One of the many goals for the Center for Ethical & Sustainable Business (CESB) is to raise awareness of ethical, environmental, and social sustainable concerns during the other 51 weeks of the year. Likewise, the Center promotes embedding such content in ALL courses across the business curriculum.
Too often such concerns are either ignored or, if addressed, are relegated to a sidebar reading buried deep in the textbook about an obviously deep-green company like Tom’s Shoes or Patagonia and not related to the other 99 percent of the course delivery.
CESB Teaching Awards
In our inaugural teaching award competition we asked the LFCoB faculty to show us how they embedded ethics and sustainability into courses not already obviously centered on such topics. Many faculty rose to the challenge, and here are this year's recipients of the CESB Teaching Awards, listed in alphabetical order.
2022 Teaching Award Recipients
After covering how to optimize businesses with business process management and optimization in his Information Systems for Management (ISYS 363) course, Daniel Ciomek features the Ethics of Eating presentation from the Educated Choices Program, which is followed by a discussion covering the current industrial food production in light of ethical aspects for human health, the animals, and the environment, and introduces potential solutions such as plant-based alternatives. He reports that its non-dogmatic approach usually leads to a great discussion.
Matt Fisher embeds relevant content in four of the 15 weeks of his Brand Management (MKTG 675) course that span a wide range of concerns. He illustrates the role marketers may play in reinforcing or rejecting harmful norms, such how children’s toys and colors relate to gender stereotypes and cosmetics companies can position products to highlight “natural beauty” instead of fixing a deficiency related to unrealistic standards. He makes use of his self-authored Shinola case study to show how branding can focus on the workers and the community to differentiate that brand, and have positive financial impact as well. He ends the class with a seminar on brand activism.
Professor Antoaneta Petkova mentions “According to many students, BUS 690 Business Policy and Strategy is ‘the opposite’ of BUS 682 Business and Society in that it… [just].. focuses on profit maximization.” To combat this perception, she employs multiple approaches, the most involved of which is that her students engage in a term-long team project analyzing a local organization with a substantive social and/or environmental purpose, culminating final presentations and discussions of each teams’ ethics and sustainability recommendations.
In her Introduction to Financial Accounting (ACCT 100) courses, Professor Joanne Sopt makes use of forum-based assignments to have students learn about the ethical dangers of having only a single story available in accounting, and then delves into the lack of diversity in accounting. Throughout the term she revisits a Nike case study that highlights fraud and ethics issues. Professor Sopt states, “My goal with these discussion posts and group project is for the class to reflect on some of the ethical considerations around accounting.”
Professor Lihua Wang teaches Global Strategic Management (IBUS 690) and focuses on ethics and worker’s rights in the global supply chain, including having her students write up and discuss a case related to workers' rights and child labor. This case was self-authored along with fellow IBUS faculty Yim-Yu Wong, Ph.D. and Gerardo Ungson, Ph.D.