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.
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Author translation: «on peut définir le manager responsable comme un manager qui n’est plus irresponsable… ouvert sur le monde extérieur, citoyen, proche de ses collaborateurs, mais qui gère également des mesures économiques: autant dire que son profil est polymorphe et par là-même complexe» (Fray and Soparnot 2010, p. 127).
Critical discourse analysis
Master of business administration
Master of social sciences
Principles for responsible management education
Corporate social responsibility
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Appendix 1: Extract of the Language-in-Use for Responsible Management from HEC-Alter Management Master Classroom Setting and Compared to Existing Literature
# Average words worrwords
# Average words
# Average words
Governance, transversal & systemic understanding
# Average words
# Average words
Strategy, shareholder, management, business, innovation
Equality, diversity, welfare, international, stakeholders
Leadership & vision, Legal, future generations, inclusiveness
Research & education & references
Importance of experience, acting upon
Sustainable projects, sustainable development, ecological impact, environment taken in account
Green company, local production & local partnership, stop outsourcing
Human resources & hiring, diversity, discrimination
CSR, long-term vision
Not only communication & image
Change, social economy, new
Multi-dimensional, Human place inside companies, solidarity
CSR, companies, NGOs intertwined
Critical thinking, questioning
Green, ecology, sustainable development
Change, transformations, entrepreneurship
Society, social, social impact
Thinking, walk the talk vs talk the walk
Research, studies, CNRS
Planet, humans and animals, protection, sustainable development
Micro credit, change consequences analysis, innovation
General interest, social impact, social business
External and internal impact, in & outside the company
Mohamed Yunus, Patagonia
Environment, sustainable development
Fair revenues for all
Access to consumption for all, share, social integration
Europe, alter-globalization, new types of growth, transport, train, world institution
Wild capitalism, capitalism crisis
Business history, Fordism consequences, business history, José Bové
Environment, pollution, future, carbon footprint
Fair trade, cooperative, green technologies, micro credit, HR, employees & working conditions
Culture, social link, society, social firms, disabled employees, social impact
Profit distribution, stakeholders, unions, international
Finance & dangers, gender & other discriminations
Max Havelaar, education, Emmaüs
Ecosystem, sustainability, sustainable development
Improvement, new models, change actors, HR
Environment at work, water, energy, paper, waste, sustainable development, media, consumers, society
Initiative undertaker, efficiency, competitive hedge, value chain, suppliers choice
Single mothers help, social integration & young unemployed, culture, flexible schedule for parents, child care at work, access for disabled, less hierarchy, family spirit
Education for all
Environmental issues, ecology, climate, plastic pollution
Change, innovation projects, micro credit, financial interest
Human interests, local initiatives
Planet Finance, marketing, unclear motivations, image
M. Yunus, Bangladesh, Danone, yoghurt
Ecology, sustainable management
To innovate, HR
Social cohesion, poverty
Long-term, final goal, balanced growth
Quality importance and balance with quantity, discrimination, not enough money for quality, problem
Triple bottom line
Appendix 2: Summary Responses: Percentage Total Answers/Category & Average Words/Student
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Nonet, G., Kassel, K. & Meijs, L. Understanding Responsible Management: Emerging Themes and Variations from European Business School Programs. J Bus Ethics 139, 717–736 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3149-z
- Business school students
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Management education
- Responsible management definition
- Soft Skills
- Sustainable development
- Management triple bottom line
- Principles for responsible management