Business and Ethics complementary or contradictory?
Final year business student, Arunachalam Venkatachalam shares his impressions

Source: Horizons
Date: May 2012
Country, Language: Singapore, English

The World Forum For Ethics in Business (WFEB), a platform for global business leaders to advance the agenda for responsible business-led growth, was held in Singapore on 2 April 2012 at the Shangri-La Hotel. Held in Asia for the first time, the theme focused on “Ethics in Business and Leadership, The Time is Right, Now!”

The forum’s theme had raised pressing dilemmas about the roles of globalisation, rating agencies, leadership in the 21st century, the eurozone, the global players and human values.

Organised in partnership with Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), the forum examined whether business and ethics are complementary or contradictory. It looked at new ways for business leaders to evolve leadership styles that are sustainable, and yet profitable for their organisations and also explored whether there was a need for a paradigm shift for visionary, inspirational and skillful leadership to navigate ethical and profitable businesses through shared vision and values.

Attending the forum and hearing the discussions from renowned speakers was rather engaging and interesting. Whilst business and ethics are often seen as separate entities, in my opinion, it is no longer separate as there are compelling reasons as to why ethics could be a prerequisite to profitability and drive socially responsible businesses.

My presence at the forum was a wonderful opportunity for me to understand the realities of ethical issues faced by organisations in the business world. Ultimately, the power of change lies with the individual consumers, business owners and shareholders in enforcing ethical standards of practices to attain sustainability of businesses.

This article is contributed by Arunachalam Venkatachalam, who is pursuing the
Bachelor of Business Administration in International Busines, Southern Cross University, Australia.