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Abstract

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Matthew Gitsham

The purpose of this paper is to draw on empirical data from two major organisations (IBM and HSBC) to offer insight on the question of the effectiveness and potential…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw on empirical data from two major organisations (IBM and HSBC) to offer insight on the question of the effectiveness and potential value of experiential learning approaches to developing the mindsets and skills needed by organisational leaders as they respond to the pressures and opportunities of sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The data in this paper are drawn from semi‐structured interviews with previous programme participants in IBM's Corporate Service Corps and HSBC's Climate Champions Programme.

Findings

Interviewees reported that the learning programmes had a powerful impact and that a range of outcomes was achieved. The experiential, immersive experience was a fundamental factor in the achievement of these outcomes, from the perspective of participants, but only alongside a number of other key aspects of the design and facilitation of the programme, and also a number of factors related to the wider organisational context.

Research limitations/implications

It would be valuable to explore similar questions with a larger sample of programme participants, and also to explore variations across a wider number of organisations. Similarly, it would be valuable to gather longitudinal data to explore how the perspectives of participants on the impact of these learning programmes vary over time.

Practical implications

The findings lend weight to arguments that those involved in management development might usefully give more consideration of the potential value of experiential learning approaches. The findings also suggest that appropriate consideration be given to a number of other design and facilitation factors, as well as the scope for influencing a range of relevant factors in the wider organisational context.

Originality/value

This paper contributes original empirical data on the effectiveness and potential value of experiential learning approaches.

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Matthew Gitsham

This paper seeks to make a contribution to debate regarding the place of sustainability in the management education curriculum with data regarding the opinions on this

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to make a contribution to debate regarding the place of sustainability in the management education curriculum with data regarding the opinions on this question of business leaders across both developed and emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis in this paper was conducted at the invitation of the secretariat of the UN PRME, led by a team from Ashridge and EABIS, supported by Accenture, and presented for the first time at the 2nd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education convened by the UN in New York in June 2010. The analysis draws on data collected by Accenture as part of the UN Global Compact‐Accenture CEO Study 2010, which included in‐depth interviews with 50 CEOs, Chairpersons and Presidents of UN Global Compact member companies and an online survey of 766 Global Compact member CEOs.

Findings

Among CEOs of those organizations that have begun thinking in a sophisticated way about trends relating to sustainability, there is a growing consensus across both developed and emerging markets, and across different industries and organization type, that management education is one of the most important elements in stimulating the kind of organizational change required to effectively address those trends.

Practical implications

The data suggest that debate in business schools about whether or not sustainability is a real issue deserving of their consideration is becoming less relevant. Questions that become more important include: how to do management education for sustainability well? And how can we effectively stimulate the kind of organizational change that needs to occur in business schools for sustainability to be embraced across the faculty?

Research limitations/implications

Areas for further research include empirical research on both the most effective pedagogical approaches for management education for sustainability, and the most effective strategies for organizational change for sustainability within business schools themselves.

Originality/value

This paper presents a snapshot of business leader opinion from the first part of 2010, and thus complements earlier similar surveys of business leader opinion on the question of the place of sustainability in the management education curricula. This will be of particular interest to administrators and teaching faculty within business schools across both developed and emerging markets.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2009

David Bevan and Matthew Gitsham

This paper sets out to reveal the extent to which the experience of senior managers as organizational change leaders in a time of contemporary crisis may be discerned to

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to reveal the extent to which the experience of senior managers as organizational change leaders in a time of contemporary crisis may be discerned to reflect strands of earlier globalization theories; to consider any implications for leadership and management learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors proceed from the colloquium model for knowledge exchange outlined in the editorial introduction to this special issue. In the spirit of reflexive management research the authors bring an epistemological subjectivism – the context of indicative globalization literature (“research”) – to bear upon and interpret ontological realism as revealed by the experiences of senior managers through a contemporary survey of global firms (“practice”). This methodology enlists an ontology informed by critical theory; it proceeds through process denaturalization to potentially transformational knowledge development.

Findings

The authors interpret globalization literature to reveal one strand as historically predictive of the insecurity and complexity we have recently experienced in the global economies. An informal and experimental survey along with a range of interviews with senior managers in global firms is undertaken in the wake of a market meltdown (September 2008). Interpreting the experience of these managers in the light of selected globalization literature, we find economic reasoning is more implicit in managers' experiences of globalization, while sociological experience or feeling is more explicit in the same discourses. This epistemological distinction – vocalized as a performance gap – has profound implications for leadership and management education and learning.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical survey was exploratory in nature and not designed to test any particular hypothesis. The theoretical framework and interpretive account were reflexive afterthoughts – an informal, initial take on some results from a survey. Such methodological bricolage is envisaged in reflexive management research and not limited by compliance with normal standards of academic rigor. Beyond the similarities in conceptualization as between selected readings and selected practice, the authors suggest that management learning and education will need to be organized more structurally and systemically if we are to reproduce a more sustainable organizational future.

Practical implications

Senior managers are clearly aware of the problems resulting from systemic failure – they may need to consider a systemic and not a linear solution. This has consequences for management learning and the business school.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical in‐crisis survey interpreted through lenses of economic and sociological dimensions of globalization.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Craig L. Pearce, Charles C. Manz and Samuel Akanno

The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the linkage between leadership and sustainability. Recent scandals involving executive leadership have significantly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the linkage between leadership and sustainability. Recent scandals involving executive leadership have significantly contributed to the topic of sustainability becoming one of the most important concerns of the management literature in the twenty‐first century.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ approach is to review the extant literature and develop a theoretical model of the connection between leadership, in its many forms, and sustainability.

Findings

Most treatments of sustainability have focused on glorifying top executives for their sustainability efforts or vilifying them for their lack thereof. The authors claim that this perspective is oversimplified and flawed.

Research limitations/implications

The authors develop several readily testable propositions to guide future research.

Practical implications

The practical implications of the authors’ model are focused on the engagement of employees at work: the philosophical perspective espoused in the model is one founded on empowerment and active involvement.

Social implications

The model purports mechanisms through which organizations can develop more robust systems that ultimately can translate into more sustainable organizational practices.

Originality/value

The presented model is original in that the authors propose that broadening management development across all levels of organizations, along the lines of shared leadership theory, will facilitate organizational sustainability.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Gill Coleman

The purpose of this paper is to report and reflect on a decade‐long action experiment to devise a form of business education for sustainability that helps managers act as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report and reflect on a decade‐long action experiment to devise a form of business education for sustainability that helps managers act as “pro‐sustainability” agents of change. It offers one example of practice in this evolving field, for scholarly scrutiny and discussion.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on action research principles, which engage theory with practice, and action with reflection. It is written as a reflective account of the author's experience.

Findings

This educational programme for managers locates itself as a form of business education for sustainability whilst simultaneously acknowledging that the managerialist assumptions underpinning this aspiration are part of the problem that change for sustainability needs to address. This raises challenges both for the tutor team and participants. Tentative conclusions are reached about the paradoxical nature of educational practice in this contested space, in the light of current trends in higher education.

Originality/value

The paper explores an innovative educational experiment in which the questions raised have wider significance for how managers are helped to bring about pro‐sustainability change.

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Nadine Exter, David Grayson and Rajiv Maher

The purpose of this paper is to capture, codify and communicate an implicit change‐management process to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability at the Cranfield…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to capture, codify and communicate an implicit change‐management process to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability at the Cranfield School of Management.

Design/methodology/approach

To explain the (on‐going) change‐management process, the authors retrospectively applied change‐management literature to the implicit process in which they have, themselves, been intimately involved.

Findings

The implicit change‐management process had unconsciously mobilized a variety of tactics identified in the change‐management literature; a more explicit articulation of the “as‐is” and “desired” states, and a more explicit, systematic and regular communication of the journey and goal, might have enabled faster progress. However, the nature of a highly autonomous and decentralized organization, such as an academic institution, means that sustainable change management may be slower than in commercial institutions.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have been closely engaged in the change‐management process they describe and, inevitably, have unconscious biases and partial perspectives. Nevertheless, as a frank and self‐critical account of a five‐year‐plus process, it can assist other academic institutions.

Practical implications

As more business schools seek to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability, the case study identifies a series of potential change‐management tactics.

Originality/value

The paper applies a change‐management model to examine how one school of management is tackling how to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability into its research, teaching, advisory services and its own operations.

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Sanne Frandsen, Mette Morsing and Steen Vallentin

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between sustainability adoption and internal legitimacy construction.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between sustainability adoption and internal legitimacy construction.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is designed as a critical inquiry into existing research and practice on sustainability adoption, illustrated by two corporate vignettes.

Findings

Prior studies tend to assume that awareness raising is a sufficient means to create employee commitment and support for corporate sustainability programs, while empirical observations indicate that managerial disregard of conflicting interpretations of sustainability may result in the illegitimacy of such programs.

Originality/value

The authors suggest that a loosely coupled approach to sustainability adoption is a productive way to understand internal legitimacy construction, as it appreciates complexity and polyphony.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2014

Matthew Gitsham and Timothy S. Clark

This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the relevance of sustainability in management education through exploration of the needs and expectations of a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the relevance of sustainability in management education through exploration of the needs and expectations of a key group of business schools’ stakeholders – senior executives of leading corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents findings from a survey regarding sustainability within management education returned by executives from a wide span of global companies. The study includes 194 survey responses by senior executives from companies that are signatories of the United Nations Global Compact.

Findings

Results from a survey of executives from leading multinational enterprises reveal widespread recognition that sustainability issues are increasingly important for effective management, thus that managers must be appropriately trained for these emerging challenges. Survey results also indicate the kinds of skills and qualities seen as valuable by corporate leaders.

Research limitations/implications

It is not possible to extrapolate from this study the aggregate sentiment of all senior business executives, but the sample of 194 respondents is significant.

Practical implications

The expressed demand from business leaders provides context for business school faculty and administrators involved in the development of appropriately trained professionals.

Originality/value

The study provides indication of demand from a significant subset of influential executives, providing support for the on-going progress of the integration of sustainability topics and training in the curricula of business and other fields.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Denise Baden and Carole Parkes

The complex challenges of sustainable development and the need to embed these issues effectively into the education of future business leaders has never been more urgent…

Abstract

Purpose

The complex challenges of sustainable development and the need to embed these issues effectively into the education of future business leaders has never been more urgent. The purpose of this paper is to discuss different approaches taken by two UK signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Design/methodology/approach

The two approaches examined are: MSc Entrepreneurship students opting for placements with social enterprises; and MBA students undertaking workshops using “live” case studies. A content analysis of the experiences of students from their written reflective narratives is presented. This is supplemented by reflections of the facilitators and tutors.

Findings

The analysis reveals that the opportunity to work with social entrepreneurs and/or “responsible” business professionals provides the business students with inspirational role models and positive social learning opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

This paper suggests that experiential learning is an effective way of integrating ethics, responsibility and sustainability into the curriculum but the research draws on the experience of two schools. Further research is important to explore these findings in other contexts.

Practical implications

The authors argue that direct exposure to a business culture (and/or behaviour) that is predicated upon ethical/social responsibility and sustainability is an effective means to embed these values in the curriculum.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by drawing on social psychological research related to behaviour change to examine how experiential learning on traditional Business Masters programmes can provide students with the knowledge, motivation and skills to contribute positively to society, in a way that more traditional pedagogies cannot.

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