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Ethics & Social Responsibility Initiative

Overview - Ethics & Social Responsibility Initiative

Our Purpose

Ethical decision making in business has increasingly come to be seen as critical to business success as well as the right thing to do, not least given the reputational risk for firms and individuals of perceived unethical conduct. Corporate scandals all over the world have brought the topic of business ethics to the attention of business leaders and managers.

It is in this context that the INSEAD Ethics and Social Responsibility Initiative conducts pioneering research on the ethical and social responsibility issues that business faces today. ESRI addresses questions of ethics and social responsibility in business from a normative approach and a descriptive/positive approach. ESRI is also a vehicle for bringing faculty together across subject disciplines.  Prototypical questions include:

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A firm may be legally allowed to do something, but this does not mean it should do it, so what should guide corporate behaviour and actions?

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What are the obstacles to ethical decision making in organizations and how might they be overcome?

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How can a business engage effectively with stakeholders and strengthen its performance in handling its social responsibilities?

As well as conducting research to advance understanding and practice of ethics and social responsibility in business—together with translations for managerial and other audiences—ESRI also provides pedagogy-related support to strengthen what INSEAD and other schools do in teaching ethics and social responsibility, consistent with INSEAD’s mission to develop responsible business leaders. This includes case study research and development.

The Academic Director of ESRI is Professor N. Craig Smith, the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Ethics and Social Responsibility. His research over 30 years has been at the intersection of business and society, encompassing business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability.

ESRI Signature Event

Participants at an INSEAD programme

When Should Business Speak Out on Political and Social Issues? 

By-Invitation Workshop on Corporate Political Activism

In the Spotlight


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