The Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership leverages the intellectual capital of Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School to design courses and programs that teach the leadership skills and strategies necessary to create an optimal organizational culture. The Initiative was established through a generous gift from Reuben Mark, former chairman and chief executive officer at the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
Centralized within the Bernstein Center for Leadership and Ethics at the Business School, the Initiative integrates organizational culture into the School’s leadership development curriculum, programming, and research. Complementing this effort, the Law School is building new curriculum, including the creation of a Leader-in-Residence program and the establishment of the In-House Counsel Lab, which focuses on research and experiential learning opportunities.
Jointly, the Business and Law Schools work on cross-listed curriculum and unique programming that bring together students, alumni, and the greater Columbia community focused on highlighting real-world examples of exemplary leadership and the principles of organizational culture.
The Initiative is committed to bringing together business and law students, alumni, and the greater Columbia University community for novel programs, such as:
Organizational Leadership Series
The series hosts preeminent business and legal executives from various industries to highlight their effective leadership styles in congruence with their companies’ strong organizational cultures.
CEO and General Counsel Conversation Series
A conversation series that highlights the strategic relationship between in-house lawyers and their business partners, and the competitive advantage that flows from those strong relationships. This series explores how this partnership can be leveraged to build companies with outstanding organizational culture.
Organizational Leadership Case Competition at Columbia Business and Law Schools
This unique case competition places business and law school students on a team to work as cross-functional advisors who strategize on and deliver a recommendation to a prompt based upon real-world experiences. Topics include corporate culture, leadership, and the future of work.
An invitation-only roundtable working group of dedicated and passionate practitioner leaders and academics who discuss timely and relevant research, share best practices, and engage outside perspectives relevant to the work of the Initiative. The composition of the Roundtable includes professionals and academics from various points in their careers and from a range of industries and backgrounds, in order to ensure that a variety of perspectives are represented. Particular attention paid to generational diversity, as current challenges surrounding corporate culture begin with differing generational work/life expectations, which are especially germane to the Initiative and its goals around teaching great organizational culture.
Columbia Business School
The Leadership Co-Curricular Series features a set of workshops offered throughout the year which builds upon our students' leadership skillset by teaching them the particular strategies or ‘how-tos’ of leadership on a variety of topics. This series will allow for more opportunities for our students to put theory from the classroom into practice.
- Managing Difficult Conversations
- Harnessing Your Personal Influence as a Student Leader
- Finding Your Purpose Through Work
- Managing Stress to Enhance Performance as a Leader
- Exerting Influence Without Authority in the Workplace
- Thinking Critically About Race and Racism in Business
- Transform Your Leadership Practice with Reflective Feedback
- Unpacking Diversity Dynamics in Organization: Learning Together
- Leading a High-Performing, Flexible Work Team in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond
- Active Listening Workshop: The Superpower of Leadership
- Building Your Personal Brand
- Building Your "Leadership User Manual"
- Learn to Leverage Your Network
This year, the Initiative is pleased to award following the faculty members and doctoral students with research grants for projects pertaining to the topics of values-based leadership, intergenerational leadership, the future of work, and workplace culture. In line with the mission of the Initiative, the research will further develop new tools and frameworks for thinking about leadership and organizational culture in order to better prepare future leaders in business at Columbia. The Initiative will present the research findings at colloquiums to be hosted during the next academic year.
2023-2024 Faculty Grant Recipients:
Laura Boudreau, Assistant Professor of Business, Economics Division
Research Project: "Secure Reporting Systems to Support Healthy Workplace Culture"
Wei Cai, Assistant Professor of Business, Accounting Division
Research Project: "The Origin of Organizational Culture"
Donna Hitscherich, Senior Lecturer in Business, Finance Division
Research Project: "Women in Finance: In Our Own Backyard"
Rebecca Ponce de Leon, Assistant Professor in Business, Management Division
Research Project: "Companies of the People, By the People, For the People? Investigating Support for Participatory Practices in Workplaces"
2023-2023 Doctoral Grant Recipients:
Maren Hoff, PhD Candidate, Marketing Division
Research Project: "The Vicious Cycle of Status Insecurity"
Isaac Raymundo, PhD Candidate, Management Division
Research Project: "Status and Promotion Systems"