Two Smeal Faculty Recognized by Financial Times for Sustainability Research



Financial Times' "Responsible Business Education Awards" recognized two outstanding Smeal research faculty--Charlene Zietsma and Karen Winterich--as runners up for their leading work in sustainable business research.


The Financial Times Responsible Business Education Awards "showcase strong examples of work by business schools seeking to focus on people and planet alongside profit" in three areas:

  • Teaching cases

  • Research with impact

  • Alumni change makers

Research with Impact

The "research with impact" award goes to papers that "address societal challenges, with evidence of impact on policy or practice." The Center for the Business of Sustainability supports this same kind of vital research through an annual research grant program, regular research seminars, a faculty affiliate program that grows our community of scholars and via industry-academic roundtables. Dan Cahoy, Center Research Director, leads these important initiatives and chairs our Research Working Group on which Zietsma and Winterich serve.


We celebrate and congratulate Karen, Charlene and their research partners for their important contributions!


Karen Winterich and Knowing What It Makes

Karen Winterich is a Professor of Marketing and is the Gerald I. Susman Professor in Sustainability.


"Knowing What It Makes: How Product Transformation Salience Increases Recycling"


Karen Page Winterich and Gabriel Gonzales, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University; Gergana Nenkov, Carroll School of Management, Boston College


Research key takeaway:

"Our research provides compelling evidence that when consumers consider that recyclables are transformed, they recycle more, and providing messages with product transformation information inspires consumers to participate in recycling programs....By bringing consumers’ attention to the transformation of recyclables into new products, the conversation shifts from 'Where does this go?' to 'What can this make?'"



Charlene Zietsma and the Need to Focus on Systems of Inequality

Charlene Zietsma is a Professor of Management is the John and Becky Surma Dean's Research Fellow.


"Caste and Organization Studies: Our Silence Makes Us Complicit"


Snehanjali Chrispal, Hari Bapuji, University of Melbourne; Charlene Zietsma, Penn State University


Research key take-away:

"[Caste] is a thriving system of inequality around the world, yet it remains mostly invisible to organizations and organizational scholars. We call on organization scholars to focus on this system of inequality to address the challenges facing organizations and societies."