2008 Faculty Pioneers

Rising Star
Assistant Professor of Business Law and Business Ethics Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

David W. Hess is an Assistant Profess or of Business Law and Business Ethics at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan , where he teaches courses on corporate law, corporate social responsibility, and business ethics in the undergraduate, MBA, and Executive Education programs. Professor Hess received MA and PhD degrees in management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a JD with high distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, and a BA in economics from Grinnell College. In 2006, the University of Michigan named Professor Hess the Bank One Corporation term chair f or early research achievements.


Professor Hess's research has been published in leading law, ethics, and management journals, and has won best paper awards at both business law and business ethics conferences. This research focuses on the role of the law in ensuring corporate accountability and on approaches that enable corporations to go beyond legal compliance to meet the expectations of society with respect to ethical behavior and sustainable economic development. His publications in this area analyze the proper structuring of sustainability reports to increase stakeholder influence and to improve organizational learning. His work also addresses how the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and regulators' use of deferred prosecution agreements can be implemented to encourage corporations to develop more ethical corporate cultures.


Professor Hess conducts empirical work on the governance of public pension funds and he has proposed the adoption of disclosure-based mechanisms to improve the role of public pension funds in promoting sustainable development practices in the corporations in which they invest. He also writes on the use of social initiatives by companies to provide unique benefits to their communities by basing their philanthropic actions on direct involvement and the use of their core competencies.


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