Experts Discuss the LEMS Theory of Business Ethics & its Application in Business Management in the 21st Century

14th May, 2019:Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and XLRI- Xavier School of Management recently conducted a Discussion Forum on ‘Practice of Business Ethics in Business Management in the 21st Century’ in Mumbai.

The Forum titled “Business Management in the 21st Century: Legal, Ethical, Moral, Spiritual (LEMS) Challenges” was attended by representatives of industry and academia,who discussed on the need of ethics in workplace and industry and re-evaluated the moral justification of business choices, decisions, actions and their consequences.

Fr. Oswald Mascarenhas, S.J. JRD Tata Chair Professor of Business Ethics at XLRIdelivered the keynote address, where he pointed out the nuanced differences between legality, ethicality, morality and spirituality (LEMS) and their connections to and implications on business operations.He said in his address, “Being Legal (L) means acting according to the law, which is the basic minimum for business management. Doing the right thing is Ethicality (E). Whereas, Morality (M) includes the right way of doing the right thing. Having the right reasons for acting moral, makes an action Spiritual (S). Given LEMS, corporate Ethics is a concrete challenging way of life for corporate executives to think and act legally, ethically, morally and spiritually in the turbulent markets of today.”

Explaining about Corporate Ethics, Fr.Mascarenhas said, “We need strong corporate ethics at all levels. We define and study corporate ethics and morals as lived, experienced and shared dynamic systems of socially accepted, morally universal, values and principles, standards and rules that can spiritually empower our life and society, our markets and our world. Business ethics studies lived and shared values in buyer-seller exchanges, corporate executive ethics centres on governance values and principles that power corporate decisions and choices, strategies and implementation processes that have corporate-wide consequences, and often, industry-nation-wide ramifications.  Accordingly, we explore and analyze corporate decisions and choices, especially in the context of current turbulent markets ridden with risk, uncertainty, chaos and ambiguity, which, when further  infected by buyer-seller information asymmetries (BSIA), can lead to corporate fraud, corruption, bribery and money-laundering.”  Following the first session, a panel discussion was held where experts deliberated on the driving forces of modern-day business and how changes taking place are impacting their constituents. Among the panellists, Kelvin A. Sergeant, Sustainable Enterprise Development Specialist at the International Labour Organization’s Decent Work Technical Support Team (ILO DWT) for South Asiaspoke