The purpose of this Newsletter is to bring you up to date on progress over the past five months in building a Canadian Business Ethics Research Network. For those who are new to this project, background information can be found at www.yorku.ca/csr. On the Home Page of that website, you will find a reference to "Business Ethics Research Network". Double click on that heading and you will find basic information about the project including the concept paper around which the Network is being developed, information about the Calgary workshop which took place in January and our first email Newsletter that outlines the agenda for developing the Network .
This Newsletter reports on what has been happening over the past five months.
The Network will be developed around a Hub and three Nodes: Research; Capacity Building; and Public Dialogue. We are moving ahead on all these fronts.
The Hub is located at York University and is responsible for guiding and coordinating the activities of the Network. The highest priority for the Hub is the development of a website. A contract has now been signed with Palomino (www.palominosys.com). Our website launch date is August 17.
A description of the Home Page will be circulated for comment over the next two weeks. You will also receive communications from people who are helping to "populate" the web site. One of the questions you will be asked is whether you wish to be identified as a member of the Network. More detailed information about membership will be circulated over the summer months. Whether you become a member of not, you will continue to receive newsletters up-dating you on Network activities.
The Website will have two initial purposes.
- provide information about people and organizations active in the Network and to provide information about projects and events;
- create links to projects, events and activities whose focus is business ethics.
The purposes of the Network are:
- to encourage and support business ethics research in Canada;
- to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of research findings; and
- to enhance the profile of Canadian business ethics research nationally and internationally.
The Network will not compete with or duplicate the work of existing organizations. Our intention is to build what might be described as an "Information Exchange" or an "Information Cooperative". Our goal is to encourage dialogue and open the door wider to interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration and cooperation.
The two people who will be actively involved in populating the web site are:
- Mary Amati, Administrative Assistant for the Business Ethics Program in the Schulich School of Business;
- Bronwyn Best, who will be the Network Coordinator.
More information about the people working at the Hub of the new Network will be posted on the website.
The Launch Date for the Website is mid August.
Two workshops/presentations have been held recently to promote the Network and its development. A half day workshop was held on the last morning of the Administrative Studies Association of Canada conference held this year in Banff. More recently, Dr. Cragg was invited to speak about the Network to the Ottawa Roundtable which meets regularly to discuss business ethics. One of the goals of the website is to give a national profile to the work of groups like the Ottawa Roundtable. (For further information with regard to this group and their activities go to the EPAC website or contact Mark Terreau ["Marc Terreau" <terreau@ sympatico.ca>]).
Our goals for supporting and encouraging business ethics research are set out in our concept paper and in our February Email Newsletter both of which can be found at "www.yorku.ca/csr".
Our February Email Newsletter identified the ethical issues emerging at the interface of business and healthcare as an area in which there were both the need for and the capacity to engage in advanced research. Late last winter, a research proposal designed to explore possible research topics in this area was submitted to SSHRC. The proposal will be posted on the website. The outcome of the SSHRC adjudication process will be communicated to the research team sometime in July.
A second area, identified by research leading to the writing of the concept paper as an area where a research network could add significant value, was the subject of business and human rights. Nadim Kara, a York University political science MA student is exploring this topic area over the summer as a Network Research Associate. His findings will be posted on the website as they emerge over the course of the summer.
Capacity building was identified in earlier research as an important area that required development if research in business ethics was to reach its potential. The Calgary Workshop (see the "Yorku.ca/csr" website for more information) identified a need for case studies that probed in-depth the ethical challenges facing the corporate sector from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. Participants in the Calgary Workshop identified an electronic case study development as a potentially valuable Network activity and asked Loren Falkenberg, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, to guide this project.
One of the early objectives of the website is to create a National Calendar of Events to mark events taking place across Canada. The first assignment of our Network Coordinator is to contact the various organizations that sponsor business ethics meetings, conferences, workshops, and lectures and encourage them to join the Network and post information about their events and activities on the website. Progress on this front will be posted on the website when it is launched in August.
We will need your cooperation and assistance as we build our web site. We look forward to your continuing interest and support.
Please let us know if there are people you think should be added to our mailing list. If you wish your name deleted from the mailing list, please email Mary Amati (mamati@ schulich.yorku.ca) with your request.