This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the relevance of sustainability in management education through exploration of the needs and expectations of a key group of business schools’ stakeholders – senior executives of leading corporations.
The paper presents findings from a survey regarding sustainability within management education returned by executives from a wide span of global companies. The study includes 194 survey responses by senior executives from companies that are signatories of the United Nations Global Compact.
Results from a survey of executives from leading multinational enterprises reveal widespread recognition that sustainability issues are increasingly important for effective management, thus that managers must be appropriately trained for these emerging challenges. Survey results also indicate the kinds of skills and qualities seen as valuable by corporate leaders.
It is not possible to extrapolate from this study the aggregate sentiment of all senior business executives, but the sample of 194 respondents is significant.
The expressed demand from business leaders provides context for business school faculty and administrators involved in the development of appropriately trained professionals.
The study provides indication of demand from a significant subset of influential executives, providing support for the on-going progress of the integration of sustainability topics and training in the curricula of business and other fields.
The study was undertaken at the request of the Secretariat of the PRME, within the United Nations in New York, to provide a clearer view of the perspectives of the business community about the importance of the PRME initiative. The study was financially supported by the founding corporate partners of The Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) – IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Shell and Unilever. The authors of this paper are indebted to the intellectual contribution of EABIS President Gilbert Lenssen and several supporting partners in the project including Laura Quinn, Senior Associate, Center for Creative Leadership; Henri-Claude de Bettignies, Distinguished Professor of Globally Responsible Leadership, China Europe International Business School; Jaime Gomez, Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership, EGADE, Tecnológico de Monterrey; Ceri Oliver-Evans, Director, The Southern Africa-USA Center for Leadership and Public Values, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town; Nadya Zhexembayeva, Director, One-Year MBA Program, IEDC-Bled School of Management; Joan Fontrodona, Associate Professor and Head, Business Ethics Department, Academic Director, Center for Business in Society, IESE Business School, University of Navarra; Pilar Garcia Lombardia, Associate Researcher, IESE Business School, University of Navarra; Megan Pillsbury, Executive Director, Social Innovation Centre, INSEAD; Luc Van Wassenhove, Professor of Operations Management, The Henry Ford Chaired Professor of Manufacturing, Director, Social Innovation Centre, INSEAD; Juliet Roper, Associate Dean, Sustainability, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato: Ante Glavas, Executive Director, Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University; David Cooperrider, Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Director Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Professor, Organizational Behavior, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.
Gitsham, M. and Clark, T. (2014), "Market demand for sustainability in management education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 291-303. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-12-2011-0082Download as .RIS
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