Ralph Hower HBS

Prof. Ralph Hower (Harvard Business School) collaborated in the setting up of Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE), the business school of the University of Navarre




El 7 de octubre de 1967 tuvo lugar, en el Aula Magna de la Universidad de Navarra, el acto académico de investidura del grado de doctor honoris causa de los Profesores Guilherme Braga da Cruz, de la Universidad de Coimbra —de la que fue Rector—, en Derecho; Willy Onclin, de la Universidad Católica de Lovaina, en Derecho Canónico;Ralph M Hower, de la Universidad de Harvard, en Filosofa y Letras; Otto B. Roegele, Director del Instituto de Ciencias de la Información de la Universidad de Munich, en Filosofa y Letras; Jean Roche, Rector de la Universidad de París, en Ciencias Naturales; y, a título póstumo, a Carlos Jiménez Díaz, de la Universidad Complutense, fundador del Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas de Madrid, en Ciencias Naturales. El Gran Canciller Mons. Escrivá de Balaguer, que presidió la investidura, pronunció el discurso aquí recogido.


On October 7, 1967, at the grand auditorium of the University of Navarre, Msgr. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, as Grand Chancellor, presided over the conferral of Doctorates honoris causa on the following persons:


  • Doctor of Laws, Prof. Guilherme Braga da Cruz, University of Coimbra (of which he was Rector);
  • Doctorate in Canon Law, Prof. Willy Onclin, Catholic University of Louvain;
  • Doctorate in Philosophy & Letters, Prof. Ralph M. Hower, of the Harvard Business School;
  • Doctorate in Philosophy & Letters, Prof. Otto B. Roegele, Director of the Institute of Information Sciences, University of Munich;
  • Doctor of Natural Sciences, Prof. Jean Roche, Rector of the University of Paris; and
  • (posthumous) Doctor of Natural Sciences, Prof. Carlos Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Complutense, founder of the Medical Research Institute in Madrid.



Excelentísimos Señores, Dignísimas Autoridades, Ilustre Claustro de esta Universidad, Señoras y Señores:




Luminosa e inmarcesible es la Sabiduría; fácil es de contemplar para quienes la aman y de descubrir por aquellos que la buscan (Sap. VI, 12). Estas inspiradas palabras, que leemos en la Sagrada Escritura, brillan con todo el sentido de su perenne actualidad, en la hora gozosa que vive hoy la Universidad de Navarra.




Consciente de esta responsabilidad ineludible, la Universidad se abre ahora en todos los países a nuevos campos, hasta hace poco inéditos, incorpora a su acervo tradicional ciencias y enseñanzas profesionales de muy reciente origen y les imprime la coherencia y la dignidad intelectual, que son el signo perdurable del quehacer universitario. La Universidad de Navarra se ha esforzado siempre en dar respuesta positiva a tal imperativo de nuestro tiempo, y se honra hoy al acoger en su Claustro de Doctores a dos insignes maestros en estas modernas y actualísimas disciplinas, los Profesores Hower y Roegele.


Aware of this critical responsibility, the University is opening itself up to new fields in all countries -including those hitherto undiscovered and uninvestigated- and has begun incorporating into her curriculum traditional areas of knowledge and professional matters of teaching of recent origin and which imprint upon her university landscape an important intellectual coherence and dignity, which are an enduring sign of the tasks of any university.  The University of Navarre has always exerted effort in giving a positive response to such imperatives of our time, and today honors herself on receiving warmly into her distinguished faculty ranks two very eminent professors -of these modern-day disciplines- Ralph M. Hower and Otto B. Roegele.



El Profesor Ralph M. Hower es un destacado especialista en las Ciencias de la Empresa. Autor de libros y trabajos que le han valido renombre en todo el mundo, en sus estudios aflora siempre el interés por las relaciones humanas en el trabajo, en definitiva la preocupación por el hombre, factor primordial de las actividades económicas y sociales. Con el Profesor Hower y la Escuela de Administración de Empresas de la Universidad de Harvard, la Universidad de Navarra tiene, además, una deuda de gratitud, por la valiosa colaboración que han prestado a los Programas de nuestro Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa. Al honrar al Profesor Hower, rendimos también un homenaje a la gran Universidad de Harvard, de cuyo Claustro nuestro nuevo Doctor es miembro eminente y prestigioso.


Prof. Ralph M. Hower is a well-known and outstanding specialist in the area of the Business Sciences: author of several books, works and publications which have given him renown throughout the world.  In his works, there stand out his great interest in human relations in the workplace, that is, his keen concern for the human person, who is a primordial factor in any economic and social activity.  To Prof. Hower and Harvard Business School, the University of Navarre owes a special debt of gratitude, because it was Prof. Hower who gave valuable contribution to the academic Programs at our Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE).  On honoring Prof. Hower, we likewise render homage to the great Harvard University, among whose ranks our new Doctor is reckoned as an eminent and prestigious member.


A GoogleSearch of “Ralph Hower, Harvard University” reveals the following information:

Ralph M. Hower was a “business historian”, who also specialized in the history of the advertising industry.  He was Editor of the “Business History Review” in the period 1936-1938, and was the Editor of the “Bulletin of the BUSINESS HISTORICAL SOCIETY”.  Among some of his important works are:

  • The history of an advertising agency: N.W.Ayer & Son at work, 1869-1939;
  • History of Macy’s of New York, 1858-1919: Chapters in the evolution of the department store;
  • the journal article “The Boston Conference on Business History” published in the Journal of Economic and Business History, (Vol. 3, 1930-31).



















Ethics in Finance

Ethics in Finance

EXCERPTS from the book “Case Studies in Finance”

Bruner, Eades, Schill

Ethics in Finance

Why One Should Care about Ethics in Finance


Managing in ethical ways is not merely about avoiding bad outcomes.  There are at least five positive arguments for bringing ethics to bear on financial decision-making.

Sustainability. Unethical practices are not a foundation for enduring, sustainable enterprise.  This first consideration focuses on the legacy one creates through one’s financial transactions.  What legacy do you want to leave?  To incorporate ethics into our finance mind-set is to think about the kind of world that we would like to live in and that our children will inherit.



What is “Good”? Consequences, Duties, Virtues


One confronts ethical issues when one must choose among alternatives on the basis of right versus wrong.  The ethical choices may be stark where one alternative in truly right and the other truly wrong.  But in professional life, the alternatives typically differ more subtly, as in choosing which alternative is more right or less wrong.  Ernest Hemingway said that what is moral is what makes me feel good after and what is immoral is what makes one feel bad after.  Because feelings about an action could vary tremendously from one person to the next, this simplistic test would seem to admit moral relativism as the only course, an ethical “I’m OK, you’re OK” approach.  Fortunately 3,000 years of moral reasoning provide frameworks for a better definition of what is right and wrong.

Right and wrong as defined by consequences. An easy point of departure is to focus on outcomes.  An action might be weighed in terms of its utility for society.  Who is hurt or helped must be taken into consideration.  Utility can be assessed in terms of the pleasure or pain for people.  People choose to maximize utility.  Therefore, the right action is that which produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Utilitarianism has proven to be a controversial ideal.  Some critics have argued that this approach might endorse gross violations of the norms that society holds dear, including the right to privacy, the sanctity of contracts, and property rights, when weighed against the consequences for all.  And the calculation of utility might be subject to special circumstances or open to interpretation, making the assessment rather more situation-specific than some philosophers could accept.

Utilitarianism was the foundation for modern neoclassical economics.  Utility has proved to be difficult to measure rigorously, and remains a largely theoretical idea.  Yet utility-based theories are at the core of welfare economics, and underpin analyses of such widely varying phenomena as government policies, consumer preferences, and investor behavior.

Right and wrong as defined by duty or intentions. Immoral actions are ultimately self-defeating.  The practice of writing bad checks, for instance, if practiced universally, would result in a world without check-writing and probably very little credit, too.  Therefore, you should act on rules that you would be required to apply universally.  You should treat a person as an end, never as a means.  It is vital to ask whether an action would show respect for others and whether that action was something a rational person would do: “If everyone behaved this way, what kind of world would we have?”

Critics of that perspective argue that its universal view is too demanding; indeed, even impossible for a businessperson to observe.  For instance, the profit motive focuses on the manager’s duty to just one company.  But Norman Bowie responds, “Perhaps focusing on issues other than profits…will actually enhance the bottom line… Perhaps we should view profits as a consquence of good business practices rather than as the goal of business.”

Right and wrong as defined by virtues. Finally, a third tradition (1) in philosophy argues that the debate over values is misplaced.  The focus should, instead, be on virtues and the qualities of the practitioner.  The attention to consequences or duty is fundamentally a focus on compliance. Rather, one should consider whether an action is consistent with being a virtuous person.  This view argues that personal happiness flowed from being virtuous and not merely from comfort (utility) or observance (duty).  It acknowledges that vices are corrupting.  And it focuses on personal pride.  “If I take this action, would I be proud of what I see in the mirror? If it were reported tomorrow in the newspaper, would I be proud of myself?”  Warren Buffett, chief executive officer (CEO) of Berkshire Hathaway, and one of the most successful investors in modern history, issued a letter to each of his operating managers every year emphasizing the importance of personal integrity.  He said that Berkshire could afford financial losses, but not losses in reputation.  He also wrote, “Make sure everything you do can be reported on the front page of your loacl newspaper written by an unfriendly, but intelligent, reporter.”

Critics of virtue-base ethics raise two objections.  First, a virtue to one person may be a vice to another.  Solomon (1999) points out that Confucius and Friedrich Nietzsche held radically different visions of virtue.  Confucius extolled such virtues as respect and piety, whereas Nietzsche extolled risk-taking, war-making, and ingenuity.  Thus, virtue ethics may be context specific.  Second, virtues can change over time.  What may have been regarded as gentlemanly behavior in the nineteenth century might have been seen by feminists in the late twentieth centry as insincere and manipulative.

A discrete definition of right and wrong remains the subject of ongoing discourse.  But the practical person can abstract from those and other perspectives useful guidelines toward ethical conduct.

–How will my action affect others? What are the consequences?

–What are my motives? What is my duty here? How does this decision affect them?

–Does this action serve the best that I can be?



(1) This view originated in ancient Greek philosophy, starting with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. 



Dissertation Organizational Culture

Dissertation – The Influence of Organizational Culture on the Performance of Philippine Banks

A summary of my dissertation appears in the Sept. 2010 issue of UPDiliman Research News Magazine


The Influence of Organizational Culture on the Performance of Philippine Banks


Introduction: A number of organizational researchers have established or supported the hypothesis that successful companies tend to possess specific cultural traits.  This study determined the nature of the relationship between such cultural traits and organizational performance in the Philippine banking sector.  Specifically, this research verified the notion that organizational culture ―especially when it is strong and adaptive― can influence an organization’s financial performance.

The Culture Strength Perspective suggests that strong cultures, defined as a set of norms and values that are widely shared and strongly held throughout the organization, enhance firm performance.  This is based chiefly on the idea that organizations benefit from having highly motivated employees dedicated to common goals. In particular, the performance benefits of a strong corporate culture are thought to derive from three consequences of having widely shared and strongly held norms and values: enhanced coordination and control within the firm, improved goal alignment between the firm and its members, and increased employee effort.

The Culture Adaptiveness Perspective suggests that an effective organization must develop norms and beliefs that support its capacity to receive and interpret signals from its environment and translate these into internal cognitive, behavioral, and structural changes.  Adaptiveness entails a risk-taking and creative approach to organizational as well as individual life.  This pervasive innovation and nimbleness has come to be called intrapreneurship in the innovation literature, and this characteristic has been shown to be correlated to corporate effectiveness and financial success.

Methodology: A questionnaire survey was administered to managers of 60 Philippine banks as the source of data for organizational culture —its strength, its adaptiveness. [The final survey questionnaire is available with the author upon request.]  Along with the survey questionnaire, an independent collection of financial performance data on the various banking institutions was made.  This has made possible the correlational analysis between the banks’ culture —as revealed by a factor analysis of the responses to the culture survey— and their organizational performance, measured through the institutions’ financial performance data.

Results:  The evidence in this study lends support to the above theoretical relationship, as follows: There is a significant and positive correlation between corporate profitability and the banks’ clarity of vision and consensus (clarity and consistency in corporate vision and values, corporate consensus and coordination, and goal alignment).

Managerial Implications: The findings of this study, involving a survey of 60 banks operating in the Philippines, appear to confirm the suggestion that organizational values do interrelate with organizations’ financial performance, lending evidence to the theory that an organization’s ideology and culture is indeed likely to influence managerial action and decision-making, especially that which could lead to greater organizational effectiveness.  For an industrial environment as dynamic and rapid as that of banks and financial institutions, this result is important, as it suggests recommendations for organizations in relation to the formation of a corporate culture that is meaningful enough to possibly lead to enhanced net profits.  While the findings refer more specifically to banks, a great deal of applicability may be drawn for other industries as well, so that executives and managers may re-think the value and importance of organizational culture.



This article shall be published soon in Social Science Diliman.


Maternal Health

Maternal Health issues against the “Reproductive Health (RH)” Bill


In World Youth Alliance’s International Solidarity Forum (ISF) last March 2010, the following important information was given:

–In the talk given by Dr. Rebecca Austen during the ISF in March, she explained the top causes of maternity mortality being the following:

  1. Infection
  2. Hemorrhage
  3. Obstetric fistula/labor
  4. Hypertensive disorder

–Clearly, NONE of the proposals in the family planning (RH Bill) programs has got anything to do with resolving these problems.  And yet, what the family planning (RH Bill) proposals contain are: contraceptives, condoms, etc.: objects which have to do with prevention of pregnancy instead of assisting mother & child (and providing true health & happiness) during & after childbirth.

–For more info on the issue of Maternal Health, the WYA website leads you toMaterCareUSA.org.



See more here:

World Youth Alliance – Asia Pacific

Official WYA Web Site:




Toy Story 3 & Management Accounting

Toy Story 3 & Management Accounting


My MBA Class’ “Essay on Learnings from ‘Toy Story 3’ ” (by Garrick Lee & Rhyan Reyes)

For the past years, Pixar has been consistently producing excellent animated films that capture the imagination of peoples of all ages: from Monster’s Inc, Cars, and now the latest addition to their repertoire, Toy Story 3.

Toy story 3 is about a group of toys once loved by a young boy named Andy who has now grown up. In just a few days before Andy moved out for college, his mom asked him to classify his things and sort out which would be stored in the attic, which would go to the trash and which would be donated to the daycare. The much neglected toys panic, and this kicked off a crazy adventure that would test the team’s problem-solving skills, teamwork, loyalty and friendship.

The characters in the movie showed us that problems can be solved by teamwork and perseverance.   Having common goals despite huge differences in opinion, temperament, abilities, strengths and weaknesses allowed the characters to prevail over their predicaments and triumph over adversity.  Coordinated strategy transformed the cast of characters into a team whose value was clearly greater than the sum of the individual parts.

The adventure of our motley crew of toys climaxed as they tried to escape the daycare center which they thought would be a safe haven for them. Packed with lots of creativity and enthusiasm, the leader Woody tried to save his friends from the hands of the daycare’s boss, Lots-o, a bad strawberry-smelling pink teddy bear.

Woody was forced into the role of main protagonist by the turn of events and did not shy away from what was asked of him.  Without hesitation, he concocted a plan against the wicked teddy bear to free his friends and this involved all members of the gang, thereby making everyone a valuable part of the adventure. Woody saw the real issues at hand and the events that were hidden from the other characters (wrapped up as they were in a garbage bag).  He held onto an unpopular point of view and would not be easily swayed by popular dissent that was built on false hope.  Our cowboy hero stuck to his guns and was proven right.

On the other hand, the case of Lots-o showed us how decision-making can be greatly affected by emotions. Decisions should not be made at the peak of emotion, whether positive or negative, as this will have a great impact on objectivity and rationality of the whole decision making process. This is what happened to our friend Lots-o, who decided to take over the daycare toys with himself at the top of the tyrannical pyramid.  This action was prompted by heartbreak arising from perceived abandonment by his previous owner, which ultimately led to a despotic, chaotic and unhappy day care environment for the toy characters.

Pixar does not fail to amuse the audience with their heartwarming animated films that are not just fun to watch but full of life’s lessons as well. Toy Story 3 contains valuable lessons in strategic management for MBA students.  It teaches students how to use their creative minds together with their analytical skills in solving problems, and to believe in the value of teamwork. This can be broadened to a corporate setting where various divisions and departments cooperate and strategize in cross functional teams to do great business, thereby satisfying the customer well and adding value to all invested stakeholders.

The film also shows us that one should look at the big picture and consider all the facts before making a huge decision.  And having decided upon a course of action, one should not forget one’s core values and prior commitments so that one will not falter in the face of hardship, or be easily waylaid by quick fixes, short term gains, empty promises and half-truths.  In the corporate setting, top management should know all their facts and figures before making huge changes in the company’s business structure.  Management should keep in mind their mission statement and maintain focus on quality and commitment when they make decisions.  After all true value lasts a lifetime like the friendships of the characters in the movie.

🙂  😉

🙂  😉

Valor educativo y pedagógico de la libertad

Valor educativo y pedagógico de la libertad

San Josemaría – Discursos sobre la Universidad


El 21 de noviembre de 1965, Su Santidad el Papa Pablo VI inauguró oficialmente el Centro Elis, obra corporativa de enseñanza del Opus Dei en Roma. Con ocasión de esa ceremonia, el Santo Padre bendijo la imagen de Santa María Madre del Amor Hermoso, situada en la Ermita del campus de Pamplona de la Universidad de Navarra. Mons. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer pronunció las palabras que aquí se recogen.

On 21 November 1965, His Holiness Pope Paul VI officially inaugurated Centro Elis, an educational corporate work of apostolate of Opus Dei in Rome. On that occasion, the Holy Father blessed the image of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love, belonging to the Shrine of the Pamplona campus of the University of Navarre.  Msgr. Josemaría Escrivá spoke the following words…


Extracto // Excerpts:

En estas aulas, Padre Santo, la juventud obrera que vive en el Centro y que acude a las clases y aprende un oficio noble y útil, se forma cristianamente en la convicción de que el hombre ha sido creado por Diosut operaretur. Esta juventud, Padre Santo, aprende que el trabajo santificado y santificador es parte esencial de la vocación del cristiano responsable, que es consciente de su dignidad, y sabe además que tiene el deber de santificarse y de difundir el Reino de Dios precisamente en ese trabajo y mediante ese trabajo que contribuye a la edificación de la ciudad terrena.

In these classrooms, Holy Father, the working young people who live in this Center and go to class to learn a noble and useful trade, are formed in a Christian manner that man has been created by God ut operaretur. These youths, Holy Father, learn that work, sanctified and sanctifying, is an essential part of the vocation of a responsible Christian, who is aware of his dignity, and who moreover knows that he ought to sanctify and spread the Kingdom of God precisely in his work and through his work which contributes to the building up of the earthly city.

En este ambiente sereno y alegre, similar al de todas las actividades que el Opus Dei desarrolla por gracia de Dios, en todo el mundo, procuramos, Beatísimo Padre, que se respire un clima de libertad, en el que todos se sientan hermanos, bien lejos de la amargura que proviene de la soledad o de la indiferencia. Un clima en el que aprenden a apreciar y a vivir la mutua comprensión, la alegría de una convivencia leal entre los hombres. Amamos y respetamos la libertad, y creemos en su valor educativo y pedagógico. Estamos convencidos de que en un clima así se forman almas con libertad interior, y se forjan hombres capaces de vivir responsablemente la doctrina de Cristo, de poner en práctica virilmente la fe, de practicar con alegría la obediencia interior y devota a las enseñanzas de la Iglesia —entre las que ocupan lugar destacado las de su doctrina social— capaces de amar con todo su corazón y con todas sus fuerzas a la Iglesia de Dios y al Romano Pontífice.

In this serene and happy environment, which is the same as that in every other activity carried out by Opus Dei by the grace of God, we try our best, Holy Father, to ensure that people breathe an air of freedom, in which all of us feel ourselves as brothers/sisters of one another: the joy of a loyal living-together among men and women.  We love and respect freedom, and we believe in its educational and pedagogical value.  We are convinced that in an environment like that, we are able to form souls with interior freedom, and to forge men and women capable of living responsibly the doctrine of Christ, of putting the faith into practice in a manly fashion, of practicing joyfully that interior and devoted obedience to the teachings of Holy Mother Church –among which stand out Her teachings on Social Doctrine–, capable of loving with all their heart and with all their might the Church and the Roman Pontiff.


UNIV Defensa de la vida

UNIV – Pro-vida // Pro-Life


El 9 de mayo de 1974, el Gran Canciller de la Universidad de Navarra presidió la ceremonia de investidura como doctores honoris causa, en Derecho, de Mons. Franz Hengsbach, Obispo de Essen, doctor en Teología por la Universidad de Münster y promotor y Presidente de la Acción «Adveniat» para ayudar a la Iglesia en Hispanoamérica; y en Medicina, del Prof. Jéróme Lejeune, de la Universidad de París. Mons. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer cerró el acto académico, celebrado en el Aula Magna, con el presente discurso.

On 9 May 1974, the Grand Chancellor of the University of Navarre presided over the investiture ceremony in which he conferred the Doctorate honoris causa upon: Msgr. Franz Hengsback, Bishop of Essen (Doctor of Laws), doctoral professor of Theology at the University of Münster and promoter and President of Adveniat in aid of the Church in Latin America; and upon Prof. Jéróme Lejeune, of the University of Paris (Doctor of Medicine). Msgr. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer closed the ceremonies at the Auditorium, with the following speech…



En su dilatada labor pastoral, Monseñor Hengsbach ha mostrado con hechos cómo se conjuga la predicación valiente e incansable de la fe, con la atención sacerdotal a los mineros del Ruhr, con la solicitud por la Iglesia en América Latina, y con el estudio riguroso de la Teología y el Derecho Canónico. Y no es casual que su primer escrito, en 1934, versase sobre la defensa de la vida, frente a criterios aberrantes que se abrían paso por entonces en su patria.

In his long pastoral work, Msgr. Hengsbach has shown with deeds how he combined a courageous and untiring preaching of the Faith, with his Priestly attention to the miners at Ruhr, as well as his concern for the Church in South America, along with his rigorous study of Theology and Canon Law.  And it was not mere chance that his first publication in 1934 would dwell on the topic of the defense of life, in the face of aberrant criteria that were being introduced in his fatherland during his time.


La firme defensa de la vida humana ha llevado al mundo entero el nombre del Profesor Lejeune, de la Universidad de París, a quien la Ciencia universal reconoce unánimemente como uno de sus primeros y más altos investigadores en Genética, esa aventura maravillosa del entendimiento humano, que indaga el origen inmediato de la vida, y la lleva a su plenitud mediante los recursos descubiertos en el oficio inventivo y paciente del laboratorio y de la clínica.

The firm defense of human life has made famous in the entire world the name of Professor Lejeune, of the University of Paris, whom the world of Science recognizes unanimously as one of its first and highest researchers on Genetics, that wonderful adventure of human knowledge, which inspects the very origin of life: he has brought this field to its fullness through his unearthing of resources via his inventive, painstaking and patient work at the laboratory and the medical clinic.


Aquí en este enlace se comparten varios sitios donde se encontrarán material precioso sobre la campaña PRO-VIDA (inglés y español)


In the following link you’d find wonderful material and links in relation to this all-important PRO-LIFE campaign:




We’ve also created the following site so you may be aware of the economic arguments in favor of LIFE and FAMILY:




¡A por la VIDA y la FAMILIA!

YES to Life! YES to Family!