On October 31, 2001, Harvard Business School was honored for its outstanding leadership in training MBA students in social impact management skills. This award marks the second time HBS has received this distinction since 1998.
HBS is among just five schools internationally to earn the “cutting-edge MBA program” distinction for social impact management in the survey, Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2001: Preparing MBAs for Social and Environmental Stewardship. The report is the only survey that evaluates how well masters in business administration (MBA) programs are integrating social and environmental coursework, activities, and research into business curricula.
The survey, first conducted in 1998, is a joint project of The Aspen Institute Initiative for Social Innovation through Business (Aspen ISIB) and World Resources Institute (WRI). Every accredited business school in the United States, as well as over 60 international schools, was surveyed. “The events of the past weeks have certainly underlined the urgent need for business and academic institutions to engage in a real dialogue about the role of social and environmental issues in academic research and in the education of future business leaders.”
“We’re pleased to receive this award,” said Stacey Childress, Director of the HBS Initiative on Social Enterprise. “A majority of our alumni are involved in the governance or management of social sector organizations, many have founded innovative enterprises to create social change or lead socially responsible businesses, while others have distinguished themselves through public service. At HBS, social enterprise research explores the intersection and interdependencies between business, government, and society; and our teaching and programs are designed to provide learning and service opportunities for the school’s MBA students both in and beyond the classroom.”
HBS is unique among other MBA programs for having created the Initiative on Social Enterprise (ISE), which prepares students for leadership roles in nonprofits and other social enterprises and exposes them to the variety of ways that business leaders and their organizations are engaged in society. The ISE serves as an umbrella for a wide range of social enterprise activities at HBS, including lectures and symposia. Harvard is also at the cutting edge because of the extent to which it incorporates social impact management issues into both its core and elective courses. It supports its social enterprise focus by providing summer fellowships, career support, a loan forgiveness program, and consulting opportunities
with area non-profits.
“Beyond Grey Pinstripes is really a call to action to schools to close the gap between what business leaders say they need in recruits, what the global marketplace requires, and what MBA programs are delivering. We need more programs like Harvard’s,” said Judith Samuelson, Executive Director of Aspen ISIB.
Other MBA programs that received the Social Impact Management Award include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business Administration, the University of Michigan’s Business School, and the Schulich School of Business of York University in Canada.