Building diverse, sustainable and responsible organizations

Organizations are navigating in a demanding environment, adapting to increasing ethical and environmental demands, relying on a more diverse workforce, but challenged by more diverse customer and supplier bases. Researchers in this cluster look at perceptions, obstacles, company responses, best practices, etc. in order to build better organizations.

Ellen Crumley

Ellen Crumley investigates vocabulary and rhetoric in the contexts of sustainability and healthcare. Through external communication, organizations and professionals use targeted language to pitch change, obtain buy-in from stakeholders and minimize opposition. The media, in particular, are supposed to be neutral but the tone of newspaper articles and the vocabulary used sometimes tell a different story.

Peggy Cunningham

Peggy Cunningham has been researching the impact of firm’s ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs for many years. Her work suggests that firms with authentic, comprehensive CSR programs outperform their peers, and attract high quality employees who are engaged and motivated. Her most recent research addresses questions about how ‘networks of complicity’ sustain unethical behaviour within firms over long periods of time, and the tactics that can be used to dissolve these networks to improve culture and leadership behaviours.

Bill Foster

Bill Foster explores the relationship between formal organization and informal social networks, the influence of that relationship on organizational performance and strategy, and the resulting evolution of the intra-organizational network. These informal networks have proven critical to the innovation processes of exploration and exploitation, to efforts to increase inclusion and to the resolution of ethical issues.

Gus Gassmann


Dana Kabat-Farr

Dana Kabat-Farr is investigating how unethical and unfair treatment within an organization via negative social interactions (e.g., incivility, sex-based harassment) may undermine efforts to have a productive and diverse employee population. Rudeness and demeaning experiences erode employees’ well-being and ability to complete work tasks.

Frederick D. King

My research is interdisciplinary and involves the study of the material book, digital archives and the ways that mediums of communication influence reader interpretations of lexical content. I am particularly interested in how bibliographic communication practices can be queered for authors and audiences marginalized by heteronormative cultural conventions.

Carolan McLarney

Carolan McLarney’s research comes under the broad category of international business. She is investigating the macro issues of international institutions and their impacts, specifically trade in goods (cotton) and in services. McLarney is also exploring the micro issues of how individual firms compete on a global stage. Her research in this area is focused on a variety of value chain activities:  primary (logistics) and support (HR) activities.

Iman Nosoohi


Julia Sawicki


Dan Shaw


Lorn Sheehan


Oksana Shkurska

Oksana Shkurska’s research aims to find effective methods of internal and external communication in organizations by focusing on politeness and power relations in written communication. She is examining how the use of wrong politeness strategies in corporate apology letters creates negative public perception of organizations. Her research intends to identify politeness strategies that help businesses promote a positive image and establish trust with their clients.

Deryk Stec


Binod Sundararajan

Binod Sundararajan is investigating what leaders say around the topic of sustainability and CSR (leaderspeak and change communication), sustainable leadership, and new models around diversity and organizational process improvement.

Oumar Sy


Ali Ülkü

M. Ali Ülkü’s research thrusts include the analysis of sustainable supply chains (SCs) and logistics systems, operations-marketing interface, and mathematical modeling of societal and interdisciplinary problems. He is currently investigating the optimal design of closed-loop SCs in the apparel industry, and the impact of consumers’ return behavior analytics on SC sustainability.

Wenjun Zhang


Yonggan Zhao


Jun Zhou

Jun Zhou is examining how corporations can make investment decisions and design financial policies so as to maintain financial flexibility and explore growth opportunities in the increasingly competitive business environment.