FBI officer, to speak about his experience in risk management, anti-bribery and anti-corruption.

Prior to joining Control Risks, Drew served in the FBI as an intelligence analyst working on foreign counterintelligence programmes. Based in Shanghai, he is responsible for consulting in the areas of crisis management and response, complex internal investigations, anti-corruption and anti-bribery, and responding to government criminal and regulatory investigations. Drew holds a law degree (juris doctor) from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in Chinese studies from Valparaiso University, and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University.

Speaking in front of students with a variety of educational backgrounds from Xi’an JiaoTong Liverpool University, Drew shared a number of key points with the class:

  • Ethical failures will cost companies a lot, ranging from government fines and penalties to share price erosion and reputation damage
  • The alarming point is that most damaging long-term ethical costs get less attention from the management team than the short-term ones
  • Ethical questions are tricky, it is hard to find an easy answer; one has to find the ‘least worst’ option

The speech was followed by a case study, designed by the Collective Responsibility team, to engage students to think about real-world ethical challenges. A lot of interesting discussions on the professional ethical challenges, ethical culture in China, and relevant legal dilemmas were generated in the wrap-up session.

Should you wish to learn more about the Sustainability Speech Series, please reach out to Chuli at [email protected] or Yuxin at [email protected]

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