June 7, 2022

Business Schools Grapple With Gun Violence

As we start the month of June, our hearts go out to those affected by the recent mass shootings in Tulsa, Uvalde, and Buffalo.  While federal, state, and local governments are the traditional actors (or non-actors) in grappling with gun violence, business schools have contributed research and support over the years on the issue.


Two Harvard Business School professors, Deepak Malhotra and Mike Luca, began their extensive study into gun policy after the horrific mass shooting of Sandy Hook students in Newton, Connecticut, in 2012.  The major finding in their research was that states imposing a waiting period for handgun sales saw a 17% reduction in gun-related homicides.  In 2019, the House passed legislation to strengthen background checks with inspiration from the research of Malhotra and Luca.


For its part, in 2020 the Fox School of Business at Temple University teamed with the Temple University’s Center for Urban Bioethics to create a sustainable business model for a program called the CeaseFire-Cure Violence.  The program is an evidence-based intervention to prevent gun violence by deterring conflicts and treating high-risk individuals.  It has already gained notable success in Philadelphia due in large part to the business model analysis of a Fox School MBA consulting team.


Further north in Toronto, Rotman School of Management is partnering with McKinsey & Company to immerse students in a five-day consulting experience called COMPASS that embeds student teams with local community organizations.  At the conclusion of the five-day immersion, student teams give a comprehensive presentation to the client outlining a strategic approach to the community issue. One such project supported the Scadding Court Community Center in lowering Toronto’s gun violence and gun-related deaths.


Finally, the University of Chicago Booth School recently featured an MBA student-led opportunity called the Group Philanthropy Initiative (GPI).  The initiative contributes the collective donations of MBA students to one nonprofit selected through a unique annual Nonprofit Pitch Night where finalists share their missions and vision.  For 2022, GPI’s focus area is “Preventing Gun Violence.”  Students’ goals are to create awareness of gun violence issues, partner with community-based organizations with deep local ties, provide new structures and incentives, and challenge the idea that gun violence is unavoidable.


We encourage you to click on the embedded links in each of the business school stories above to learn more about the impact these students are making as part of their MBA experience.