Racial Justice and Social Theory

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Panel will challenge and extend dominant social and political theories operating within business scholarship.

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AOM Social Issues in Management Division

Hosts: Hosts: Paul T. Harper (Pittsburgh) & Cristina Neesham (Newcastle)


Rabbi Gideon Pogrund (Univ. of Pretoria)

Smriti Sharma (Newcastle)

Paul T. Harper (Pittsburgh)

Panel will challenge and extend dominant social and political theories operating within business scholarship through a critical engagement with Black studies, post-colonial studies, and global feminism. Diversity professionals will articulate strategies for building communities of trust across identity boundaries.

Lead Sponsor: Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

Call For Papers:

Journal of Business Ethics (Financial Times 50)

Special Issue on “Racial Justice and Business Ethics”

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2021

Guest Editors: Paul T. Harper (Pittsburgh), Robbin Derry (Lethbridge), Gregory Fairchild (Virginia)

Rabbi Gideon Pogrund founded and directs the GIBS Ethics and Governance Think Tank. Working with senior business, government and civil society leaders, the Think Tank's purpose is to influence and encourage South African business to follow a more ethical approach and thereby help secure a more successful, sustainable future for the business community and the country.

He established the Ethics Barometer for South African business, applying a Harvard Business School (HBS) research instrument and engaging with over 8.000 employees from 15 of SA’s leading companies.

He has spoken at international business schools such as HEC Paris, Baruch College in New York and Nottingham Business School and participated in international leadership forums including the World Economic Forum (WEF) Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). He consults to corporations, helping them to improve their ethics management, and his clients include the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Sanlam, Liberty, Discovery, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and Google.

He has contributed articles and been interviewed in various media outlets, including Business Day, the Financial Mail, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Finweek, Carte Blanche, CNBC Africa and Thomson Reuters. He is a member of the Council of Elders of the Institute of Stakeholder Relations Southern Africa (ISRSA).

Smriti Sharma

I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Economics at Newcastle University Business School since September 2018. I am also the PhD convener for the Economics group. I was previously a Research Fellow at United Nations University's World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland.

My fields of specialization are development economics, labour economics, and behavioural economics. Within these fields, I have three areas of interest: (i) skill and traits in the process of jobs and economic development; (ii) the political economy of development; and (iii) caste and gender-based disadvantage and discrimination. I use observational and experimental data in my research. My work focuses mainly on India and Vietnam.

Dr. Paul T. Harper is Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business, where he is a member of the Organizations and Entrepreneurship faculty group. Harper’s principal activities at Katz include research, course development, and program development in the areas of business ethics, entrepreneurship, and strategic management. In addition to earning his PhD and MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, Paul received a BA from Fisk University and a MA from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Harper has developed a research agenda around racial justice where he is interested in understanding the social policies and economic forces that continue to challenge the flourishing of US domestic minority professionals and entrepreneurs. His most recent research publication, “The symbolic imagination: Plato and contemporary business ethics,” explored the connection between the moral imagination and abuses of power by political and economic elites. His current research concerns the value of corporate symbolic speech in response to demands of the Black Lives Matter social movement. Harper is the Lead Guest Editor of a special issue of the Journal of Business Ethics devoted to “Racial Justice and Business Ethics.” He is also the co-chair of the Racial Justice Committee in the Social Issues in Management Division of the Academy of Management.

In addition to his work on race, Dr. Harper has become widely known throughout the US and abroad for his work in building partnerships with burgeoning Israeli businesses and other technologically progressive countries through academic and professional engagement. Harper’s Israel programming, for example, includes an MBA-level course, case development, and MBA consulting projects. Professor Harper’s Israel program has received recognition by the Consulate General of Israel in New York and has been covered by regional and national news outlets, such as Bloomberg Businessweek.

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