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Social sustainability reporting in European business schools

Mar Vila (Department of Economics, Finances and Accounting, Ramon Llull University ESADE, Barcelona, Spain)
Soledad Moya (Department of Economics, Finances and Accounting, Ramon Llull University ESADE, Barcelona, Spain)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 19 January 2023

Issue publication date: 26 January 2023

52

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the social sustainability reporting (SR) of top European business schools to illustrate and discuss their practices and the associated challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

For the top 20 European business schools, content and thematic analyses were used to investigate reports concerning social sustainability and data from semi-structured interviews. Reports from the past three years (typology, framework, channels of communication and frequency) were analysed, including content on social issues in the past period and the challenges faced by managers regarding social SR.

Findings

Social SR in the top 20 European business schools is heterogeneous and the main challenges are the lack of specific frameworks and resources, the amount of data that must be collected and the complexity of measuring social impact. Diversity and equality, society issues, ethical integrity and human rights with respect to students, partners and organizations are the most relevant social contents.

Practical implications

Business schools need to debate ways of promoting social sustainability and to adapt procedures and technology to communicate their social sustainability strategies and impacts. It offers an improved understanding to regulatory institutions that can allow them to establish standards and a foundation for future research that can refine or generalize the findings of this study.

Social implications

Measuring and reporting social sustainability issues are relevant challenges for business schools that are working on social sustainability aspects.

Originality/value

The originality of this study lies in the discussion on current social SR practices at business schools, and their responsibilities regarding the development of a more sustainable society in a changing regulatory context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Financial support for this project was received under the grant PID2021-128333NB-I00 funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and “ERDF A way of making Europe”.

Citation

Vila, M. and Moya, S. (2023), "Social sustainability reporting in European business schools", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 242-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-02-2022-0100

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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