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Keys to success in entrepreneurship

22 May 2019
Awards & Achievements

At a time when nine out of 10 start-ups fail, it is increasingly important to identify the actions and behaviours that are most likely to lead to successful entrepreneurship.

Recently awarded the Ian Davies Professorship in Ethics, Professor Simon S.K. LAM has been conducting research into ethical leadership and entrepreneurship as well as teaching the subject for many years. He believes that the study of business ethics is crucial to understanding what lies behind the poor management decisions that often result in company failures. His research has shown that ethical behaviour is a key foundation stone for a successful business. Ethical behaviour leads to customer buy-in, resulting in higher sales and more profits, stronger employee loyalty, an increase in the company’s appeal as an employer, enhanced appeal to investors who know their money will be wisely spent, and a stronger company reputation.

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “become rich, then be a paragon of virtue (發財立品)”. Professor Lam, however, thinks the opposite. “My research provides strong and clear evidence showing that the ethical behaviour of entrepreneurs can bring substantial and significant benefits to their companies. Start-ups will have a higher survival rate when the management philosophy of the founders is based on ethical practices and behaviour,” he says.

Professor Lam has published 17 A-grade management journal papers in his research areas as well as a best-selling book, “Entrepreneurial Quotient”, published in 2018. “Having conducted years of in-depth research of these cases, I have created a highly practical ‘Entrepreneurial Quotient’ system which has become a pocket guide manual that readers can carry with them for reference on their entrepreneurial journey,” he explains.

Professor Lam is Professor of Management at FBE, as well as Director of the Centre of Asian Entrepreneurship and Business Values, and Head of the Faculty’s Management and Strategy Area. He is also a senior editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Management.

The Ian Davies Professorship in Ethics espouses the qualities of integrity, the spirit and principles of ethics and the sharing of knowledge gained for the betterment of society.