Teaching Innovation Program

Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University (United States)

Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit

Team Members:
Robert Bricker
David Cooperrider
Ronald Fry
Jean Kilgore
Our project is multi-faceted in order to create both short- and long-term change and promote the integration of business and society issues not only into the MBA core curriculum but into the entire MBA and management education experience. The project, which would be a component of the School's new Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, would consist of three specific initiatives:
  1. A pilot project to incorporate issues of social impact management into the School's core curriculum of nine courses. This pilot project would be incorporated into the development of the School's new Saturday MBA Program, which will begin in the fall of 2004. Working with the faculty who teach in the program, the TIP team would identify key issues in social impact management appropriate for inclusion in the core courses and work with the faculty to develop suitable teaching materials. Discipline-specific discussion groups for faculty would be held to share information on the pilot project and its results and determine how information and learning from the pilot would be applied throughout the core.
  2. A school-wide Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Summit on integrating sustainability and social impact leadership into the entire curriculum. The Appreciative Inquiry Summit is a method for accelerating change by involving a broad range of internal and external stakeholders in the change process. Since the early 1990's, hundreds of organizations worldwide have employed the AI Summit methodology to address a variety of agendas, including strategic planning, organization design, culture transformation, and business process redesign. Some organizations - such as Nutrimental and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters have used AI technology to accelerate the development of sustainable enterprise and social impact.This would be the first time, to our knowledge, that the AI Summit method would be used to accelerate innovation in a management school by helping to make sustainability and social impact leadership part of the fabric of the culture and substance of a graduate school and its curriculum. This process is envisioned to include identification of key faculty to participate in the process of designing the program; a series of pre-summit inquires and mapping of strengths and opportunities; an Appreciative Inquiry summit, specifically developed for this audience and including participation by students, business leaders, thought leaders in relevant fields, and other key stakeholders; and mobilization of post-summit action groups in areas of curriculum design, pilot programs, and learning networks.
  3. Development of a major or minor concentration in the area of sustainability/social impact management, envisioned to include several optional "streams" whereby students could select to develop expertise in specific areas of social impact management or to obtain a general proficiency. Numerous courses appropriate for such a concentration already exist within the Weatherhead School of Management and other University schools and centers. New elective courses are also proposed as part of this initiative.
The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education is part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program.
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