Economics | International Business


Rita Grant


The purpose of this research was to explore the advisory role of selected Outreach Centers of the Seidman College of Business as led by their executive directors, and to examine the effects of their relationships with the Grand Rapids business community. For the basis of comparison the interviews included the director of one organization outside the Seidman College of Business. A qualitative approach in the form of a researcher-designed interview was used for the purpose of collecting data (Creswell, 2005). The interviews, conducted at each of the Outreach Center Offices, were designed to elicit important information regarding the Centers and their endeavors. Detailed notes were transcribed and data were hand-coded. Emerging and recurring themes revealed that the Outreach Centers hold true to the mission statement of the Seidman College of Business and are extremely effective within the local business community. They have achieved this through expert consulting and service-oriented practices that have led them to positively impact countless business entities throughout West Michigan, the Midwest, the entire country, and the world. The Outreach Centers have also developed an excellent mode of communication between the school of business and the business world, which has resulted in the sharing of ideas and many positive responses and feedback. The findings of this study have important implications for the continued success of the Grand Rapids business community and the integrated education/business model for students at the Seidman College of Business. Recommendations include future research projects that may further investigate the other 3 Outreach Centers not included in this study and other forms of community involvement within the Seidman College of Business such as career fairs, departmental career nights, graduate programs, and many other opportunities connecting students to the ‘real’ world of business.