Corporate governance: key to promoting ethical business alongside financial performance | University of St.Gallen MBA

Corporate governance: key to promoting ethical business alongside financial performance

16 Jun 2022

Ruigrok Winfried

An interview with Prof. Winfried Ruigrok, Elective Course Lecturer, and Dean of Executive School

A mini-blog series, by Daniel Cade

Winfried is responsible for orchestrating the Big Bang, establishing the St. Gallen MBA in 2004! He served as its academic director from 2005-2010 and has continued to teach on it throughout his post as Dean of the Executive School.

“I still feel a strong emotional connection to the programme,” he admitted during our call. “We were told at the start that it could never be done and faced several obstacles, but companies reported needing a strong MBA in this part of the world that would attract international talent. We met this demand by providing ambitious individuals with the necessary tailwind to achieve the next steps in their careers,” he informed me.

I asked how he thought the programme had evolved; 2005 suddenly seemed like a long time ago. “It felt very entrepreneurial at the start; there was a lot of excitement, innovation, and experimentation,” he recalled. “Then came a period of stability, solidifying the cognitive elements of the programme. Now, we’re seeing greater emphasis on developing students’ behavioural and emotional skills – helping them to become more effective leaders and equipping them with the tools to adapt to a constantly evolving field of play.”

Winfried will be teaching an elective on Corporate Governance in the new programme. It forms part of a ‘responsible business’ group of electives that set out to explore how companies interact with the seemingly growing complexities of the world around them. “Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices, and processes by which an entity is directed and controlled, Winfried said. “Managed well, it’s key to promoting ethical business alongside financial performance.”

Thanks to Winfried’s vast network, students will be treated to an array of high-profile guest speakers from Switzerland’s top companies, sharing insights on how they work, the lessons they’ve learned, and the challenges they face!