Alongside helping to shape the skill sets and competencies of the next generation of business managers and leaders, Hong Kong Baptist University (BU) School of Business believes its MBA and business programmes provide the ideal platform to stress the importance of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Professor Ed Snape, Dean, School of Business, HKBU business school can offer business education to students across the university Professor Ed Snape, dean, School of Business, believes CSR is a topic that goes beyond issues like safety and the environment to embrace broader ethical issues including the value that businesses contribute to society. “Issues related to ethics and CSR run through all of our programmes, it is a core value of our School,” Snape says. “By presenting students with ethical scenarios we try to help them understand, and deal with, the type of dilemmas they are likely to encounter on a daily basis, in their current jobs, and not just at CEO level,’’ he explains, stressing that the focus in CSR is not on “bashing” busines but on helping graduates behave ethically during their daily interaction with colleagues and clients. Snape says that questionable unethical behaviour often comes from taking short cuts, or from a lack of patience. “We point out that in the long-term these are areas that can damage the reputation of a company and of individuals,” says Snape, who took up the position of dean in September. Having experienced first-hand the growth and international standing of business progammes, and in particular MBA programmes offered in Hong Kong since the 1990s, Snape believes the time has come for business schools to look for ways to further strengthen the links between their research and local business. “One of our longer-term aims is explore how our research can be used to provide a wider spread of benefits to the Hong Kong community,” he says. “This includes helping business, government and the wider community.” Looking ahead, Snape also sees opportunities for increased inter-departmental collaboration. At a time when Hong Kong’s creative industries are attracting a number of start-up enterprises, and receiving government support, Snape believes that the business school can offer business education to students across the university. He thinks that the broad spectrum of Hong Kong’s creative industries, including advertising, broadcasting, digital entertainment, film, music, media, publishing and multimedia, are areas which can further developed. “Hong Kong is facing many challenges, but as in the past, the flexibility and adaptability of Hong Kong people can help them take advantage of the opportunities,” Snape says, adding that Hong Kong remains the gateway to the mainland, an advantage reinforced by its position as Asia’s regional business hub, and the strong presence in the city of multinational corporations as well as many SME enterprises. Snape adds that as a mature business school with well-established strategies in place, the School has been able to take a leading role in providing a business education sought after by local and overseas students and employers looking to strengthen their pipeline of future managers and leaders. A good example, he says, is the MBA programme which is designed with the general theme of international business, balanced by a China focus. Snape says the curriculum emphasises the need for executives to acquire a global mindset, while also understanding how to do business locally and in the mainland. Besides the China focus, it also incorporates practical learning activities – the business field study, study tours, a client-based consultancy project – which provide students with valuable hands-on experience and opportunities to develop leadership and communication skills. As part of BU School of Business’ efforts to support the business community, since 2000 the MBA programme has been offered in several mainland cities. “Whether mainland graduates work there or outside China, the programme is helping to improve the professionalism of individuals and the businesses they work for,” Snape adds.