Business can — and should — be a force for good.
Countless business leaders around the world agree: The days of corporations operating solely to maximize profit for their shareholders are behind us. Instead, organizations are prioritizing a slew of additional metrics alongside the bottom line, including their impact on employees, customers, communities and the planet.
Our faculty conduct research that produces insights on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including poverty, food systems, access to quality health care, economic development and beyond.
Servant leaders prioritize multiple stakeholders and work to improve society, while also prospering financially. Fifty years ago, servant leadership was a radical idea, but today it's embraced by many organizations and individuals. In a paper published by Business Horizons, James Lemoine, associate professor of organization and human resources, demonstrates how servant leadership positively impacts five key stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers/partners, the community and shareholders.
When materialistic consumers believe in the American dream — that it’s possible to improve their economic status through hard work — they are less likely to spend impulsively, according research by Sunyee Yoon, assistant professor of marketing. Yoon says the study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, has implications for financial institutions and nonprofits looking to reduce consumer spending and debt.
As online video games increase in popularity, some players are becoming addicted as they seek feelings of achievement and escape, according to research by Lawrence Sanders, professor of management science and systems. Published in Decision Support Systems, the study pointed out warning signs and strategies that families, teachers and gamers themselves can use to address game addiction.
Studies have long shown that, on average, women lag behind men in creative performance, despite having the same skills and abilities. Now, as companies race to innovate, a study led by doctoral researcher Snehal Hora uncovers why this occurs — and what organizations can do to level the playing field. James Lemoine, associate professor of organization and human resources, and School of Management alumna Ning Xu, PhD ’18, also contributed to the research, which was published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.
Through experiential learning opportunities, our students make a positive impact on our local and global communities.
A restorative justice program for survivors of domestic violence. A plan to reduce readmissions at one of the area’s busiest hospitals. A guidebook to help caregivers assist aging relatives.
These are just a few of the projects our Social Impact Fellows have developed at mission-driven organizations around Western New York. Each summer, the fellowship brings together students from the UB School of Management, School of Social Work and College of Arts and Sciences to create social innovation. Working in teams of three, the fellows research a problem facing a community organization, devise a solution and then compete for funding to implement their idea.
Our Nonprofit Board Fellowship introduces MBA students to the intrinsic value of board service, connecting them with community organizations for leadership development and hands-on impact. The MBAs learn the concepts of board governance, servant leadership, and diversity and inclusion, while serving as non-voting board members with local nonprofits for an academic year.
Our UB MBA Consulting Group completes several projects each year for small- to medium-sized businesses or nonprofits, making a tangible impact on these organizations and adding to their own skill sets at the same time. “We choose projects that are ambitious and can help organizations in the community,” says Alexandra McLeod, MBA ’17 (pictured at right with her team).
With the team skills, global and diversity mindset, and strategic thinking our students develop during their coursework, they are poised, as alumni, to make a difference throughout their careers.
Our doctoral students hone their research skills and make discoveries that address problems that are important to business and society. Each year, that culture of innovation is on display for the entire university to see during the annual PhD Showcase.
Last year, one student presented on why consumers may feel indifferent toward animal-friendly products. Another researcher shared an automated system she developed that helps doctors better understand patient needs — and that's only the beginning.
Through our array of dual and collaborative programs, UB MBA students master the business of their business. They complement their passion with a management degree, improve their marketability and gain skills that help them make a difference in fields like social work, law, pharmacy, medicine and public health.
"My mission is to create opportunity and drive economic development through real estate," says Lindsay Macaluso, MSRED/MBA ’18. “Above all, my dual degrees grant agility: I can deploy the technical skills and industry expertise gleaned from the real estate program alongside the strategic orientation and global mindset I cultivated in the MBA program.”
As part of our mission, the School of Management "produces principled and insightful leaders who create positive change in the world." Here, ethics are woven throughout the curriculum of every program.
In his business law class, Chris Nickson prompts discussion around situations where legal compliance may not, ethically, be enough. James Lemoine studies moral leadership and encourages his students to debate ethical issues and understand opposing perspectives. Even classes in finance, accounting, strategy and other areas wrestle with ethics and such topics as the gender pay gap.
Concentrations allow our students to define their career goals and customize an academic program to achieve them. With a health care management concentration, UB MBAs can make a positive impact on an industry that profoundly affects us all. Through coursework and action learning opportunities, they learn how to tackle societal health care challenges using their management skills and become leaders in an increasingly complex system.
To make a lasting social impact, we partner with organizations across sectors.
Our partners include:
To spark conversation and inspire change, we bring thought leaders from around the country to campus to discuss the social impact of management.
Feb. 10, 2023 - London Business School Professor Alex Edmans on the Power of Purposeful Business