Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Faculty Experts

Mary Grace Neville



Areas of expertise
  • Group and team dynamics
  • Organizational behavior
  • Philosophies of business in society
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning: Liberal arts and business

Dr. Mary Grace Neville, holder of the John Shearn Chair in Business, studies and teaches business behaviors and relationships that create world benefit.  She explores business success as measured by the creation of well-being, environmental care, and organizations' long-term financial stability. Neville is currently serving as a Fulbright Fellow at Ashesi University College in Ghana, Africa.

Neville follows a teacher-scholar-professional model of social change; each stream of work co-creates the others.  She teaches, theorizes and consults from a three-pronged belief about business in society: wealth is well-being, systems are highly interdependent, and relevant time spans multiple generations.  She believes positive actions shape larger social patterns that make a difference in the world over time.  Hence, her teaching, research and consulting advance positive intersections between business and society.

At Southwestern, Neville integrates liberal arts philosophies with business thinking.  She draws heavily on experiential pedagogy in order to expand students' critical thinking and analytical reasoning capacities.  She regularly teaches the program's business ethics and social responsibility course, the organizational behavior course, and the capstone course. 

Prior to her work at Southwestern, Neville was a manager in the strategic services practice of a global management consulting firm.  Before consulting, she was on the start-up team for a $52 million public aquarium, and served as the executive director of a state level non-profit agency.


PhD,Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management 2003
MBA,Wharton School of Business 1995
BS,Northwestern University 1985


As a social scientist, Neville approaches communities and society as her laboratory.  Research contributes to identifying forms of leadership and business that advance well-being in society, what stance positive change leaders use engaging the world, and how we can best educate tomorrow's leaders for handling the complexities of our increasingly global world.

  • "Good" business  - exploring business practices, organizational designs, and leaders' internal guiding principles that, by implication, contribute to fostering a better world. 
  • Gestalt as a lens for business - applying gestalt theory, such as dialogue, awareness, and wholeness to human relationships in order to advance social entrepreneurship through business.
  • Curricular innovation - re-envisioning 21st century undergraduate business education to bridge existing gaps between knowing, thinking and doing.  Objectives include re-conconcpetualizing content and teaching approaches for citizenship in today's highly interdependent and complex global world.


Business in Society Scholarship

"When Poor is Rich: Transformative Power of I-Thou Relationships in a Brazilian Favela" in edited volume Mending the World: Gestalt Practitioners Approach to Change (2009) and pre-printed in Gestalt Review (2008).

"Positive Deviance on the Ethical Continuum: Green Mountain Coffee as a Case Study in Conscientious Capitalism" in Business and Society Review (2008).

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

"Dialogue Starter Kit", in Brown Working Papers in the Arts and Sciences, Southwestern University, Vol XI (2011); available at

"Using Appreciative Inquiry and Dialogical Learning to Explore Dominant Paradigms" in Journal of Management Education (2008); winner of the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society's 2008 Fritz Rothelisberger Award for "Best Paper" in Sage's Journal of Management Education.

"Learning From a Whole-System, Strength-Based Approach: A Case of Collaborative Curriculum Development" in The Journal for Quality & Participation (2008).

"Re-envisioning Business Programs in Liberal Arts Worlds: 2006 Summit Proceeding & Outcomes" cataloged in ERIC database.

"Returning to a Holistic Management Education and the Tradition of Liberal Education" in Wankel, Charles, and Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch. Management Education for Integrity: Ethically Educating Tomorrow's Business Leaders (2011).

Invited Commentary

"It Takes a Village to Empower a Child: A Call for Positive Social Change through Education" in The Black History Bulletin (2009).

"Business in Society: Acts of Compassion Bringing Humanity into Business" in Teacher's Corner section of Business as an Agent of World Benefit (2006).


Review: Beyond the Hot Seat Revisited: Gestalt Approaches to Groups edited by Bud Feder and Jon Frew. New Orleans: The Gestalt Institute Press (2008) in Gestalt Review, 14(2): 187-203 (2010).

Honors & Awards

Fulbright Scholar (2012-2013 academic year, teacher-researcher at Ashesi University, Ghana Africa).Follow her companion blog here.

Aspen Institute Consortium, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education (2011-2013, Southwestern University project team leader).


Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:
business and the liberal arts business and society

I am willing to talk to the media: no

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: no

Can you do interviews in Spanish? no

Other languages you are fluent in:

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-n/a(office)
Office: n/a n/a