Research & Impact

Research & Impact

In the Willamette MBA program, faculty and students engage in academic research and projects that impact real organizations and have consequences in the real world.  Browse the topics below to learn more about current projects and faculty members who have been quoted in the popular press.

Research Projects

Fred Thompson


Salem Revolution: How One Organization Plans to Modernize Oregon’s Government

No one disputes that our government needs to evolve. That’s where the consensus stops.

The newly formed, non-partisan Institute for Modern Government (IMG) seeks to change that. By drawing on academic and professional resources, the IMG studies and supports public organizations facing today’s operational and management policy issues.

[Read More]

Mariann Bradshaw

Market Research For The Real World

Adjunct professor Marianne Bradshaw unifies experiential learning with community service.

“It’s not enough to know how to conduct strong market research; you have to understand why you’re doing it. What are the objectives of the research? How will the research impact decisions? What data will help guide that action?”

[Read More]

Gary Knight

Drop By Drop - Studying The Next Wave Of Globalization

As global management evolves, Dr. Gary Knight examines the emerging majority.

Having authored six books and 40 refereed articles in academic journals, it will come as no surprise to learn that Dr. Gary Knight, Professor of Global Management and Helen Simpson Jackson Chair in International Management, was ranked in the six leading international business journals as one of the top 15 most prolific scholars in the United States, and one of the top 30 worldwide.

[Read More]

Faculty News

Ringold shares passion for education
Oregon Business  (2014: Mar 4)

I am an educator because I am committed to informed political, policy, production, and consumption decision-making. I graduated from a public high school and earned my B.A., M.B.A., and Ph.D. at public universities.  For those opportunities, I am grateful. I have taught in a major public research institution, a public city university serving primarily first generation college students and two private universities.


City Club of Portland research says 'Frankentax' on property needs to be overhauled
The Oregonian (2013: Nov 7)

"But Steve Maser, professor emeritus of public policy and management at Willamette University and the lead writer of the report, said the state’s odd system is putting downward pressure on local governments that could choke funding for basic services in the future.

'Political decisions are often driven by crisis,' Maser said. 'It’s not there yet. But you can anticipate that it’s going to get there and then action would have to be taken.'"


"New tech incubator set for launch in Portland"
Portland Business Journal (2013: Oct 30)

"Founder Institute, which first launched in 2009, has graduated more than 1,000 companies in 60 cities across the world. It matches mentors with idea-stage companies and allows participants to keep their day jobs during the program. According to founder and CEO Adeo Ressi, nearly 50 percent of Founder Institute graduates have gone on to land angel investment to continue building their companies.

Portland's chapter of Founder Institute will be co-directed by Willamette University's Wade Brooks and Andrew Beldin of Revenue Capital Management."


 "A quiet trip to the ozone hole"
The New York Times (2013: Oct 21)

Edward J. Warnock, an aerospace engineer and contributing professor at Willamette's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, is the chief executive of the Perlan Project. The nonprofit organization is building a glider, Perlan II, to study the stratosphere at close range.


 Robert Wiltbank honored with 2013 Hans Severiens Award
Angel Capital Association (2013: Apr 19)

"Dr. Wiltbank is associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University in Salem, OR, and an active angel investor.

'Rob Wiltbank’s contribution is unique in the world of angel investing,' said Marianne Hudson, ACA executive director. 'He is an angel investor, founder of funds, professor and mentor to future entrepreneurs, and he has researched and written two of the most comprehensive and widely consulted reports on investments by angels in groups.'"


 Oregon's gender pay gap slightly smaller than national average
Statesman Journal (2013: Apr 11)

"Ashley Nixon, a professor of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior at Willamette University, said there’s no question the wage gap does exist — instead, it’s a question of what causes it.

'Do we attribute it to discrimination against women or are there other factors to consider?' she said. 'When we do analysis, we find women make 80 percent of what men do, and there are some well-known differences that account for some of this disparity.'"