On behalf of Hector Rocha,BUSINESS WITH PURPOSE AND THE PURPOSE OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN A POST PANDEMIC WORLD
Sponsoring Divisions: SIM / OMT
Organizers: Hector Rocha, Michael Pirson, and Roy Suddaby
Both the Covid-19 crisis and the emergence of innovative business models like B-Corps, Conscious Capitalism, and Blueprint for Better Business offer a powerful signal that the foundational assumptions of competitive capitalism are increasingly in doubt. Business schools, however, appear to be followers rather than leaders in this historical moment of social change. While consumers and businesses are experimenting with new models of capitalism premised on balancing profits with social purpose, business schools have been slow to change and appear to be struggling with their identity and purpose. But, what might be the purpose of business in a post-pandemic scenario? What would a post-pandemic business school look like? What might be the foundational values of a post-pandemic market system? The aim of this Symposium is to explore these questions in conversation with five thought leaders and prominent innovators of management education and business practice.
Jay Coen Gilbert
Co-founder of B-Lab
Executive Co-Chair of Imperative21
Charles Wookey (CW)
Founder and CEO of Blueprint for Better Business
Raj Sisodia, Ph.D.
FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College.
Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc.
Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of BusinessLee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Department Head and Professor of Management
Carl H. Lindner College of Business
University of Cincinnati
Professor of Business Policy and Entrepreneurship
Director, Center for Integral Sustainable Development
IAE Business School
Director, Center for Humanistic Management
Associate Professor for Global Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship
Research Fellow, Harvard University
Peter B. Gustavson School of Business
University of Victoria
Carson College of Business
Washington State University
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed serious flaws in the institutions of modern capitalism. Global supply chains have been slow to react to spiking demand for medical equipment. The pandemic has disproportionately affected the poor, contingent workers, and the elderly, and threatens to accelerate the pace of global inequality. The virus has also revealed the errors of decades of chronic underfunding of public institutions by governments elected on the promise of continually reducing taxes. Perhaps most critically, the virus has inverted the assumptive logic of neoliberalism which places economic interests at the base of our implicit hierarchy of needs and consigns health, related humanitarian needs, and, ultimately, happiness to the secondary status of epiphenomena. The COVID crisis fundamentally challenges the prevailing assumptions of corporate market capitalism, that is, profit as the fundamental purpose of business (Friedman, 1970), opportunism as the key feature of managers´ behavior (Jensen & Meckling, 1976), and competition as the key process for reaching prosperity (Porter, 1998). The crisis demonstrates that there are more profound ontological 'givens' such as human dignity ( Pirson et al., 2016) than the right to earn profits. The global pandemic questions the prevailing assumption that a thriving economy will ensure social wellbeing, inviting academics to understand and tackle the new societal grand challenges (cf. George et al. 2016).
These challenges hold serious implications for the role of business schools and management education. For some time now, business schools have been subject to considerable criticism for their failure to lead the process of normative change in a context where the ontological assumptions of capitalism have become increasingly suspect. In particular, there has been a growing concern that management education places excessive emphasis on profit maximization at the expense of societal wellbeing and concern for the natural environment (Ghoshal, 2005; Pfeffer, 2005), that prevailing management theories and business school education actually reinforce negative social values of greed and self-interest (Wang & Murnighan, 2011; Rocha and Ghoshal, 2006), and that business schools have been complicit actors in a long list of prominent corporate scandals (Podolny, 2009). Management education appears to have lost its soul and purpose (Bennis & O'Toole, 2005; Khurana, 2007; Murcia, Rocha, & Birkinshaw, 2018).
The quarantine response to the COVID-19 crisis has created the reflective space to revisit the core assumptions of business and management education. The crisis also appears to have granted us an opportunity to rethink the foundational institutions of capitalism. The aim of the Professional Development Workshop is to explore the purpose of businesses and management education within a context of a re-imagined Capitalism in a post-pandemic era. We will explore three main questions:
We will explore these ideas in conversation with thought leaders and prominent innovators of both management education and business practice. Briefly they are:
Collectively, these individuals have led an emerging movement dedicated to redefine the purpose of business and the nature of market capitalism. A unifying assumption of their individual projects is the shared belief that the challenges of capitalism are insurmountable obstacles but, rather, require a creative restatement of the core values and purpose of business in society. They also each share a unifying assumption that business schools play a pivotal role in legitimating this change.
We engaged these innovators in conversation around the broad question of how we might "re-enchant" (Suddaby, Ganzin & Minkus, 2019) market capitalism and the role that business schools might play in that process.
In this PDW we will allow for a collaborative space to discuss options for concerned educators and administrators on how business can serve the interests of humanity and make business schools leaders in this historical moment of social change.
The Workshop will consist of an introduction followed by an interactive, collaborative dialogue between the convenors, the leaders, and the audience around the three proposed questions.
Hector Rocha, Michael Pirson, and Roy Suddaby will outline the workshop goals and introduce the structure of the PDW.
Question 1 - What might be the foundational values of a post-pandemic market system?
Roy Suddaby will moderate this panel
Question 2 - What might be the purpose of business in a post-pandemic scenario?
Michael Pirson will moderate this panel
Question 3 - What would a post-pandemic business school look like?
Hector Rocha will moderate this panel
Elaine Hollensbe will identify themes and ideas that emerged from the panel discussions and provide closing remarks.
Bennis, W. G., & O'Toole, J. (2005). How business schools have lost their way. Harvard Business Review, 83(5), 96-104.
Friedman, M. (1970). A Friedman doctrine: The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York Times Magazine, 13(1970), 32-33.
George, G., Howard-Grenville, J., Joshi, A., Tihanyi, L. 2016. Understanding and tackling societal grand challenges through management research. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6): 1879-1894.
Ghoshal, S. (2005). Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management learning & education, 4(1), 75-91.
Khurana, R. (2007). From higher aims to hired hands: The social transformation of American business schools and the unfulfilled promise of management as a profession. Princeton University Press.
Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. (1976). Agency Costs and the Theory of the Firm. Journal of financial economics, 3(4), 305-360.
Murcia, M. J., Rocha, H. O., & Birkinshaw, J. (2018). Business schools at the crossroads? A trip back from Sparta to Athens. Journal of Business Ethics, 150(2), 579-591
Pfeffer, J. (2005). Why do bad management theories persist? A comment on Ghoshal. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(1), 96-100.
Pirson, M., Goodpaster, K., & Dierksmeier, C. 2016. Guest Editors' Introduction: Human Dignity and Business. . Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4).
Porter, M. E. (2008). On competition. Harvard Business Press.
Rocha, H. O., & Ghoshal, S. (2006). Beyond self‐interest revisited. Journal of Management Studies, 43(3), 585-619.
Suddaby, R., Ganzin, M., & Minkus, A. (2017). Craft, magic and the re-enchantment of the world. In Management Research (pp. 41-72). Routledge.
Wang, L., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011). On greed. Academy of Management Annals, 5(1), 279-316.
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