Berg Center Receives International Honor by Academy of Management

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration has received the Academy of Management’s Practice Theme Committee’s 2016 Research Center Impact Award.

The international honor, awarded to one university in the world each year, recognizes the impact of an academic center in terms of its scholarly contributions and external collaborations with the business and nonprofit community.

Audrey J. Murrell, director of the Berg Center and associate dean of the College of Business Administration, accepted the award at the annual Academy of Management Practice Theme Committee meeting in Anaheim, Calif. in August 2016. Hundreds of professors from top schools around the world were in attendance for the multi-day conference.

“I was honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the Berg Center in the presence of the world’s leading minds in corporate social responsibility and business ethics,” says Murrell, who is also an associate professor of business administration and the Kenneth R. Woodcock Faculty Fellow.

“Receiving the Academy of Management’s Research Center Impact award speaks highly to the Berg Center’s core mission: which is to add value to organizations through ethical leadership. We accomplish this through cutting-edge research, through community-focused engagement, and through achieving measurable impact in our efforts,” Murrell says.

Established in 1999, the Berg Center supports academic programs, faculty research, and community engagement projects at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level of Pitt Business. Experience-based learning and hands-on experiences are a focal point.

One of its leading programs, the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics, has facilitated dozens of consulting projects and internships. Since 2004, students have contributed nearly 16,000 hours to consulting projects for businesses and nonprofits and nearly 23,000 hours via summer internships underwritten by the Berg Center.

Additionally, the Berg Center supports two fellowships for MBA students: the Kenneth R. Woodcock Leadership Fellows Program and the BNY Mellon Corporate Social Responsibility Fellows Program.

On the research side, the Berg Center provides funding each year to faculty and doctoral student research projects. The Berg Center has developed a Food Abundance Index to measure food insecurity in urban areas and is in the process of creating a social documentary highlighting the need for business solutions to the interrelated issue of food waste and food scarcity. Furthermore, the Berg Center has developed a suite of teaching resources in business ethics for use by other academic institutions.

“I am extremely proud of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership for being recognized with this highly competitive, international honor from the Academy of Management. The Center plays a vital role in establishing Pitt Business as a global leader in the study and practice of ethics and leadership, and how the two principles contribute to the success of the entire business enterprise,” says Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean of Pitt Business.

Matthew M. Mehalik, program director for Sustainable Pittsburgh, one of the longstanding partners of the Berg Center, credits the Berg Center for helping to build corporate social responsibility (CSR) capacity in the Pittsburgh region. Students supported by the Berg Center have helped Sustainable Pittsburgh’s efforts to have more Pittsburgh companies adopt and implement the Southwestern Pennsylvania Sustainable Business Compact.

“Through a collaborative effort, both organizations can expand the uptake of regional CSR practice while increasing educational opportunities for and greater immersion of students in CSR experiences,” Mehalik wrote in a letter of support for the Berg Center’s award nomination.

Learn More

Watch a video about the Berg Center programs

Watch a video of CPLE students in action in London

Watch a video on the MBA Fellows Programs

Watch a video about the Certificate Program in Organizational Leadership