University Research Council

November 19, 2009

Meeting Summary


Business of Humanity

John Camillus, Professor in the Katz Graduate School of Business, reported on the status of his multidisciplinary grant, which is entitled The Business of Humanity.  Faculty members from Katz, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the School of Engineering participate in the project.  They analyze case studies drawn from firms in Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, India, Russia and the U.S.  The project explores the following proposition: Strategic decision making that employs criteria falling under the rubric of "humanity" – in its two dimensions of "humaneness" and "humankind" – leads to superior economic performance.

There are three bases and motivations for the project:

  • The short- and long-term economic and strategic advantages of "humaneness" in managerial decision making, which focuses on criteria and programs related to safety, quality, diversity, environmental sustainability, gender equality, social sustainability, integrity, ergonomics, and good design.
  • The imperative of recognizing "humankind" in innovating strategy, which recognizes the global context of decision making and draws attention to the needs and potential of markets – at the "bottom of the pyramid" – with low per capita incomes.
  • The inadequacy and potential dysfunctionality of accounting profits as a guide for managerial decision making, especially when facing crises, innovating strategy, and confronting wicked problems.

Report from the Office of Research

Allen DiPalma, Director of the Office of Research, focused on two topics related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

  • The University received almost 250 awards, and funding summed to approximately $125 million.  The first round of stimulus funding ended with the federal fiscal year.
  • The federal government will provide improved guidelines on reporting stimulus-related job creation.  The Government Accountability Office uncovered numerous circumstances in which the data were not accurately reported.

Miscellaneous

Council members also discussed:

  • Brainstorming for multidisciplinary projects
  • The Conflict of Interest policy
  • Government Affairs’ expertise listings
  • The federal agency funding trip