Ethical Leadership - The experience of JCU's 3rd IBD cohort

MBA Belguim - Christophe Van Impe

University:  Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Ghent, Belgium.

1. Can you briefly discuss the role of ethical decision-making in a business environment in your country? Ethics are becoming even more important because of the following reasons:

a)  The Belgian corporate governance code, were ethics are very strong emphasized:
Since January 1, 2005, the Code Lippens (named after Count Maurice Lippens) is effective for listed companies. The 'Code Buysse' includes a also first general chapter, a chapter with specific recommendations for family businesses and finally the very concrete and innovative best practices for small businesses.

The Code Buysse is the first in the world, a separate chapter devoted to family businessesAs a consequence almost every company has a chapter on ethics.

 b) For example in several directives from the European union, which Belgium also has to put in national law concerning ethics in scientific research, marketing (commercials)...I
c)  He is convinced that every professional association in this country has a chapter on ethics.
d)  In Europe in general, the emergence of ethical financial products have emerged to a recent response to the need for transparency and ethics in the capital. These products have an exponential growth. In Belgium, both the capitals in the ethical investment funds as the number of ethical investment funds channeled through financial intermediaries has been commercialized in recent years has increased considerably 
“So in other words, ethics do matter in day to day business decision making”

 2. How has ethical decision-making been incorporated into your
 school’s curriculum?

Yes it is included in more than just the ethics class.

 3. Can you describe an ethical challenge in your personal,
 professional or academic life?

At a particular day in my career, just starting at a the company, I met a sales man who's company was the biggest supplier of certain tools we used in our production. He offered me a free trip to a professional fair, all paid for, to get to know the company and their new products. Although I had, no direct authority on buying these tools, but at most an informal influence, after discussing the matter with my senior manager, I did not accept the invitation, this to avoid any suspicion what so ever concerning conflict of interests.