|Sustainability and Management: From Research to Results|
|Aimee Ellis is incredibly passionate about sustainability, and she feels honored to work at a college where it is a priority.|
Before being hired by the Ithaca College School of Business, assistant professor of management Aimee Dars Ellis said she struggled to find a dissertation topic she found particularly exciting. It wasn’t until she taught a Business Ethics class one summer at the Arizona State University that Ellis discovered her passion for corporate sustainability initiatives. Ellis became one of the first in her field of Organizational Behavior, which focuses on the way individuals or groups act within an organization, to research the reactions of employees to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs requiring their participation. After observing employee attitudes to volunteer programs, blood drives, and recycling, Ellis found that this programming plays a significant role in the success of any business.
“Employees care deeply about participating in CSR programs, and those programs have a significant benefit to organizations, even if they don’t necessarily affect the bottom line,” Ellis said.
After turning her research into a paper, Ellis presented the results before an Academy of Management meeting. As a finalist for the prestigious Newman Award, which is bestowed upon the top three papers based on dissertation, she received international praise for her work. Today, Ellis brings her expertise to students at the business school. In her classroom, it isn’t unusual for the concept of sustainability to weave its way into discussion. By incorporating her research interests into core class curriculum and developing an undergraduate elective, business sustainability and social entrepreneurship, she provides the outlet for her students to learn core marketing concepts and ideology from a unique perspective.
If it weren’t for the business school’s commitment to and leadership in sustainability, Ellis said she might not have chosen the faculty position. Because sustainability is a topic Ellis is incredibly passionate about, she feels honored to work at a college where it is a priority.
"During my job search, the school was building the new building, and that was certainly a selling point for me,” Ellis said. “I am proud to be teaching at a business school housed in a LEED platinum building with a focus on sustainability. We are in a living laboratory where students can see the principles we discuss in the class in action."