As the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development has now concluded, sustainability educators are reflecting on and planning next steps for embedding sustainability in higher education curriculum. Many exemplars of holistic sustainability-integrated management education (SIME) exist, and various techniques and frameworks for embedding sustainability into the curriculum have been developed. Yet business schools have been critiqued for having a dearth of sustainability in the curriculum. This raises an important question regarding how SIME can feasibly and viably thrive in management education. Taking a multilevel, multi-systems view of higher education, many interrelated factors can be attributed to influencing the position a university adopts in its approach to embedding sustainability into the curriculum. In an increasingly complex and marketized system, a business case for SIME is required. Business cases range from a reactionary ‘business as usual’ to a holistically integrated ‘business as unusual’ approach. Using a ‘phase model’ framework the authors analyze various different business cases for SIME, elaborating how varying pedagogical assumptions can lead to starkly different value propositions for SIME. The model can be applied to compare and contrast between multiple business cases and used as a means for positioning and justifying a holistic approach to SIME.
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Melissa Edwards, Suzanne Benn and Mark Starik
Shelley F. Mitchell and Jorge A. Arevalo
Janette Brunstein, Marta Fabiano Sambiase and Marcos Bidart Carneiro de Novaes
In order to break with the dominant rationality in courses teaching business administration strategy, a São Paulo business school created, four years ago, a discipline entitled ‘Strategic Sustainability Management’ (SSM). This experience aims to discuss theories of strategy fostering a mindset in students capable of delivering rationality based on shared value generation. To this end, didactic-methodological resources were used. This research aims to describe and analyze the results of this pedagogic experiment on students’ learning about the rationality of shared value, considering the theoretical assumptions of critical reflection (CR) and transformative learning (TL). Thus, a qualitative method research was conducted. On the one hand, the pedagogical experience mobilized students, being the discipline which made the greatest gains in relation to the teaching–learning of shared value. The graduates were able to grasp new content and mainly absorb resources for reflection on business objectives and ways to reach them. On the other hand, the results reinforce the challenge of promoting a level of CR and TL in the context of a discipline, since few changes in assumptions were noted. The contributions presented are: (a) to adapt and introduce a proposal for a qualitative assessment of CR and TL for sustainability in business administration students that can be replicated and adapted to different educational institutions; (b) to describe the implications of this pedagogical experience in the teaching–learning of shared value rationality, which can serve as inspiration for other teachers and researchers in the area.
This chapter addresses the question of whether it is possible to develop leaders so that they are motivated and ready to act in a sustainable way and, if so, what such a course would look like. The study identified a set of elements, which became the components of the construct ‘the sustainability mindset’. The sustainability-minded leader utilizes such a mindset when taking action for the greater good of both society and planet. The mindset results from a broad understanding of the ecosystem’s manifestations, and from an introspective focus on one’s personal values and the higher self. Using the elements of the sustainability mindset as learning goals, a course was designed to develop that mindset, following a cyclical sequence of knowing, being, and doing. The course has been implemented with over 100 students since 2010 in different graduate and post-graduate settings in the USA (Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fordham University, and Nova Southeastern University). Although no systematic research study was conducted to compare the pre- and post-values and ecological worldviews of the participants, qualitative data and spontaneous reports from the students indicate that this course has a transformational impact on the participants. Further research is required to measure the degree of the transformation, as well as the personal and professional implications for the participants after the course, and also whether the changes lasted and how they influenced the participants’ careers and their contributions to business and society.
Paul Miesing, Linda Krzykowski and Eliot Rich
Functional integration of business curricula is difficult, largely because business schools tend to teach their disciplines from departmental silos. Additionally, many business schools struggle to provide meaningful, applied learning experiences that engage increasingly less-experienced MBA students. In this chapter the authors narrate the history of their integrative course built on the concepts of sustainability, experiential learning, and practical fieldwork. Going Green Globally (or simply G3) is a cornerstone, intensive, and innovative program that brings sustainability knowledge, global best practices, and financial results to local organizations. It is a transformational intervention that inspires 40-plus full-time MBA students each year to shift from solely profit and external motivations toward expressing personal values and intrinsic incentives as they seek solutions to business problems which combine a short-term, bottom-line rationale with long-term sustainable models. The authors developed a framework, the G3 Sustainability Compass, to guide these considerations. Now, after a decade of continuous reflection and change based on feedback from students, faculty, sustainability experts, and business practitioners, they present a program that has been tested and has shown positive economic and social results. The authors offer their approach as an exemplar of how the topic of sustainability can be used as a template for curriculum integration and applied learning that harnesses student passion while creating opportunities for business schools to engage with their external communities in meaningful ways.
Martin Albert, Julia Breßler and Stefan Hüsig
The concept of sustainability is characterized by a multitude of contradictions in terms of paradoxes and dilemmas. Coping with these contradictions seems to be a generic problem of sustainability-oriented management studies. Therefore this chapter raises the question: How can the subject of sustainability be more effectively taught to business-oriented students at a university given the fact it is full of contradictions? In this chapter the authors propose an application of a modified concept of Expansive Learning based on Engeström in the context of higher education pedagogy at the Professorship for Innovation Research and Technology Management of the TU Chemnitz, Germany. The contributions of the chapter are summarized in the following two aspects. First, the authors develop an overview of paradoxes and dilemmas of sustainability which can be used by researchers, instructors, and practitioners as a basis for overcoming the contradictions of sustainability. Second, they propose a modified concept of Expansive Learning with the description of learning sequencing, learning objectives, the evaluation model, and initial findings of the model application, which can be used by instructors in higher education as a framework for a novel approach to learning.
Diego Vazquez-Brust and Natalia Yakovleva
A growing number of organizations outside academia promote sustainability in education and research of business schools through a variety of activities. We call such organizations – previously orphaned by sustainable education research – external facilitators of sustainable management education (EFSUMEs). The chapter classifies EFSUMEs into four broad categories: those that provide normative guidance, those monitoring, those networking, and those enabling resource provision opportunities. Many EFSUMEs are national, and we mostly focus on US- and UK-based institutions. But others are global, such as the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (UN PRME), which seek to address a lack of engagement with sustainability in business schools. The chapter argues that external facilitators of sustainable management education are needed to support paradigm change in education, and it subsequently reviews some of the major EFSUMEs and their activities in the effort to raise the profile of sustainability through ranking, research, and pedagogic endeavors.
Kaushik Ranjan Bandyopadhyay and Ritika Mahajan
Business is increasingly being viewed by society as a prime mover in promoting the cause of sustainable development. In the light of the changing scenario of non-financial risks in the twenty-first century, the business case for integrating sustainability in business strategy and operations has gained ground. It has now become an imperative for management institutions globally as well as in emerging economies like India to internalize the concern to address these risks by introducing relevant sustainability related courses. Select institutions in India have also introduced such courses as a part of their graduate management program. This chapter reports the findings of a qualitative method based research study that has been carried out to reflect on the perceptions of a purposive sample of faculty members who are involved in designing and/or teaching courses related to sustainability in the management programs of select reputable institutions in India. Insights were additionally drawn from (a) first-hand conversations with institution builders and thought leaders who had been at the helm during the evolution and growth of management education in India and (b) interactions with industry stakeholders as part of the teaching and research engagement of the authors. On the basis of the insights gathered, the study makes an attempt to gauge the extent to which sustainability concepts, principles, and practice are integrated in graduate management education in India and the challenges involved in designing and delivering courses that address concerns about sustainability.
Jannine Williams, Elina Meliou and Jorge A. Arevalo
The concept of sustainability has at its heart a sense of equity and social justice, which also encompasses aspects of gender equality. The chapter focuses on explaining gender integration in management education. Integrating gender in business school curricula is difficult, as it challenges the masculinist norms that have historically shaped conceptions of management and leadership. Through a framework of threshold concepts we review a teaching intervention with first year undergraduate students, which aimed to open up gender as a responsible, sustainable management concern. We suggest that gender is a key concept for management students’ engagement with sustainability and responsible management practice. Threshold concepts offers an approach to understanding how we might continue to develop interventions that enable us to work with students and facilitate their development and journey towards a transformed, irreversible understanding of their roles as future managers.