“In my first seminar as a doctoral student at Alabama, I wrote a paper about corporate social responsibility and the possible effects on consumer responses,” said Colin Gabler. “When I was done, the next student got up to give his presentation, saying, ‘Now that we got all the warm and fuzzy stuff out of the way, back to what we really care about: making money.’”
Those words stuck with Gabler because he knew the truth was that all firms had to make money to survive, leading him to the realization that, oftentimes, stakeholders are neglected because businesses put their focus on making money – stakeholders being the natural environment, members of society, community programs, etc. Every business decision impacts multiple stakeholders, which means building an understanding of how these groups are related becomes pertinent to doing business so that leaders can then take those identified into consideration as they develop and implement their strategies.
Dr. Gabler admits that one of the biggest obstacles to sustainability research is the lack of an agreed-upon definition – not only among various stakeholder groups, but also within organizations. This lack of consensus makes it difficult to expect consumers to make sustainable purchase decisions.
An expert on stakeholder management, most of Dr. Gabler’s research investigates how the goals and values of one stakeholder group either compete or align with those of another. One current project focuses on supply chain resiliency after natural disasters.
Dr. Gabler’s work has been published in various journals, including: Journal of Business Logistics, Decision Sciences, Industrial Marketing Management, Psychology & Marketing, and Journal of Service Research. He has received multiple awards, including the 2015 College of Business Faculty Excellence in Intellectual Contributions Award.
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