Faculty Fellows & Advisors

Nicola Sharpe

Contact Nicola Sharpe at nsharpe@illinois.edu.

Professor Nicola Faith Sharpe teaches business law courses, including Business Associations, Antitrust, and Compliance, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility. Professor Sharpe’s research adopts an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates organizational behavior theory to critique and improve corporate law. By using insights into group decision-making, board process, and board function, her work offers a more accurate conceptualization of both the board of directors and its relationship with the firm. Her research analyzes how efforts to regulate modern business practices are limited by an incomplete conception of the firm, particularly an incomplete conception of the interaction between corporate boards of directors and executive management. Current projects extend her insights into group processes to the ethics and compliance function within large corporations. Works-in-progress include “Bad Decisions & Harmful Emissions: How Volkswagen’s Board Polluted the World” and “Internal Structure, Group Process, and Ethics and Compliance Reporting.”

Professor Sharpe’s earlier articles such as, “Improving Corporate Board Process through Organizational Behavior,” published in the Southern California Law Review, and “The Cosmetic Independence of Corporate Boards” published in Seattle University Law Review’s Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law & Society symposium issue (“Berle II”) tackle one of the most heavily discussed questions in corporate governance: How can boards govern more effectively? For regulators, the dominant response has been structural changes to the board of directors – for example, requiring “outside” or “independent” directors. Such regulations are often based on conventional theories of corporate governance, particularly agency theory, which frames the firm in strictly economic terms. These theories have provided an important part of the corporate governance puzzle, but they are still incomplete. To fill this gap, Professor Sharpe advocates a novel process-oriented approach that provides a stark contrast to conventional regulation.

The potential impact of her research on corporate boards earned her the Arnold O. Beckman Award from the University of Illinois Campus Research Board. This award is given to projects of special distinction, promise, or resource value. She has presented her research at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Socio-Economists co-sponsored by the Law and Economics Center at Boalt Hall School of Law. Additionally, she has made presentations at Indiana University Law School, Loyola University Chicago Law School, Notre Dame Law School, University of Illinois College of Law, University of Iowa College of Law, University of Maryland School of Law, and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois, Professor Sharpe served as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Professor Sharpe earned her law degree from Yale Law School, her MBA from Yale School of Management, and her BA from Cornell University. Before entering law teaching, she was an associate with the antitrust group of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she counseled corporate clients on a wide variety of antitrust matters.

Jeffrey Loewenstein

Contact Jeffrey Loewenstein at jloew@illinois.edu.

Professor Jeffrey Loewenstein is a faculty member in the Department of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Business. His research examines how people generate, learn and apply knowledge, primarily through studying analogy, categories, and vocabularies. His work provides guidance for how to negotiate, make decisions, communicate and work together more effectively and ethically. Professor Loewenstein received his Ph.D. and Masters in Cognitive Psychology from Northwestern University and his B.S. in Cognitive Science from The University of Michigan. He taught previously at the Kellogg School of Management, Columbia Business School, and The University of Texas at Austin.

Jeffrey Loewenstein has been named the 2019 recipient of the award for Excellence in Graduate & Professional Teaching from the University of Illinois. This university award recognizes sustained excellence in graduate or professional teaching, as well as innovative approaches to their teaching and positive impact on graduate or professional student learning. Congratulations!

Patricia Werhane

Contact Patricia Werhane at phogue35@illinois.edu.

For more information on Patricia Werhane, visit her biography here.

Read about how Patricia Werhane helps Gies students make ethical decisions here.

Joan Dubinsky

Contact Joan Dubinsky at dubinsky@erols.com.

Joan Dubinsky has been a champion for ethics, compliance, and responsible business conduct within the international, government, non-profit and business sectors for more than 30 years. She is a leader in the global business ethics movement, having served as the chief ethicist for several leading international organizations and corporations, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, BAE Systems, Inc., and the American Red Cross.

Ms. Dubinsky served as the Director, UN Ethics Office/Chief Ethics Officer for the United Nations between 2010 and 2015, reporting directly to the Secretary-General. She chaired the Ethics Panel of the United Nations, promoting coherence among ethics functions within the UN System.

She also directs the Rosentreter Group, a management consulting practice, teaches and lectures at a number of universities, and is a Board member with Globethics.net Foundation, a Swiss charity.

With Alan Richter, PhD., Ms. Dubinsky co-authored Global Ethics and Integrity Benchmarks (2008 and 2015 editions). She was a contributing author to the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s Ethics and Compliance Handbook, which documented best practices in the field of corporate compliance. Ms. Dubinsky led The Conference Board’s Research Working Group on Working at the Intersection of Human Resources, Ethics & Compliance. Her work in ethics training was prominently featured in Ethics Matters: How to Implement Values-Driven Management, by Dawn-Marie Driscoll and W. Michael Hoffman (2000). Her work on investigations was highlighted in Blackwell’s Companion to Business Ethics, ed. by Robert Fredericks (1999).

Ms. Dubinsky received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and her undergraduate degree in Religious Philosophy from the Residential College, University of Michigan, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa. The Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society is proud to call her a Fellow!

Recently, Center Fellow Joan Dubinsky co-authored and published three new international and multi-disciplinary business ethics case studies. Each case addresses timely and tough ethical questions about doing business outside of the familiar confines of one’s own home country. The authors worked with teams of undergraduate business students to research and present draft cases and then to develop extensive teaching notes for leading interactive classroom discussions. The cases look at IPO’s and the hiring of children of government officials; mining of rare earth minerals and the lure of corruption in developing countries; and duties to stakeholders when the supply chain proves unsteady. All three cases are morally complex, and challenge readers to look outward and foster a global perspective.

See: McManus Warnell, J. and Dubinsky, J.E., “Business Students and Faculty on the Same Side of the Desk: Engaged Students and Collaborative Faculty Present Three New International Business Ethics Case Studies,” Journal of Business Ethics Education. 13:2017-242 (2017).

Dubinsky Shares Expertise in Practicing Business Ethics