To read this content please select one of the options below:

Teaching sustainable development: an approach to rapidly introducing the UN sustainable development goals into an undergraduate business curriculum

Elizabeth Collier (Brennan School of Business, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, USA)
Kathleen E. Odell (Brennan School of Business, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, USA)
Alfred Rosenbloom (Brennan School of Business, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Article publication date: 23 May 2022

Issue publication date: 13 October 2022

294

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine whether an undergraduate business program that rapidly introduced sustainable development into its curriculum, without an overall curriculum revision, was effective in terms of student engagement with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what factors were most important for deepening student interest.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a pre-test/post-test design at one academic institution, in several different core courses, offered multiple times over three years, to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum approach taken.

Findings

Including a significant, SDG-focused assignment in an existing business course increased student learning about the SDGs, student curiosity about the SDGs and students’ feelings of competence to advance the SDGs after graduation. Having a faculty member who can make a strong business case for the SDGs increased student commitment to the goals. These positive outcomes were consistent across business school majors and were not specific to particular courses or faculty.

Research limitations/implications

Data in this study were collected at the course level and did not contain information to identify unique students across the pre- and post-tests. Given the long timeline for curriculum change at the institutional level, these findings provide a way forward for business schools and business school faculty who desire to react quickly to bring these topics into management education.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to use survey data collected over multiple semesters to test whether course-level interventions increase student engagement and interest in the SDGs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their generous and constructive comments and suggestions.

Citation

Collier, E., Odell, K.E. and Rosenbloom, A. (2022), "Teaching sustainable development: an approach to rapidly introducing the UN sustainable development goals into an undergraduate business curriculum", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 361-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGR-11-2021-0100

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles