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P&G grant helps fund new corporate citizenship and sustainability course at Xavier

A growing number of businesses are figuring out that being a socially responsible corporate citizen can actually be good for the bottom line. A course being developed by a Xavier University professor, funded in part by a Procter & Gamble grant, will help teach university MBA students what being a good corporate citizen is all about.

Rebecca Luce, an assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Xavier, is currently developing an MBA course on Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability.

"I think these issues of social responsibility are starting to become senior management topics of discussion at most companies. For example, something that both Procter & Gamble and Walmart are doing is assessing their suppliers for sustainable business practices. They're looking at that as a factor in choosing suppliers. I don't think MBA students should leave without knowing about these issues," Luce said.

She decided to apply for a grant from Procter & Gamble Fund's Higher Education Program to design the course, based on concepts that she has lectured on in other classes.

Of particular importance to the course will be the use of the "base of the pyramid" market concept, which describes the vast numbers of people living on very low incomes. Students will learn how to balance meeting the market needs of those at the "base" while being sensitive to their particular needs.  

The P&G grant will help fund a conference trip, books and video that will help Luce further research and build the course. She plans to teach it late next summer. It will examine the role businesses play in their communities, as well as topics on environmentally sustainable business practices.

The course will also encourage students to develop their own sustainable business models.
Luce said it will be one of just a few currently offered across the country.

"There are not a lot of them, but they are certainly becoming more popular," she said.

Writing: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Assistant professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Xavier Rebecca Luce and Xavier Communications

You can follow Feoshia on twitter @feoshiawrites
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