Making a Difference
Edited by Lena Zander
Chapter 19: Taking the lead in making a difference: the role of business schools
Many future leaders around the world will be graduates from business schools. Considering the role and responsibilities of business schools in the recent economic and moral crisis, business educators have an obligation to unlearn and relearn the way they form and develop future leaders and members of society. For too long business educators have pushed students to think first and foremost just in economic terms such as profit maximization, cost efficiency, competition and optimization. The way business schools tend to propose a vision of sustainability is based on its consideration as a tool for profitability instead of responsibility. Business schools have often promoted the notion that achieving a result or objective is the ultimate goal, and that the process or means to achieve it become secondary. This collective mindset and our natural strive to group conformity make it very difficult for an individual to start questioning traditional models, roles, norms and processes and so to innovate. In this chapter we propose that business schools make a difference by introducing a more humanist perspective in the education of future leaders; a perspective that challenges and questions the many taken-for-granted epistemologies to which business schools typically introduce their students.
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