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Who We Are


The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics is a globally recognized vanguard for the promotion of ethical leadership in the curriculum of business schools and the development of innovative research and programming on values-based leadership, governance, and corporate social responsibility.  Engaging students, faculty members, alumni, and the greater Columbia community, the Bernstein Center aims to equip current and next-generation leaders with the tools and frameworks necessary to think critically about conflicts in order to develop ethical business practices.

Focus Areas

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): CSR is the integration by companies of their social and environmental concerns in their business strategies and operations, and in their interaction with stakeholders. Topics include the social and environmental impact of business operations, business conducted in emerging markets, corruption, society's expectations of business and business leaders and the relationship between stakeholders and shareholder value. Above all, the study of CSR has shifted from the question of whether a firm should do this to how can socially responsible strategies be designed to be most effective and profit maximizing. 

Governance: Governance is ultimately about fairness and the processes and systems by which a corporation is directed to achieve this outcome. The study and teaching of governance include the workings and organizational dynamics of boards of directors and the distribution of rights and responsibilities among auditors, boards, executives, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders in specific national and industrial contexts. Topics include the role of boards in public corporations, the challenges of governance in partnerships and venture capital contracts and in varied national contexts, the responsibilities of senior executive decision-making processes, transparency and reporting, executive compensation and strategic risk management and the impact of ethics and corruption on social welfare and economic development.

Values-Based Leadership: Values-Based Leadership is the relationship between a leader’s values and beliefs, and the way in which they act, speak, and espouse their values to their team in line with the goals of the organizations. Topics include the engagement of individuals in actively promoting and protecting integrity in the workplace, and the importance of recognizing the moment of ethical choice and avoiding the "slippery slope."