The role of management in promoting a culture of good business conduct was the key topic of discussion during a Panel Session hosted by the Pearl Initiative, the business-led non-profit organisation promoting a culture of corporate transparency and accountability in the Gulf region, in Jeddah recently.

The event, which welcomed 35 participants from various leading private and public organisations across Saudi Arabia, included Naif A. Alabeedi, General Manager, Nesma Holding Company Ltd and Dr. Zaid Mahayni, Chief Legal Officer, SEDCO Holding.

During the discussion, panelists emphasised the role of management in building ethical teams and encouraging employees to incorporate ethics and integrity in all their daily business proceedings.

Naif A. Alabeedi of Nesma highlighted the responsibility of management in shaping organisational ethics and their duty to seize this opportunity to create a climate that can strengthen the relationships and reputations on which the success of their companies is dependent on.

Dr. Zaid Mahayni of SEDCO Holding, elaborated further, commenting that Executives who ignore ethics run the risk of personal and corporate liability in today’s increasingly regulated legal environment.

Yasmine Omari, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative, added: “An integrity-based approach to ethics management combines a concern for the law with an emphasis on managerial responsibility for ethical behaviour. While integrity strategies and policies may vary in design and scope, all strive to define the guiding values, aspirations, and patterns of thought and conduct of a given company. When integrated into the day-to-day operations of an organisation, such strategies can help prevent damaging ethical lapses while tapping into powerful human impulses for moral thought and action. All too often, ethical frameworks have been seen as burdensome constraints within which companies must operate, as opposed to the governing ethos of an organisation. Today, however, organisations are increasingly recognising the value of creating ethical workplace cultures.”

The event was held as part of the Pearl Initiative’s Anti-Corruption Best Practices programme, supported by the Siemens Integrity Initiative. As part of the programme, the Pearl Initiative has developed the Gulf Integrity Indicator as a free tool to gauge the level of integrity policies within an organisation. It is anticipated that by participating in the indicator exercise, organisations can benchmark their practices with regional practices, and identify areas for development.

Founded in 2010, the Pearl Initiative is a Gulf business–led non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as key drivers of competitiveness and sustainable economic growth across the Gulf Region. The organisation develops programmes and publishes regional research reports and case studies to promote the implementation of higher standards of corporate governance amongst business and student communities across the Gulf Region.

Source: National Network Communications (NNC)