Special Sessions


GBATA Tenth Annual International Conference

Madrid, Spain, July 8-12, 2008
Evolution and Revolution in the Global Knowledge Economy:
Enhancing Innovation and Competitiveness Worldwide

Summary of Panel Session: Saturday July 12th 2008
Topic: Current Issues in Immigration
Moderator: Max Coulthard, Monash University, Australia


Panel Members:

Guy Callender, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
Nejdet Delener, The State University of New York at Old Westbury, USA
Nikolay B. Filinov, The State University – Higher School of Economics, Russia
Bruno Mascitelli, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Stanley Mukhola, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Luis Eduardo Rivera-Solis, Dowling College, USA
Sonja Swanepoel, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Larry Wander, St. John’s University, U.S.A.

The theme of this session was to review the impact immigrants had on the local economies of countries and the lessons we could learn from their experiences in shaping business and government strategies. In a wide ranging discussion the panel highlighted the following themes:

1. While there is a difference between legal and illegal immigration there are some similar problems for both groups to be addressed. Some current trends identified were:

  • Many countries were now competing for migrants, in particular skilled migrants to help alleviate local shortages. Some of the reasons identified for local shortages in developed countries included:

– Lack of educational funding for skill based training
– Declining popularity of vocational skill courses by domestic students
– An aging workforce, with baby boomers retiring in mass over the next twenty years
– Low reproduction rates
– Locals less willing to undertake unskilled and/or poor paid work.

  • Governments had failed to provide adequate legal protections to meet the needs of immigrants.
  • Governments had policies in place that discourage immigration from some countries and encouraged migration from others. This bias has lead to official figures not reflecting the true nature of migration between countries. For example, in Russia, the official registered guest workers number only 157,000 (mainly from Turkey, China and Vietnam) whilst the number of illegal migrants from Tadjikistan has been estimated to be quite high.
  • Many communities turned a blind eye to the problem of illegal immigrants because they meet a local need. Some of these entities included:

– Banks, labour unions, general public, tax departments, business and government (both domestic and foreign).

All these groups were identified as beneficiaries in a number of ways and therefore unless threatened, tolerated the existence of illegal immigrants.

  • In some areas e.g. European Union, the ability to move between countries had improved but this has caused tension in countries popular for migrants and the continued need for country based restrictions. Examples of tension included clashes in France over jobs, finger pointing at Gypsies in Italy.
  • Recognition of the value of overseas citizens was increasing

– Representational voting rights globally for those Italians overseas

– More foreign born citizens winning political elections

– Funds set up to attract overseas earnings of foreign citizens and greater flexibility of multi-currency accounts.

2. Some positive economic benefits of immigration are:

  • Importing needed skills into the host economy.
  • Some of the best and brightest are immigrants and they are often driven to prove themselves in their new country e.g. in USA immigrants make up a quarter of doctorates and one third of engineering professors.
  • Many highly regarded entrepreneurs are immigrants e.g. founder of Sun Microsystems; Intel; Google and others.
  • Taking up of unwanted jobs, especially in the low skill areas.
  • Taxes are paid.
  • Where there is no immigration, negative population growth has lead to local business and service closure and migration away from areas where families have lived for generations. Where migration has been encouraged, businesses and communities have been shown to be thriving.

3. Some criticisms and challenges identified included:

  • Low skilled immigrants reduce the wages of local unskilled workers.
  • Wages paid to illegal immigrants are substantially below legal immigrants wage rates thereby distorting local employment market conditions e.g. Illegal Mexican workers in USA paid 40% or more below that paid to legal immigrants.
  • Immigrants may not assimilate well into local communities and create ghettos with associated cultural and social tensions e.g. Many people from Tadjikistan found to have a relative in Russia don’t speak Russian and do not assimilate. Many of these people are illegal with low skills.
  • Money earned can be sent out of the country back home to support parents and other family members rather than benefit the local community.
  • The salad bowl effect: It takes three generations for immigrants to integrate into local communities.

4. Some potential solutions include:

  • Develop more effective communication strategies to explain the benefits of immigration. This will help deal with the perception, held by some of the host country population that immigrants are taking jobs which belong to them. Research shows that the opposite is true: immigrants encourage local job creation and increase economic demand. Communication is also required in the areas of how immigration has enriched societies e.g. food, clothing, design, knowledge, science and arts.
  • Developing the policies and processes to handle cultural differences in areas such as language, desire to integrate, values and religion. The ability to communicate between ethnic groups appears a key step. Therefore language training is essential as are policies that respect cultural and religious differences.
  • Ensuring immigrants are not treated differently and unfairly, e.g. deal with inequities such as: lower pay, no social services, fewer human rights, segregation in schools.
  • Tackling corruption at all levels, especially bribery paid to allow illegal immigrants to enter the host country.
  • Controlling the financial repatriation of funds by immigrants so that the host country actually benefits financially through the tax system.
  • Recognising that when Governments ignore the problems that the negative aspects of illegal immigration are heightened e.g. in South Africa no policies exist to regulate immigration. Therefore a range of problems exist:

– People trying to cross borders can easily be eaten by wild animals or drowned at sea
– Tribal clashes occur that result in injuries and death
– Inequities between groups
– Bribes are too common
– Criminal elements have flourished to exploit the 8 million illegal immigrants.

  • Encouraging the import of a diversity of cultures from different source countries as this may help alleviate cultural and social tensions and enrich local society.
  • Aligning immigration quotas with economic needs.
  • Making pathways for legal immigrants easier and more transparent.
  • Providing a gateway for illegal immigrants to earn legitimate local citizenship.
  • Ensuring the legal system protects immigrants, both legal and illegal, against exploitation.
  • Increasing staffing diversity within the education sector. Educators have been slow to act and people in senior positions within the sector should come from a diverse range of countries and cultures. Issues on staffing from various countries must also be addressed.
  • Increasing the role of the education sector e.g. encouraging people to have at least a second language, and building cultural diversity within the curriculum.

Ethics  in  Business Reporting

CSER as a New Standard
of Audited Financial Reporting in 2008

Dr. Bob G.A. Boland
Professor of Accounting
International University in Geneva


  • Corporate financial reporting, is generally believed only when validated, by annual external professional audit.
  • Non-financial reporting of CSER (Corporate Social (ethical) and Environmental Responsibility), is reported in great public relations detail, but is generally is not validated by professional audit? Can we believe it?
  • Could failure in CSER by our company or our stakeholders (shareholders, managers, staff, customers, suppliers, trade unions, community etc.) be our concern?
  • Are we responsible for our stakeholders?
  • Could failure in CSER affect our corporate stock price or even survival?
  • Does “non-financial” reporting (or failure), seriously affect the validity of our financial reporting of the financial health of the company? Are we responsible for it?
  • When things are going well, ethical corporate reporting is relatively easy, but when there is intense pressure for survival, then some “creativity” in financial and non-financial reporting, seems to be justified!
  • CESR (Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility) is currently involved in a movement for “Business Sustainability” … with great enthusiasm.
  • BUT … alas there is not yet much enthusiasm for external CESR annual corporate audit, to VALIDATE the reality of business practices in the tough world of business. Do we all prefer out illusions rather than reality?


  • Conscience of the person faced with a moral choice, with the penalty of feeling guilt, shame and remorse if we do the wrong thing.
  • Judgment of the community and wider society, with the penalty of public opprobrium, disgrace and loss of status or ‘face’.
  • Judicial judgment with fines and prison sentences, which comes into play if the first two are failing to curtail wrong behaviour.
  • Question: What is your personal ethics score out of 10? See the Ethics of Business book on Lulu.com


  • Cultural differences: Europe, Middle East. India, Asia.
  • Religious differences: Christian, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist.

The UN Global Compact (Exhibit A) sets out ten principles of  CESR.

  • Support human rights.
  • Not allow human rights abuses (directly or indirectly through stakeholders e.g. managers, staff, suppliers, customers, etc.).
  • Accept trade unions and collective bargaining.
  • No forced or compulsory labour.
  • No child labour.
  • No employment discrimination.
  • Environmental responsibility.
  • Environmental protection.
  • Environmentally friendly technologies.
  • No corruption – by any stakeholders.

So many UN and NGO’s are involved.
Question: Should we buy or sell our goods and services, with a developing country business that abuses children with forced labour at the age of 8 years?

  • Pressure to survive
  • Continued employment
  • Environmental damage
  • Internal politics and whistle-blowers
  • Accounting standards
  • Global business realities


  • Unlimited – with just basic accounting skills. Is helping management, by deliberately over-stating profits and assets ethical? What about deliberately under-stating?
  • Increasingly creative complex financial instruments and options.
  • Tax – avoidance or evasion.
  • Off-shore legalities & unlimited, with IT creative potential.
  • Transfer prices in multi-centered accounting for tax economy.


  • USA
  • Europe
  • Middle East, Asia, Africa



  • Recognize that ethical standards are necessary for business sustainability, to prevent Global Business becoming a Mafia-warfare, with unlimited harm done to others, in the name of profit and survival.
  • Recognize ethics as part of business company responsibility to Society, which requires validation.
  • Recognize that they Financial and Non-financial (CESR) reporting both need professional annual audit, to be recognized as valid measures for assessing the financial health of a company.
  • Recognize the reality of pressure for survival in business, as a critical influence on “creative” Financial and Non-financial reporting. Nobody seems to sympathise with a failed company, which has high CESR standards.
  • Recognize that financial reporting must keep up with the ever increasingly complex international standards, whereby “under” as well as “over” statement of profits, assets and liabilities may be unacceptable.
  • Recognize that non-financial (CESR) reporting needs accepted realistic (culturally acceptable) international standards – like the UN Global Compact (Exhibit A) which is currently supported in principle but not yet in practice.
  • Recognize that for annual CESR audit to be effective, it needs standardised auditing techniques, training, examinations, reporting and professional qualifications. Work on environmental audit has already progressed with ISO 14,000 and 9,000.
  • Encourage EVERY company stakeholder (shareholders, managers, staff, suppliers, customers, communities, trade unions etc.) believe and adopt ethical Financial and CESR standards of action and reporting.
  • Encourage stock exchanges to require both annual Financial and CESR audit for listing and quotation.
  • Encourage World Bank, IMF, UN to require Financial and CESR audit, for funding projects.
  • Encourage all countries to require annual Financial and CESR audit for every business company.
  • Encourage Government and Business to control each other ethically and publicly, with no excuses for unethical action. Give press freedom to investigate breaches of Financial and CESR reporting standards.
  • Encourage a generous reaction to honest financial reporting mistakes of judgment.
  • Encourage increase in critical civil servant pay to reduce the motivation for corruption, and then make legal penalties for corruption without limit.
  • Encourage the teaching of business CESR in schools and university to achieve ethical values. Teach a code and practice of ethics, which is reality and not illusion:
  • a. Positive
    b. Transparent
    c. Open to all at every level
    d. Varying culture and basic values
    e. Realistic in choosing between alternative evils
    f. Obeying law as a measure of honesty
    g. A norm of recognized business achievement
  • Encourage one or two very successful multi-nationals , to set an example, and to begin very carefully, to publicly adopt annual financial and annual non-financial (CESR) audit as a NORM of every business, and to publish results.

This could begin a new “public image norm” that could motivate other companies to follow for the benefit of all the stakeholders of every business ! For business sustainability and PREVENTION and not merely for diagnosis of CSER failure!!


Perhaps these suggestions are “impossible”, but like space travel and the internet … the “impossible” seems to happen so often nowadays, especially when it becomes, like “Sustainable environment” and “Business Sustainability” … political … (not merely an ethical) … priority … !

Key skill of management in 2008 – SURVIVAL!!

Perhaps you could be one of the first companies to do it and could prove that annual Financial and Non-financial (CESR) audit and reporting, is indeed good for the stock price and for business with a whole range of new benefits.

Then perhaps: “Ethics in Business Financial and Non-Financial Reporting”, can at last become a reality … rather than illusion …

On we go together …?


The Institute of Chartered Accountants in London has always been regarded itself as: “Chartered Accountant – The Traditional Honest Man of Business”

Now the Institute has not one bit three guideline web sites for CESR: www.icaew.com/bettermarkets; www.icaew.com/ethics; www.icaew.com.

This could be a first step towards CESR audit for all major companies, but the Institute is traditionally very cautious … and perhaps is waiting for you?


  1. Support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
  2. Not be complicit in human rights abuses.
  3. Uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  4. Eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
  5. Effective abolition of child labour.
  6. Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  7. Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
  8. Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
  9. Encourage the development and diffusion of  environmentally friendly technologies.
  10. Work against corruption in all its forms, including  extortion and bribery by both the company, and  its customers and suppliers.


Billions of dollars are donated each year for aid programs in Africa and other developing countries, where poverty and under-employment are the major causes of HIV/AIDS/TB/sickness/child death etc.

According to the World Bank, corruption of aid funding, may vary from about 20-70%.

In 2008 some aid program specialists are beginning to believe that simple aid funding to Africa is a complete waste of money.

They feel it would be far better to help African business to recover, develop and be much more effective. They suggest:

  • Stop giving money away to the wrong people …
  • Promote local business …
  • Make people work for the money they get …
  • Promote cheap portable telephones, as a highly cost-effective tool, for effecting change in traditional cultural values and attitudes!
  • Let BUSINESS activity be a key INFLUENCE to reduce the suffering of: poverty, sickness and under-employment in developing countries.

Perhaps, such business activity  could directly support the many UN and NGO development projects in poverty environment and could also be consistent with the UN Global Compact.
Perhaps this would that be an interesting CESR challenge for every multi-national business in 2008?

On we go … together?

Source : Ethics in Business – 2008 (lulu.com)

GBATA Ninth Annual International Conference

Taipei, Taiwan, July 3-7, 2007

Achieving Competitive Advantage Through Managing Global Resources

Summary of Panel Session: Saturday July 7th 2007
The Global Entrepreneurial Revolution

Moderator: Max Coulthard, Monash University, Australia

Panel Members:

Guy Callender, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
Nejdet Delener, The State University of New York at Old Westbury, USA
Leon de Wet Fourie, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Luis Eduardo Rivera-Solis, Dowling College, USA
Emanuel Gomes, Coventry University, UK
Gerald R. Ledlow, Georgia Southern University, USA
T. Diana L.v. A. Macedo-Soares, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Jurgen Muehlbacher, Vienna University of Economics & Business Administration, Austria
C. Pat Obi, Purdue University Calumet, USA
Kathleen Park, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Che-Jen Su, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

In this lively session over thirty people actively contributed their ideas as part of a general discussion on entrepreneurship lead by the moderator. A visual presentation by Prof Dr. Nejdet Delener at the end of the session provided some insightful key points on teaching entrepreneurship in a way that would stimulate student interest and provide them with methods for practical application.

The following is a summary of the key areas covered:

  • Corporate entrepreneurship
  • Health Care intrapreneurship
  • Enterprise planning and funding
  • Use of Government schemes
  • International entrepreneurship
  • Ethics in entrepreneurship
  • High performance entrepreneurship
  • The challenges facing founders versus builders of businesses
  • The necessity of micro-entrepreneurship
  • The impact of change and opportunity recognition
  • Entrepreneurship in academia

From the above discussion some key issues were identified. Although the list below is not complete it may act as a guide for others to debate in future forums:

  • The distinctions between key terms need greater clarity e.g. entrepreneurial leadership and strategic leadership; entrepreneur and intrapreneur; corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial orientation.
  • Whether entrepreneurs are ethical or bend (if not break) the rules to achieve success and cut through bureaucratic processes that hold others back.
  • The impact of company size and systems on maintaining an entrepreneurial attitude as firms grow.
  • Do entrepreneurs cause change or take advantage of change to identify and exploit opportunities?
  • Do national legal systems discourage an entrepreneurial culture?
  • What challenges stop the micro-entrepreneurial business from achieving success e.g. knowledge/skills; staff selection; attracting and keeping the right people in a growing company; ability to delegate control of decision-making; ability to share power etc.
  • Can governments assist in developing entrepreneurship in a society and if so how? e.g. benefits of incubators; financial incentives such as tax breaks; reducing regulations; positive profiling of successful entrepreneurs; education funding of entrepreneurs and those interested in small and family businesses.
  • The challenges facing entrepreneurs in a growing business – can they change and if not how can they recognise the time to step aside and undertake roles like non-executive chair, or move into roles at lower levels in an organisation that allow them to do their own thing?
  • The challenges facing not- for -profit organisations and the role of the entrepreneur in driving organisational change.
  • How should a University deal with entrepreneurial staff? Can current systems support and reward them or do our current ways of rewarding and promoting staff really discourage entrepreneurial behaviour? When do you need entrepreneurial staff to bring about change both in terms of course provision; new teaching methods and new areas of research?