UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Smeal College of Business recently awarded a combined $10,000 to Jason Acimovic, assistant professor of supply chain management, and Razvan Lungeanu, assistant professor of management and organization, as the 2017 Smeal Sustainability Research Grant recipients.
Acimovic, who received $3,500, will use the money to fund his research titled, “Metrics for disaster relief pre-positioning: Theory-driven tools for non-expert practitioners.”
The project’s goal, according to Acimovic’s grant proposal, is to provide tools and analyses to the global disaster-assistance community in order to help it plan how many emergency items to store, where to store them and how they should be transported.
“Natural disasters have the largest impact on the most vulnerable populations,” Acimovic said. “Being awarded the Smeal Sustainability Research Grant allows me to connect with practitioners who are working with these populations and who are preparing for the next disaster.”
Acimovic said that from building these connections, “we can apply cutting-edge supply-chain tools — originally developed for the private sector — to the unique context of disaster-response supply chains in a way that can actually have an impact and reduce human suffering.”
Lungeanu’s research, “Corporate Elite Values and their Influence on Social Cause Priorities in the U.S. 2002-2013,” aims to understand why top executives get involved in the not-for-profit domain, and how the social causes that receive funding from these independent foundations are affected.
“My results show that executives engage in what is called in psychology ‘moral accounting,’” Lungeanu said. “When an executive’s firm has a good track record on social responsibility, we see that top executives are less likely to extend their reach and engage in independent philanthropy. And for those that do engage through their roles as foundation trustees … resources are directed and even changed towards social causes different from those pursued successfully by the top executive’s corporation.”
Lungeanu received $6,500 to continue his research in collaboration with Klaus Weber, an instructor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. According to the grant proposal, data has been collected from 1,124 CEOs, linking 677 S&P 500 corporations to 309 foundations during the period of 2002-2013.
This is the second time Lungeanu has been awarded a Smeal Sustainability Research Grant. He was part of a team of three researchers who earned a grant in 2015, the inaugural year grants were awarded
Proposals were evaluated on intellectual merit, the relationship of the research results to the business case for sustainability, and the involvement of faculty or students from different departments or colleges.
Sustainability is a strategic priority for the Penn State Smeal College of Business, and through research efforts, Smeal will continue to create knowledge relative to sustainable business practices and their impact on businesses and on society.
More information about past Smeal Sustainability Research Grants is available online.