This issue of the Exchange features Dr. Minoo Ghoreishi, professor of management at Millersville since 1988.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Iran.
Q: Where were you educated?
A: I went to Oklahoma City University for my master’s degree in business administration and the University of Arkansas for my Ph.D.
Q: Why did you go into business?
A: It deals with everyday life and it is related to most fields.
Q: What did you do after graduation?
A: I taught graduate school and stayed in the teaching profession since then, more than 25 years.
Q: What is your favorite course to teach and why?
A: “Seminar in Free Enterprise,” “Strategic Management,” “Business and Society” and “International Issues.” I would like to develop service-learning projects for my students to involve them with community activities.
Q: Name one thing you love most about teaching business management.
A: Management applies to all professions. It means, regardless of your profession, you need to know how to manage your life, job and business. Through management, we teach there is NO best way to manage, but you change it based on the situation. It is a field with flexibility, and involves human and society and organizational matters.
Q: What is the hardest part about being a professor?
A: Keeping students motivated to the subject matters and final evaluations. Plus, I would like to be updated with most recent researches, and we do not have as much time for it.
Q: Business leaders used to be looked up to. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Can you talk about how leaders can get back in the good graces of the public?
A: I believe in employee-run businesses, such as corporations; business leaders have to empower employees and decentralize decision making authority to regular employees. Also, CEOs pay should not be far more than their average employees.
Q: How important are ethics in business? Do you stress them in any classes?
A: Absolutely. All my courses have ethics components. I believe in capitalism with conscience.
Q: What are your thoughts on how to get the economy going – is it up to big business, or do you think small businesses are the key?
A: Big business can bring efficiency to the market through mass production as long as they are willing to increase the salary of employees with the increase in the productivity. Small business is good for market niche and is complementary to big business. Both small and big business are important components of the market system; however, regular employees have to be major components of the management system of big corporations.
Q: Do you advise any student organizations?
A: Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM).
Q: What are some of your responsibilities?
A: I involve students in community projects, annual competitions of the SIFE and SAM, apply for funding for their activities and keep the organizations alive.
Q: Why did you choose these specific business organizations?
A: I believe these organizations can help our students academically and also make them a better person. Students have the opportunity to use their creativity to build effective projects that help our community, and by doing it, they learn too.
SAM helps students to improve their academic abilities and involve them with the scholarly activities. The SAM team has placed first twice and third once at the SAM International Business Conference. They learn to prepare a business case that I teach in my “Strategic Management” course, and present it to the judges. In this case, they have to perform an audit strategy of a company and come out with the recommendations.
For the SIFE team, students try to make a difference in life of others by teaching them, raise funds for them and in general become a better person for the society. Once a year, they also enter a competition and present their activities to the judges. I established this chapter at Millersville in 1998 and since then we have been regional champion five times. For example, in December 2011, the SIFE team raised funds to buy school supplies for children in rural areas of Costa Rica, and 10 of our students traveled to Costa Rica and delivered it to villages. In this trip, they were greeted by the staff of the president and toured the president’s offices.
Q: When your students win, how does this make you feel and why?
A: When the students win it makes me happy because they are happy. Actually, entering the competition makes them a winner since they gain the experience of presenting before a group of judges, interacting with company CEOs, having the opportunity to find jobs at these events, and most of all, they feel good about themselves and have fun.
Q: What is your favorite business magazine/newspaper to read?
A: PBS broadcasting is my favorite media for news and documentaries.
Q: What was your most recent book?
A: “Conscience Capitalism: A stakeholder’s Approach” was published in August 2011.
Q: Why did you write it?
A: The recent economic crisis partially is a result of unethical activities of businesses in order to maximize profit of stockholders. We need to teach our students an improved version of the capitalistic system: A system that maximizes values to all stakeholders and not only to stockholders including customers, employees, community and other stakeholders. The capitalistic system is an effective system and in the last century has improved our productivity dramatically. “Capitalism with Conscience” is the system to benefit all components of the society. Our students are future managers and executives. I am hoping they learn these principles and implement it in their job and personal life.
Q: When not teaching, what do you do in your spare time?
A: I try to finish the second edition of my book, watch PBS programs and bake bread and sweets.
Q: We know that you are always really busy but if you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
A: Through the Fulbright program, I would teach in the rural area of Central Asia, because there are areas that have not been ‘modernized’ yet. I am interested in the way of life outside modern ‘commercialization’ life style.
Q: Please complete this sentence. People would be surprised to know that I…
A: Would like to be an activist about humanistic issues and continuously try to be a better person.