Ethical and Moral Governance is Needed to Promote Sustainable Values
A three-day International Ethics Summit themed “Morality in the Global Era: Theory, Policy and Praxis” started from December 4 at HBKU Students Centre at Education City, Doha, Qatar. It provided an international opportunity for scholars, academia and audiences representing various segments of society to explore and understand a number of issues relating to ethics. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank participated as a keynote speaker in the Panel discussion “Ethical Leadership in Industry and Business: Responsibility and Risk in The Global Era” on December 4 moderated by Dr. Eyad Masad, Vice Dean, Texas A&M University at Doha, Qatar. The Panel also comprised of Dr. Mohammed Yousef Al Mulla, Managing Director and CEO, Qatar Petrochemical Company and Dr. Todd A. Laursen, President, Khalifa University, UAE.
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on balancing financial and ethical measures. He said “There is a need keep a fair balance between financial measures and ethical measures is not only important but it is critical especially as far as financial institutions are. Banking should revolve on ethical and moral framework. Banking is to create a good will and Sustainability is the key. The Global financial crisis had arose on account of failure in ethical leadership. Madoff is also a clear case of unethical leadership. We need to strike a balance among various stakeholders. Shareholders should have sustainable returns and for public their trust on Bankers. Staff and Society are equally important. Execution score card should be ethical. Rewarding schemes should be in line with performance framework and contribution to society should be there as part of sustainable development. There is no legislation for ethics however ethical governance is the need of the hour. It is important for every leader to practice and to instill in their institution good ethical measures.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted how Banking industry shaped after the global financial crisis. “The de- regulation environment prior to crisis became re- regulation and after the financial crisis the capital and liquidity rules have changed to regulate leverage and strengthen liquidity. The regulation in credit card segment and derivatives has happened after the crisis. Excess leveraging contributed to global financial crisis. The recently fines and penalties faced by Banks also reflect that enhanced compliance is necessary. Strengthened regulation also encouraged ethical behavior. The re-regulation is in the making which should focus on our basics. Enterprise risk integration and Whistle Blowing policies are also implemented as part of enhanced regulation. The financial services industry has also enhanced their practices after the global financial crisis and thereby promote ethical leadership. “
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on social media trends and Opposing views. “Social media has empowered people and corporates need to listen to different ideas from various people. We need to be connected with employees and customers and listen to their grievances and look for solutions. Opposing views which are critical but are beneficial for the business decision process should be encouraged. It becomes necessary to understand various pros and cons in decision making and hence every opposing view can’t be discouraged in the business process. However the opposing views should be taken forward through the right platform and through right meetings and process so as to promote ethical organizational culture.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on ethics necessary for college students. He said “The current students are going to be the future leaders. They should impose discipline and bring ethics. Everything depends on character. Character is what will make others follow you. Your peers, your colleagues will always remember this about you. It will determine and shape your character for the future. Therefore, you must have moral principles, whether they take you right to the top today or not is immaterial. What matters is that you are preparing yourself for the real world and this should come out as principle centered leadership. Integration of heart and mind is required for ethical values. Ethical and moral governance is needed to promote sustainable values.”