The business of leadership and ethics
The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics, founded in May 2003, is the umbrella for all activities on leadership and ethics at Columbia Business School.
The center was made possible by a generous gift from the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Foundation. The foundationâ€™s parent, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., was established in 1967 by the late Sanford Bernstein, a paragon of the highest standards of his profession.
An investment manager, Bernstein opened the first securities firm dedicated to providing families and individuals with professional money-management services. As the mission grew to include investment research and institutional asset management, the firm flourished while emphasizing the highest ethical and professional standards.
The centerâ€™s activities, including the Individual, Business and Society curriculum, focus on three broad themes:
Individual leadership and integrity: the relationship between the individualâ€™s values and the firm. Topics include individual strategies for actively promoting and protecting integrity in the workplace, values-based leadership, corporate crime and investigations, avoiding the â€śslippery slopeďż˝? and dealing with ethical dilemmas;
Corporate governance: the processes and systems by which a corporation is directed and laws and customs applying to that direction. This includes the workings of boards of directors and the relationship between and distribution of rights and responsibilities of auditors, boards, executives, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. Topics include the role of boards, senior executive decision-making processes, transparency and reporting, audit committees, Sarbanes-Oxley and related international legislation, executive compensation and strategic risk management; and
Corporate social responsibility: how companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders. Topics include the social and environmental impact of business operations, business conduct in emerging markets, corruption, society’s expectations of business and business leaders, and the relationship between stakeholders and shareholder value.