Betler and Overby Speak About Ethics in International Business

October 4, 2010

September 28, 2010 - Ray Betler, vice president and group executive at Wabtec Corporation, and Paul Overby, president of Paul Overby Associates, spoke to a group of 200 undergraduate business students and faculty as a part of the Beard Institute's Distinguished Ethics Speaker Series.

Betler and Overby discussed the importance of ethics in international business. Using personal stories from their extensive careers in transportation, Betler and Overby discussed real-world ethical problems created by cultural differences. Betler began the presentation by showing newspaper articles that exposed unethical businesses to the students, and then discussed the effects of bad publicity. When asked by a student how a business can be competitive in an unethical marketplace, Betler cited the importance of superior products (or services) as the best way to be ethical and successful. The speakers also discussed business executives' responsibility to employees, including the topic of executive compensation during economic hardship. The speakers advocated that executives should not accept large raises when there are employee layoffs.

The presentation was well-received by the students and faculty.