Dec. 18, 2019Print | PDF
A Wilfrid Laurier University marketing professor, Kalyani Menon, has been selected as one of 10 global recipients of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program “2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Award”.
Menon, associate professor and area coordinator of marketing in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, is one of only two faculty members from Canadian universities to receive this honour in 2019.
The award is given to faculty who teach courses that redefine business education. Menon’s undergraduate business course “Marketing and Society” was selected for providing learning experiences that equip tomorrow’s managers with the context, skills and decision-making capabilities needed to lead in an increasingly complex business environment and world. This fourth-year course introduces the notion of responsible marketing and consumerism and opens a dialogue into the effects of marketing on society.
“Through her innovative teaching practices, Professor Menon exemplifies the Laurier spirit of inspiring lives of leadership and purpose,” said Micheál J. Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School. “We are proud of Kalyani’s recognition and commitment to advancing our students into life-long learners, exceptional decision makers, and, ultimately, outstanding citizens.”
Menon teaches a range of courses in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and PhD programs.
“In my Marketing and Society course, I ask students to consider the importance of the physical, psychological, sociological, cultural and economic world that is inhabited by consumers. I ask them to think critically about the impact of marketing and all its activities on people and society,” said Menon. “Marketing education has a responsibility to equip students to think beyond the profit motive. We want our students to think about the impact of marketing on all aspects of society, to consider how marketing can be a powerful force for positive change in the world. By the end of my course, I hope the students are equipped to be more conscious and conscientious consumers and marketers.”
The Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program has recognized the power of teaching to influence the culture embedded within capitalism with this award since 1999. The 2019 Award winners join an esteemed fellowship of previous recipients who are rethinking the path forward for business and society.
“Since the 1980s, the prevailing ideas in management education have bolstered a version of capitalism that externalizes costs and discounts the future,” said Judy Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. “The teachers and scholars we celebrate here are challenging conventional thinking and testing new approaches to issues that divide us: deep distrust in institutions, fractured public debates, and crises like climate and economic inequality. Our ten 2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Award-winning courses offer a strong signal about the future of management education.”
Menon received her PhD in Management from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master in Business Economics from Delhi University in India. In her research, she uses a consumer wellbeing lens to study how consumption experiences impact consumer emotions, consumer power, and consumer behaviours such as information sharing through word of mouth. She also studies the causes and consequences of materialism. Her research has been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada in addition to other funding agencies.
She coordinates the university’s membership in the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a United Nations-supported initiative founded as a platform to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world. PRME aims to equip today’s business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change.
The Aspen Institute’s 2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Awards were announced on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 in New York, N.Y., U.S. Additional details are available online at ideasworthteachingawards.org.
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