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CEO perspectives: management education in a changing context

Matthew Gitsham (Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted, UK)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




This paper seeks to make a contribution to debate regarding the place of sustainability in the management education curriculum with data regarding the opinions on this question of business leaders across both developed and emerging markets.


The analysis in this paper was conducted at the invitation of the secretariat of the UN PRME, led by a team from Ashridge and EABIS, supported by Accenture, and presented for the first time at the 2nd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education convened by the UN in New York in June 2010. The analysis draws on data collected by Accenture as part of the UN Global Compact‐Accenture CEO Study 2010, which included in‐depth interviews with 50 CEOs, Chairpersons and Presidents of UN Global Compact member companies and an online survey of 766 Global Compact member CEOs.


Among CEOs of those organizations that have begun thinking in a sophisticated way about trends relating to sustainability, there is a growing consensus across both developed and emerging markets, and across different industries and organization type, that management education is one of the most important elements in stimulating the kind of organizational change required to effectively address those trends.

Practical implications

The data suggest that debate in business schools about whether or not sustainability is a real issue deserving of their consideration is becoming less relevant. Questions that become more important include: how to do management education for sustainability well? And how can we effectively stimulate the kind of organizational change that needs to occur in business schools for sustainability to be embraced across the faculty?

Research limitations/implications

Areas for further research include empirical research on both the most effective pedagogical approaches for management education for sustainability, and the most effective strategies for organizational change for sustainability within business schools themselves.


This paper presents a snapshot of business leader opinion from the first part of 2010, and thus complements earlier similar surveys of business leader opinion on the question of the place of sustainability in the management education curricula. This will be of particular interest to administrators and teaching faculty within business schools across both developed and emerging markets.



Gitsham, M. (2011), "CEO perspectives: management education in a changing context", Corporate Governance, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 501-512.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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