Approaches to Integrating Impact and Purpose into the Curriculum


   Session Overview

Approaches to Integrating Impact and Purpose into the Curriculum

In this session, we’ll describe how the Questrom School of Business at Boston University has integrated impact and purpose into our on-campus Full-Time and Part-Time Evening (PEMBA) MBA Programs, as well as our new Online MBA (OMBA). We offer a Social Impact Program for our on-campus MBA students, as well as a wide range of electives. Our OMBA program is an integrated curriculum, in which the theme of stakeholder analysis is woven across modules. We will discuss the opportunities and challenges in each of these approaches, and follow up with group discussions on how each school can try to develop strategies to integrate impact and purpose across their different MBA programs.


Barbara Bickart

Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Marketing, Questrom School of Business, Boston University
Barbara Bickart is Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Marketing at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. She oversees all on-campus MBA programs (including Full-Time, PEMBA, and EMBA), as well as specialty masters programs (MSMS, MSBA, MSMFT, and MSDT). She previously served as the Marketing Department Chair. Barb’s research examines how the context of communication influences consumers’ inference and judgment processes. Her research was one of the first to demonstrate the persuasive impact of consumer-generated content on social media relative to marketer-generated content. Her work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Interactive Marketing. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, where she was previously an Associate Editor. Over 70,000 people have enrolled in her Strategic Social Media Marketing MOOC, which is part of the BU Questrom Digital Product Management MicroMasters Program on edX. Barb earned her PhD in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a graduate of the HERS Leadership Institute.

Paul R. Carlile

Associate Professor of Management and Information Systems, Senior Associate Dean for Online Learning, Questrom School of Business, Boston University
Paul R. Carlile is an Associate Professor of Management and Information Systems and the Senior Associate Dean for Online Learning at Boston University Questrom School of Business. He has also served as the Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and as the Chair of the Information Systems Department. Before coming to Questrom he was on the Faculty at MIT Sloan School of Management. His research has focused on the knowledge boundaries that exist among people in different expertise domains. Paul is one of the world’s foremost experts on what can be done to address those boundaries in order to enhance collaboration and innovation. He has used this expertise to develop and design ways to drive innovation in the automotive, software, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries. In a recently published book called Reimagining Business Education Paul, along with other Questrom colleagues, outlined strategies to address the highly specialized and siloed nature of higher education. The book proposes new approaches to teaching and research that generate more value for a broader set of stakeholders. In his initial work as Senior Associate Dean for Innovation Paul has focused on the enhancement of student learning through curricular innovation and new models of program delivery. This has included the new launch of an integrated and experientially-based Master of Science degree in Management Studies (MSMS) that was cited as the Most Innovative Business School Idea of 2015 by Poets & Quants. In his role as Senior Associate Dean for Online Learning he helped launch in August The Questrom Online MBA that provides an affordable education focused on adult working professionals. The curriculum is focused on business problems, delivered as an integrated learning experience and support by a dynamic peer to peer learning network. Paul holds a BA in Philosophy and Masters in Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University and a PhD in Organizational Behavior from the University of Michigan. Prior to graduate school Paul helped start two technology companies.

Caroline Flammer

Associate Professor and Dean’s Research Scholar, Questrom School of Business, Boston University
Caroline Flammer is an Associate Professor and Dean’s Research Scholar at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. She is also a Fellow of the Susilo Institute. Her research interests are in competitive strategy at the intersection of corporate governance, impact investing, corporate social responsibility, climate change, and innovation, with a focus on the antecedents and implications of companies’ investments in sustainable practices. Her research examines how, and under which conditions, firms can enhance their competitiveness and long-term profitability while having a positive impact on society and the natural environment. Identifying the extent to which firms can improve their competitiveness while strengthening—instead of undermining—the very system in which they operate is important, as firms can play a critical role in addressing climate change, poverty, inequality, global health, and other grand challenges related to society and the natural environment. She has published in leading academic journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, and the Strategic Management Journal. Caroline was awarded the 2015 Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) Scholar Award. She is also the recipient of several other prestigious awards including the Moskowitz Prize for Best Paper in Sustainable and Responsible Investing in both 2013 and 2017, the 2015 French Social Investment Forum-Principles for Responsible Investment (FIR-PRI) Award for Best Published Paper in Finance and Sustainability, and the 2016 Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) Institute Research Award. Caroline serves as Associate Editor for the Strategic Management Journal, as Associate Editor for Management Science's special issue on Business and Climate Change, and is on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Journal. She also serves as Chair of the Academic Advisory Committee of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the largest network of responsible investors to date. At Boston University, she serves as the Academic Director of both the Social Impact MBA program and the university-wide Minor in Sustainable Energy. Furthermore, she is the PhD Coordinator for the Strategy & Innovation Department.