Nagpur: Businesses around the world are beginning to realize they cannot operate in isolation. This growing realization is making businesses to stop and think on how their sourcing, manufacturing, supply chain, and marketing practices impact others. As businesses expand into areas and markets that are not entirely familiar, relations with the society in new territories, impact of operations on the environment, fulfilment of social responsibilities and positive association with all stakeholders are becoming more vital for success. These considerations are even stronger for businesses operating in emerging markets, which have relatively less developed laws and regulations.
The academia has been at the forefront of researching solutions to these issues, designing courses for future business managers, and advising the business world on sustainable development strategies.
FORE is proud to associate with IABS (International Association for Business and Society) for this year’s conference with the theme ‘Business and Society in Emerging Economies’. This was the 6th international conference at FORE School of Management and the 2nd conference on Sustainability in the FORE International Sustainable Conference (FISD) series. Bringing together distinguished speakers, academicians, scholars, practitioners, policymakers and NGOs from across the world, the Conference focused on discussing the latest developments in the field, presenting new research and addressing participant queries.
A day before the official inauguration of the Conference, Doctoral workshop has been organized for the participating doctoral students to get the feedback of the International eminent faculty on their research work. On the same day, Mentoring session was also organized for all participants. We are thankful to Dr. Colin Higgins, Associate Professor, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia; Dr. Jennifer J. Griffin, Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J. Endowed Chair and Professor of Strategy, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, USA; Dr. Rajat Panwar, Associate Professor, Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA; and Dr. Harry Van Buren, Professor, The University of New Mexico, USA for mentoring the participants on publishing in Business and Society Journal, which is a top ranked Journal in the CSR, Ethics and Sustainability.
The Inaugural Function was held on January, 12. As Convener, Dr. Shalini Taneja (Associate Professor, FORE School of Management) observed, “We are proud to host the 6th International Conference at FORE in association with IABS. This time we have received 76 academic papers and Case Studies submissions from across the world, 56 (including 9 in absentia) of which were shortlisted for presentation at the Conference.”
The Conference is another step forward in FORE’s constant efforts to acknowledge the Indian Government’s law on CSR spend (the companies Act, 2013 on CSR) led by Dr. Jitendra Das, the institute’s Director. In his welcome address, Dr. Das said, “Two major issues need to be addressed, when we talk about sustainability: the increasing gap between the rich and poor in developing countries like India and environmental degradation.” He further dissected these two issues on social and economic grounds. Dr. Vinayshil Gautam (Executive Board Member- FORE and Chairman, DK International Foundation; Founder Director, IIM-K; 1st Head, Management Department, IIT-Delhi; and 1st Honorary Dean, KPMG Academy) delivered the theme address by stressing upon the importance of understanding the context in which Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability needs to be understood by key stakeholders.
The Keynote Speaker for the event, Dr. Jennifer J. Griffin (Loyola University, USA), made an immediate connection with the audience with her research and reflection on CSR and Sustainability. She appreciated the efforts put in by FORE and Dr. Das to build socially responsible managers who will be taking up leadership roles in the corporate world. Dr. Griffin shared, “To hear about CSR being a compulsory MBA course for the very first time in a post graduate school (FORE School) in India is really phenomenal.” Officially launching the proceedings for the Conference, the inaugural session also brought out various aspects of Sustainability for wider conversation. The deep engagement of the audience could be gauged by the range of questions discussed during High Tea.
Each session of the conference witnessed thought provoking ideas getting discussed, with crucial takeaways for all participants. The Valedictory session had Dr. Rajat Panwar, Dr. Jitendra Das, and Dr. Hitesh Arora on the dais. Dr. Panwar urged the audience to engage with the IABS and join its next conference in Hong Kong. The awards ceremony that followed recognized the best work from over 56 papers that were selected for the conference. Dr. Richa Mishra, Assistant Professor, J.K. Lakshmipat University, Rajasthan, India won the Best Paper Award for her work on “Personality orientation, occupational stress and procrastinating behaviour – comparison of public and private sector employees”. The Best Business Case Award was won by Dr. Divya Bhutani, Associate Professor, LMTSM, Derabassi, Punjab, India. Congratulating the winners and reminding the gathering that it was the second conference on CSR at the B-School, Dr. Das said, “We should have this conference every year, given how important this issue is in India.” In his Valedictory address Dr. Harry Van Buren surmised the learning from the Conference, “We can and must be part of the generation of management scholarship that seeks to make business better.” He highlighted the challenges currently faced by the business world and society at large. The Conference had certainly played its part in addressing some of the crucial aspects, issues and drivers of commerce and industry in our connected world.
The Conference Convener thanked the sponsors, Power Grid Corporation of India, Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD), Skill Champs & CIS for supporting the conference as well as the Strategic Partners, Global Compact Network India, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry, BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry, European Institute of Asian Studies, Anugraha, SRF Foundation, National CSR Network, AMDISA and ShaktiShi.