NUS Business School professor wins an award in business school 'Oscars'

SINGAPORE - Associate Professor Ishtiaq Pasha Mahmood from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School has won an award dubbed "the Oscars" of the business school world by The Financial Times.

The Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award, that is given out annually by the Aspen Institute in the United States, recognises educators for their work in integrating social and environmental issues into academic research, educational programmes and business practice.

The award ceremony takes place on Thursday in New York, and there are just three recipients this year.

Prof Mahmood, who won the award in the Rising Star category, is the first person from a Singapore university to win the prestigious award.

Ms Claire Preisser, senior programme manager at the Aspen Institute Business and Society Programme, said the awards honour faculty who challenge students to think more deeply about the roles that the public and private sectors play in value creation and problem solving.

"Many of the big issues of our day - whether economic growth, climate change, or access to healthcare and education - require really careful thought about what business and government can each do," she said in a statement.

Ms Preisser, also the manager of the awards selection process, added: "We thought Professor Mahmood's teaching brought the public-private interface into the classroom in really interesting ways."

This included teaching about "institutional voids" that might lead to trade-offs between the firm's competitiveness, and macro-economic growth, for instance.

Prof Mahmood, who has an economics degree from Oberlin College and a PhD from Harvard University, both in the US, joined NUS Business School in 1999.

He said the award has inspired him to think about how he can use his teaching to solve real-life problems in societies and business communities.

He is a faculty member of the school's department of strategy and policy, and teaches both undergraduates and graduates. One of his main research areas is on how firms make the transition from being imitators to innovators.