Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 347-368

First online:

Ethics, CSR, and Sustainability Education in the Financial Times Top 50 Global Business Schools: Baseline Data and Future Research Directions

  • Lisa Jones ChristensenAffiliated withKenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Ellen PeirceAffiliated withKenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • , Laura P. HartmanAffiliated withDePaul University
  • , W. Michael HoffmanAffiliated withCenter for Business Ethics, Bentley College
  • , Jamie CarrierAffiliated withBentley College

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This paper investigates how deans and directors at the top 50 global MBA programs (as rated by the Financial Times in their 2006 Global MBA rankings) respond to questions about the inclusion and coverage of the topics of ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability at their respective institutions. This work purposely investigates each of the three topics separately. Our findings reveal that: (1) a majority of the schools require that one or more of these topics be covered in their MBA curriculum and one-third of the schools require coverage of all three topics as part of the MBA curriculum, (2) there is a trend toward the inclusion of sustainability-related courses, (3) there is a higher percentage of student interest in these topics (as measured by the presence of a Net Impact club) in the top 10 schools, and (4) several schools are teaching these topics using experiential learning and immersion techniques. We note a fivefold increase in the number of stand-alone ethics courses since a 1988 investigation on ethics, and we include other findings about institutional support of centers or special programs; as well as a discussion of integration, teaching techniques, and notable practices in relation to all three topics.


ethics education CSR sustainability