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BYU graduate students present research finding to UN Global Compact

Students in the Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration programs at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management teamed with students from New York University on a pilot project to help the United Nation’s Global Compact develop a worldwide program for MBA students.

Students from both universities contributed analysis of corporate citizenship activities for participating companies. The students presented their findings at the U.N.’s New York headquarters in February.

“The quality of the comments from BYU students demonstrated their enthusiasm and understanding of the value of corporate citizenship,” says Georg Kell, executive head of the UN Global Compact. “Moreover, the feedback from the more than 50 companies in response to the students’ comments was very encouraging in helping to bring to life a real dialogue between the private sector and other relevant stakeholders.”

In October, the UN Global Compact asked BYU students to join New York University students in the Global Compact's first pilot project with MBA students. The group was asked to review the descriptions of companies’ utilization of the Global Compact’s Nine Principles, which are based on corporate citizenship ideals of human rights, labor standards and the environment.

Students analyzed approximately 80 examples, seven projects and 13 cases that companies involved in the Global Compact submitted to the organization’s Web site. The team submitted written responses to the Web site concerning how well each company displayed the Nine Principles. The team also evaluated their involvement in the pilot project and recommended future implementation with top MBA programs worldwide.

The BYU group was comprised of nine MBA students and one MPA student from the university’s Net Impact chapter, an international organization of graduate students committed to using the power of business to create a better world. BYU students are: Kathryn Wardle of Meridian, Idaho; Melissa Humes of Carmel, Ind.; Dave Adams of Farmington Hills, Mich.; Starr Fowler of Rupert, Idaho; Jim Mortensen of Potomac, Md.; Lucy Li of Guangzhou, China; Wesley Wintch of Elk Ridge, Utah; Travis Winder of Roosevelt, Utah; Jasmin Adams of Troy, Mich.; and Scott Porter of Las Vegas, Nev.

“The UN Global Compact pilot project was a rewarding effort in which we applied what we’ve been learning in the classroom about corporate social responsibility to real-world situations,” says Scott Porter, BYU team member.

The UN Global Compact asks participating corporations from around the world to adhere to a set of principles relating to human rights, labor rights and the environment to promote good corporate citizenship.

Writer: Lauren Funk

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