Company management between corporate governance and corruption
»Every second company is victim of economic crime!«
Together with Transparency International, HILL International invited to the Management Jour Fixe in the Austrian Kontrollbank, to discuss new approaches to corporate governance and corruption prevention.
Gerald Karner (HILL International) showed possible causes for offences towards corporate governance, and presented new approaches for the selection of managers. He sees the right choice of managers through professional analyses of aptitude, under consideration of the personality structure, as key factor for successful management.
Also intensive training, coaching and mentoring are efficient means to encourage and support managers, according to him. »Unfortunately these methods are still not used frequently enough, especially regarding young managers.« Beyond that, »Self-discipline and exemplary behavior are vital management principles«, says the HILL expert. Correct behavior of the managers, trust and control to the same measure strengthen the employees and the management culture.
Transparency International Chapter Austria (TI-AC) was introduced by Eva Geiblinger. One of the goals of TI-AC is the increase of sensitivity towards corruption. »We do not point fingers at individual cases«, said Geiblinger, »but rather are trying to act systematically. The creation of publicity regarding the issue of transparency and corruption is an essential component in the work of TI-AC.«
The chair of the board of TI-AC also presented numbers and facts of the economic crime in Austria and the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which mirrors the perceived corruption in the public sector. Austria is placed at rank 15 on this index, for which a total of 163 countries were evaluated. Top of the list are Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand, the last ranks are filled by Iraq, Myanmar, and Somalia. Practical approaches like directed control opportunities – for example the so-called »Whistleblower Monitoring System«, in which an ombudsman of the company puts himself out against corruption – were also discussed.
The methodic and systematic minimization of risks and damages through the implementation of an early warning system were explained in detail by Karl-Heinz Marko (Telekom Austria, STI School of Governance, Risk & Compliance). »Every person must bring an average of 7% of his/her lifetime performance for corruption, and every second company becomes a victim of economic crime, whereas 63% of all cases of economic crime take place in the sales sector.« The term »social adequacy« was also mentioned, which means to distinguish the difference between bribery (accepting a fur coat) and politeness (a cup of coffee).
The audience proved to be very eager for knowledge in the following discussion with the round of experts. Questions like: »Do companies even want to work without corruption?« (Friedrich Pammer, Rechnungshof) and »Is the people's insufficient consciousness of wrong the reason for the high corruption rate?« (Robert Fischer, Lower Austria Chamber of Doctors, Donau University Krems) led to an interesting dialogue with experts from various areas of Austrian companies. The conclusion was that it is not as easy as it seems to avoid corruption, even if one wants to!
»A certain style in the interaction with people is the most important thing«, said moderator Othmar Hill as a closing statement, »because, if you offend the minister during dinner, even the best bribe won't help anymore!«