Leadership Strategies for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education: Volume 24

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(16 chapters)


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Part I: Role of Corporate Social Responsibility


Nations today are faced with unprecedented challenges due to rapid globalization and global climate change. Universities no longer operate in isolation but are now a part of society where they are expected to be socially responsible citizens. Universities need to have effective strategies in order to be effective in a highly competitive higher education (HE) landscape. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a preferred strategy that can help achieve a good reputation and competitive advantage for the institutions of HE. Such institutions imparting HE are engaging in debates and quality research work to gauge the need of the current generation with a vision to meet the needs of the future generation (Sengupta, Blessinger, & Yamin, 2020). This book contains chapters that review scientific literature with an aim to find out the theoretical underpinnings explored in the case studies and interventions practiced by universities across the globe. This book provides evidence for CSR and the role of civil societies in creating an organizational culture that promotes social competence and human relations. This collective knowledge will help facilitate continuous improvement in higher education institutions with external impact and internal capacity building and a focus toward performance and management.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a concept is applicable in public service institutions, where responsibility means that the organization is capable of partaking and carving a solution toward urgent social needs. Universities are institutions in which social responsibility emerges not only because of their fundamental mission in the dissemination of knowledge, training, and creation, but also of the enormous challenges they face being a part of a greater society. A university is created to serve its society by graduating people who can contribute to its social and economic development. In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of private universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The academic and professional programs offered by local universities have been developed to follow the revenue-generating practices that are widely used in other different regions of the world. The country has also seen a growing interest in CSR. The chapter investigates the CSR-related evidence as envisaged in UAE and further emphasizes the four levels of responsibilities, namely, academic responsibility, social responsibility, responsibility toward disadvantaged groups, and environmental responsibility, that we can see essential.


There is abundant scholarship on the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in promoting community and social development in the low-income countries in general, and Zambia in particular. However, there is limited scholarship on the role of CSOs in higher education institutions (HEIs), and vice versa, and how the two have become key partners in corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Historically, CSOs were preoccupied with community work partly because of their mandate to help vulnerable people access resources for meeting basic needs, and at times actual provision of these resources. Lately however, these organizations have taken keen interest in generating learning materials and assistance in designing curricula for some HEIs. This has been partly because of their practical experiences in policy and intervention implementation among other issues which position them well to inform curriculum development.

HEIs too, have over time, changed their approach to pedagogical issues from perceiving themselves as the sole generators of knowledge to appreciating partnerships and reflecting on their relationship and contribution to society. The focus of this chapter is on analyzing the relationship between CSOs and HEIs and how these complement each other in CSR.


Colleges and universities play a significant role in preparing students to navigate the many issues and challenges that characterize contemporary societies, challenges that are simultaneously local, national, and global in nature. This has led to increased calls within higher education to re-envision educational practices to prioritize global competency. However, ambiguity persists regarding how faculty in transnational higher education contexts, specifically international branch campuses, understand global competency and conceive of their role in shaping students’ sense of self, perspective-taking, and social responsibility. Using a social constructivist lens, this chapter outlines initial case study research, informed by King and Magolda’s (2005) constructive-developmental model of intercultural maturity, Kegan’s (1994) scholarship on self-authorship, as well as Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory. This investigative research may be useful in terms of understanding how administrators and educators facilitate the environmental conditions and educational practices that lead to global competency and socially responsible global citizens. The broader implications of such study could potentially inform educational change policy and confirm the important role internationalized institutions, such as branch campus universities play in shaping and transforming societies.


Using a case study analysis of one undergraduate program that focuses on training science majors to perform sustainability outreach in their communities, this study offers pedagogical suggestions for how educators in universities might incorporate sustainability and activism into their curricular design.

This chapter discusses the relationship between the hard academic knowledge of the classroom and the outreach work done by the students by examining how curricular design and classroom activities lead to outreach work. Drawing on interviews, curriculum materials, and observations of staff meetings, this chapter examines how the course teachers use a peer-learning model to collaboratively develop the pedagogy of the classroom.

This model of teacher training through engagement with the content material of the course represents reflective learning practices. By being asked to break down and contextualize class themes and units for themselves as thinkers, the teachers first reflect on their own learning process and disciplinary participation as a way of developing course material for their students, who are themselves not incredibly far behind their facilitators in their own learning development.

The effectiveness of this practice suggests possibilities for using teacher training as a way to model the classroom space that each discipline believes best serve their learning goals. By first reflecting on their own individual relationship to the subject material, the teachers engage in a re-negotiation with knowledge that is synonymous with effective learning. The knowledge of the discipline is constantly re-negotiated around why that knowledge matters for each individual member of the discipline.

By considering how the classroom in this program combines disciplinary knowledge of environmental science with outreach and activist-oriented praxis, this case study analysis allows for pedagogical techniques that instructors might use with similar goals of combining traditional academic discourse with public outreach and participation.


What are the factors that encourage or discourage a successful university experience and how is this subjectively understood by Black (African, Caribbean and Asian) students? How might university cultures and subcultures better enhance the development of Black students and staff, particularly Black women in the UK? This will be considered by imagining what a more inclusive academy might look like, in the light of associated theorizing. There is, as part of the above, an interrogation of what being a university is and might be. There can be emptiness in policy statements, as well as avoidance, on the one hand; on the other, moments of courage, and struggle, to remind us of what a university can be; a place where difficult issues are addressed, in reflexive, intellectual yet also humane ways. A critical race theory framework is used to theorize and examine the way race and racism implicitly and explicitly impact on social structures, practices and discourse, and asserts itself within the corridors of higher education. It paints a picture of what the more inclusive university might be like, alongside an understanding of how difficult it is for humans to engage with the complexity, of race, stereotyping and discrimination.


During the last two decades, there has been increasing emphasis on higher education institutions as agents promoting and advancing sustainability. This chapter addresses how sustainability is integrated into management education at higher education institutions. It is based on a systematic literature review that teases out governance, education, research, outreach and campus operations (GEROCO) as key elements for embedding sustainability in management education. In addition, it identifies the important role of having an overall governing strategic direction that serves to anchor sustainability. The chapter highlights that sustainability and responsible management education initiatives are interconnected and are complex to embed through the university system.

Part II: Leadership and Management


Despite millions of dollars funding increases in the California Community College system, statistics show that less than 50% of students complete their two-year degree in six years. The 114 colleges that serve over two million students have, therefore, been mandated to implement student success programs under the Chancellor’s Vision for Success strategy. Dr. Ortiz Oakley’s plans to decrease attrition and graduation time while improving equity entail additional responsibilities for the instructors because one of its measures ties a percentage of funding to quantifiable increases in success rates. Such connection was one of the reasons for a no confidence motion voted against the Chancellor by the Faculty Association. Though circumscribed, this case calls attention to the general question of accountability in the classroom. Can instructors be held responsible for students passing their classes? In face of rates of failure that are rare in other professional fields and unacceptable given Community College students’ vulnerability and the vital importance of degrees to enter the workforce and earn living wages, this chapter examines how weaving a social justice component into instructors’ mission of knowledge dissemination leads to the constitution of a beneficial civil society but generates conflict among the Colleges’ leaders.


Higher education in the United States aims to nurture civically engaged and democratically minded individuals. During its long history, nonprofit higher education has successfully responded to that call. While for-profit higher education is not new, in recent decades its expanded reach and career-focused influence have begun to drastically challenge our thinking about all of higher education and specifically the character and practices of nonprofit institutions. At the same time, for-profit institutions of higher education have been highly criticized for their administrative practices, their cost, and their questionable outcomes. Given this criticism, there has been only limited study of the student experience with for-profits. This chapter introduces a brief history of for-profit education in the United States and offers an overview of studies exploring the student experience at for-profit institutions. It examines the relationship between administrative practices at for-profit institutions and how those practices have affected students and their educational choices, both before enrolling and after graduation. By doing so, the reader is challenged to consider the past, present, and future of higher education along with its role and mission of shaping individuals and society.


This chapter relates to identifying the experience, skills and competencies of those responsible for operationalizing and developing transnational education (TNE) partnerships. Despite the growth of TNE internationally, little detailed attention has been paid to these individuals, often called academic liaison (or link) tutors. They are good examples of “boundary spanners” (Williams, 2013, p. 17) or “third space professionals” (Whitchurch, 2008, p. 378). Using concepts associated with “distributed leadership” (Gronn, 2002, p. 423) to explain leadership in collaborative provision as distributed practice, the research represented in the chapter made use of activity theory (Engeström, 1987) to identify the range of contextual factors that an academic liaison tutor needs to take into account in developing a TNE partnership. Findings indicate that an academic liaison tutor needs experience of working in complex environments, in-depth understanding of organizational procedures, the ability to manage power differentials, sophisticated communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to create and lead a cultural context for learning and development, change management and the ability to resolve difficulties. These factors provide the foundation for suggestions for staff recruitment, development and training.


The operational paradigms guiding leadership strategies and practices, and their related policies, are archaic, and neither varied nor flexible. Arguably, many institutions of higher education still operate on an economized production paradigm of product-profit. The unintended consequence of such a paradigm is the continued dehumanization and objectification of all those involved.

This chapter challenges the particular uses of metaphors in higher education that, on our view, continue the reified product-profit paradigm. By crafting an alternative conceptual metaphor for higher education as a learner rather than debtor, we help those in higher education begin to make institutions more socially responsible and more democratic simply by calling upon those within higher education to reduce the amount of human commodification occurring through the language we use. We do this by sketching the history of the institution as debtor, making clear and transparent the consequences and impact of this metaphor, and by providing an alternative metaphorical paradigm for institutions of higher education.


This chapter quotes how St. John, Daun-Barnett, and Moronski-Chapman (2012) maintained ideological shifts in American culture and politics which are important to the study of higher education policy because of the influence on public finance, government regulation, and curriculum. From the Great Depression through the Cold War to the present, human capital theory has guided higher education (St. John et al., 2012). Veiled concepts of accessibility and equity were substantial during this era to mask more nefarious attempts to shift to the privatization away from the public good of American Higher Education (Astin & Oseguera, 2004). This chapter focuses on the role of accountability as a neoliberal ideology, and the impact of this ideology, as a form of corporatization on higher education. Furthermore, this focus on corporatization intersects specifically with the discourse pertaining to corporate social responsibility (CSR), which can be understood as transparent actions that guide an organization to benefit society, such as in funding and accessibility. In this chapter, the authors engage in a critical analysis of neoliberalism, and academic capitalism, as threats to the institution of higher education as a public good. The authors initially provide a framing of the public to private dichotomy of American higher education in explaining the various products produced and expected outcomes. A historical context for performance-based funding in American higher education is provided as an understanding of the nature and scope of the contemporary model. To understand the influence of public funding policies on American higher education, it is also necessary to comprehend the role of political ideology and how the business model of higher education has evolved. Thus, a general discussion of neoliberalism permeates the entirety of this discussion. This chapter concludes with the tertiary impacts of neoliberalism.

Name Index

Pages 199-208
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Subject Index

Pages 209-212
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Cover of Leadership Strategies for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education
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Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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