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BGL Faculty Vision

'Leading multi-disciplinary learning in business, government & law for a sustainable future'

image - Faculty of Business, Government and Law Staff

Our core values

A triple bottom line of:

  1. Enterprise and Innovation – infusing innovation, creativity and enterprising activity into everything we do, adding edge ('attitude') to both our practice and outcomes.
  2. Social value and responsibility – Challenging the institutions of business and government to add value to society and behave responsibly.
  3. Sustainability - making sustainability part of everyday living, learning and working, in order to shape a more adaptive, resilient and prosperous future.

Working in the Business, Government & Law nexus

Business, Government & Law are the primary institutions that shape our complex world. Interaction between these three institutions, and their impact on society, forms the major intellectual focus of the Faculty. This focus is achieved through:

  • Intra-disciplinary excellence
  • Inter-disciplinary collaboration
  • Multi-disciplinary approaches

Introduction

The name Business, Government & Lawis a distinctive title which reflects more than simply three intellectual traditions residing in one administrative entity; it is also a unique merger between a number of independently strong disciplines which offers opportunities to develop a distinctive research and learning environment. Being based in the National Capital with the Australian Public Service on our door step adds to the potential synergy between the two nouns. The vision which this document sets out identifies the core values which underpin the Faculty's work and the ways in which, by combining business and government, it is possible to add value to the intellectual enterprise.

It is important for the Faculty to be able to understand, appreciate and articulate its core values, and the relationship between its core intellectual traditions for a number of reasons:

  1. These values and relationships should inform everything we do. They should permeate our research and teaching in ways that shape both the content of our work and the processes we adopt to deliver that content.
  2. These values and relationships should be our distinctive 'edge' and unique selling point. We should build our marketing and external relationships around these ideas, ensuring that they are consistently communicated, albeit through a range of different mediums.
  3. Our research, consultancy and engagement activities should be guided by these values and contribute to their ongoing realisation.
  4. Our students should recognise them as distinctive qualities that they have gained by studying in our Faculty. Alongside the more generic factors that emphasise the quality of their courses, students should also be able to articulate these values and relationships and point to them as something which adds to their knowledge and employability.

Consequently, the purpose of this document is to construct a narrative that is shared across all staff and students. It will not only guide the Faculty's future but also become a fundamental part of how we discuss our goals and activities.

The Faculty's Core Values

While the Faculty discussed a range of values that underpin its work, or which we think should underpin our work, these can be distilled down to three core values:

  • Enterprise and Innovation – infusing innovation, creativity and enterprising activity into everything we do, adding the edge ('attitude') to both our practice and outcomes.
  • Social value and responsibility – ensuring that the institutions of business and government, as understood through our research and teaching, add value to society and behave responsibly.
  • Sustainability - making sustainability part of everyday living, learning and working, in order to shape a more adaptive, resilient and prosperous future.

We see these three values as forming a triple bottom line which shapes our activities. We recognise that there are ongoing tensions between them. For example, enterprise and innovation is does not always support sustainability, while implementing sustainable futures may not always be in the short term benefits of particular communities; and so on. However, we see such tensions a source of creativity in how we might think and act as a Faculty. Moreover, our challenge is to balance the values of the triple bottom line.

We elaborate each value in more detail below. In each instance, we first define what we understand by the value before going on to suggest ways in which the values might fit with our main activities of research, teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate, including international work) and community engagement.

Enterprise and Innovation

Enterprise and innovation fit together as a core value because they capture the extent to which the Faculty aspires to be on the leading edge of developments in the institutions of business and government. Enterprise can have meanings as both a noun and an adjective. As a noun it refers particularly to a business organisation, a key focus of much of the Faculty's work. As an adjective it can be used to lay claims to being enterprising; that is, a willingness to undertake new ventures and to show initiative. Innovation fits nicely with enterprise in so far as it emphasises the Faculty's aspiration to encourage new ways of thinking and acting. In its adjectival form, individuals and organisations can be innovative.

Both enterprise and innovation relate to 'new' initiatives. Enterprise relates particularly to 'prosperity' or profit making, while innovation can have a broader meaning beyond the financial. Both are related to risk taking; risk due to acceptance by the target market. Enterprise and innovation can be limited by creativity concerns, by being more comfortable with the way things are currently done (the status quo), through lack of time or other resources, through a lack of freedom (of time, resources, planning – e.g. class timing, assessment methods etc), by fear of the initiative not working and so on.

Enterprising and innovative people have an underlying conviction that there is always an alternative.

Innovation, creativity and enterprising activity are infused in everything we do, adding the edge ("attitude") to sustainable and responsible practice.

Social value and responsibility

As the Faculty of Business, Government & Lawwe see ourselves closely linked to society, adding social value to Canberra and the ACT, the surrounding parts of rural and regional NSW and to all the areas, both domestic and international, that our students, staff members and community partners come from. Focusing on the two core institutions of business and government, we should aim for all of our activities to add social value; that is, to add to the well-being of individuals and communities.

Responsibility is a key component of social value in that it requires staff and students to think carefully about the types of institution they are promoting and the ways in which they are adding value. Building social capital, or adding social value, should not be a zero-sum game, in which some elements of society gain at the expense of others. Rather, adding social value should be seen as a responsible activity which pays attention to issues of equity and mutuality. Social responsibility captures the existing work of the Faculty in relation to corporate social responsibility. However, it also suggests a wider series of duties for the faculty in terms of its intellectual mission, encompassing: a duty to promote the long term success of our economies, creating the conditions for all individuals and communities to prosper; a duty to foster ethical behaviour among enterprises of all types which ensures that no groups or individual are unfairly exploited and; a duty to embed environmentally responsible behaviour in the activities of all institutions in the broad area of business, government & law.

Sustainability

As the third core value, sustainability captures our responsibility to the environment and the contemporary concern with sustainable behaviour. However, we can also use the term 'sustainability' in a much broader sense to refer to social, political and economic sustainability.

The integration of sustainable thinking, learning and decision making is essential in local, national and international markets and contexts. Striving to reconcile economic, environmental and societal needs will determine new benchmarks for business and government as we transform to a low carbon economy. By making sustainability part of everyday living, learning and working, we are shaping a more adaptive, resilient and prosperous future.

Linking Values and Activities

What do these values mean for our core activities of teaching, research and community engagement? For them to have meaning we need to enact them through all of our activities. In enacting them we both interpret them in relation to our specific activities and fill them with meaning in the way in which we use them. These values work in two ways: as both content and process.

As content, we need to ensure that they become core to our teaching, research and community engagement. They should be a narrative that underpins what we teach, the research impact that we aim to have, and the contribution that we make to the community.

As process, they should also shape how we set about our activities. Our teaching, research and community engagement need to show elements of enterprise and innovation, add social value responsibly, and be based on sustainable practices.

Working in the Business, Government & Lawnexus

Several principles need to underpin our work.

  1. Disciplinary excellence, and mutual recognition of the different contributions of distinctive academic disciplines to our work, remains central to our approach. Regardless of the administrative distinctions we have created, we need to protect and build disciplinary excellence as the basis of everything we do.
  2. As a Faculty, our distinctive contribution may lie in our capacity to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration and inter-disciplinary approaches that focus on the nexus between business, government & law.
  3. Not all of our work needs to fall within the nexus. Indeed, in the pursuit of disciplinary excellence we should also support and foster work which lies outside of it. However, we should, wherever possible, seek opportunities to develop multi-disciplinary work which contributes to our distinctive and unique position within the nexus.

One way of thinking about our distinctive contribution is to think about how we aim to shape the three institutions of business, government & lawto have different outcomes.

See also: School of Law Mission Statement