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Analysing the inclusion of stand-alone courses on ethics and CSR: A study of the MBA curricula of the Financial Times top-ranked business schools

Manuel Larrán Jorge (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Cadiz, Cadiz, Spain)
Francisco Javier Andrades Peña (Department of Business and Management, University of Cadiz, Cadiz, Spain)
Maria Jose Muriel de los Reyes (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Cadiz, Cadiz, Spain)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

1028

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how the Master of Business Administration (MBA) curricula of top-ranked business schools are offering stand-alone courses on ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). To provide additional evidence, this study tests some hypotheses to contrast the effect of different variables on the inclusion of stand-alone courses on ethics and CSR. Also, the paper provides a comparative analysis in two ways: one comparison aims to analyse how the presence of ethics and CSR stand-alone courses in the MBA programmes over the past 10 years has evolved, and the other comparison seeks to explore whether there are differences between different rankings with regard to the inclusion of ethics and CSR stand-alone courses in the MBA curricula.

Design/methodology/approach

A Web content analysis was conducted on the curricula of 92 of the top 100 global MBA programmes ranked by the Financial Times in their 2013 ratings.

Findings

The findings show that there is a trend towards the inclusion of stand-alone courses on CSR and ethics as electives. Empirically, the findings suggest that the presence of ethics and CSR elective stand-alone subjects in the MBA programmes is explained by the following variables: public/private, business school’s accreditation and cultural influence. Comparatively, the findings suggest that requiring CSR and business ethics stand-alone courses in the MBA programmes ranked by the Financial Times have not increased over the past 10 years. In addition, when we have compared the results of this study with other rankings, we have appreciated that there are important differences between top MBA programmes in accordance with the aims and scope of rankings.

Originality/value

The findings of this study seem to suggest that business schools included in the Financial Times ranking have not changed their view based on a shareholder approach, which is focused on providing an economics-centred training.

Keywords

Citation

Larrán Jorge, M., Andrades Peña, F.J. and Muriel de los Reyes, M.J. (2017), "Analysing the inclusion of stand-alone courses on ethics and CSR: A study of the MBA curricula of the Financial Times top-ranked business schools", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 114-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-05-2015-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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