The last of my Ireland speaking adventures culminated at the National University of Ireland at Galway (NUI Galway), speaking to both students and alumni of their Executive MBA Masterclass on November 22nd and to their graduate students, faculty and alumni on November 25th, sponsored by the Whitaker Institute.
NUI Galway is consistently ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, with their graduate studies programs also holding many honors. The University is a strong advocate of both ethical corporate leadership and whistleblowing, and recently awarded a scholarship for a PhD in Whistleblowing, supervised by Professor Kate Kenny.
I had been corresponding with NUI Galway Dr. Kenny, Professor in Business and Society, about her research on whistleblowing and my speaking at the University. Dr. Kenny is a leading expert on whistleblowing, with two recent books to her credit on this topic; Whistleblowing: Toward a New Theory (Harvard University Press, 2019), and The Whistleblowing Guide: Speak Up Arrangements, Challenges and Best Practices (Wiley, 2019), in addition to numerous articles and scholastic publications.
It was an honor to receive such high praise from Dr. Kenny on my presentation to their Masterclass students and alumni… “Our MBA class was intrigued and inspired by Professor Bowen’s insightful reflections on his experiences of speaking out at the world’s largest bank, testifying to the US government, and his subsequent journey to advocate for ethical organizations and leadership.”
In both of my talks I addressed the challenges I’d experienced at Citigroup as well as gave specific how-to’s on building an ethical corporate culture. I also provided the comprehensive Kellogg business case and PBS documentary link, which sparked considerable questions and discussion.
It was enlightening to share my experiences and offer feedback on the challenges of whistleblowing. The challenges we experience here in the United States with an increasing number of fraud and corruption cases are universal.
It’s critical we continue shedding light on the necessity of whistleblowing as a strong tool to help prevent fraud and corruption. Yet, as I told my esteemed audience, prevention of fraud is even more important, is less costly and less polarizing.