Dr. Steven Brown is an associate professor at Georgia Gwinnett College. He joined GGC in 2015 and teaches management and leadership courses, including MGMT 3400: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, MGMT 4300: Entrepreneurship and New Venture, and MGMT 4350: 21st Century Leadership.
Brown enjoys using experiential learning and service-learning in his classes. He has an action-based teaching philosophy consisting of the following:
- Question everything in terms of course content and design: It is important to try new things. It is important to not just teach what a textbook author lays out, but rather the most important aspects of the body of knowledge related to the course. This often means developing new assignments and activities, as well as drawing from many different resources.
- Thoughtful course design based on content and learning effectiveness: Assignments focus on what is most important within the course content. Everything taught is evaluated in terms of cost/benefit to make sure there is sufficient value added to a student’s learning. It is important not to waste students’ time and effort.
- Focus on holistic student improvement in terms of life improvement through education: Knowledge should be based on solid theory and research, but learning requires students to think for themselves and apply knowledge in practical ways within situations they might find themselves. Helping students master knowledge so they can apply it innovatively is important for their continued self-development.
- Servant leadership: The goal is to both lead and serve students as the instructor of the course, providing them with the direction, support, encouragement and scaffolding necessary for growth.
- Facilitating active engagement and collaboration: Participation in class, engagement with the material, and interacting with other students and the instructor are important and necessary skills to develop for future success.
- Creating dynamic and safe learning environments: Allowing students to express their own opinions, asking them to do their own research, and encouraging them to question the instructor and material, as well as challenge their own assumptions, are important for students taking ownership of their own learning.
- Continuous improvement and experimental innovation: Trying small teaching experiments is important. As such, new material, assignments and activities are the norm within Brown’s courses in an effort to improve learning.
In MGMT 3400: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, Brown uses case studies of ethical situations and dilemmas, video- and article-based assignments regarding psychological and sociological concepts related to ethics, in-class debating and voting on how to handle ethical dilemmas, and in-class discussions and conversations. Content is delivered via slides, lectures, videos and conversations. Exams are a combination of multiple-choice and essays. Outcome goals include helping students understand the complexities of ethics and social responsibility, honing their knowledge and thinking about specific issues and potential dilemmas so that they can respond more effectively to them should they ever encounter such situations.
For MGMT 4300: Entrepreneurship and New Venture, students can work individually or in groups to develop business concepts from both effectual and strategic perspectives. They will complete multiple assignments concerning the development of their business concept culminating in a complete business plan, elevator pitch, and pitch deck for potential investors, partners and lenders. Content is delivered in the form of lectures, videos and conversations. Exams are a combination of multiple-choice and essays. Students will receive feedback for each of their assignments from Brown, including advice on improving their business development process as well as the content. The outcome goals are for students to think like entrepreneurs, understand value creation and perform the activities within the new venture creation process.
Within MGMT 4350: 21st Century Leadership, students will deliver a 30-minute TED Talk about an idea in leadership worth spreading. They will complete a dozen reflection papers based on numerous topics related to self-leadership and leading others. Brown gives individualized feedback regarding the students’ reflection papers. Students will complete a personal development plan consisting of a collection of exercises, submitting a complete report as a final project. There are no lectures or exams for this course. The outcome goals are to develop students’ capabilities as self-motivated learners, provide them with skills for doing so more effectively and efficiently and help them become better self-leaders.
Brown was the designer and instructor for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Leadership program from 2016-2020. Prior to coming to GGC, Brown served at Columbus State University in creating and developing a Master of Science in organizational leadership program. Brown taught the core leadership courses, Organizational Behavior and Leadership and Strategic Leadership and Organizational Change. The graduate leadership program prepared professionals for higher leadership and executive positions in private, public and non-profit organizations through two specialized tracks focusing on servant leadership and human resources, as well as a third track in leadership development created specifically to serve U.S. Army captains attending the Maneuver Captains Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Brown’s research interests are in the areas of servant leadership, organizational opinion leadership, competing institutional demands, organizational change and mindfulness in leadership. His research has been published in various academic journals such as the Journal of Organizational Change, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, and Journal of Leadership and Management. Brown was founder and co-editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal, Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice and serves on its editorial board.
He has also worked as a business consultant for a variety of non-profits and for-profit businesses. He served as a SCORE mentor and entrepreneurship education for soldiers exiting the U. S. Army.
Prior to his career in academics, Brown acquired more than 23 years of experience as a business owner and entrepreneur, managing a family business, creating and operating a clicks-and-mortar retail business, and founding and a roleplaying game company. Brown has also worked as a game designer and a fiction author with more than 20 publications to his credit.
Aside from his love of teaching, his personal passion is writing speculative fiction writing and comic books. He loves comic books, college football, traveling, and studying theology, history and psychology.