Message from the Director

Since its founding more than 15 years ago, The Bernstein Center and its mission has continued to grow in importance throughout the Columbia Business School community and beyond. The vigorous research, programming, and curriculum developed and promoted by the Center has never been so vital for students and industry practitioners alike, and I am proud to have the opportunity to lead the Center during these ever-changing times in business and society.

Leadership and ethics have become the core pillars of an integrated business education, providing the foundation for an interdisciplinary approach towards the modern organization.

We need leaders now, more than ever, to understand that effective ethical decision-making touches every aspect of business- from the daily choices made by employees in an organization, to the checks and balances created through corporate governance, to using organizations to do good in society through socially responsible practices and decisions.

Successful organizations understand the need for a proactive approach towards leadership and ethics. Organizations, their people and their practices must be shaped to promote a clear understanding of the importance of giving voice and energy to shared social values that can promote personal and economic thriving for all.

As we enter into the next phase of the Bernstein Center for Leadership and Ethics, we must adapt to the increasing diversity of the workforce with an even greater focus on developing research, scholarship, and pedagogy that promotes inclusive values-based leadership, rigorous corporate governance, and competitive social responsibility fit for the modern age. 

I look forward to delving into these issues and more, alongside the Bernstein Faculty Leaders, the Bernstein Student Leadership and Ethics Board (SLEB), and the broader Columbia Business School community. I encourage you to follow our progress and programming through our social media channels and newsletter, and get involved in the conversation yourself with our “Pitch a Story,” campaign.   

— Katherine W. Phillips, Reuben Mark Professor of Organizational Character; Director, The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics