Monday, June 22, 2015 at 3pm

Cranberries and Business Ethics in New Center at Sauder: MBA News

New business ethics center to be installed at Sauder

The chairman of Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., the world’s leading producer of cranberry foods and beverages, has entered into a C$7.5 million (c. US$6.1m) partnership with the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Sauder School of Business to establish a center for business ethics.

“I’m partnering with Sauder to help ensure we are doing all we can to equip future leaders with the ethical perspectives they need to navigate the increasingly complex world of business,” said Peter Dhillon, who is CEO of the Richberry Group of Companies - one of the largest shareholders and suppliers of Ocean Spray Cranberries.

The Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, to be located within the existing Sauder School of Business building at UBC’s Vancouver campus, will house all activities relating to the pursuit of values-driven business practices at the school. In so doing, it will contribute to all levels of academic offerings at Sauder as well as allowing the school to expand on its research in the field of business ethics.

UBC president looking for ‘ripple effect’ from new center at Sauder School of Business

There are also plans for the center to host events that showcase the latest approaches to business ethics and that engage with the local business community. As such, UBC’s president, Arvind Gupta, hopes that the center’s “ripple effect through the students it touches will be felt in British Columbia and around the world.”

Sauder School of Business dean, Robert Helsley, said that the new center will not only enrich the learning and research environment at the school, but also allow it to position itself as “an innovator in, and a model for, values-based business education and outreach.”

Learning the principles and practices of ethical and sustainable business is already a required course in the full-time MBA program at Sauder School of Business. In fact, ethics - together with sustainability and value creation - makes up one of five themes that Sauder says is written into the DNA of its MBA. In this, the new center will supplement the work of its existing social innovation and impact investing center (Sauder S3i).

Marketing professor, Dale Griffin, described the timing of the new center as “ideal” because of the current level of student interest in the school’s existing programs that consider the social value of business. “A major part of the center’s work will focus on the development of course content across all of our programs,” added Griffin, interim director until an appointment is made to lead the new business ethics center on a permanent basis.

Ocean Spray Cranberries chairman looking to break prevailing image

Peter Dhillon’s partnership with Sauder School of Business follows his family’s previous gift of C$2 million to UBC, of which the Ocean Spray Cranberries chairman is a history alumnus and a recent addition to the president’s advisory board.

“There is an impression that you can’t do well in business unless you set ethics aside. I want to break that image. You can be caring, you can be thoughtful, and still be successful,” Dhillon added.  

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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