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Research Support Centers and Institutes

Seven of Bentley University’s centers, and its nationally recognized library, are briefly described below. All support the research activities of our faculty and students. The do these either because their raison d’être is research or because their activities, databases, and personnel support various research agendas by the community. The Center for the Integration of Science and Industry, the Harold S. Geneen Institute, and the Jeanne and Dan Valente Center for the Arts and Sciences directly support academic research by individual scholars and through encouraging academic research collaboration within discipline and across disciplines. The Center for Quantitative Analysis, the Center for Marketing Technology, and the User Experience Center undertake extensive applied research and consulting for the corporate sector. Finally, the Center for Women and Business is building a network of interested organizations, and gathering data on the challenges, progress and best practice for addressing the progress of creating inclusive work environments. Through these contact they provide key networking opportunities faculty and students looking for contacts, data and research ideas. Staff in the Academic Technology Center support the university’s research aspirations and individual scholars through their technical and software expertize, and through managing databases and the technology backbone of the Bentley Library and of all the centers.

Center for the Integration of Science and Industry

Now in its third year, the Center for Integration of Science and Industry brings together faculty, students, and visiting scholars to study the path by which scientific insights and inventions are translated to create public value. The center is an environment for interdisciplinary thought leadership that brings together scholars in fields spanning science & technology, economics, accounting, finance, management, and public policy. The center’s work is intended to inform the practice of translational science by better connecting new technologies with business models that can translate these advances into economic growth, jobs, improved public health, and sustainable development. The Center for Integration of Science and Industry is supported by a generous grant from the National Biomedical Research Foundation.

Featured Research – An analytical model for technological forecasting in biopharmaceutical development: Researchers in the Center for Integration of Science and Industry have developed an analytical model – the Technology Innovation Maturation Evaluation model, TIME™  - for technological forecasting in biopharmaceutical development. This model quantifies the accumulation of knowledge in specific technology areas and forecasts the ability of that technology to generate successful products and investments. Research led by Drs. Laura McNamee, Michael Walsh, Jennifer Beierlein, and Fred Ledley, with the assistance of undergraduate students Eric Ndung’u ‘12, Ashley Rossi ‘13, and Cory Kalin ‘15, demonstrates that the growth of knowledge about technologies follows a predictable, mathematical pattern of exponential growth between statistically defined initiation and established points. Studies on the technologies underlying approximately 300 approved drugs show that the established point may be a strong predictor of both the efficiency of new product development and also the timeline of clinical development and regulatory review.   Staff is developing the TIME™ model as a tool for technological forecasting that could be used to improve the efficiency of product development and guide investment in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Featured Research – Science Curricula and Undergraduate Management Education: This study explored how undergraduate management education could address the growing need for executives with interdisciplinary knowledge of science and business by embracing development of undergraduate science courses designed explicitly for business students.  Investigators surveyed educators from business, science, and the arts and sciences to identify curricular content and objectives that were most appropriate for business students. The survey suggested that science courses might better serve business education by offering a broad picture of scientific concepts in the context of business and everyday life as well as the critical thinking and inductive reasoning skills required to understand scientific research and engage in life-long science learning. The research has been published as: Ledley, Fred D. and Holt, Stephen S. (2014). “Learning Objectives and Content of Science Curricula for Undergraduate Management Education”, Journal of Management Education, 38(1): 86-113.

The Harold S. Geneen Insitute

The Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance was established in 2008 through the generosity of the Harold S. Geneen Charitable Trust.   Under the directorship of Associate Professor Cynthia Clark, the institute aims to create a community of scholars and practitioners who pursue leading-edge research on contemporary corporate governance issues and complement Bentley’s preeminent educational programs in the business and accountancy fields. Early in its development, the institute sought to build on Bentley’s foundation by creating the Harold S. Geneen Doctoral Fellowship program. Geneen Fellows pursue both qualitative and quantitative research while earning their doctorate. Their research has included investigating the impact of integrated forms of reporting, how trust is formed in organizations and fostering behaviors that improve audit quality.

The Geneen Institute recently formed a partnership with the journal Corporate Governance: An International Review to host a symposium on restoring trust in business and to offer a best paper prize.

The Jeanne and Dan Valente Center for the Arts and Sciences 

The mission of the Jeanne and Dan Valente Center for Arts and Sciences at Bentley is to make the arts and sciences a vital, integral and challenging aspect of undergraduate and graduate education at Bentley.  The center promotes research and teaching in the disciplines and at the intersection of arts, sciences and business. The Valente Center realizes this mission through a variety of innovative programs. 

  • It sponsors faculty research fellowships that support faculty engaged in innovative, rigorous, and diverse arts & sciences research.  Recent recipients of the Valente Center Faculty Fellowship Award pursued projects on topics such as the performance of minority parliamentary governments; the memory of the Vietnam War and the politics of belonging; corporate governance and Compensation ethics; and social media use by public safety agencies. 
  • The Valente Center hosts an annual humanities research seminar focused on an interdisciplinary topic. A recent seminar theme was “Intended Consequences?  The Historical and Contemporary Problematic of Planning”.
  • The Valente Center sponsors undergraduate student research assistantship program.  The goal of this program is to provide arts and sciences faculty with motivated student assistants, and to provide student assistants with substantive supervised research experience.
  • Distinguished scholars and international visitors are frequently hosted by the Valente Center.  Recent visitors included an internationally recognized feminist philosopher focused on feminist ethics and global justice, a renowned Dutch peace and conflict scholar, and a member of the Icelandic parliament.
  • The center hosts the popular Undergraduate Great Books Fellows Seminar  in which a small group of dedicated students meets every week with four members of the faculty, representing different departments and different interests, to read and discuss challenging books of recognized importance and value.

Programs sponsored by the Valente Center were integral to Bentley’s receipt of a $395,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a rare award for a business school. 

Center for Quantitative Analysis

Founded in 2007 and directed by Professor Sam Woolford, the Center for Quantitative Analysis provides professional analytical consulting services to commercial and non-profit organizations in support of fundamental and applied business research, improved organizational performance and more effective policies. 

The center demonstrates the positive contribution quantitative analysis can play in fact-based decision making while providing a forum for practical applications that enrich the research and teaching experience for faculty and students. It provides a unique resource to supplement the capabilities of commercial and non-profit organizations while generating a source of collaborative research and publications for faculty and training for students focused on business analytics. In addition to supporting the research of Bentley faculty, the center has worked with a number of national corporate clients including CVS, Gorton’s and National Grid as well as regional and local organizations. The affiliation of the center with Bentley fosters the application of best-in-class analytical expertise with best-in-class business content expertise to support organizational decision-making and performance.

Center for Marketing Technology

The Center for Marketing Technology (CMT) supports the Bentley academic community as well as corporate partners and clients in exploring today’s most engaging marketing questions and to support the development of best practices in marketing strategy, research and customer insight. Under the leadership of Marketing Senior Lecturer Ian Cross, the CMT provides consulting, education and research for business partners and academia that deliver digital marketing, social media, data analytics and sustainable marketing strategies.

The CMT hosts more than 250 focus groups and disseminates more than 150 e-surveys targeting groups from 1,000 to over 100,000 respondents annually. The center uses marketing analytics, primary and secondary research, digital marketing and social media tools to serve clients spanning the worlds of consumer goods, retail, finance, healthcare, technology, government, healthcare and education. The CMT is also an extraordinary teaching resource that enables faculty to provide students with hands-on experience with a broad range of new and evolving technological tools for marketing. 

User Experience Center

Founded in 1999 by Professor William Gribbons, Bentley’s User Experience Center (UXC) is a global consulting group that provides user experience research, design, and strategy services to clients around the world.

Led by an executive director, Dr. William Albert, the center’s affiliation with the Bentley master’s program in Human Factors in Information Design affords unique access to internationally-recognized experts and the latest research in the fields of user experience, human factors, usability, and design and enables students to apply learning from the classroom to real world problems. Focused on improving the user experience of websites, software, mobile applications, consumer products, medical devices or, indeed, anything with an interface, the UXC offers clients design solutions based on a unique combination of in-depth industry expertise and scientific rigor.

The UXC has one of the most sophisticated user research facilities in the United States, with two state-of-the-art usability The UXC has one of the most sophisticated user research facilities in the United States, with two state-of-the-art usability testing labs and special setups for mobile testing and focus groups. It has specific technology for conducting field research, eye tracking, and biometrics (emotional measurement). The center has worked with well over 200 clients from around the world which include internationally known companies in banking and financial services, healthcare, education and publishing, and technology.

Center for Women and Business

Founded in 2011, Bentley’s Center for Women and Business (CWB) focuses on two areas related to the advancement of women in the business world: preparing students to lead successful careers in business, and defining action steps to help companies create work environments in which women can succeed and advance to leadership positions. Under the leadership of founding Executive Director Betsy Myers, the CWB sponsors programs to help both male and female students develop the necessary skills for successful careers in the business world and to help companies create inclusive work environments. In addition, the Center undertakes studies to understand and develop solutions to the challenges companies experience in supporting, retaining, and promoting women and identifying what women can do to prepare for success.

In 2014, the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and his administration partnered with the CWB in March 2014 for assistance in designing and delivering leadership development and networking programs for new Fellows who serve in positions with leadership responsibility in state agencies for a year and providing representation on the governor’s Successful Women, Successful Families, Successful Economy Taskforce. The taskforce provided recommendations for public policy and the private sector.

Featured Research – It Takes Two: A Closer Look at Couples in America: In a survey of over 1000 men and women with a domestic partner (including marriage), findings reveal, the impact of a supportive partner for life satisfaction and career success. For both men and women, life satisfaction is related to a strong focus on career AND on family, a good relationship and emotional support for career success from one’s partner. Income for both men and women is related to career focus emotional support for career success from one’s partner such as being a discussion partner, encouraging acceptance of a career opportunity, participating in business-related social activities or helping with presentation practices as well as with help with domestic chores from one’s partner. Yet, help with domestic chores does not increase happiness for women (91.9% of men whose partner helps with at-home responsibilities say they are happy but a much lower percentage of women with help from a partner at home ( 77.7%) say they are happy). The study found additional gender differences regarding life satisfaction and the ideal number of children that vary by level of income. The age gap between partners also has implications for happiness that vary by gender and income. 

The Bentley Library and the Academic Technology Center

Bentley faculty benefit from the assistance provided by the Bentley Library and the Academic Technology Center, both under the leadership of Laurie Sutch, Director of the Library and Academic Technology. 

The Bentley Library

The Bentley Library supports and enriches the university’s academic research and educational goals by developing and organizing information resources, providing information literacy instruction to faculty and students, and responding to their information needs. The library’s $1.8 million academic resource budget sustains a comprehensive collection of print and online resources that support research and teaching at the intersection of business and the arts and sciences. These include more than 80 research databases linked to 60,000 online journals. The collection numbers 180,000 print volumes, 700 current periodical subscriptions, 182,000 e-book titles, 1600 downloadable books, 16,000 streamed educational videos, and 8,000 popular and academic teaching DVDs.

Academic Technology Center

The Academic Technology Center (ATC) assists Bentley faculty and students in leveraging technology in teaching, learning, and research. Through individual and small-group sessions, the ATC helps faculty to identify technology resources for conducting research. The ATC also provides support with statistical analysis of data, research methods, and survey design. It offers workshops on the use of numerous analytical software packages and provides research resources based on faculty and student requests and the strategic directions of the institution. These include Compustat Global, Thomson Reuters’ I/B/E/S and Standard and Poor‘s Emerging Markets Database (EMDB). A majority of the databases are accessible via Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS). The ATC also supports a UNIX server that is used for research projects that require processing of large datasets.