Founding Philosophy: Human Governance

What makes PBS truly unique is our philosophy

The recurrence of corporate scandals since Enron and World Com reflects the failure of corporate governance as a strategy to manage organisations through external rules and regulations. Corporate behaviour is but a projection of human behaviour, thus we posit that good governance should focus on the behaviour of humans within the organisation as opposed to that of the organisation per se.

We term this governance strategy human governance. Human governance, as an internal guiding light, emphasises ethical conduct through values- and principles-based framework. We believe that once human governance is actualised, good corporate governance will ensue.

All of us at PBS – management, faculty, and staff alike – are wholly committed to human governance as the bedrock of a sound, realistic, and forward-looking corporate philosophy. We are, in fact, introducing a new paradigm of business that fosters harmony in all human endeavours. Overall, we believe that in order to prosper and serve society, business leaders must be nurtured as human beings with strong ethical values and deep-rooted morality.


The difference between a Human Being and Being Human

Being human means being guided by a common set of principles inherent in every human being. These unwritten principles are built into each and every one of us irrespective of colour or creed, to help us differentiate between right and wrong and how to treat your fellow human being.

To be a human being is insufficient if one does not behave with a “conscience”. Having a conscience distinguishes us as the highest form of life on this planet, with the ability to consider what is best for the Common Good, being trustees of life as we know it.

From time immemorial, cultures around the world have attempted to identify the qualities of what it means for a human being to do the right thing. It is beyond being moral, and being ethical – it is being fundamentally, human. It is who we are, what we are intended when we were first created and what we need to become.

The common qualities such as honesty, integrity, respect, trust and excellence – collectively known as ‘virtues’ – are recognised in every society. It guides the development and survival of every culture. Its success has shown that civilisations flourish, and neglect causes eventual decay.

Governance Issues in Business

Organisations and businesses follow the same principles. Of late, we have seen corporations around the world doing much wrong in the interest of maximising profit. Communities, shareholders, and employees have fallen victim to greedy, selfish executives from major corporate scandals such as Enron, Arthur Andersen and so on.

The financial crisis of 2008 which we are still recovering from stems from such greed over a sustained period. Business schools have taught how to profit and grow without constraints, without caring about what happens to the rest of society, and community – executives as human beings but not being human.

Putra Business School’s Charter

PBS was established “to provide higher education with a view to nurture human leaders who subscribe to human governance as embodied in whole persons”. As a business school, our emphasis therefore is to nurture the ability to use our conscience to guide future managers and leaders and how they may be applied to every subject taught.