Royal Bank unveils supplier code of conduct after outsourcing backlash

The Royal Bank of Canada has pledged not to send work offshore when salary savings is the primary reason….“I think this is a well-balanced response, appropriate to the issue and appropriate to the reality of the employment world in 2013,” said Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, in the Toronto Star May 24. “It hits a balance between consumer and public and government expectations on how a major institution like a bank should behave, but in its wording it still gives flexibility for efficiency.” Read full story.

North American, with a difference
Er Shun and Da Mao, the two giant pandas on loan from China that drew huge crowds when they were shown to the public this month at the Toronto Zoo, are also part of a role-playing exercise in a Canadian MBA program, reported the New York Times May 27. Stephen Weiss, professor and MBA program director at York University’s Schulich School of Business, who is preparing a case study about the decade-long Canadian-Chinese negotiations for the loan of the pandas, told his university’s online newsletter that the negotiations “are ripe for study because they encompass a complex mix of diplomatic, legal, language and cross-cultural issues.” Read full story.

Navigating the tough times on Facebook
Is Facebook sending people into sad basements of creepy solipsism, or is it, as its COO Sheryl Sandberg put it on CBC radio the other day: “[helping] them share…their authentic selves?”…“There is as much negative as positive sentiment expressed on social media, [just like] anywhere in social life,” said York University Professor David Toews in the Toronto Star May 24. He believes Facebook is just one social milieu among many others and the rules work similarly in them all. “If the social environment is the street then certain identities are chosen and performed. If the social environment is the workplace then other kinds of identities are salient.” Read full story.

Gyms, libraries, lunch – the gurdwara’s got it all (and wedding crashers are welcome)
All gurdwaras are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so even if a wedding with hundreds of guests is taking place, you still have freedom to go pray, meditate or have a meal whenever you like….Other religious spaces such as churches or mosques have also served as community centres, York University sociology Professor Michael Nijhawan pointed out in The Globe and Mail May 24. But Nijhawan, who has extensively studied Sikh populations, mentioned that one of the first gurdwaras in Canada, located in Vancouver, “for a long time served as a community place for other South Asians (including Muslims, Hindus and others) as well.” The fact that they’re open to anyone reflects what he calls a “radical openness”. Read full story.

Fundraiser will help alleviate plight of refugees
The University of Toronto Refugee Alliance has forged an alliance with the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, University of British Columbia and Harvard University for a program called Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER). “BHER offers the world’s first postsecondary education system to the world’s largest refugee settlement in Dadaab, Kenya,” said Madiha Naseem, co-founder of the University of Toronto Refugee Alliance, in the Brampton Guardian May 24. “The unique thing this about these scholarships is that instead of offering deserving students an opportunity to come and study abroad, BHER provides them with the option of pursuing higher education in their own community.” Read full story.

Toronto Mayor Ford’s alleged crack use hasn’t hurt Moody’s ratings
More than two years into Ford’s tenure, which has included reports he was video-taped inhaling crack cocaine, a conflict-of-interest lawsuit and a photograph of him reading briefing notes while driving, Moody’s Investors Service has praised North America’s fourth-largest city for reducing spending and cutting debt….While the city’s debt has taken Ford’s controversies in stride, Toronto’s reputation has taken a beating that may slow investment, said York University Professor Richard Leblanc in the Financial Post May 24. “Jon Stewart, American comedians have had a field day with this,” said Leblanc. “From an investment and jobs point of view, people will refrain from investing and brokering deals because they believe the mayor can’t get the votes. You’re waiting for the next mayor with the authority and gravitas to make deals.” Read full story.

The roots of wrongful conviction: It’s all in the technique
“False confessions and mistaken eyewitness identifications both contribute substantially to documented cases of wrongful convictions in North America,” co-wrote York University Professor Timothy Moore in The Lawyers Weekly’s May 31 issue. “Scientific, legal and journalistic research has contributed to our understanding of the causes of wrongful conviction, and to potential reforms for reducing its risk. Such reforms have been studied and in some cases implemented in Canada, the United States and Britain.” Read full story.