Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 139, Issue 4, pp 737–754 | Cite as

Beyond the Curriculum: Integrating Sustainability into Business Schools

  • Mollie Painter-MorlandEmail author
  • Ehsan Sabet
  • Petra Molthan-Hill
  • Helen Goworek
  • Sander de Leeuw
Article

Abstract

This paper evaluates the ways in which European business schools are implementing sustainability and ethics into their curricula. Drawing on data gathered by a recent large study that the Academy of Business in Society conducted in cooperation with EFMD, we map the approaches that schools are currently employing by drawing on and expanding Rusinko’s (Acad Manag Learn Educ 9(3):507–519 2010) and Godemann et al.’s (2011) matrice of integrating sustainability in business and management schools. We show that most schools adopt one or more of the four approaches outlined by Godemann et al. (2011). However, we also argue that a fifth dimension needs to be added as the existing matrices do not capture the systemic nature of such curricular initiatives and how these are influenced by internal factors within the business school and external factors beyond. We suggest calling this fifth dimension ‘Systemic Institutional Integration’ and demonstrate that any business school which aims to integrate sustainability further into the curricula cannot succeed without the following: (1) Systemic thinking and systemic leadership, (2) Connectedness to business, the natural environment and society and (3) Institutional capacity building. Utilising further literature and the answers provided by the deans and faculty, we discuss each factor in turn and suggest paths towards the successful systemic institutional integration of sustainability and ethics into management education.

Keywords

Sustainable management Business schools Systemic approach ESGE issues Curriculum 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals who were part of the initial ABIS-EFMD survey project through which the data was gathered, and who were part of initial discussions to reflect on the data. From ABIS, we thank Gilbert Lenssen, Simon Pickard, Jacqueline Brassey, Marieke de Kort and Elena Urizar. From EFMD, we are grateful to Ulrich Hommel, Jocelyn Wang and Christoph Lejeune.

References

  1. Akrivou, K., & Bradbury-Huang, H. (2015). Educating integrated catalysts: Transforming business schools toward ethics and sustainability. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 222–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Augier, M., & March, J. G. (2007). The pursuit of relevance in management education. California Management Review, 49(3), 129–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baden, D. (2013). Chapter 6, No more preaching to the converted: Embedding ESD in the business school curriculum through a service learning initiative. In R. Atfield and P. Kemp (eds.), Enhancing education for sustainable development in Business and Management, Hospitality, Leisure, Marketing, Tourism. York, UK, Higher Education Academy. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/ESD_Baden_final_0.pdf.
  4. Baets, W. & Oldenboom, E. (2009). Rethinking Growth: Social Intrapreneurship for Sustainable Performance. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Belz, F. M., & Peattie, K. (2009). Sustainability marketing: A global perspective. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Birtch, T. A., & Chiang, F. F. (2014). The influence of business school’s ethical climate on students’ unethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 123, 283–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buchholz, R. A., & Rosenthal, S. B. (2007). The unholy alliance of business and science. Journal of Business Ethics, 78, 199–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burchell, J., Kennedy, S., & Murray, A. (2015). Responsible management education in UK business schools: Critically examining the role of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education as a driver for change. Management Learning, 46(4), 479–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chhokar, K. B. (2010). Higher education and curriculum innovation for sustainable development in India. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11(2), 141–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clayton, A. M. H., & Radcliffe, N. J. (1996). Sustainability: A systems approach. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  11. Collier, J., & Esteban, R. (2000). Systemic leadership: Ethical and effective. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 21(4), 207–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Courtice, P. & van der Kamp, M. (2013). Developing leaders for the future: Integrating sustainability into mainstream leadership programmes. Working paper of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, commissioned by the Academy of Business in Society.Google Scholar
  13. Currie, G., Knights, D., & Starkey, K. (2010). Introduction: A post-crisis critical reflection on business schools. British Journal of Management, 21, S1–S5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dahlstrom, R. (2011). Green marketing management. Andover: South-Western Cengage.Google Scholar
  15. Du, X. Y., Su, L., & Liu, J. (2013). Developing sustainability curriculum by using the PBL method in a Chinese context. Journal of Cleaner Production, 61, 80–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Godemann, J., Herzig, C., & Moon, J. (2011). Approaches to changing the curriculum. Presentation given on the ISIBS Workshop—Session II, University of Nottingham 20/21.10.2011.Google Scholar
  18. Goworek, H., & Molthan-Hill, P. (2013). Embedding CSR within the undergraduate business curriculum: The development of a Sustainable Organisation module. In J. Ahmad & D. Crowther (Eds.), Education and Corporate Social Responsibility: International perspectives (pp. 57–76). Bingley: Emerald Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis (Vol. 6). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  20. Hartman, L. P., & Werhane, P. H. (2009). A modular approach to business ethics integration: At the intersection of the Stand-Alone and the Integrated approaches. Journal of Business Ethics, 90, 295–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holt, D. (2003). The role and impact of the business school curriculum in shaping environmental education at Middlesex University. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 4(4), 324–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hommel, U., Painter-Morland, M., & Wang, J. (2012). Gradualism prevails and perception outbids substance. Global Focus, 6(20), 30–33.Google Scholar
  23. Hopwood, A., Unerman, J., & Fries, J. (Eds.). (2010). Accounting for sustainability: Practical insights. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Hühn, M. P. (2013). You reap what you sow: How MBA programs undermine ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 121, 527–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kiron, D., Kruschwitz, N., Haanaes, K., & von Streng Velken, I. (2012). Sustainability nears a tipping point. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(2), 68–75.Google Scholar
  26. Kurland, N. B., Michaud, K. E. H., Best, M., Wohldmann, E., Cox, H., Pontikis, K., & Vasishth, A. (2010). Overcoming silos: The role of an interdisciplinary course in shaping a sustainability network management education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 9(3), 377–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lämsä, A. M., Vehkaperä, M., Puttonen, T., & Pesonen, H. L. (2008). Effect of business education on women and men students’ attitudes on Corporate Responsibility in society. Journal of Business Ethics, 82, 45–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leroy, P., van den Bosch, H., & Ligthart, S. (2001). The role of project-based learning in the “Political and Social Sciences of the Environment” curriculum at Nijmegen University. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 2(1), 8–20.Google Scholar
  29. Martin, D., & Schouten, J. (2012). Sustainable Marketing. NJ, Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River.Google Scholar
  30. Molthan-Hill, P. (2014a). A new framework for embedding sustainability into the business school curriculum. In: P. Molthan-Hill (Ed.), The business student’s guide to sustainable management: Principles and practice (ch. 2, pp. 7–25). Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. Molthan-Hill, P. (Ed.). (2014b). The business student’s guide to sustainable management: Principles and practice. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.Google Scholar
  32. Muff, K., Dyllick, T., Drewell, M., North, J., Shrivastava, P., & Haertle, J. (2013). Management education for the world: A vision for business schools serving people and planet. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Osbourne, S., & Ball, A. (Eds.). (2011). Social accounting and public management: Accountability for the common good. Routledge: Abingdon.Google Scholar
  34. Painter-Morland, M. J. (2008). Systemic leadership and the emergence of ethical responsiveness. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(2), 509–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Painter-Morland, M. J. (2015). Philosophical assumptions undermining responsible management education. Journal of Management Development, 34(1), 61–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rasche, A., Gilbert, D. U., & Schedel, I. (2013). Cross-disciplinary ethics education in MBA programs, rhetoric or reality? Academy of Management Learning and Education, 12(1), 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Roome, N. (2005). Teaching sustainability in a global MBA: Insights from the One MBA. Business Strategy and the Environment, 14, 160–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rusinko, C. A. (2010). Integrating sustainability in management and business education. The Academy of Management Learning and Education, 9(3), 507–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schaltegger, S., Bennett, M., & Burritt, R. (Eds.). (2006). Sustainability accounting and reporting. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Schoemaker, P. J. H. (2008). The future challenges of business: Rethinking management education. California Management Review, 50(1), 119–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Simon, D. & Lundebye, A. (2013). Stepping outside a comfort zone: Transdisciplinary innovation in sustainability education. In Atfield & Kemp (Eds.), Enhancing education for sustainable development in business and management, Hospitality, Leisure, Marketing, Tourism. HEA: York.Google Scholar
  42. Starik, R., Marcus, & Clark, (2010). Editorial: In search of sustainability in Management Education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9(3), 377–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Starkey, K., & Tempest, S. (2009). The winter of our discontent: The design challenge for business schools. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 8(4), 576–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sterling, S. (2004). Higher education, sustainability and the role of systemic learning. In P. Corcoran & A. Wals (Eds.), Higher education and the challenge of sustainability: Contestation, critique, practice, and promise. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  45. Stibbe, A. (2009). The handbook of sustainability literacy: Skills for a changing world. Totnes: Green Books.Google Scholar
  46. Stubbs, W., & Schapper, J. (2011). Two approaches to curriculum development for educating for sustainability and CSR. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 12(3), 259–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ten Bos, R., & Bevan, D. (2011). Sustainability. In M. J. Painter-Morland & R. Ten Bos (Eds.), Business ethics and continental philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Truscheit, A., & Otte, C. (2007). Sustainable games people play: Teaching sustainability skills with the aid of the role-play, NordWestPower. In C. Galea (Ed.), Teaching business sustainability. Volume 2: Cases, simulations and experiential approaches (pp. 164–170). Sheffield: Greenleaf.Google Scholar
  49. Uhl-Bien, M., Marion, R., & McKelvey, B. (2007). Complexity leadership theory: Shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(4), 298–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Unerman, J., Bebbington, J., & O’Dwyer, B. (Eds.). (2014). Sustainability accounting and accountability (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. WCED. (1987). Report of the world commission on environment and development: Our common future. United Nations world commission on environment and development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Werhane, P. W., & Painter-Morland, M. (Eds.). (2011). Leadership, gender and organization. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  53. Weybrecht, G. (2013). The sustainable MBA: A business guide to sustainability. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mollie Painter-Morland
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ehsan Sabet
    • 3
  • Petra Molthan-Hill
    • 4
  • Helen Goworek
    • 5
  • Sander de Leeuw
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Nottingham Business SchoolNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.IEDC-Bled School of ManagementBledSlovenia
  3. 3.Management Division, Nottingham Business SchoolNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  4. 4.Management DivisionNottingham Business SchoolNottinghamUK
  5. 5.School of Management, Ken Edwards BuildingUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  6. 6.Faculty of Economics & Business Administration, Department of Information, Logistics & InnovationVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations