On October 10 and 11, 2019, Professor Dr. Martin Glaum, Chair of International Accounting, and Professor Dr. Burcin Yurtoglu, Chair of Corporate Finance of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management organized the third Conference of the international conference series "CSR, the Economy, and Financial Markets" at the Düsseldorf campus of WHU. The event offered two days of insightful keynote speeches, paper presentations, and possibilities to exchange opinions between academia and the industry on the chances and limits of the social responsibility of businesses.
Karthik Ramanna, PhD., Professor of Business & Public Policy at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government delivered the first keynote speech. Reflecting on Milton Friedman’s call to American businesses that their social responsibility lies in increasing its profits, Ramanna claimed that businesses needed to maximize their profits and not assume social roles, because encouraging them to do so would depreciate the public institutions and state capacity.
In several sessions, also lead by WHU-Professors, as well as by WHU doctoral students, participants presented their papers related to the topic of corporate social responsibility, financial performance, and the integration of ESG in investments.
WHU’s honorary professor Andreas Barckow, President of ASCG – The Accounting Standards Committee of Germany, organized a panel discussion on CSR Regulation with speakers from science and economy. In a workshop on “Impact Investing”, initiated and organized by Professor Dr. Hartmut Leser, honorary professor at WHU and CEO of Aberdeen Standard Investments, the participants discussed the impact of ESG, the three central factors of environmental, social, and corporate governance measures of sustainability and the ethical impact of investments.
During the two conference days, the speakers and participants had various opportunities to discuss their research and exchange their opinions on the debate regarding the economic effects of corporate social responsibility from an accounting perspective, a financial management view, and from a CSR reporting angle.
The next event of the conference series “CSR, the Economy, and Financial Markets”, which is initiated by Professor Ali Fatemi at DePaul University, Chicago, will be organized on November 12 and 13, 2020, by the Development Bank of Japan in Tokyo.