Bekele Speaks on Business Ethics: "The Market has no Morality", at 2019 SF ISACA Chapter Conference
The conference held at the Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street San Francisco, CA 94102 featured five tracks packed with top flight speakers and cutting edge topics.
"Most business people and Corporate Executives observation is that businesses exist to make money, therefore goes unchallenged. The market system relies on a particular motive for action — Keynes called it "love of money" — which tends to undermine traditional moral teaching, – Sophia Bekele
Speaking at the session: Business Ethics, "The Market has no Morality", Bekele stressed that the anchor point of ethics is simple, it is between what is right and wrong.
Bekele discussed a wide array of benefits in running an ethos-based business and the ethical and moral standards of running and managing businesses.
In the current state where apart from the widely known improprieties of the past two decades, such as the major US accounting scandals in varying industry groups, also high profile post accounting scandals and other political scandals that heavily exposed the misconducts of CEOs and Executives, similar scandals continue to dominate headline news today resulting in a series of fraud investigations, corruption, misuse of personal data, including cybercrime, which have become the latest of modern scandals.
She reminded the audience that ethical behavior/ ethical conduct of corporations can bring significant benefits to a business. Bekele used her own examples, drawing her experience from two major high profile and precedence setting cases, in her start up companies, which were focused on technology transfer to emerging economies. "Comparing these two projects", she highlighted, "here we heard of a case of challenges involving an individual vs a Government and a case of individual vs a Corporation, set in wo different geographic locations - US and Africa, hence the misconducts found nearly mirror each other. To my surprise the SHE -factor was also very prevalent in both cases. My challenges here were of a "principled"
The lessons learned for me is that of reconciling the two views: the "ethically trained vs. the ordinary person" is the most challenging with the individuals and/or corporations, she told the august audience of governance professionals, "we are the privileged few".
Quoting Edmund Burke, she said "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Overall, "Ethics and Morality should remain as building blocks for successful Business" –Sophia Bekele.