Posted 9.22.15

AACSB International, the global accrediting body and membership association for business schools, is honoring David Cooperrider, PhD '86 and Fairmount Santrol - David L. Cooperrider Professor in Appreciative Inquiry in Weatherhead's Organizational Behavior Department, as one of the first 100 AACSB Influential Leaders.

In 2016, AACSB, a nonprofit membership organization of nearly 1,000 institutions and businesses devoted to management education, will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. To celebrate, AACSB announced the names of the inaugural class of Influential Leaders, 100 individuals who represent more than 20 industry sectors across about 48 countries, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at its Annual Accreditation Conference in Chicago, The honorees were selected from the organization’s first “Influential Leaders from AACSB Business Schools Challenge.”  

Cooperrider is the founder and faculty chair of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management. He is most widely known for his formulation and pioneering advance of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology focusing on the discovery and design of positive institutions. It's a method and a mindset that helped create the field of positive psychology and the strengths revolution in management.

In 2012, guided by Cooperrider's vision, Weatherhead’s Fowler Center launched a major world inquiry project to identify businesses that are agents of world benefit. AIM2Flourish is a student-driven initiative at management schools globally using the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The stories will become nominations for the inaugural Flourish Prizes, to be awarded in June 2017.  Learn more at

For the nomination process, AACSB developed a short list of open-ended questions that provided a framework for expectations for nominees. From April to June 2015, AACSB-accredited schools submitted notable alumni who have made (or are making) an impact in the world. From the nominations, a selection committee reviewed and chose stories that showed a sampling of the positive impact that business school graduates have made on society.

“It is my honor to recognize David Cooperrider for his contributions as an Influential Leader, and to thank the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University for its dedication to providing a business education environment based on engagement, innovation, and impact,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “If told, the success stories of all business school graduates would fill unmeasurable volumes. AACSB is honored to celebrate Cooperrider—and the collective 100 Influential Leaders—as a representation of how business school alumni have positively influenced society, as well as the management education industry’s, past, present, and promising future.”


For the full list of recipients, visit


The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University is committed to developing transformational ideas and outstanding leaders for the advancement of business and society. We accomplish this by educating leaders to find solutions to tomorrow's business challenges through innovative design thinking and viewing business as an agent of world benefit. Learn breakthrough business concepts from the people who invented them in Weatherhead's undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degree programs.

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