Management professor Richard Wokutch and marketing professor Joseph Sirgy are listed among the most productive researchers in business ethics, according to a recent study in the Journal of Business Ethics that ranked Virginia Tech 15th among the top 25 academic institutions in this field. (The study listed the top schools and the two leading scholars in each institution.)
International business ethics and global management
Wokutch’s research focuses on international business ethics and the global management of corporate social performance. He has written or edited several books, including Worker Protection, Japanese Style: Occupational Safety and Health in the Auto Industry and Rising Above Sweatshops: Innovative Approaches to Global Labor Challenges. He conducted research in Germany and Japan as a recipient of two Fulbright awards. Wokutch teaches an MBA course, Ethical Dimensions of Leadership, and coordinates Pamplin’s annual Business Ethics Symposium.
Quality of life
Sirgy is a specialist in quality-of-life research. He received the Distinguished Quality-of-Life Researcher Award, the highest honor of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies. His applied research has examined housing well-being and real estate, quality of work life, leisure well-being and tourism marketing, community quality of life and economic development, health-related quality of life and healthcare marketing, corporate social performance, and ethics codes development for business organizations.
The article, in the journal’s August 2010, no. 1 issue, based its rankings on total number of articles, weighted by co-authors and co-affiliations in major business ethics journals over a 10-year period (1999–2008). The article examined global patterns of business ethics research and contributing institutions — more than 1,400, including nearly 570 in the U.S. — and scholars — more than 4,000 worldwide. The results, the study’s authors say, show that business ethics research is highly concentrated on a limited number of scholars within each institution.
The study also found that business ethics research output is closely linked to institutional missions that are driven by the school’s values or religious belief. Among the top 100 institutions, 22 are affiliated with a religious denomination. The authors note that their findings are consistent with previous arguments that business ethics are influenced by culture, education, and legal environment in a global context. It found that although U.S. academic institutions continue to lead in business ethics research contributions, Asian and European institutions have made significant progress.