CBERN, A Canadian Business Ethics Research Network:
Grant Application Summary Submitted to SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Cluster Grant
Wesley Cragg, Schulich School of Business, York University
Building sound ethical values into our economy, business strategy and management has moved to the centre of the public agenda in Canada and in developed and developing countries around the world. Canada has an obligation and also the expertise to contribute to what has become a vitally important international dialogue.
The purpose of the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) is to mobilize and profile Canada’s rich pool of business ethics expertise. CBERN will create opportunities for sharing and engaging in research across academic disciplines and faculties and will draw university researchers into dialogue with leaders and researchers in business, government and the voluntary sector. The network we envision will weave together the currently fragmented ethical insights and themes expressed in the languages of corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, corporate governance, environmental sustainability, sustainable development, and triple bottom line reporting. It will extend across the country and encourage the development of francophone and anglophone research and research clusters, regionally and nationally. It will welcome First Nations learning and perspectives. It will encourage effective community engagement, community development and public dialogue.
CBERN’s activities will focus on the responsibilities of business locally and globally in today’s world and the role of business, government and civil society in defining those responsibilities and ensuring they are carried out. Examination of the ethical standards that should guide stakeholders and participants as they research and debate these issues will be encouraged.
CBERN will raise the visibility of business ethics research and leadership by:
The result will be new synergies, less duplication, more continuity in research initiatives, and enhanced cooperation across academic disciplines and the business, government, voluntary and academic sectors.
- building research capacity;
- coordinating research initiatives;
- encouraging ethical business practices;
- highlighting the importance of linking economic development and societal well-being; and
- engaging the public in the discussion and evaluation of the issues and findings at the centre of the network’s activities.
CBERN will use the most advanced website and communications tools, technology and expertise: databases, surveys, values mapping, electronic dialogue forums, workshops, colloquia, annual state-of-the-art reports, regional and national roundtables, and news bulletins highlighting research initiatives, research findings and their practical implications and applications.
Our Partners and individual participants are national and international leaders drawn from business, government and the voluntary and academic sectors. Both individually and collectively, they bring to CBERN a remarkable range of theoretical and practical experience and expertise grounded on practical engagement, critical reflection and research into the ethical dimensions of strategic and operational business management locally and globally.
Our goal in building a business ethics research network is to promote a better understanding of the ethical responsibilities of business and the role of ethics in achieving sustainable economic development, whose costs and benefits are fairly shared at home and abroad.