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GSB launches Marketing Center

The Gabelli School of Business has launched the Center for Positive Marketing, which the dean of the school, Dr. Donna Rapacciloi, says will "bring together all the positive aspects of what [the school does] as educators under one umbrella."

According to its Web site: "The Center for Positive Marketing was born from our commitment to improve the world around us. We believe in the power of people-centric exchange, uniting business with the global community to create a socially responsible — and mutually beneficial —relationship. We see marketing as more than the exchange of goods and services, it is an agent for positive influence in society."

Dr. Marcia Flicker, associate professor of marketing and co-director of the school's honors thesis program, explained the significance of the project. "We hope that, as the Center grows and matures, it will be an asset to the University and to global marketing practice in ways that we can only glimpse now," she said.

Specifically, according to Flicker, "the center will be administering an annual survey of consumer well-being, training undergraduate and graduate students in research methods, hosting an executive in residence, bringing prominent industry speakers to campus, and organizing academic conferences." "All of these activities will allow us to share, debate and expand our ideas with our students and marketing practitioners," she said.

The center was created not solely for teaching purposes, but also for facilitating the study of "the value created when organizations and their customers or clients exchange goods and services of value in a win-win situation." "We believe that the needs of all members of a market — customers, suppliers, intermediaries and the public — are interdependent, and that by satisfying real needs, the best marketing is a force for societal well-being," Flicker said.

Flicker repeatedly conveyed her high aspirations for the center. She said that she hoped that the research done would be "at the cutting edge of knowledge that helps to influence and shape how businesses interact and create value." Additionally, she anticipates that "Fordham University will become the ‘go-to' place for information about marketing as a force for ethical value creation." Flicker said that she foresees the center publishing an annual index of consumer-well being, and more interaction between students, faculty and the "global business world." This aspect of the center, in particular, is very important to Flicker. "This interaction will enrich the resources (e.g., knowledge, contacts) available in the classroom and career advising," she said.

Although the details of the center's use have not all been ironed out, Flicker said that "our vision is large and long-range."

"I am very proud of this new research center as it really uses our mission as a Jesuit business school in New York as the basis for its research and involvement with the external community," Rapaccioli said.

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