Roland Kushner

Professor, Business
Accounting, Business, Economics & Finance
Main Campus > Ettinger Building > 306G

[email protected]

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  • Ph.D., Lehigh University
  • M.B.A., Lehigh University
  • B.A., Carleton University

Teaching Interests

What makes organizations effective?  What can leaders and managers do in pursuing greater performance? These are the questions that I examine in my courses, as I work to help students understand the different needs of different organizations. My courses addresses management practices and decision-making in organizational settings from startups to small family businesses to global publicly traded firms to nonprofit organizations of all kinds. I encourage students to grow into ways of thinking and action that will help them achieve successful and fulfilling careers, working and learning how to be effective managers and leaders.

In the management area, I teach at the principles level, but also more advanced courses: Arts Administration, Management of Not-for-Profit Organizations, Small Business Management, International Management, and Business Policy and Strategy. I am also the Master's of Organizational Leadership program coordinator and support students who want to pursue independent studies and other research projects. 

Along with in-class study of fundamental issues, my courses feature observation of business, shadowing and consulting projects in organizations, and other activities to keep students connected to the world of business. Students experience lively and challenging class sessions.

Research, Scholarship or Creative/Artistic Interests

I am curious about many things, but my scholarship falls into two main areas. One is the economics and management of arts and culture. I co-authored the National Arts Index for Americans for the Arts, reported on arts and culture in communities and the nation, and managed the Local Arts Index database of the vitality of arts and culture in counties in the U.S.  In 2021 I am collaborating with Greg Collins of our Business program on a new methodology for evaluating the vitality of the arts in different regions.

From 2006-2016, I collaborated with Chorus America to create annual Choral Operation Reports on the operations and finance of chorus organizations. In 2017 I did a large-scale study on choral conductors' leadership practices, and in 2019 published a case study of Martin Guitar.

My work has been published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, Journal of Arts Management, Law, & Society; International Journal of Arts Management; Nonprofit Management & Leadership; European Journal of Marketing; Nonprofit Policy Forum; Journal of Higher Education; Journal of Cultural Economics, The CASE Journal, and Brookings Institution Press.

I’m also interested in strategic management in nonprofit organizations.  I examine questions like, What makes them effective in fulfilling their missions? What are the best practices for their Boards of Directors?  How can they manage their resources effectively?  Many Muhlenberg students have helped me in these research projects.

Muhlenberg is my career now, but earlier I was a concert promoter, artist’s manager, festival organizer, fundraiser for a choir, and radio station manager.  I am also a performing songwriter. Before joining the Muhlenberg faculty in 2006, my management consulting practice served organizations in the Lehigh Valley, nationally, and globally. Now, I counsel nonprofits in this area and volunteer as a board member in community nonprofit organizations and on a charitable foundation.

Professional Website 

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