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USC Marshall to host corporate stewardship conference

Event to focus on practices and research

The USC Marshall School of Business and its Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) announced a conference on the topic of corporate stewardship honoring Warren Bennis, University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, who pioneered the field of leadership studies.

Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz of Starbucks will deliver one of the conference’s keynote addresses. (Photo/courtesy of USC Marshall)

“Corporate Stewardship: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness” will showcase current corporate practices and research findings in the areas of social responsibility, business ethics and environmental sustainability and will feature keynote presentations by three prominent chief executive officers — Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Terri Kelly of W.L. Gore and James Sinegal (retired) of Costco.

Hosted by USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis, the event will convene local and national business leaders with USC faculty, research scientists and students on Feb. 20 at the Davidson Continuing Education Center.

“Our goal is to help build local and global awareness and understanding of effective practices and stimulate research and teaching initiatives focused on the changing role of corporations in society,” said Edward Lawler, CEO director and Distinguished Professor of Business. “The conference is intended to serve as a catalyst that will accelerate cross-discipline research and knowledge development in the critical, rapidly changing management area of sustainable effectiveness.”

The conference will focus on how businesses can create strategies, structures, policies and management practices that are profitable, ethical, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible in the long term. Each keynote speaker will participate in a panel discussion featuring executives from other companies that are leaders in organizing for sustainable effectiveness, as well as scholars from USC and other universities researching and writing on the topics of social responsibility, business ethics and environmental sustainability.

The conference was organized in honor of one of the world’s foremost experts on leadership. A consultant and writer, Bennis has served as adviser to four U.S. presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. He is the author of numerous books. He chairs the advisory board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a former Distinguished Research Fellow at Harvard Business School and former president of the University of Cincinnati.

To reserve a seat for the conference by the Jan. 31 deadline, visit

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USC Marshall to host corporate stewardship conference

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