Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 523–538 | Cite as

A Multi-level Perspective for the Integration of Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (ECSRS) in Management Education



In recent years, much discussion has taken place regarding the social role of firms and their responsibilities to society. In this context, the role of universities is crucial, as it may shape management students’ attitudes and provide them with the necessary knowledge, skills and critical analysis to make decisions as consumers and future professionals. We emphasise that universities are multi-level learning environments, so there is a need to look beyond formal curricular content and pay more attention to implicit dimensions of the learning process in order to create significant learning. With this in mind, we propose an integrative and holistic approach to guide the integration of ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability in management education that aims to improve students’ knowledge and attitudes. In this model, we consider three interdependent levels of analysis–the institutional level, the curricular level and the instrumental level–which together produce a leverage effect on student learning. For each level, we identify the main issues and aspects that need to be considered, based on an extensive literature review in this field.


Education for sustainability Business ethics Corporate social responsibility Sustainability Management education Significant learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business ManagementRovira and Virgili UniversityReusSpain

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