Letter from the Executive Editor, Colin Mason

Letter from the Executive Editor, Colin Mason

external relationsEthics, responsibility and sustainability form an important thread running through the work of the European Foundation for Management Development, the organisation that recently awarded ASBS an EQUIS accreditation. The EQUIS process includes a self-assessment requirement that inspires in the applying School quite a bit of reflection and soul searching and has helped ASBS formalise our responsibility and sustainability agenda. With the EQUIS accreditation the School joins the elite group of Business Schools around the world with triple accreditation, adding to the accreditations from AMBA and AACSB that we already hold. 

Ethics are core to the work of Adam Smith, who was of course, a moral philosopher. The School’s values are imbued with the spirit of Adam Smith, who wrote about society and human interaction.  Notably, Smith pointed out that individual and organizational behavior impact on the well-being of others, that personal satisfaction comes in large part from the respect and appreciation of others, and the importance of exchange in improving global well-being. The School strives to make a positive impact on society by engaging with local and international communities and impacting policy through our research.  This issue of Aspire has a strong ethics theme running through it. China has a problematic reputation in the area of sustainability, and we raise this issue in our interview with Lawrence Jin, Senior Audit Partner for Deloitte China. Lawrence is the National Leader for Deloitte’s Cleantech Group in China, and we ask him what developments he would like to see coming out of this group’s work.

This Spring, Jillian Gordon, a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at ASBS, invited Elain Mays, Chief Compliance Officer of Wood Group to speak to students taking the Business and Ethics Course on the MA Business and Management degree. She shares some of Elaine’s main points with Aspire. I had the pleasure of working with Jillian earlier this year in supporting some of our MA students on entrepreneurship projects, which collectively raised just under £1,500 that was donated to the Beatson Cancer Charity. 

Thomas Anker, Lecturer in Management, organised an Ethics Night for Management students, designed to give students an insight into the role of ethics for practitioners in public, private and third sector organisations. Deirdre Shaw, Professor of Marketing, has launched an Ethics in Consumption seminar series, funded by the ESRC.

Some of last year’s postgraduate cohort made an impact through the social enterprise project, Beyond the Finish Line, aimed to find solutions to high street and town centre decline. We caught up with Asa King, one of the participants and now an alumnus, to ask him what his career plans are and how he will be using the experience to develop his own enterprise now that he is back in the USA.

We have many other engaging and inspiring contributions from our staff and students, including an article about the lessons Bart Taub, Professor of Finance, learned from his experiences in a baby-sitting coop in his native US. Phil Taylor, Internal Communications Manager for the University of Glasgow reveals the University’s plans for redeveloping the Gilbert Scott Building for ASBS. Sabina Siebert, Senior Lecturer in Management, shares the results of a study she conducted with Graeme Martin from the University of Dundee, into the impact de-professionalisation of consultants in NHS Scotland. Danture Wickramasinghe, Professor in Accounting, discusses the relevance Strong Structuration Theory has for accounting. Neil Broadfoot, Communications Manager at Revenue Scotland shares the way in which the work of Adam Smith has made an impact on their policies and procedures.

We have also included an expanded news section for students and alumni, to recognise the importance of these groups of stakeholders in the School.

In the spirit of this issue of Aspire, I would like to leave you with the wisdom of two great thinkers -Aristotle, who said: 

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

And Adam Smith, who said:

To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.