Coleman’s research focuses on how businesses can use philanthropy efforts to tackle social challenges and engage customers.
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Social enterprises have been the focus of Coleman’s research since he started his PhD in marketing in 2013. They intrigued him because their mission to better society aligned with his own desire to make the world a better place.
“Today, social enterprises are everywhere. But 10 years ago, they were quite new,” said Coleman. “So, not only was it a niche I was passionate about, but there was an opportunity to make an impact in an area that didn’t have a lot of traction yet.”
The most common thread in his research is how consumers feel about social enterprises. To find this out, Coleman surveys consumers through online panels. Some include technology like eye tracking.
“Not to sound sappy or mushy, but the consistent theme of my work is, can we make the world a better place to do business?”