Bruce Paton

Adjunct Professor

Bruce Paton teaches courses on sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, and global business strategy.

His research focuses on business strategies and public policies for sustainability. A major emphasis in this research is development of methods for designing and evaluating voluntary and collaborative initiatives to address social and environmental issues in management.

His teaching and research draws on extensive decision-making experience in industry, government and higher education. Before joining the faculty at Monterey Institute in Fall 2009, he was an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University, where he was named the Teaching Professor of the Year for the College of Business in 2005. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at Monterey Institute of International Studies, teaching weekend workshops on sustainable business, since 2002.

His experience includes:

  • Serving on the senior management team for a Silicon Valley start up,
  • Managing manufacturing, quality, and environmental projects at Hewlett-Packard,
  • Consulting for Fortune 500 companies, start up companies, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations,
  • Serving as Director of Admissions for Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business,
  • Managing monitoring and quality assurance programs in the District of Columbia's water quality management program, and
  • Chairing the board of directors for Sustainable Silicon Valley; a collaboration of more than 100 businesses, cities and community organizations that works to focus the region's leaders on its most important environmental problems and opportunities.

In recent years, Bruce has served on the boards of directors for several public benefit corporations including the Silicon Valley Environmental Partnership, The Sustainability Academy, and Sustainable Industry, Inc. He currently serves on the International Planning Board for the Greening of Industry Network, and on the editorial board for the journal, Business Strategy and Environment.  His research has been published in Business Strategy and Environment, The Journal of Cleaner Production, Progress in Industrial Ecology and Energy Policy.


Sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, global business strategy, social and environmental issues in management.


B.A., Environmental Science, Wesleyan University; MBA, Stanford University; Ph.D., Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz.


Paton, B. and Halme, M. (2007) “Bringing the needs of the poor into the BOP debate”. Business Strategy and the Environment 16(8): 585-586.

Paton, B. and Halme, M. (2007) “Reframing the BOP Debate in GIN.” Business Strategy and the Environment 16(2): 169-170

Paton, B. (2006) ‘Collaboration among industry, civil society, and government for sustainability:a framework for identifying opportunities’, Progress in Industrial Ecology – An International Journal, Vol. 3, Nos. 1/2, pp.148–162.

Paton, B. (2006) “Dynamics of Voluntary Product Labeling Programs: An Energy Star Case Study” in T. deBruijn and V. Norberg-Bohm (eds.), Industrial Transformation: Environmental Policy Innovation in the United States and Europe, MIT Press.

Paton, B. (2005) “Efficiency Gains within Firms under Voluntary Environmental Initiatives”, in K. Hargroves and M.H. Smith (eds), The Natural Advantage of Nations - Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century, EA Press, Crows Nest, NSW Australia.

Paton, B. (2005). “Mental Models of Voluntary Environmental Initiatives”, in K. Hargroves and M.H. Smith (eds), The Natural Advantage of Nations - Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century, EA Press, Crows Nest, NSW Australia.

Howarth, R.B., Haddad, B. and B. Paton (2004). “Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Correcting Market Failures Using Voluntary Participation Programs” in P. Thalman and A. Baranzini, (eds) Voluntary Approaches in Climate Policy Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

IMGT 8626 - Poverty,BusStrategy&Sustainab      

A large portion of the world’s population experiences unmet needs for nutrition, clean water, sanitation, health care and education, as well as communication, financial and other services. Many business efforts have emerged to address unmet needs through for-profit and not-for-profit provision of goods and services. This course explores the “base of the pyramid hypothesis” which asserts that business and the poor can achieve mutual benefit through business efforts to address these unmet needs. The course will address critical questions including the following: What are the key factors that inhibit delivery of goods and services to the poor? How can businesses recognize the opportunities in these challenges? What strategies, concepts and tools will help businesses address the unmet needs of the poor effectively? How should we evaluate the effectiveness of business efforts to serve unmet needs? The course explores a wide range of potential solutions ranging from micro-credit and micro-enterprise to multi-national corporate ventures.

Spring 2011 - MIIS

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IMGT 8636 - BusStrtegies 4 PovertyAleviatn      

Fall 2011 - MIIS

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IMGT 8646 - FMS Professional Preparation      

Spring 2011 - MIIS

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IMGT 8651 - Global Business Strategies      

The primary focus of this course is on managing the business-level strategic management function in a global industry. In global industries, corporate performance is strongly influenced by the competitive strategies and organizational capabilities of companies, the economic structure of the industry, and the policies of home and host governments. Adaptive firms in global industries will face significant opportunities well into the next century. Those firms, which do not align themselves with the environment, will face contraction, acquisition, or extinction. Thus, firms that can develop and implement strategies based on (1) global scale economies, (2) production rationalization, (3) a coordinated worldwide network of activities, and/or (4) astute management of home and host government relations will find themselves in a position to outperform competitors that operate as local or national firms. The course will be conducted using both the lecture and case methods and active student participation is required.

Summer 2011 - MIIS

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IPOL 9646 - FMS Professional Preparation      

Spring 2011 - MIIS

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