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Enlarging sustainability learning through integrative thinking with a focus on cultivating virtues

Kosheek Sewchurran (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Lester Merlin Davids (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Jennifer McDonogh (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Camille Meyer (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Article publication date: 7 January 2022

Issue publication date: 20 April 2022

107

Abstract

Purpose

In the African context of business practice, the authors face two interrelated challenges. First, executives need to deal strategically and sustainably with growing levels of inequality, under-employment and declining levels of wellness and safety. Second, executive development needs to develop virtues to help executives to address these problems. This paper aims to articulate an integrated, sustainable business education approach that aims to prepare executives to practice integrative thinking while simultaneously cultivating virtues that enhance their lives, thereby enabling them to make ongoing sustainable impacts to their worlds.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a mixed method analysis including both quantitative and qualitative data from student course feedback evaluations from Business Model Innovation (BMI) and Phronesis Development Practice courses run over four consecutive years between 2018 and 2021 at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business as part of the Executive Masters of Business Administration degree.

Findings

The program’s pedagogical approach integrates a philosophical habituation process with a core course on BMI practice. This philosophical integration is one in which there is a sustainable focus on cultivating specific “process” and “practice” virtues which foster awareness amongst executives of their everyday mundane skilful coping in the world. This leads to candidates becoming attuned to ways, in which they can strive for more authenticity and to step into newer ways of being, that allow them to reflect their values and evolve cultural practices.

Originality/value

As the first business school in Africa to base a BMI course on the affordances of the phenomenon of being-in-the-world and a philosophical habituation process, the authors hope to inspire more business schools to adopt holistic, sustainable approaches to executive development that goes beyond the competence paradigm.

Keywords

Citation

Sewchurran, K., Davids, L.M., McDonogh, J. and Meyer, C. (2022), "Enlarging sustainability learning through integrative thinking with a focus on cultivating virtues", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 126-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIEB-04-2021-0048

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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