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Business graduate skills in sustainability

Glyn Mather (Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Leanne Denby (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
, and
Leigh N. Wood (Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Bronwen Harrison (Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review research and strategies in Australian business education that aim to foster graduate capabilities in sustainability concepts and practices, also to present a case study of teaching practice along with ideas for future development.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors report on a research project by seven Australian universities, with financial support from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), on how to develop and grade graduate capabilities with sustainability identified as a core graduate skill. An example is presented from the Faculty of Business and Economics of a strategy in action – the use of a case study (centred on sustainability practices at the university) to enhance the skills of merit scholars.

Findings

Corporate social responsibility is a well‐established concept in business management theory, with sustainability principles emerging as a core feature. In the higher education sector, the spirit may be willing, but training in the application of these principles has been implemented as an add‐on rather than an embedded part of the curriculum. Although efforts are being made to find ways of nurturing graduate capabilities in sustainability practice, a significant obstacle is the lack of teaching models and materials. The authors offer findings from the ALTC graduate skills project as well as a case study of implementation.

Originality/value

The authors report on practical innovations in fostering business graduate skills in implementing sustainability principles, assess the utility of current education practice and present some suggestions for future learning and teaching strategies.

Keywords

Citation

Mather, G., Denby, L., Wood, L.N. and Harrison, B. (2011), "Business graduate skills in sustainability", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 188-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/20412561111166049

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited