Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 139, Issue 4, pp 717–736 | Cite as

Understanding Responsible Management: Emerging Themes and Variations from European Business School Programs

  • Guénola NonetEmail author
  • Kerul Kassel
  • Lucas Meijs


Our literature review reveals a call for changes in business education to encourage responsible management. The Principles for Responsible Management Education were developed in 2007 under the coordination of the United Nations Global Compact, AACSB International, and other leading academic institutions for the purpose of promoting responsible management in education. Literature review shows that responsible management as such remains undefined. This gap in literature leads potentially to an absence of clarity in research, education, and management, regarding responsible management among scholars and practitioners. The aim of this research is to develop a preliminary definition of responsible management, exploring the use of the term in literature and practice. Its objective is to define the main characteristics of responsible management aimed at creating a platform for discussion so as to help organizations clarify their own vision of responsible management. It builds on preliminary findings from literature review that responsible management remains undefined. As business school students are primary stakeholders in management education and are future management leaders, and as there have not been empirical studies to date that examine business school students’ understanding of responsible management, a qualitative study was conducted with European business school students concerning their understanding of the term. A framework summarizing perceptions of responsible management characteristics and broad approach of responsible management definition were created and used to introduce a draft theoretical platform for discussion on this topic.


Business school students Corporate social responsibility (CSR) Ethics Management education Responsible management definition Soft Skills Sustainable development Management triple bottom line Principles for responsible management 



Critical discourse analysis


Master of business administration


Master of social sciences


Principles for responsible management education


Corporate social responsibility


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.Fielding Graduate UniversitySanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of ManagementRotterdamThe Netherlands

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