Mandel Center/EDM Nonprofit Fellows Discuss Current Research
Mandel Center/Executive Doctor of Managment Nonprofit Fellows and other EDM students and graduates recently gathered at the Weatherhead School of Management’s Peter B. Lewis building for a day of presentations and discussion about current and future research. Several current EDM students and one EDM graduate shared their research around the general nonprofit areas of social change and seniors/healthcare. The presentations spurred interesting questions and in-depth discussions, helping the presenters to clarify and hone their findings as they move forward in their EDM experience.
Jane Cooke Lauder, EDM candidate, class of 2007, shared some of her current research in the area of collaboration. She spent part of her summer last year in South Africa, interviewing the heads of several nonprofit organizations and exploring their efforts at collaboration in the very difficult area of HIV and AIDS work. Citing both significant cultural differences and especially the very complex and stressful situation South Africans face with so many dramatic social problems - HIV and AIDS, poverty, unemployment, etc. - she discovered differences in the perceptions, attitudes, and even experiences surrounding collaboration between nonprofit leaders in South Africa and those here in the U.S. and in Europe.
Cheryl Baldwin, also an EDM candidate, class of 2008, shared her initial research on the gap she has found between formal and informal structures faced by many nonprofit organizations. Citing her research on nonprofits in Rwanda, she described the significant transactional costs incurred by NGO’s as they try to translate the formal processes required by so many funders (especially in North America and Europe) into a usable system “on the ground” as they actually do their work.
Dr. Craig Soaries, a graduate of the EDM program in 2003, presented some of his recent work on the bicultural experience of African-American men. As he states in his abstract, “After five years of research, I discovered a group of successful, formerly marginal African-American men that have the ability to communicate their experiences in two different worlds or cultures. Their bicultural experience enables them to become a potential source of intervention for men that are still marginal and desire to be mainstreamed.” His research explores the existence of a first and second order African-American male oral tradition.
These and other presentations made for an intriguing and insightful day of academic examination and discourse. The presenters and all in attendance appeared energized by the discussions, and the day clearly provided helpful feedback as these EDM candidates and EDM graduate continue to move forward in their work.
By James Armour, MBA 2006