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Indigenous wisdom and the PRME: inclusion or illusion?

Amy Klemm Verbos (Department of Management, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA)
Maria T. Humphries (Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




The Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) are a United Nations led initiative that includes a mandate to engage with voices generally marginalized in business classrooms. The voices of Indigenous peoples are among such marginalized voices. Inclusion of indigenous worldviews offer opportunities to enhance the capacity of the PRME to contribute to more just and sustainable management and development of humanity. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


PRME Principle One inspires opportunities to integrate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) and through this confluence, contribute to manifesting the espoused aspirations of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) – i.e. the transformation of poverty and environmental degradation toward universal human and environmental thriving.


Greater attention to relational ethics through critical pedagogy encourages reflection on the paradoxes of the market logic that permeates management education. The outcome in practice of this logic appears to result in ever increasing disparity. Its unfettered trajectory risks both people and planet. An indigenous call to respect all life, including that of the planet, brings the principles of universal inclusiveness to light in a compelling way.


This essay is unique in its call to construe together the PRME, UNGC, Business Reference Guide (BRG), and the DRIP to progress aspirations of inclusiveness and sustainability; and contribute indigenous worldviews for their intrinsic value in critical reflection on the damage caused by the market logic endemic to management education.



Verbos, A.K. and Humphries, M.T. (2015), "Indigenous wisdom and the PRME: inclusion or illusion?", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 90-100.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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