by Steven Townsend, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business | Dec 15, 2017

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business is proud to announce a $123,000 contract with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) to determine whether regulatory burdens spur or stall innovation in the auto industry.

Through this major grant, Ilitch School researchers will construct a database of corporate responsibility practice types, along with an analysis of their costs and benefits. The research will aim to identify current and future industry best practices, costs of compliance and non-compliance, and possible benefits that result from sustainability practices.

“Managers are often tasked with maximizing shareholder value and delivering innovative products. It is debatable whether corporate responsibility helps or harms their efforts to meet these objectives,” said Sachin Modi, principal investigator and professor of global supply chain management. “As such, academic research that provides a true picture of the automotive industry’s best practices, as well as reliable evidence of costs and benefits of corporate responsibility initiatives, is critical for managerial decision making.”

In addition to Modi, researchers on the project include global supply chain management faculty members John TaylorBertie Greer and Tim Butler.

The grant allows the professors to conduct research on the reasons companies adopt – or choose not to adopt – best practices in responsible manufacturing, which involve operating to have minimal impact on the environment and ensuring that operations are safe for all stakeholders, including employees, customers and the local community.

“We’re proud to sponsor this project as part of the AIAG/WSU GAPSCN program, which focuses on developing talent and innovation in global purchasing and supply chain, and includes research on critical global automotive issues like these,” said Joel Karczewski, vice president, commercial services at AIAG. “In this case, AIAG anticipates results that reflect our belief in the numerous benefits of corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives. When organizations take action in ways that are socially responsible, ethical, and environmentally friendly, they’re doing more than just ‘the right thing’ – they’re adding value to their bottom line.”

The research project also strengthens the connections between the Ilitch School and the automotive industry.

“As we deepen our industry relationships, it leads to research relevant to both automotive companies and our faculty. It also increases opportunities for student internship placement and other collaborative projects,” Taylor said.

For more information on the Mike Ilitch School of Business global supply chain management department, please visit their website.  

For more information on AIAG and to participate in their related corporate responsibility initiative, the 2017 Future of Corporate Responsibility/Sustainability in the Automotive Industry Survey, please visit their website.

About AIAG
AIAG is a not-for-profit association where professionals from a diverse group of stakeholders work collaboratively to streamline industry processes via global standards development & harmonized business practices. With more than 2,000 member companies, AIAG offers a uniquely collaborative environment, powerful networking solutions, and the opportunity for companies to influence and help streamline the automotive industry’s commercial processes. Learn more at

About the Mike Ilitch School of Business
The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers, advances the boundaries of scholarly and practitioner knowledge, and enhances the economic vitality of the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond through its programs, research and community engagement. Established in 1946, the business school was renamed in 2015 in recognition of a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Thanks to this lead investment, a new state-of-the-art building is slated to open in the heart of the District Detroit in 2018, and entrepreneurial programming and collaboration with city businesses are expanding. For more information, visit