Getting started is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to exploring how to embed sustainability and responsible leadership into MBA and management education programmes. The second big challenge is keeping up momentum moving forward.
The PRME Secretariat commissioned a collection of case stories that provides answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Management Education and seeks to inspire further integration of PRME by highlighting real world examples of the Principles in practice in signatory schools and universities. The Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management launched today as a contribution of the PRME community to the Rio+20 Earth Summit. The Guide includes great examples of how schools are engaging faculty, incentivising change, adapting curricula, engaging with the business community and other stakeholders, conducting research and reporting on their efforts.
What became clear while developing the Guide was that every school takes a slightly different and unique approach to committing to PRME and then beginning the process of implementing the Principles. At Copenhagen Business School, the process of signing the principles for responsible management education was initiated by the former manager and director of the centre for CSR who started the discussion with the support of 12-20 committed staff members. The discussion was then raised to 40 top managers, including heads of departments, where it was soon realised that RME already had a strong presence at CBS.
At Queen’s Business School a curriculum review committee, comprised of faculty and administrative staff from across programmes and disciplines, was formed. Key individuals who have become strong supporters within each programme area were identified and then engaged to advise on the process and help to create buy in from within each programme review committee. The Queen’s Centre for Responsible Leadership also formed an External Advisory Board comprised of leaders in industry and influential non-profit organisations to advise on emerging trends and how to best deliver programme content to meet the needs of the future.
Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame also formed an external Business Advisory Council (BAC) to advance the College’s mission. The BAC is comprised of alumni, representatives from a wide range of organisations, and friends of the College. Council members serve as ambassadors of the College and engage in the internal operations of the College by offering counsel to the deans and directors and by assisting in targeted initiatives.
Bentley University created the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility (BAESR), a collaborative effort involving an array of campus-based centres and initiatives. It is meant to build on, enhance and extend the work of various centres, including the Centre for Business Ethics and the Service-Learning Centre. Its mission is to support and encourage greater awareness of, respect for, and commitment to ethics, service, social responsibility and sustainability in their research, curricula and campus culture.
At the University of Stellenbosch Business School, the USB’s Social Impact Initiative aims to ingrain sustainable human development into all academic, research and other activities. The initiative is part of the University’s Hope Project, which aims to create sustainable solutions to some of South Africa and wider Africa’s most pressing challenges.
To reinforce their commitments, many schools also make revisions to their mission statements. The University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur recently revised their code of conduct to reflect the PRME value base in three out of the four central value statements of the university: “reflection and communication”, “appreciation of partnerships”, and “ethical responsibility”.
Over the upcoming months there will be more blog posts featuring the many examples collecting for the guide.
An Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing sustainability at the heart of management education, is available online at http://www.gseresearch.com/about/prme.htm.