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Jacques Cory on the relation between the Covid-19 crisis and teaching business ethics

Brand Voice
·4-min read

2020 has been a year that the world has yet not envisioned in the last 4 decades. The business enemy has been in its most unexpected form and pressurising the whole world now. The importance of business ethics have certainly increased with the new normal. A leading Israeli entrepreneur, Jacques Cory is leading the path of teaching business ethics in the corporate field. He needs no introduction, he is not only a successful entrepreneur but he is highly regarded as a successful author and lecturer too. Cory had vast experience and background as a lecturer at leading universities including INSEAD, The University of Haifa, Tel Aviv University, The Technion and the Israeli Naval Academy.

At the time of Covid, you need to have a drive, a compelling urge to do so, that you have a credo to convey to all the young businessmen. Many people quit their careers at the age of 60, however Jacques Cory started a new career at this age. His drive has attracted the attention of people and media, as he is not doing it for money. Cory had a very successful career and is now leading the way to help people learn business ethics and help them establish a pleasant business culture.

As the credibility of a businessman teaching business ethics, with cases based on his own experience, is much more effective than the standard courses on business ethics given by professors from the Philosophy Departments, teaching Aristotle and Kant. Add to that a pioneering method of teaching, based on group dynamics, role playing and analysis of ethical dilemmas, experienced by protagonists of plays and films, as Gordon Gekko (Wall Street), Thomas Stockmann (Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People), Chris Keller (Arthur Miller’s All My Sons), and Cory has certainly a winning formula of success in teaching.

And indeed, in a 10-year successful career of teaching at leading universities, Jacques Cory encountered almost always a great enthusiasm by the students and received the highest awards of best lecturers and hundreds of appraisal letters and feedback. In order to change the state of mind of businessmen and students, Cory believes that you need to have an appeal to their hearts much more than to their brains. The students hear too much that the best way to succeed in business is by being unethical, and indeed it was the outcome of most of his cases, some of his students even teased him at the end of his courses by thanking him on learning excellent ways to succeed in business by wrongdoing the stakeholders.

But how can you overcome those preconceived ideas? Cory shares that certainly not by teaching them only theories of Kant or Aristotle. However, when they experience the ethical dilemmas in role playing of Erin Brockovich, Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Ken Lay, Nick Leeson, Shylock in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Claire Zachanassian in Friedrich Duerrenmatt’ The Visit, Aristide Saccard in Emile Zola’s L’argent/Money, or Beranger in Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, they reach the conclusion through their hearts that the best way to succeed in business in the long run is by being ethical, as the role of a lecturer is not to teach but educate.

And how does it relate to the COVID-19 crisis? In the last 20 years Jacques Cory have experienced a much greater receptiveness towards business ethics in times of crises. He received his Ph.D. only after his findings about wrongdoing towards minority shareholders were substantiated by the Corporate Scandals, Cory was invited to lecture at the most prestigious universities only after his forecast on the Great Recession proved accurate, and he reached recently a much larger audience on his theories about the crises of capitalism and their solutions, written in his 2009 book on the Doomsday Depression that Cory forecasted for 2020, only after they were validated by the COVID-19 crisis. What is needed in order to overcome this crisis is: cooperation, equilibrium, ethics, integrity, humanity, accountability, creativity, moderation, returning to basics about the purpose of a company, the raison d’être of people, which is to contribute to society, employ workers, sell good and needed products, ensuring the stakeholders’ rights, ostracizing corrupt and unethical businessmen. This will not be achieved in ordinary times, but we experience today extraordinary circumstances. We have now a unique opportunity to achieve those goals by combining forces of the most profitable companies and the richest people in the world, in cooperating and funding a joint venture in order to find prompt solutions to each virus and pandemics, with a concentrated, timely and massive investment, finding a solution not in many months or even years but within weeks.

In a digital age of uncertainty, Jacques Cory is not just leading the way for teaching business ethics, he is helping people to create a safe and engaging place for businesses to connect with interests and passion, where money will just follow.

(Syndicated press content)