The Risks Conference

Bannière site ER19

"The Risks Conference", 7th issue, will  be held on december 3 & 4, 2019 at Carré des Sciences in  Paris on the following thematics :

"Take into account the ethical dimension in Risk Mastering''




As in each odd year and alternatively with « Lambda Mu » symposium on even years, IMdR will organize in 2019 the meetings socalled  «The Risks Conference ». The programme committee of this 7th issue is chaired by Laurence BAILLIF. The following lines give a first thought on the topic which will attract numerous attendee. The programme is now on  line and registration is open.


  • Ethics in industry – An up to date topic

​Ethics is certainly not a new topic. Ethical thoughts have come along occidental companies for more than 2 000 years (cf namely Aristote, Descartes, Kant). As far as company is concerned, thoughts deal with the socially responsible which took various shapes along centuries. During century 19th paternalism, has represented a peculiar form of commitment, slowly erased and led the company to focus on his economic role. Nowadays the company legally recognized as a moral person, is at the center of attentions namely for the external effects of its economic activity; the debate between auctioneers responsibility and enlarged stake holders, is at center of attractions, namely for its external effects of its economic activity and becomes a potential risk source. Face to this questioning, some companies undertook an ethical approach.


  • But what does ethics in industry cover ?

​Being distinct from moral, which defines principles  and general laws, ethics deals with questions related to individual life, but also by extension of specific questions such as health ethics, bioethics, business ethics for example and social concerns more general (animal ethics, environmental ethics, a.s.o.) Their ambition is to show how to behave and act in the social space for a given situation. Ethics in industry raises the concern of moral principles in the fields economic, environmental and social. One can distinguish two approaches : the anglo-saxon, based on standards and close to moral and the european approach which claims to be more practical and positive.

Although the trend is to integrate more and more these notions within the company in a standardization way by legislating (Sapin II law, remuneration of boards, RSE directive, personal data protection, vigilance duty of mother companies and  contracting companies, company business purpose and PACTE law...) numerous companies develop company ethics and “juggle” between statutory obligation and voluntary approach, thus integrating ethics in its reason for living, missions or objectives.


  • Ethics formal or informal ?

​Depending on the cases, company ethics will be formalized under code form, a chart or a commitment letter for example. The more often, the chart or ethical code are elaborated by the executive management; they diffuse the company philosophy, engraving its own law tables so that anybody in a decentralized structure  should know the doctrine and refer to it.

The international review of charts and ethical codes is valuable for learning but nevertheless shows noticeable differences and allows to bring out trends, such as a practical  type formalization in the United States, with codes valuable for law which eventually allow companies to reduce potential fines, or in Japan a community vision, with adoption of codes based on loyalty, confidence, humility, paternalism and community spirit or even « nation contributing » and finally in France an alternate between practicallity and philosophic idealism. When formalization concerns mainly big companies, ethics is nevertheless present in small and medium companies ; in this case it is founded on « informal » transmission of values and company culture. Besides, in some fields, one works on a specific ethical approach such as digital ethics, human resources, health, a.s.o.


  • Foundation and efficiency of an ethical approach

Whatever  the formalization or the codification of the ethics within the organization be, the question of foundation and efficiency approach is raised. 

Do we  assist to an ethical code banalization , to an answer  related to compliance, to the use of ethics as a cosmetical effect, to  greenwashing or to a deep movement which will give a long term competitive advantage to companies involved ?

When some structures are hidden behind an appearance ethics, other wonder upon practics effective within the organization and establish an ethical behaviour based upon a social responsability strategy. This strategy is anchored in values and culture of the company. Risk situations are discerned, best practices are listed, confidence of investors, insurers,stakeholders is developped, and finally the link between employees and customers is reinforced without sacrificing profitability.

In such a view, the ethics chosen by the organization and declined in values, company culture and strategy constitutes a frame of risk management operationnal and efficient in order to  contribute to a better risk mastering.


  • ER 2019 – Taking into account the ethical dimension in risk mastering

Fascinating topic, but delicate or even controversial, the risk conference 2019 will deal with taking into account the ethical  dimension in risk mastering. This conference will open the debate on the impact of ethical dimension in risk management . What contributions? What orientations ? a.s.o. The Risk Conference 2019 will give the opportunity to gather managers of different industrial and societal  fields, experts and searchers to debate on this problematics.  .



Laurence BAILLIF

Risks & Crisis, Advalea

Dernière modification : 30/07/2019