Ford Motor Company Center For Global Citizenship

Ford Motor Company Center For Global Citizenship

This sustainability centre is part of NBS's Sustainability Centres Community, representing business schools from around the world. Find out more.

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Ford Motor Company Center For Global Citizenship

Evanston, United States 

Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University 


The Center's mission is to address - through research and teaching - the challenges faced by corporations that have become the main agents of global, social and political change. Our scholars are dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach that combines ethical, strategic and organizational concerns.

Main Activities

The center draws on a diverse array of Kellogg and Northwestern faculty and researchers to investigate the role of business and its interaction with the social and political environment.

In recent decades, corporations have replaced states as the leading agents for global political and social change. Increased globalization and technological innovation will further accelerate this process. Increasingly, societal actors have recognized these developments and have begun to hold companies accountable for the social consequences of change. In addition to being responsible to shareholders and employees, companies must address the concerns of the media, activists, public officials and the public. Examples of areas that now involve business range from environmental standards and sustainability, diversity and privacy concerns, to global labor relations and human rights. Consider the example of biotechnology. Biotech companies not only need to obtain regulatory and political approval for their products, but also must secure acceptance of their products by the public via the various media channels.

These developments present new opportunities and challenges for managers. The social environment of business is complex and involves actors with different motivations. In this context, ethical concerns play a critical role. Both political activists and consumers frequently are motivated by moral concerns. Firms must be able to anticipate these concerns, predict their effects and incorporate them into overall strategic planning, from communication strategies to coalition building, from industry-alliances to the development of organizational solutions and corporate structures.

By their very nature these issues do not fit existing research categories. The Ford Center is therefore committed to addressing these issues on an interdisciplinary basis, bringing together researchers from social psychology, ethics, organizational behavior, accounting, political economy, economics, management strategy, medicine and public policy. Specific Research Areas include:

Organizational Structure

Established through the generous contributions of the Ford Motor Company, the Center merged with the Center for Business, Government, and Society in September 2006.

Includes the Ford Network – a division of the Ford Center that facilitates a portfolio of networks designing solutions to problems requiring innovation and cross-industry collaboration. Members are influential industry and academic leaders within the focus area of each network. Networks are ignited by: