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U-M Ross Unveils Plans for Inaugural Positive Business Conference

11/18/2013 --

Leaders in Positive Business to Discuss Best Practices in Burgeoning Management Field

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Nov. 18, 2013 – The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today announced plans for the first Positive Business Conference. The event will take place May 15-17, 2014, at the Ross School of Business and will share the latest trends, research, and results in positive business, a burgeoning management field. Executives from Procter & Gamble and Ford Motor Company will outline how positive business strategies are impacting employees and profits—both for the better. The conference is part of the Ross mission to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world through business.

A major shift is underway in how organizations manage employees and fuel growth, driven largely by the generation currently entering the workforce that seeks a deeper sense of purpose from employment. As a result, positive business has become a management strategy implemented at organizations of all sizes to improve workplace culture, bring out the full potential of employees, foster resourcefulness, and deliver tangible business results. In fact, research from Ross Professor of Management and Organizations Gretchen Spreitzer found that people who thrive at work demonstrated 16 percent better overall performance (as reported by managers) and 125 percent less burnout (self-reported) than peers. These employees were also 32 percent more committed to the organization and reported 46 percent more job satisfaction.

“At Ross we believe in the power of business to be a force for both economic and social good,” said Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “This new era of competition and globalization demands increased productivity, regular innovation, and results. Positive business practices deliver on that by leveraging the power of people to build businesses focused on long-term gains that benefit individuals, shareholders and communities.”

The Positive Business Conference will bring together nearly 500 business professionals, academics, students, and industry luminaries to collaborate and partner on the latest positive business thinking, best practices, and practical implementation tools. Sessions will delve into how participants can integrate positive business into different industries and job functions, ranging from legal strategies, entrepreneurship, supply chain management, and more.

The three-day program will feature keynote addresses, practitioner case studies, presentations of cutting-edge research from Ross faculty, and hands-on workshops, as well as ample networking opportunities. Confirmed speakers include executives from companies such as Ford Motor Company, and Procter & Gamble. Each speaker will share first-hand experiences and best practices for implementing innovative management that can have a profound positive impact on employees, organizations, and society.

“A growing number of business leaders are building the new world of work, one where employees thrive and businesses reap the benefits of engagement, innovation, and performance,” said Wallace Hopp, senior associate dean for faculty and research at Ross. “The Positive Business Conference will provide a groundbreaking platform for collaboration and co-learning among this growing community. With our top-ranked programs for leadership, operations, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, and awards for impact on management practices, we are excited to bring the resources of Ross to this important topic.”

Pre-Registration Now Open
Registration for the inaugural Positive Business Conference opened November 12. Individual registration is available for $650, with discounts for group and partner attendance. To learn more or register, visit

Sponsorships Available
Initial sponsors of the 2014 Positive Business Conference include Procter & Gamble, Nielsen, Interface, Ernst & Young, Humana, and Cascade Engineering. Select sponsorship opportunities are still available. To learn more, contact

About Ross
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Entrepreneurship, Master of Management, BBA, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

For more information, contact:
For more information, contact: Tamra Talmadge-Anderson, (734) 763-2419,