Christopher Michaelson – Opus Magnum
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Christopher Michaelson

Career Services, Ethics, Events, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

3 Executives Share What They Look For When Hiring

James White
James White, executive vice president and president, Latin America, Ecolab, Inc.
Christopher Oleary
Christopher O’Leary, executive vice president and international chief operating officer, General Mills
Eric Buss
Eric Buss, executive vice president for Life Time Fitness, Inc.

The Opus College of Business recently hosted a panel of top executives who discussed themes PwC’s annual global CEO survey. The executives shared a great deal of advice on succeeding in the ever-changing job market — and traits they look for when hiring.  This post is a compilation of reflections on the event from Ben Carlson, Kirsten Haukoos, Maura Hinken, Shanthi Kelaart and Bonnie Wustudents in professor Christopher Michaelson’s undergraduate business ethics course.

The discussion was opened up by a few questions and statistics and one that stuck out was the fact that in 2012 most CEOs are planning on increasing their hiring and headcount. Eric Buss, from Life Time Fitness, is in charge of human resources, corporate development, risk management, and education functions. James White of Ecolab, is in charge of the daily operations in Latin American countries with an Ecolab presence.  Chris O’Leary, from General Mills, oversees the businesses outside of the U.S., with responsibility for nearly 14,000 employees in more than 100 countries. The speakers gave the students attending a good idea of how the business world is changing, and the important qualities of successful employees: Continue Reading

Career Services, Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom

What is meaningful work? – 5 Questions with Prof. Michaelson

As the 2012 Opus College of Business graduates get ready to enter or re-enter the workforce or re-energize their workplace, we wanted to share a Q&A with Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the ethics and business law department, about his research on meaningful work.

Q. What do you mean by “meaningful work”?

A. Meaningful work refers not only to work that is meaningful to the worker but that also contributes meaningfully to general well-being. Most people intuitively have an idea of what meaningful work is and whether they consider their own work to be meaningful. There is a lot of excellent research on why people do the kinds of work they do and what they think about it. However, comparatively few people consider why they ought to do the work they do in a moral sense. My research examines the morality of meaningful work, including whether we have a moral obligation to perform and/or provide it.

Q. Why is this topic of interest to you?

A. Some of the influential people in my life had relatively clear ideas about what kinds of work were morally acceptable for me to pursue. Sometimes, I joke that I became the wrong kind of doctor. My mother, a teacher, would really have liked me to have been a medical doctor for a meaningful reason: Doctors help others, and in doing so make the world better. There are good reasons why doctors are generally held in high esteem. The fact that the market often compensates them well seems an appropriate reward for their efforts. Similarly, teachers help others improve our world, but they are often not as well-compensated. In my career as a teacher of business students and as a business person, I have tried to encourage my students and business organizations to consider ways in which business can and does enhance well-being. I promote exploration of how the market can or should reward such efforts. Continue Reading

Ethics, Newsroom

Ethics is More than Compliance

When asked, at the February 9 Intersections in Ethics event, if she was the conscience of Best Buy, Kathleen Edmond, the company’s chief ethics officer, smiled and replied “I’m the air traffic controller.”

More than 250 guests registered for this second event in the Intersections series, drawn not only by the topic, but by the participants: Edmond was joined by Dr. Kenneth Goodpaster, the Opus College of Business Endowed Chair in Ethics. In a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Christopher Michaelson, assistant professor in the college’s Ethics and Business Law Department, Edmond and Goodpaster explored the impact a clear-eyed approach to business ethics can have on employee morale as well as the bottom line. Continue Reading

Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Mann Meets Humanity in Davos – Huffington Post

Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D., assistant professor of ethics and business law here at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business published an article about the World Economic Forum in Davos on the Huffington Post Tuesday.

As world leaders prepared for the World Economic Forum‘s annual fête in Davos, Switzerland in January, the event continued to embody what is arguably the most pressing irony of capitalism today. The problem of too much — over-consumption, excessive rewards for an elite few — flaunts alongside the problem of too little — resource scarcity and extreme poverty for a less fortunate many. As politically and economically motivated uprisings sprouted around the world this past year, these problems also coexisted at Davos, one seeking to help solve the other while at the same time being blamed for being its primary cause. Continue Reading

Career Services, Ethics, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

The Importance of Meaningful Work

workI was just discussing this with a colleague the other day, and I couldn’t agree more:

Many employees today are motivated by an interest in meaningful work, not just economic rewards.

Christopher M. Michaelson, an assistant professor in UST’s Ethics and Business Law Department recently published an article, “Teaching Meaningful Work: Philosophical Discussions on the Ethics of Career Choice,” in the Journal of Business Ethics Education and discussed some of the ideas related to his study of “The Importance of Meaningful Work” in The Magazine from the MIT Sloan Management Review. Continue Reading