Highlights from BYU Colleges: Communications professors research loss in trust, business students prepare to be leaders in social impact


Marriott School of Business

Marriott School of Business students are receiving updated instruction on how to create meaningful change in their careers. (BYU Marriott School of Business)

BYU students in the Marriott School of Business are being prepared to be leaders in social impact and learning skills to create meaningful changes in their careers. Nonprofit organizations and corporate businesses are merging to make long-term changes through philanthropy. The Ballard Center for Social Impact, along with the Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics, are updating their instruction accordingly. Todd Manwaring, director and founder of the Ballard Center, is excited to see the changes that will be made.

“The development world is merging into several organizations, not just nonprofits. The updated curriculum enables students to become leaders in social impact since this kind of instruction is ahead of its time,” Manwaring said.

College of Fine Arts and Communications

BYU public relations professors Christopher Wilson and Devin Knighton recently conducted research on the loss of trust people have in organizations. According to their research, one reason for this is because organizations are failing to adapt and adjust to changing social norms and public expectations.

The research involved an experiment which revealed that organizations acting in self-interest and ignoring community norms were received with low trust ratings. On the other hand, organizations acting in the public interest and adapting to community norms were likely to have a high trust rating.

Wilson and Knighton concluded that organizations should not react to every change in public opinion or respond to irrelevant material, and that maintaining trust requires effort in the landscape most businesses exist in.

“Hear what the public has to say. Understand what they want and expect of your organization. Care about what the public thinks and be willing to change or accommodate if such issues are directed at your core business. The only way to survive in the long term is to adjust and adapt to changes in the environment in which the organization operates,” Knighton said.

College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted a seminar during National Chemistry Week on campus, sponsored by the Central Utah Section of the American Chemical Society. The event’s theme was “Fast or Slow: Chemistry Makes It Go!,” showcasing the chemistry involved in creating a cleaner and greener environment. Families were invited to attend, and activities included chemical magic shows and a hands-on workshop.

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