Environment, Ethics and Society: Ross School Among the Best
The Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranks the Ross School No. 2 in the world for integrating social, environmental and ethical issues.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Ross School of Business is one of the two best business schools in the world for integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its MBA program, according to the Aspen Institute's 2007-08 Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of business schools.
"Compared to other business schools in our survey, Michigan offers a truly extraordinary number of courses featuring relevant content and does a truly extraordinary job in those courses explicitly addressing how mainstream business improves the world," said Rich Leimsider, director of the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education.
In addition to its overall No. 2 ranking (behind Stanford), the Ross School also ranked first for faculty research and fourth in course content.
Ross School Dean Robert Dolan says that social and environmental responsibility is a cornerstone of the school's broad-based management education led by world-class faculty.
"It's gratifying to see our faculty celebrated for integrating issues of social responsibility and environmentally sustainable business into their teaching and research," he said. "In our approach to leadership education, we emphasize that our students will need to address these issues in their careers, whether they work in the public, private or nonprofit sectors¿or all three."
The Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey found that the Ross School offers more than 50 courses in 10 different academic areas, along with some 30 activities (seminars, internships, competitions, clubs, centers, etc.) that integrate social, environmental or ethical perspectives.
The Ross School is home to the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, Center for International Business Education and the William Davidson Institute's Global Impact Internship Program. In addition, core and elective courses noted in the survey included Applied Microeconomics, Human Behavior and Organization, Non-Market Strategy, and Finance and the Sustainable Enterprise.
"In the Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey, success is measured not by how much new MBA graduates earn or how many offers they get, but by how well prepared they are to guide a company through the complex relationship of business and society, where issues relating to the environment or the well-being of a community can impact a company's performance and reputation," said Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. "While graduate business schools are finding the ability to deal with such issues an increasingly important part of the training for successful business leaders, there is still room for innovation and improvement."
The survey collected data from more than 100 full-time MBA programs in 18 countries. Among the findings:
—The percentage of schools that require students to take a course dedicated to business and society issues has increased from 34 percent in 2001 to 63 percent in 2007.
—Since the last survey in 2005, the number of elective courses per school dedicated to social and environmental content has increased 20 percent and the number offering such content in required core courses has increased in most business disciplines.
—Nearly a third of the schools offer a special concentration or major that allows MBAs to focus on social and environmental issues inherent in mainstream, for-profit business.
—Change is still occurring slowly when it comes to published academic research on social or environmental topics. About 5 percent of faculty at all schools surveyed published research that examined social or environmental impact or business opportunities.
The complete ranking of the Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2007-08 "Global 100" business schools can be found at www.beyondgreypinstripes.org .
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