Business Students Exchange Goods for the Benefit of Local Charities

Professor Loren Dyck is leading a unique MBA course that challenges students to see business transactions beyond just money. BUS 551: Seminar in Organization Theory and Behavior, divides students into groups of four to five and tasked them with bartering a small $1 item for something of greater value within the La Verne community.

This project allows students four weeks to apply organizational theory and behavior concepts learned in class to a real-world scenario. They gain valuable skills such as negotiation, decision-making analysis, emotional intelligence in the workplace, and enhancing communication within groups. Professor Dyck created this assignment to provide students with a hands-on experience in applying course concepts and theories beyond traditional case studies.

In recent years, students have proposed the idea of donating the items they bartered to local charities. Professor Dyck embraced this idea and modified the assignment for each student team to find a local charitable organization to which they would donate their final item. This addition highlights the students’ commitment to community and civic engagement while also learning and applying course concepts and theories.

As the course reaches its tenth year, Professor Dyck revealed that students have bartered and collected 29 items worth over $8,000 for various local charities. This year, students collectively bartered items totaling nearly $300 in value. The items traded included a variety of valuable goods such as electronics, clothing, furniture, artwork, books, gift cards and more.

Dyck’s class is just one example of how University of La Verne faculty are fostering a community of changemakers who are committed not only to their education but also to making a positive impact on their community through service-learning opportunities like this one. To stay updated on all the latest happenings at the university visit the University of La Verne news page at

By Riley Johnson

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