Details for Robert P. Stiller School of Business, Champlain College
Type of Organization
Type of Education
Undergraduate, Post Graduate
Institution is part of
Burlington, VT, United States
Sign Up Date to PRME
18 Oct 2013
Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission
Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
• Champlain College is a member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR), which “is a non-profit, statewide business trade organization with a mission to advance business ethics that value multiple bottom lines- economic, social, and environmental” (http://vbsr.org/about_vbsr/). Our membership in this organization is evidence of the commitment we have as an institution to CSR issues in our region and beyond.
• The mission statement for the Robert P. Stiller School of Business (SSB) is, “To prepare innovative business professionals who will use their integrity, expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit to create positive change in their workplaces, their communities, and the world.” This statement provides a guiding aim for our faculty and students alike to keep a constant eye toward how to use business as a force to create positive change for all stakeholders in society.
• Two of the overall core competencies for graduates of any program from the SSB aim specifically at strengthening the social responsibility of our graduates. First is the competency of “The Corporate Citizen,” which we define as, “participate in community-based projects that make a difference in the civic life of our communities and reflect on the ethical and societal implications of such activities for corporations.” Second, is the competency of “The Emotionally Intelligent Professional,” which we define as “develop a personal code of values and ethics that includes among other things, a commitment to understanding themselves and others.” These competencies have led to the integration of CSR issues into a variety of our courses across the curriculum.
• We recently redesigned our undergraduate business curriculum to include a series of four core classes that every business student, regardless of major, takes during their program of study. The third course in this sequence is a course called “CSR and the Sustainability Mindset” that is a deep dive into the theories (i.e. stakeholder theory), practices and issues in this area. This course was designed through dialogue and input from CSR leaders in the business community, including feedback from executives at Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Projects in this course include students creating proposals for ways that our college can strengthen their own CSR initiatives (some of these proposals have turned into actionable projects on campus leading to experiments in replacing paper towels with hand dryers in bathrooms, for example). Students also do projects with CSR-minded companies in the area to further enhance their exploration of these topics outside of the classroom.
• Our stand-alone CSR class is augmented by discussion of CSR and ethical issues in the vast majority of our courses, including our very first course that all majors take, “Business and The Entrepreneurial Mindset”. In this course students run virtual coffee shops in an online simulation and have to make decisions about fair trade, ethical marketing strategies, and other CSR issues, which helps situate these issues at the outset of their education to be integrated in an ongoing way through future courses.
• In our MBA program, we also touch upon issues of ethics in a variety of our courses as well as in our required course for all students, “Mission and Values in a Global Environment”. The course description for this course is: “This course will provide an overview of how organizations can succeed in a world characterized by increasing diversity and the dissolution of geographical boundaries. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying, selecting and systematically building organizational values into behaviors that bind employees, partners and customers. Integrates all topic areas into the concept of values-based leadership.”
Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
• One of the primary ways we seek to build new knowledge in this area is through hands-on action learning projects our students conduct with companies in the local area. As part of our CSR course (noted above), students have done action-research for organizations such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. In this project, for example, students explored the topic of strategic philanthropy and then generated proposals for GMCR on possible “signature causes” they might use for one of their specific brands. These proposals were then shared back to GMCR as input into their ongoing market research.
• We also have faculty who are actively engaged scholars and practitioners in the field of CSR, and thus are working to advance CSR and ethical concepts within the academy as well as bringing them into the classroom. For example, Dr. Lindsey Godwin, was part of the team from Case Western Reserve University who helped facilitate the summit that initially launched the UN Global Compact in 2004.
• Scholarly articles from our faculty in this domain include:
- Sekerka, Leslie, Godwin, Lindsey, and Comer, Debra. Guest editors for a forthcoming special issue of Journal of Business Ethics, on “Positive Organizational Ethics”
-Godwin, Lindsey (2012). “Examining the Impact of Moral Imagination on Organizational Decision Making.” Business and Society.
-Whitaker, Brian. & Godwin, Lindsey. (2012), Moral imagination in the workplace: Contextual, cognitive, and dispositional antecedents. Journal of Business Ethics.
-Godwin, Lindsey & Glavas, Ante. (2012), Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Organizational Identification” Journal of Business Ethics.
-Sekerka, Leslie; Godwin, Lindsey; & Charnigo, R. (2012), Use of Balanced Experiential Inquiry to Build Ethical Strength in the Workplace. Journal of Management Development. 31(3), 275-286.