Leading the Advancement of Business Knowledge

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The creation of new knowledge is what drives our business economy forward. In May, it was my privilege to host Ross’ annual faculty awards dinner. The caliber of the faculty, research, and, ultimately, new knowledge that’s created at Ross is one of the reasons I chose to come to the school.

The University of Texas at Dallas Jindal School of Management ranks Ross No. 3 in the world for quantity of research output, behind only Harvard and Wharton. And the Financial Times ranks Ross fifth globally in production of business research. The impressive knowledge development we lead extends across disciplines, from accounting and finance to management, marketing, and operations.

To highlight just a few of the faculty who have developed our research reputation, faculty member Rick Bagozzi, who won Ross’ 2012 Researcher of the Year award, has helped the advancement of knowledge not just in business, but also in medicine, the social sciences, and more, through his work on effective research methodologies. To date, Google Scholar reports he’s been cited more than 40,000 times, impressive by any objective measure. Aradhna Krishna, who developed the concept of sensory marketing, has changed the way organizations around the world approach product development. And Karl Weick, a giant in the field of management and organizations, has defined the way organizations sense and react (or don’t react) to a variety of stimuli, especially those that are novel or unexpected.  

As another example, more than ten years ago, it was Ross faculty who pioneered the application of scientific research to the concepts of positive leadership and organization. Today, highly popularized literature and mainstream media hail the business benefits of positive leadership approaches, and business leaders around the world are using tools from this field to bring about organizational gains. 

One reason for Ross’ significant achievements in knowledge advancement is the linkages we have across the University of Michigan campus. U-M has more than 95 programs ranked in the top ten nationally by U.S. News and World Report, and it receives the highest amount of research funding among public U.S. universities, as ranked by the National Science Foundation. The most innovative thinking often happens across boundaries, and the ways Ross faculty collaborate with fellow leading researchers in engineering, medicine, public policy, and more fuel our creativity.

As we look to the future at Ross, interdisciplinary collaborations will play a key role in how we continue to advance thinking and solutions for society’s most critical challenges. Our research in the area of healthcare management and operations stands to help this giant industry identify a financially sustainable way of providing service and improve patient safety and satisfaction. And faculty in Ross’ Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise are poised to change the way businesses and markets solve large environmental, energy, and social challenges.

These are just a few examples of the innovative and influential thinking that takes place at Ross. Our vibrant intellectual life drives everything we do as educators, and our students and the organizations with which we interact on a daily basis benefit in significant ways. As the knowledge we develop gets put into practice, the impact of Ross research is truly remarkable.

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Alison Davis-Blake