Faculty Pioneer Awards (2013)


Nominations are now closed for the 2014 round of Faculty Pioneer Awards! Stay tuned, we will announce the winners this fall. For more information, please read the call for nominations.



For more than a decade the Aspen Institute has searched the business school world for Faculty Pioneers:  business school faculty at the graduate level who demonstrate a willingness to deeply examine the relationships between capital markets, firms, and the public good. 

Dubbed “the Oscars of the business school world” by the Financial Times, these awards celebrate educators who demonstrate leadership and risk-taking.  Selection criteria for this year’s faculty pioneer awards were designed with a very specific objective in mind:  to identify and recognize faculty who are ensuring that their students examine critically the purpose of the corporation.  

Read more about the selection criteria here.


 We were delighted to formally recognize this year’s Faculty Pioneer Award Winners and Finalists at the Aspen Business & Society Symposium -- Business Education: Meeting the Talent Challenge, on September 26-27, 2013 in NY, NY.  

The report from that symposium is now available here. For more information, contact Trisha King


The 2013 Faculty Pioneers are Mauro F. Guillén, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business who studies management practices in various countries; and Nicola M. Pless, professor at ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University in Barcelona who researches “Responsible Leadership.” They and Faculty Pioneer finalists will be recognized at an award ceremony in New York on Thursday, September 26.  

Finalists for this year’s faculty pioneer awards are:  David A. Besanko, Alvin J. Huss Distinguished Professor of Management and Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University;  Christopher Marquis, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Harvard University; and Robert P. Sroufe, Jr., Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness, Duquesne University. 

In announcing the awards, Judith Samuelson, Aspen Business & Society Program executive director said:  “To be prepared for the complex challenges they will face in their careers, today’s business students must examine basic assumptions about what role business can and should play in society. It is no longer adequate – or accurate – to say business simply has to create value for shareholders.  This year’s winners and finalists are exceptional because they require students to wrestle with broad questions about the primary responsibilities of business.”  

Nominations for these awards were submitted by respected academics around the world. Self-nominations are not considered. This year’s award winners and finalists were selected by Aspen Institute staff in consultation with academic advisers:  Dr. Bruce Buchanan, Stern School of Business, New York University; Dr. Bruce Hutton, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver; and Dr. Anita McGahan, The Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. 

Read the 2013 Faculty Pioneers Award official press release.



 Mauro Guillen

Mauro F. Guillén

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Mauro Guillén is the Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Dr. Felix Zandman Endowed Professor in International Management at the Wharton School. He previously taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  He received a PhD in sociology from Yale University and a Doctorate in political economy from the University of Oviedo in his native Spain. He is a member of the advisory board of the Escuela de Finanzas Aplicadas (Grupo Analistas), and serves as the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals. 

He is an elected fellow of the Macro Organizational Behavior Society and of the Sociological Research Association, a former Guggenheim Fellow, and a Member in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His current research deals with corporate governance, the role of the corporation in society, the internationalization of the firm, and with the impact of globalization on patterns of organization and on the diffusion of innovations. He is the author of 10 books and over 30 scholarly articles. 

Click here to view Professor Guillén's couse syllabus.

 Nicola Pless

Nicola M. Pless

ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University


Nicola Pless is Associate Professor at ESADE Business School in Spain. She previously served as a full-time faculty member at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and held a senior research fellowship at INSEAD in France. She also is a former vice president of International Leadership Development at Credit Suisse in Switzerland, and served at the World Bank Group in Washington DC. She obtained her PhD from the University of St. Gallen, holds an executive degree in Clinical Organizational Psychology from INSEAD and was awarded an honorary chair in business ethics from the University of Antwerp in Belgium in 2011. She is a principal investigator in the "Neuroscience of Leadership Project". 

She has taught courses on the BSc, MSc, MBA, and PhD levels and on executive programs, such as the Georgetown ESADE Global Executive MBA and Stanford ESADE CSR program. She is responsible for ESADE’s “Business in Society” core courses for its Master of International Management degree. Her research occurs at the interface of organizational behavior, international business and corporate responsibility. She is particularly interested in responsible global leadership, decision making processes in multicultural teams, and culture and character of multinational corporations. She has published four books and has authored/ co-authored numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. She also serves as a section editor of the Journal of Business Ethics (FT45/BW20 journal) and sits on the management board of the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS). 

Click here to view Professor Pless's course syllabus. 



David Besanko

David A. Besanko

Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

David Besanko is the Alvin J. Huss Distinguished Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  Professor Besanko is a Northwestern graduate, having received his Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences in 1982. He received his BA in Political Science from Ohio University in 1977. Before joining the Kellogg faculty in 1991, he was a member of the faculty of the School of Business at Indiana University from 1982-84 and 1986-1991. In 1985, he was a member of the Economics Staff at Bell Communications Research. 

Professor Besanko teaches courses in Public Policy, Competitive Strategy, and Managerial Economics. His research covers topics relating to the intersection of competitive strategy and public policy, the economics of regulation, and the theory of the firm. He has published over 45 articles in leading professional journals in economics and business.  Professor Besanko served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Strategy and Planning at the Kellogg School from 2007 to 2009 and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Curriculum and Teaching at Kellogg from 2001 to 2003. 

Click here to view Professor Besanko's course syllabus.

 Chris Marquis

Christopher Marquis

Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Christopher Marquis is an Associate Professor in the Organizational Behavior unit at the Harvard Business School.  Marquis received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Michigan.  His research is focused on how business can have a positive impact on society and the natural environment and he is currently pursuing two streams of research in this area.  The first seeks to assess how organizations can engage diverse stakeholders in ways that maximize both business and social value. The second explores how environmental sustainability initiatives have developed in China and are influenced by key stakeholders such as the government and investment community.  Based on this research, Marquis has developed two elective courses.  Creating Shared Value: Entrepreneurial and Corporate Approaches focuses on how businesses can most effectively combine business and social objectives, and he leads an MBA immersion class to China focused on China’s current social and economic challenges.  

He has published in leading management journals including, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal.  Marquis is a Senior Editor of the journal Organization Science and an elected member of the executive committee of the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management. 

Click here to view Professor Marquis's course syllabus.

 Robert Sroufe

Robert P. Sroufe, Jr.

Donahue Graduate School of Business, Duquesne University


Robert Sroufe is the Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness at Duquesne University.  Professor Sroufe received his Ph.D. in Business Administration and Operations Management from Michigan State University.  He develops and teaches the signature courses that anchor the full-time MBA Sustainability in the Donahue Graduate School of Business – Sustainability Theories and Models for Innovation, an examination of contemporary decision-making forces that leverages Life Cycle Analysis for operational and supply chain excellence, and Sustainable Tools and Processes for New Initiatives, a seminar that features knowledge-sharing with corporate and government leaders and active learning assignments such as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) competition and development of 50 year management plans.  Sroufe also co-instructs the Sustainability Consulting Field Project and Practicum courses that tie theory to practice in the MBA curriculum, overseeing student teams as they collaborate with corporate clients to address emerging challenges.  

In his research, Professor Sroufe primarily aims to understand what drives sustainability performance and how firms can develop effective environmental management systems to enable the measurement and management of an integrated bottom line.  Sroufe conducts research and provides consulting services to a range of firms including 3M, Alcoa, Baxter, Dow, Eco Labs, Ford, Gillette, GSA, H.J. Heinz, Herman Miller, IBM, Intel, Interfaces, Lucent, P&G, Steelcase, and Westinghouse.  He has published over 30 scholarly articles and book chapters and has edited and coauthored books on environmental management systems and sustainable supply chain management.

Click here to view Professor Sroufe's course syllabi.


CasePlace.org Materials:  Pioneer Faculty on Teaching Corporate Purpose

To be prepared for the complex challenges they will face in their careers, today’s business students must examine basic assumptions about what role business can and should play in society.  It is no longer adequate – or accurate – to say business simply has to create value for shareholders.  This year’s Aspen Faculty Pioneer winners and finalists were selected because they require students to wrestle with broad questions about the primary responsibilities of business.  We have created a portal to feature their syllabi on our site CasePlace.org.

The Purpose of the Corporation

Exploring the purpose of the corporation has been a key area of inquiry for the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program for several years.  Additional information about our work in this area is available here.


Click here, to see a list of past Faculty Pioneer Award Winners.

Questions? Contact Trisha King at patricia.king[at]aspeninstitute.org.