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Teaching sustainability to business students: shifting mindsets

Wendy Stubbs (School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Clayton, Australia)
Chris Cocklin (Faculty of Science, Engineering and IT, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 11 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe a framework used to help MBA students understand and reconcile the different sustainability perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the corporate sustainability literature is undertaken to develop the sustainability framework.

Findings

The sustainability framework relates basic concepts and assumptions within the ecocentric, ecological modernization and neoclassical paradigms to organizational practice and behavior. For the most part, the MBA students have only been exposed to neoclassical economic thinking within the other MBA subjects. The aim of the sustainability framework is to shift the students' thinking by engaging with sustainability from different perspectives, rather than presenting one version of sustainability to them. The framework has proven to be useful in developing critical and reflective thinking and discussion.

Originality/value

The paper provides a summary of sustainability concepts as applied to business practices and describes how this is used in teaching sustainability to business students.

Keywords

Citation

Stubbs, W. and Cocklin, C. (2008), "Teaching sustainability to business students: shifting mindsets", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 206-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676370810885844

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited