jeantJean Stead – Her Teaching

The Joy of Teaching

Teaching is Jean’s true passion. She is passionate about her area of expertise, sustainable strategic management, and she loves teaching graduating seniors. Jean and the topic of sustainable strategic management have coevolved over the years. In 1984 Jean taught her first MBA strategic management course at ETSU and used Ed Freeman’s classic, Stakeholder Management, as the text for the course. Ed Freeman’s stakeholder theory provided Jean with the framework that would guide her teaching and research in the field for the decades. It is stakeholder theory that provided the coevolutionary path for Jean to integrate Herman Daly’s steady state economics, corporate social responsibility, and finally sustainability into her courses, with her course notes eventually turning into her 2004 book, Sustainable Strategic Management, now in its second edition.

Jean’s primary teaching responsibility over her career has been in the capstone course for both MBA and undergraduate students, sustainable strategic management. Teaching students during their last semester in college provides both special challenges and rewards. Jean still remembers her anxieties and fears during her last semester at Auburn, when she was supposed to get a job during a recession at a time when the business world was still a man’s world. These memories help Jean become more than a teacher to many of her students who seek her counsel about their hopes and fears for their future.

Jean believes that teaching is spiritual work. When she began her studies under Herman Daly she began to understand the situation humankind was in on this finite sphere we call earth. The data depressed her and she thought that the future was bleak, especially for future generations. It took years for her to work through the dilemma of how one woman could make a difference, with the birth of Garner Lee bringing this to the forefront of her thoughts. The conclusion she finally came to is that one person can only influence the sphere around them and that if she could influence one student, who would one day make more sustainable business decisions, she has made a difference.

Sustainability in the Classroom

In 2009 Jean and Ed formed a relationship with Eastman Chemical Company executive, Dr. Bill Heise, who was then a member of Eastman’s Sustainability Team. Under the leadership of CEO, Jim Rogers, Eastman had embarked on a sustainability journey primarily due to their customers’ demand for more sustainable materials. This relationship resulted in a three-year, curricular partnership where a research project was designed for all the graduating seniors in the capstone strategic management classes focused on Eastman’s sustainable product introductions, Tritan and Perennial Wood. The students worked closely with Dr. Heise and his team who attended classes, gave lectures, held office hours, and gave an end of the semester cocktail party where the students presented the results of their projects to the Eastman executives. The interaction between the executives and students not only brought sustainability to light for the students in a real sense, it also increased their confidence in their ability to interact in the business world when they graduated.

By-products of our relationship with Eastman Chemical Company are an integrative case study on Eastman’s sustainability journey under the leadership of Jim Rogers in the second edition of Sustainable Strategic Management, and an article, “Sustainability Comes to Management Education and Research: A Story of Coevolution,” in the Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal.

Courses Taught

  • Sustainable Strategic Management (undergraduate/graduate)
  • Strategic Environmental Management (undergraduate/graduate)
  • Organizational Management (undergraduate)
  • Organization Theory and Development (undergraduate)
  • Organization Theory and Behavior (graduate)
  • Management and Social Responsibility (undergraduate)
  • Principles of Micro and Macro Economics (undergraduate)
  • Intermediate Macro Economics (undergraduate)
  • Money and Banking (undergraduate)
  • Urban Problems (undergraduate)

Teaching and Student Related Honors

  • University Emeritus Award, Outstanding Teaching, 1995, ETSU
  • Panhellenic Faculty Member of the Year, 1990- 1991, ETSU
  • Faculty Emeritus Award, Outstanding Teaching, 1991, College of Business, ETSU
  • Faculty Excellence Award, Outstanding Teaching, 1991, College of Business, ETSU
  • Faculty Excellence Award, Outstanding Teaching, 1990, College of Business, ETSU
  • Finalist, Faculty Advisor of the Year, ETSU, 1987
  • Faculty Excellence Award, Outstanding Teaching, 1986, College of Business, ETSU
  • Faculty Excellence Award, Outstanding Service, 1986, College of Business, ETSU
  • Runner-up, Professor of the Year, 1978, Western Illinois University
  • Runner-up, Professor of the Year, 1977, Western Illinois University