About The Program

The Grossman School of Business organizes research seminars to exchange ideas and collaborate with (visiting) scholars’ new or existing projects. These casual and informal seminars are an opportunity for UVM faculty and grad students to brainstorm and enjoy collegial time together. The seminars are usually held during lunchtime.

Upcoming Events

Save the dates. More details to follow.

March 29, 2024

Caroline Flammer, A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia Business School

April 10, 2024

Michael Lounsbury, Professor and A.F. (Chip) Collins Chair, University of Alberta School of Business

September 27, 2024

Robert Klassen, Professor, Operations Management & Sustainability and Magna International Inc. Chair in Business Administration, Western University Ivey Business School

Previous Seminars


Since the early 1990s, Professor Andrew A. King has been a leading scholar in the field of sustainable business.  He has developed core theories, measures, methods, and conducted research that has influenced corporate and government policy.  In 2009, he helped found the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability and in 2015 he won the Academy of Management’s Distinguished Scholar Award.  He is proudest of having taught students who now work on social and environmental problems throughout the world.  He holds a BA in Engineering from Brown University, a MSc in Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a PhD in Management from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Is corporate social responsibility, as measured by ESG ratings, beneficial to firm profits and investor returns?  Several prominent publications on the topic claim the answer is “yes.”  But as I will show in my presentation, these claims have no basis.  The studies cannot and should not inform scientific inference.  How should I interpret this discovery?  How can future research be made trustworthy and beneficial?


Sankar SenSankar Sen is the Lawrence and Carol Zicklin Chair of Corporate Integrity and Governance, and Professor of Marketing at Baruch College. His research lies in the areas of consumer decision making and sustainability/corporate social responsibility. His research is widely cited (over 21,000 Google Scholar citations) and has appeared in leading scholarly journals, including the: Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Economic Theory, Management Science, Journal of Business Ethics. Sankar has also written a book based on his research: The Stakeholder Route to Maximizing Business and Social Value, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.
Sankar is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Consumer Research and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Academy of Marketing Science Review, and Corporate Reputation Review.

During his visit, Sankar will present some of his current research projects focused on: “The Rhetoric of Marketplace Morality: A Consumer Perspective.”


When marketers communicate, they speak increasingly in not just commercial voices but moral ones as well.  Company engagement in CSR/sustainability is at an unprecedented high, and more and more firms are speaking out about their CSR efforts. Yet, we know relatively little about the efficacy - in terms of positive consumer responses - of different CSR communication formats. This talk focuses on three different investigations of consumers reactions to CSR communication that, together, call into question the efficacy of certain conventional and pervasive communication formats, such as humor, storytelling, and multiple appeals, in producing positive, pro-company responses from consumers. The findings thus far point to the uniqueness of marketer communication in the moral domain and underscore the challenges companies face in communicating successfully about their CSR/sustainability initiatives.



Srini VenugopalSrini’s research examines the intertwined nature of consumption and entrepreneurship in subsistence marketplaces where more than a billion poverty-stricken entrepreneurs run micro-enterprises to meet basic consumption needs. In a parallel stream of research, he examines how social enterprises entering into contexts of poverty negotiate institutional differences to bring about positive social change. His work has already appeared in Top-Tier journals such as the Journal of Product Innovation Management and the Journal of Business Ethics.

Srini will present a work-in-progress entitled: “Negotiated Agency in the Face of Consumption Constraints: A Study of Women Entrepreneurs in Subsistence Contexts.”


Millions of women entrepreneurs in subsistence contexts face consumption constraints while being embedded in strong patriarchal social institutions. In these contexts, the place for women is considered to be within the house as homemakers and not in the market as entrepreneurs. Yet, these women are able to overcome gender-based institutional barriers and engage with the marketplace as entrepreneurs, as a way to overcome consumption constraints. We conducted a longitudinal qualitative study of women entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods of Chennai, India, to understand a) what motivates women to overcome gender-based institutional barriers to entrepreneurial action? and b) how they overcome the ‘iron cage’ of institutional norms to initiate and sustain entrepreneurial action? Our findings help us theorize the process of negotiated agency and elaborate on the microprocesses that underlie its enactment. Substantively, we demonstrate how consumption constraints in poverty trigger entrepreneurial agency among low-income women. We build on our findings to offer welfare enhancing policy recommendations.



EDWARD FREEMANEdward Freeman is the Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration and Academic Director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics at the Darden School of Business. He also serves as the current Co-Editor of the Journal of Business Ethics. Edward is the author or editor of over thirty volumes and one hundred and fifty articles in the areas of stakeholder management, business strategy and business ethics with over 80,0000 Google Scholar citations.  His work has appeared in leading scholarly journals, including The Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Annals, Management Science, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Business & Society. Edward is perhaps best known for his award-winning book: Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach where he traced the origins of the stakeholder idea and suggested that businesses build their strategy around their relationships with key stakeholders.

During his visit, Edward will give a talk entitled: “The New Story of Business: The Role of Business Schools.


Post Global Financial Crisis we have seen an explosion of calls for the reform of business and capitalism.  This talk will present a set of principles that are common to these calls for reform, and that can yield a more responsible vision of business and capitalism. Purpose, Ethics, Stakeholders, Sustainability are front and center of this new story.  Business schools have an important role to play in the development of the new story, however, the forces for change in business schools need to be accelerated.



Aparna LabrooAparna Labroo is Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Aparna Labroo research investigates how people can be nudged into taking actions beneficial to them and society in the long run. Her research has appeared in leading scholarly journals such as The Journal of Marketing, The Journal of Consumer Research, The Journal of Consumer Psychology, The Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Her research has also been featured in the New York Times, Time, MSN, Forbes, Financial Times, Business Week, Scientific American, and other leading media outlets. Aparna has served as an Associate Editor Member for Journal of Consumer Research and serves on the editorial board of several journals, including the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

During her visit, Aparna will present an ongoing research project entitled: “Frame Healthy Foods as Filling to Reduce Unhealthy Choices among the Poor.


The poor are known to seek unhealthy foods. A widespread belief is they do so because they value their future less, are present-focused, and favor immediate gratification, including the indulgence offered by unhealthy foods. Food assistance, often considered free money devoid of the pain of paying, is believed to further license indulgence. We challenge this view to posit these consumers are food-insecure, and when making unhealthy choices, they seek filling, not indulgent, foods. Food-assistance cards increase unhealthy choice, not by licensing indulgence, but by further reminding users of their food insecurity. Four experiments support our position—low-income consumers are more likely to choose filling-healthy foods over indulgent ones, especially when using food assistance cards, and food-insecurity underlies these choices. In a field study, we then show merely labeling a healthy-food as filling increases its choice among the homeless poor. In a second field demonstration, coding 5,211 purchases of low-income shoppers, we find interventions framing healthy foods as filling increase healthy purchases four-fold. We discuss importance of this new theoretical perspective for understanding true over presumed motivations of poor consumers.



Stuart HartStuart Hart is currently Professor of Management, Steven Grossman Endowed Chair in Sustainable Business at the Grossman School of Business (UVM). Stuart’s research focuses on Sustainable Enterprise and the Base of the Pyramid. His has published over 70 papers and authored or edited several books, with over 35,000 Google Scholar citations. His work has appeared in leading scholarly journals, including The Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, and Management Science as well as leading practitioner journals, such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Executive.

Stu Hart presented one of his ongoing research project entitled:  “Aspirations and Quests: Bringing Corporate Purpose to the Bottom Line


Creating the means to provide for the needs and aspirations of 7 billion people (soon to be 9 billion or more) in ways that respect nature and regenerate natural capital is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind for the foreseeable future. The harsh reality is that many of today’s incumbent firms—especially those in resource- and waste-intensive industries-- will not survive this challenge. If you think the Great Recession was wrenching in the last decade, just wait for the Great Extinction in the next one. The companies that succeed in making it to the future will be those that focus their resources and creative energies on transforming themselves to solve the pressing social and environmental problems we face. Stated succinctly, the time is now to move beyond “sustainability” as a set of separate company initiatives and programs to one of core purpose and strategy. The current situation calls for nothing less than dedicating corporations’ formidable resources to addressing world challenges and building the capabilities, strategies, and partnership ecosystems necessary to making it happen. Our exploratory research on such Transformational Sustainability reveals that a strong sense of purpose does indeed appear to be important when it comes to navigating the treacherous waters ahead. However, a societally-relevant purpose or mission statement is insufficient to the task of focusing company attention on the actual, on-the-ground challenges that the company seeks to address. For this, additional layers of specificity appear to be required, starting with what we refer to as Aspirations & Quests. Clear connection between purpose, aspirations, and rewards/incentives also appears to be key. This presentation will report the preliminary findings from our exploratory research on Transformational Sustainability and propose a set of research questions and propositions as a basis for future research.


7. Bill Wales / Associate Professor / University at Albany-SUNY / October 26th, 2018.

Bill WalesBill Wales is currently the Standish Chair and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University at Albany-SUNY.  Bill’s research principally explores organizational strategic orientations, strategy-making processes, and behavior. Bill is an Editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Business Venturing; Journal of Management Studies; and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

During his visit, he gave a talk about “Publishing in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice; and on Well Established Constructs (i.e., Entrepreneurial Orientation)."


6. Tim Bates / September 12th, 2018.

Tim was Distinguished Professor at Wayne State University, as well as Professor at New School for Social Research and the University of Vermont. Tim Bates’ research focuses on investigating the impacts of the Community Reinvestment Act on access to bank loans for minority-owned firms. He is also investigating the factors causing the City of Detroit's post World War II fall from industrial powerhouse to abject failure. His research appears in top-tier journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing; Journal of Finance; Review of Economics and Statistics; Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

During his visit, Tim Bates presented an ongoing research project entitled: “Minority Entrepreneurship: Understanding the Constraints and Opportunities.”


5. Sriram Narayanan / Associate Professor at Michigan State University / April 27th, 2018.

Sriram Narayanan is currently Associate Professor at Michigan State University - Kesseler Family Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Supply Chain Management. Sriram Narayanan is an interdisciplinary scholar that has published research in journals in management, operations, and marketing such as Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Retailing as well as the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. He is also the Co-Department Editor for the Journal of Operations Management, Senior Editor in Production and Operations Management, and Associate Editor at the Decision Sciences.

During his visit, Sriram Narayanan presented one of his ongoing research project entitled: “Inclusive Manufacturing: Maximizing Disability Diversity, Cultural Diversity, and Productivity.”


4. David Mauer / Professor / UNC Charlotte / March 23rd, 2018.

David Mauer is the Torrence E. Hemby, Sr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Finance in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. His research has appeared in finance journals such as the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and the Journal of Corporate Finance. David Mauer is or has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Financial Research, Financial ManagementFinancial Review, and Journal of Economics and Finance.

During his visit, David Mauer presented one of his ongoing research project entitled: “Industry Tournament Incentives and Debt Contracting.”


This paper examines whether industry tournament incentives influence credit ratings and bank loan contracting. We find that industry tournament incentives, as proxied by the pay gap between a CEO and industry peers, significantly decreases credit ratings. Stronger industry tournament incentives also significantly increase loan spreads and encourage shorter maturity loans, secured by collateral, and with more and stricter covenants. There is a tradeoff between the price- and non-price features of bank loan contracts, as the positive effect of industry tournament incentives on the cost of bank loans is offset by more restrictive features in loan contracts. We also find that the positive effect of industry tournament incentives on loan spreads is attenuated when the CEO is more entrenched.


3. Charles Schnitzlein / Professor / University of Vermont / February 21st, 2018.

Charles Schnitzlein, Steven Grossman Endowed Chair in Finance, is currently a Professor at the Grossman School of Business (UVM). Charles Schnitzlein's research applies the tools of experimental economics to financial market design issues. His research appears in journals such as the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Business, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Financial Research, and the Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions, & Money.

Charles Schnitzlein presented one of his ongoing research project entitled: “Information and Risk Attitudes: An Experiment.” 


The assumption that economic agents maximize the expected utility of a concave utility of wealth function (EUT) is used ubiquitously as a model of behavior in the presence of risk in empirical and theoretical research in economics and finance. Despite its simplicity and logical appeal, EUT has been challenged as a poorly performing model in explaining behavior and alternatives have gained traction (e.g., loss aversion). We add to this literature by showing that information about the value of a risky asset affects behavior in a way that is inconsistent with both EUT and loss aversion. We do this by conducting an experiment in which we run a prediction market. Our experimental data set includes 172 subjects and 6,250 compensated predictions. In each prediction period, a subject predicts the value of a risky asset, with the accuracy of the prediction determining the payoff. We systematically vary the amount of information about the risky asset that a predictor holds. We find that low levels of information about the distribution of the risky asset value are associated with risk-seeking behavior (negative expected value predictions). In contrast, information that implies a substantial revision in the asset’s expected value is associated with risk-averse behavior: expected profits are traded off for reduced risk. Our results suggest less stability in risk preferences than is commonly assumed in the literature and have implications for understanding financial and other behavior in a variety of contexts.


2. Jonathan Doh / Professor / Villanova School of Business / December 1st, 2017.

Jonathan Doh, Herbert G. Rammrath Endowed Chair in International Business, is currently the Associate Dean of Research and the Director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Villanova School of Business (Villanova University). Jonathan Doh is an interdisciplinary scholar active in the fields of multinational and nonmarket strategy, international business, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, HRM and OB, leadership and governance, and the role of NGOs in the global business environment. His research appears in Top-Tier journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Organization Science, Journal of World Business, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Human Resource Management, MIS Quarterly, Organizational Research Methods. Jonathan Doh also serves as the current Editor of the Journal of World Business.

During his visit, Jonathan presented one of his ongoing research project entitled: “Corporate social responsibility and acquisition performance: The role of social distance.”


Combining the literatures on instrumental stakeholder management and corporate acquisitions, this study examines the positive and negative effects of two dimensions of social distance on acquisition performance. Data from 479 acquisitions reveal that differences between the acquirer and target firms relating to CSR-strengths have a positive effect on acquisition performance. Further, R&D investments amplify the positive effect of differences in CSR strength and attenuate the negative effects of differences in CSR weaknesses. Taken as a whole, these findings suggest that acquisitions can significantly alter the acquirer’s future portfolio of CSP-related strengths which in turn is reflected in expected integration benefits associated with the deal.


1. Francois Maon / Associate Professor / IESEG School of Management / September 6th, 2017.

Francois Maon is currently Associate Professor at the IESEG School of Management (France). His research focuses on topics linked to CSR learning, implementation and change-related processes, cross-sector social partnerships, and stakeholder dialogue and influence strategies. His research appears in journals such as the California Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Management Reviews, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, European Journal of Marketing. He also co-edited several special issues of international journals and books on CSR-related topics. Francois Maon currently serves on the Editorial Board of Business & Society.  

During his visit, Francois Maon presented one of his ongoing research project entitled: “Stakeholder influence tactics: Ideologically-loaded objectives and power-based moves.” 


Building on insights from literature pertaining to stakeholder influence, organizational ideology, and organizational power, we conduct a multiple case study research with two large, European-based companies and involving 48 stakeholder organizations to address two central issues: (1) how the ideological, value-laden orientations of a stakeholder organization actually trigger its motivation to influence the nature and level of a company’s corporate social change activities and (2) the way stakeholder power conditions both the objectives and nature of stakeholder influence attempts. As a result, we provide a typology of 12 influence tactics, based on stakeholders’ ideological rationale for influence, their level of power over the company, and the nature of their power bases. In so doing, we stress the substantial role of ideological orientations of stakeholders in terms of how they perceive, interact with, and attempt to influence a target company. In addition, we contribute to provide an integrative understanding of the motivational and behavioral dimensions of stakeholder influence endeavors.