College of Business {College of Business}

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MBA helps students think beyond the bottom line

News + Events : MBA helps students think beyond the bottom line

12/10/2007

College of Business

The biennial report, "Beyond Grey Pinstripes," monitors how
well business schools are integrating social and environmental topics into their
curricula. It compared data from 111 business schools in 20 countries and found
that social and environmental topics have increased in business programs by
about 20 percent since 2005.

Murray Silverman, professor of management and sustainable
business, saidProfessor Murray Silverman the Aspen study demonstrates a growing need for business leaders
who understand social and environmental issues. "Both consumers and suppliers
are asking a lot more of businesses in terms of how their products and services
impact the environment and their communities."

To meet this need, Silverman and colleagues from the College of
Business created the MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business this fall. The
concentration is designed to give students the skills to transform mainstream
companies into more socially responsible, ethical and environmentally conscious
businesses. "We're creating traditional MBA graduates first, but ones who have
developed a sustainable vision that they can call upon to help existing,
mainstream businesses become more sustainable," said Silverman.

The program is the first of its kind in the CSU system.
Students study the impact of business on the natural environment, the ways
businesses respond to environmental issues, socially responsible marketing, and
how to identify sustainable business opportunities. "A lot of business people
think of environmental and social issues as threats," said Silverman. "But these
are opportunities -- opportunities to enhance a company's reputation, to excite
the people who work there, and to develop new products and services." Five
faculty members teach full-time in the sustainable business emphasis.

All students in the College of Business will be thinking beyond
the bottom line during Ethics Week, Nov. 5-9. Begun last year, the weeklong
program gives faculty members in such fields as finance, accounting, information
systems, hospitality management and decision sciences the opportunity to
integrate issues of ethics and social responsibility into their courses. "Ethics
isn't something you study in one class and leave behind after you graduate,"
said Assistant Professor of Management Denise Kleinrichert, who teaches in the
sustainable business emphasis and is one of the Ethics Week organizers. "It's
something business people need to think about no matter what they are
doing."

Jon Hoak, chief ethics and compliance officer at
Hewlett-Packard, and Kim Winston, manager of civic and community affairs at
Starbucks Coffee Co., will speak to students in the MBA program at two events
during the week.

For more information on the MBA Emphasis in Sustainable
Business
, contact Professor Murray Silverman at: msliver@sfsu.edu.

For information on Business Ethics
Week
, contact Assistant Professor Denise Kleinrichert at: dk@sfsu.edu.

—Barbara
Hanscome, SF State News, October 22, 2007    


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