Founded in 1997, the Department of Business-Society Management (B-SM) at RSM was the first such group within a European business school. The B-SM Department offers a humanistic perspective on the interface between business and society-at-large.
“Traditionally the focus of management research is from the perspective of business, and improving conditions for business,” says Department Chair Prof. dr. Lucas Meijs. “In our department, we turn it around and focus on how business can make things better for society.”
Social business models
The research and teaching of this department focuses on alternative definitions of business, including issues around climate change, reputation, business ethics, philanthropy and partnerships. “This is a transformation of our fundamental assumptions about the relationship between business and society, and the responsibilities and ‘profits’ each party can expect,” says Professsor Meijs. “We help business see itself in the context of the society.”
B-SM’s new areas of research are translated directly into RSM’s internationally-oriented programmes, like the MSc in Global Business & Sustainability. Developing a mindset trained on the future of society is also crucial for Executive Education, says Prof. Meijs. “We want our research to count at a high level, so we’ve set up Open Programmes around behavioural ethics and managing philanthropic non-profits, for example,” he says.
A positive force: people
The power of people within business to create positive change is central to the many programmes, publications, research projects, Centres of Expertise and events that come together under the B-SM umbrella. With such major themes as partnerships, climate change, reputation, strategic philanthropy and behavioural ethics, B-SM research embraces a wide range of issues related to the future of people. “As a group we talk about things that touch an emotional chord.”