VIDEO: C-BERC Events Examine Business Ethics, Integrity

In keeping with the College of Behavior and Social Sciences’ focus on interdisciplinary research and activity, its partnership with the Robert H. Smith School of Business to launch the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation and Crime (C-BERC) has generated new ideas and information at the intersection of theory, policy and practice that serves as a resource for business leaders, policymakers and practitioners. Recently, C-BERC launched a new semester of rich programming with the keynote lecture “Putting Integrity into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach” by Michael C. Jensen (pictured at bottom of page and below at left), Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at the Harvard School of Business Administration. This lecture was followed by a daylong conference, “Ethics and Corporate Malfeasance:  Interdisciplinary Perspectives”.

“The purpose of the keynote and of the conference was to bring together scholars and practitioners from different disciplines and fields to share expertise and offer insights into ethical issues confronting modern business. We hope that the events created interest in C-BERC, emerging connections and networks among participants, and shared ideas for research moving forward,” said C-BERC Director Sally Simpson, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 

C-BERC embraces a unique interdisciplinary approach to the legal and ethical challenges of modern business operations by integrating and extending research in the fields of business ethics, regulation, and criminology. C-BERC's scholarly work embraces multiple diverse perspectives and methods of analysis. Through its anticipated graduate certificate, professionals and students will gain training in law, evidence, and auditing.

Held before a standing-room-only crowd on Thursday, Sept. 11 in the Frank Auditorium Van Munching Hall, Professor Jensen’s remarks centered on the premise that—both in personal and professional spheres—integrity is central to everything, including finance. Watch the video of the keynote address.

"The seemingly never-ending scandals in the world of finance with their damaging effects on value and human welfare argue strongly for adding integrity to the current paradigm of financial economics," Professor Jensen said.

On Sept. 12, the conference—also held in Van Munching—featured distinguished panelists from UMD and other leading universities and industries, discussing a broad range of topics. View the photo gallery of the keynote address and the conference.

The first panel, “Measuring and Counting Malfeasance,” was moderated by Dr. Simpson and featured papers and remarks by Dr. Simpson and Peter C. Yeager (Sociology, Boston University), Peter Murrell (Economics, University of Maryland and the World Bank) and co-authors Gerald Martin (Finance, American University, pictured at right) and Arnie Greenland, (IBM Distinguished Engineer and Executive within the Global Business Services, Public Sector Practice, Retired).

The second panel, “Foreign Corruption and the FCPA,” was moderated by Gideon Mark (Business Law, University of Maryland) and featured papers and remarks by Philip M. Nichols (Legal Studies and Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania), Elizabeth K. Spahn (Law, New England Law), Amy Deen Westbrook (Law, Washburn University), Thomas Best, (Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP), and Philip Urofsky (Partner, Shearman & Sterling LLP).

The third panel, “Financial Fraud,” was moderated by T. Leigh Anenson (Business Law, University of Maryland) and featured papers and remarks by Dana Muir (Business Law, University of Michigan), Ann Morales Olazábal (Business Law, University of Miami), Kathleen Lacey (Business Law, California State University, Long Beach), and Peter Jaffe (Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, The AES Corporation).

The final panel, “Contemporary Issues of Auditor Independence,” was moderated by Stephen E. Loeb (Accounting and Information Assurance, University of Maryland) and Jim Staihar (Accounting and Information Assurance, University of Maryland), and featured papers and remarks by James C. Gaa (Accounting, Operations, and Information Systems, University of Alberta), Brian Shapiro (Accounting, University of St. Thomas), Paul Williams (Accounting, North Carolina State University, and Teresa E. Iannaconi (Retired Partner, KPMG LLP).

Visit the C-BERC website to learn more about its mission and upcoming events.