The regional award recognizes contributions to the business community
Adam Grybowski

Award winners included Rider professors Ilhan Meric, far left, and Gerald D. Klein, third from right.

Three Rider University professors were honored Oct. 25 at an awards ceremony at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J., for winning Bright Idea awards.

The awards recognize the best papers of 2012 receive by the NJPRO Foundation, the public policy research affiliate of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, New Jersey Business Magazine and the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University.

Professors Ilhan Meric and Carol D. Watson won for the paper they co-authored with Gulser Meric of Rowan University, “Company Green Score and Stock Price.”

Gerald Klein, professor of organizational behavior and management emeritus, won for "Creating Cultures That Lead to Success: Lincoln Electric, Southwest Airlines, and SAS Institute." Originally published in Organizational Dynamics, the paper examines how company culture contributes to success — especially the principle of treating employees not just fairly, but well.

“Treating employees well makes good sense,” Klein says. “These companies I wrote about excel at it and they really mean it.  It's something they believe deeply in.”

Growing up the son of a union member, Klein glimpsed the shaping power of labor. He joined a union while working as an undergraduate at Drexel University before carving out his own academic career by focusing on management and business culture.

“I've always remained sensitive to the working person and have been respectful of those who work in labor and remain very appreciative of their talents and capabilities,” Klein says. “That drew me to the field.”

Not content to write strictly for an academic audience, Klein constructed his article to contain practical guidance for executives — a goal he says Rider always has in mind for its business students.

The award recognizes that the University is achieving its goal of imparting knowledge that has a practical application.

“I've always attempted to speak to an executive audience,” says Klein, who retired June 30 after teaching the spring semester. “That's the way I taught too.”

In total, 10 of 143 submitted articles received the regional award. Winners were chosen on the merits of academic scholarship and the article’s real-world value to organizations. Two Rider accounting professors, Dorothy McMullen and Maria Sanchez, also received Bright Idea awards in 2012.

Two groups determine the annual winners. Business school or college deans make the initial evaluation and the NJPRO Foundation makes the final decision. Along with the NJBIA, the NJPRO Foundation annually compiles a collection of research works published the previous year. Bright Idea award winners represent the best of that group.