Dawn Elm

Professor, Ethics and Business Law


(651) 962-4265

Minneapolis Campus
1000 LaSalle Ave
Terrence Murphy Hall 343R
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Ph.D., Strategic Management & Organization, University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts

See publications in UST Research Online

Dawn Elm received her Ph.D. in strategic management and organization from the University of Minnesota in 1989. She has been a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas for 25 years, teaching and consulting in the areas of business ethics, strategy, leadership and corporate governance.

Prior to coming to the University of St. Thomas, Elm worked in product development with the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, after receiving her B.S. in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

She is widely published in the field of business ethics and was the recipient of the University of St. Thomas Excellence in Business Ethics award in 2002. Her current work involves improving ethical decision making in business, the impact of social media on privacy valuation and the integration of aesthetics and business ethics. She currently serves as the executive director of the Society for Business Ethics, a global association.

Elm has experience in strategy consulting, ethical decision-making training, product and process development, and corporate governance. She has served as an independent director in the banking and construction industries on public, private and family business boards. She has also served on non-profit boards in the Twin Cities area.

J-Term 2015 Courses
J-Term 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Spring 2015 Courses
Spring 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
BETH 301 - 01 Business Ethics M - W - - - - 1315 - 1455 SCH 316
Description of course Business Ethics : CRN: 21917
This course plays a critical role in the principle-based education of St. Thomas business students, especially in introducing the responsibilities of a business professional. Through analysis of case studies, readings and other experiential exercises, students will develop an understanding of professional business conduct and judgment grounded in moral principles. This course is a pre-requisite for all 400 level business courses. Prerequisite: eight credits from ACCT, BLAW, DSCI, FINC, MGMT, MKTG and junior standing

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
BETH 651 - 201 Ethical Culture - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 TMH 350
Description of course Ethical Culture : CRN: 22824
Cultures of economic competitiveness and legal compliance are necessary but not sufficient for corporate responsibility. This course will examine the elements of ethical decision-making and ethical corporate cultures from the perspective of an organization's leadership. The premise of the course is that leaders are the architects of corporate culture- and that the moral agenda of leaders includes three practical imperatives: elucidating, institutionalizing and sustaining ethical values. The first two imperatives (elucidating and institutionalizing) involve placing moral considerations in a position of salience and authority alongside considerations of competitive strategy and compliance in the organization's mindset. The third imperative (sustaining) has to do with passing on the spirit of this effort in two directions: to future leaders of the organization and to the wider network of organizations and institutions that make up the social system as a whole. The case method will be used to introduce frameworks for making reasoned, thoughtful ethical decisions and to diagnose both positive and negative cultural leadership. Students will learn to recognize and resolve ethical issues and identify practical ways (1) to enhance sound ethical cultures and (2) to remediate weak ethical cultures. NOTE: Students are not permitted to take BETH 651 for credit if they have completed, or are taking concurrently, either BETH 601 ("Business Ethics") or BETH 701 ("Ethical Ldrshp & Corp Act") for credit. Prereq (or may take concurrently) LAWS 730/BETH 650

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
Summer 2015 Courses
Summer 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Academic and Professional Positions
  • Professor, University of St. Thomas - Opus College of Business, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2001 - present)
  • Ethics and Business Law Department Chair, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Mpls (2011 - 2014)
  • Department Chair, Interim, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Mpls (2009 - 2011)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas - College of Business, St. Paul / Minneapolis (1994 - 2001)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul (1989 - 1994)
  • Instructor/Research Assistant, University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis (1984 - 1989)
  • Product Development Manager, Domestic & International Beauty & Health Care Products, The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati (1980 - 1984)

Professional Memberships
  • Academy of Management
  • International Association for Business & Society
  • National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)
  • Society for Business Ethics

Professional Service
  • CEBC - Center for Ethical Business Cultures - University of St. Thomas,
  • Society for Business Ethics,
  • Journal of Ethics and Behavior,
  • Business Ethics Quarterly,
  • Journal of Business Ethics Education Book Review,
  • Anchor Bank,
  • Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Reviewer
  • National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD),
  • Minnesota Chapter of Women on Corporate Boards,
  • Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Business Ethics, Editor

Public Service
  • University of Minnesota Women's Gymnastics Booster Club, Chairperson

  • Elm, D. R. (2014). Aesthetics and ethics. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, Business Ethics Volume,
  • Elm, D. R. (2014). Obedience to authority and the law. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, Business Ethics Volume,
  • Elm, D. R. (2011). Twenty years to today. Journal of Business Ethics,
  • Elm, D. R., & Radin, T. J. (2011). Ethical decision-making: Special or no different?. Journal of Business Ethics,
  • Elm, D. R., & Taylor, S. (2010). Representing wholeness: Learning via theatrical productions. Journal of Management Inquiry, (19)(2), pp. 127-136
  • Hartman, L., Elm, D. R., Radin, T., & Richmond-Pope, K. (2009). Translating corporate culture around the world: A cross-cultural analysis of whistleblowing as an example of how to say and do the right thing. Politeia: Corporate and Stakeholder Responsibility Theory and Practice, (XXV)(93),
  • Kelley, P. C., & Elm, D. R. (2003). The effect of context on moral intensity of ethical issues: Revising Jones' issue- contingent model. Journal of Business Ethics, pp. (00) 1-16

Books and Chapters
  • Elm, D. R. (2014). Aesthetics and Business Ethics. In D Koehn and D. Elm (Ed.), The artist and the ethicist: Character and process Ch. 5 (pp. 53-66). Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
  • Elm, D. R. (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. In Robert W. Kolb (Ed.), Truth-telling (pp. 2124-2126). Sage
  • Elm, D. R. (2003). Workplace spirituality and organizational performance. In Robert A. Giacalone and Carole L. Jurkiewicz (Ed.), Honesty, spirituality, and performance at work. New York: M.E. Sharpe

Research Interests
  • Corporate Management
  • Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
  • Governance
  • Corporate Strategy