Jessica Yinka Thomas, MBA

Director, Business Sustainability Collaborative & Assistant Professor of the Practice, Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Research Specialities

  • B Corps & Public Benefit Corporations
  • Business ethics
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Sustainable business strategy
  • Social innovation

I see business sustainability as a strategy to drive innovation and competitive advantage. In my teaching, research and project engagement, I look for opportunities to make the business case for sustainability, to demonstrate how business sustainability can be a strategy that is good for people, good for the planet and good for the bottom line.

Sustainability Related Courses

  • MIE 306 – Managing Ethics in Organizations – The course explores the relationships between ethics, social responsibility, and sustainability in the firm and how to addresses the challenges and leadership requirements in developing and implementing ethical and sustainable business strategies (3 credits).
  • MBA 590 – Sustainability in Business – The course studies different business models and strategies that companies can use to drive social and environmental change, and explains why purpose-driven businesses are particularly well positioned to tackle the world’s biggest problems (1 credit).
  • MBA 582 – Sustainability in Business Practicum – In addition to the topics covered in MBA 590, the course provides an opportunity for students to implement the strategies explored in a real world practicum project through the B Corp Clinic (3 credits).
  • MBA 590 – Business Sustainability in Emerging Markets, Study Abroad to Brazil – The course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the historic, economic and business context of the country as well as a foundational understanding of global sustainability-related business challenges, opportunities and strategies (3 credits).

Key Research Publications

  • Jessica Yinka Thomas, Nikki Hensley, Heather Grey, and Jeff Terebey, “The B Corp Handbook Teaching Guide,” BSC online publication (2020)
  • Jessica Yinka Thomas, Jeff Pollack, Liz Tracy and Ryan Honeyman, “Exploring the Systemic Impact of Ventures led by Women and People of Color: A Multi Case Study,” funded by the Ford Foundation (2019)
  • Anne-Claire Broughton and Jessica Thomas, “Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability,” Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, 2012.
  • Lisa Jones Christensen and Jessica Thomas, “Procter & Gamble’s PuR Water Purifier: The Hunt for a Sustainable Business Model,” featured in Hamschmidt, J. and Pirson, M. (2011) Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability: The Oikos Collection, Vol. 2, Shefield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing.
  • Lisa Jones Christensen and Jessica Thomas, “Jamii Bora and Kaputei Town: Affordable and Sustainable Housing for Urban Slumdwellers,” Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, 2008.

Contact Information