Dr. Denis Arnold

Professor of Management, Surtman Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics
Friday 206


PhD, University of Minnesota

About my research:

My research focuses on business ethics, corporate responsibility, sustainability and public policy related to business. My current research focuses on two major areas. The first is international business ethics. These issues include labor practices in off-shore factories, business and human rights, and business relationships with those living in extreme poverty. Secondly, my research seeks to understand the drivers of innovation, corporate misconduct and corporate integrity in the pharmaceutical industry. Much of my research and teaching focuses on how firms can effectively manage internal organizational ethics and external stakeholder relations consistent with societal expectations and thereby retain legitimacy.

What I enjoy most about teaching:

I very much enjoy helping students understand the social, political and economic contexts in which businesses operate. Case studies help to make the ethical dimensions of management obvious and we have terrific conversations based on these cases in my courses.

My advice to students:

Executives consistently report that the most essential skill set necessary to develop young business people into organizational leaders are the abilities to think critically and write well. Technical skills are important, but given the rapid changes in technology, many will be obsolete before young business people mature into leaders. What cannot be taught on the job is the ability to critically engage and solve complex, multifaceted problems and write in a clear, coherent and engaging manner. Bringing these skills sets into organizations, together with a sophisticated understanding of the art and science of management, provides students with a unique, in-demand skill set that, together with discipline and hard work, has unlimited career and professional growth potential.

About Me:

I recently served a 5-year term as the Editor in Chief of Business Ethics Quarterly, an elite business ethics and corporate social responsibility journal published by Cambridge University Press. The journal is multi-disciplinary, meaning it receives submissions from scholars in many different fields (e.g., philosophy, religious studies, sociology, management, economics, accounting, and marketing). This has given me the opportunities to review and assess a vast range of scholarship and to remain fully engaged with the most cutting edge scholarship in my fields of research and teaching. I have also had the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies, leaders of medium sized businesses, corporate attorneys, and federal prosecutors, regarding business ethics and corporate misconduct providing me with current, practical knowledge regarding the challenges of managing complex organizations in a dynamic business and regulatory environment.  All of this experience makes its way into my teaching and leads to modifications in content every semester so we can stay on top of current cases, trends, and issues in business ethics, sustainability, and corporate responsibility.