Culture, Ethics and Leadership
What do we mean when we talk about the culture of an organisation? Simply put, it’s “the way things work around here”: influenced by a firm's 'tone at the top', it is the values, beliefs and reward systems that influence employees’ day-to-day behaviour, ethical or otherwise.
In the wake of the 2008 crash in which banks were frontline culprits, the high-profile failures at Enron and Volkswagen, and the criticism levelled at sectors such as the audit profession for 'contagious' errors, and as companies strive to balance social responsibility with financial targets, the interrelated topics of culture, ethics and leadership are high on the agendas of business, regulators and standard-setters. They are also of key importance to a new generation keen to work for firms whose commitment to social value goes beyond high-minded mission statements and codes of conduct. Now more than ever, there is a need for research that analyses organisational culture and its relationship to work behaviour that takes ethics into account.
Working in a multidisciplinary setting, the Culture, Ethics and Leadership research theme brings together academics from fields including accounting, educational research and development, finance, and organisation and strategy, as well as collaborating with other research themes and building bridges to other faculties. Via a core membership of some 15 senior scholars whose research interests range from financial reporting and corporate governance to learning culture and conflict management, the team will explore subjects such as the measurement and management of ethical culture in different organisations; the influence of leadership on organisational culture and its outcomes; the impact of ethical culture and leadership style on employees’ motivation, knowledge sharing and innovation and the way teams function; and the part played by ethical culture and leadership in attracting and retaining top talent and fostering professional commitment.
As ethical organisational business culture becomes more important than ever, the Culture, Ethics and Leadership team intends to play a key role in analysing the emerging paradoxes in modern business and helping to build a mindset change among leaders and employees alike.
Developing an ethical organisational business culture is more important than ever. Our research helps in analysing the emerging paradoxes in modern business and to build a mindset change among leaders and employees alike
In the spotlight
Seminar by Prof. Dr. Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business School
Prof. Dr. Amy Edmondson will give a presentation about her research on psychological safety in the workplace. She will adopt a retrospect look on how she developed key ideas about psychological safety, and look forward on how organisations can improve their learning capacity. This seminar is open for SBE’s MSc students and faculty.
Fine art of leadership: UMIO partners with Royal Academy
In autumn 2018, UMIO at Maastricht University will launch a pioneering postgraduate course designed to nurture world-class leaders in the arts, creative and cultural sectors. In partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts, the Executive Master in Cultural Leadership draws on an international network of scholars and professionals for practical perspectives on cultural debates, art business, law, technology and innovation, with the aim of building ethical, sustainable business practices.
They're international and interactive, but are tutorial groups inclusive?
'Diversity in the international classroom occasionally fails to deliver: while it can instigate creative discussions and out-of-the-box thinking, it can also lead to miscommunication, friction, or outright conflict. One of the key challenges UM’s small-scale education system faces is making sure the positive effects outweigh potential disruption,' writes Mathijs van Peteghem on how Maastricht University's diverse student body works together.
Audit quality linked to auditors' learning ability, study finds
Therese Grohnert’s doctoral research into auditors' decision-making abilities, 'Judge | Fail | Learn', indicates that it is not auditors' level of experience that determines the quality of the audits they produce, but the degree to which they are able to learn from that experience, particularly in conditions of unpredictability.
NRC Handelsblad's coverage [in Dutch]
Workshop on ethical work behaviour
SBE, 8 October 2018
Joukje Janssen, partner, PwC Nederland, spoke about the importance and impact of 'tone at the top' on people's ethical work behaviour.
The relevance of diversity in contemporary society can hardly be overstated. However, its implementation and integration within an organisational culture is not straightforward, and often troublesome. By not understanding diversity, we are denying diversity its true potential
Leadership is about integrity: creating a setting in which the leader says what (s)he thinks and does what (s)he says. This is behaviour that appears to be anything but easy in practice. Research in the culture, ethics and leadership domain can help leaders bridge this knowing-doing gap
Ethics and sound decision-making is vital for the auditing profession, especially in an era of increased public accountability and oversight. Understanding the drivers and constraints of ethical decision-making is essential to help the profession develop and improve audit quality