The International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics (ISBEE) is the first world-wide professional association to focus exclusively on the study of business, economics, and ethics. Its professional orientation involves people not only with academic competencies but also with practical competencies in responsible management positions (such as vice-presidents and issue managers) and entrepreneurs of medium-size and small companies. Individual membership consists of academicians, managers of business firms and of not-for-profit organizations, and others who have an interest in business ethics
. Organizational membership includes companies and other organizations. ISBEE is strongly international in character with members from around the world.
ISBEE developed in response to a felt need to bring together individuals in traditionally distinctive fields - economics, business, law, and philosophy - and different practical areas - human resources, marketing, finance, social and environmental concerns. What characterizes these individuals is their common interest in the ethical dimension of economic, social, and environmental issues that affect domestic and global firms and hence individuals and broader structures as well. The organization offers a global network of persons and organizations and a wide range of professional activities including quadrennial congresses, proceedings, and Web page.
The mission of ISBEE is to provide a forum for the exchange of experiences and ideas; to enhance cooperation in cross-functional and cross-cultural projects; and to discuss the ethical dimension of economic, social, and environmental issues which affect companies nationally and internationally. ISBEE supports a cross-disciplinary approach with the participation of both academicians and practitioners. It schedules its conferences and programs to encourage both formal and informal sharing of ideas and projects.
ISBEE cooperates with regional and national networks of business ethics around the globe: the Society for Business Ethics (North America), the European Business Ethics Network (EBEN), the Japan Society for Business Ethics Studies (JABES), the Latin American Business Ethics Network (ALENE), and the African Business Ethics Network (BEN-Africa). It actively supports the creation of business ethics networks, particularly in developing countries.
A culminating event of ISBEE’s activities is the World Congress of Business, Economics, and Ethics, held every four years. Past congresses have taken place in Tokyo, Japan (1996) with keynote speakers such as Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize winner in Economics) and Hans Küng (initiator of Global Ethic) and in São Paulo, Brazil (2000) with Mark Moody-Stuart (Shell
) and Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank). The next congress is scheduled for 2004 in Australia. In addition, ISBEE has been helping sponsor regional conferences in São Paulo, Brazil (1998), Shanghai, China (2002), and Prague, Czech Republic (2003).
Aims of ISBEE include:
- To provide a communication link among scholars and managers with interest in business ethics;
- To provide a vehicle for the cross-fertilization of ideas for persons of various specializations from around the world who have a continuing interest in business ethics;
- To encourage research and presentation of papers, panels, and case studies at quadrennial meetings;
- To disseminate current and relevant research information through congress proceedings, special journal issues, and other channels;
- To help sponsor regional conferences and emerging business ethics networks, such as ALENE (Latin America) and BEN-Africa, as well as support established networks in North America, Europe, and Japan;
- To serve as a clearinghouse for information on research centers, conferences, journals, publications, and specialists in the field worldwide;
- To enhance interregional communications in business ethics;
- To create an advisory group with business executives;
- To establish an ISBEE Fund with voluntary contributions which will enable people from developing countries and transition economies to attend international business ethics meetings.