Student Thoughts on Responsible Management Education

In early November the PRME community gathered in Cologne, Germany for the 5th PRME Research Conference. The goal of this conference, focused on Leadership Development for Advancing the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, was to discuss how research and the management education community, in collaboration with other stakeholders, could best support the initiatives of the UN Global Compact and PRME that focus on responsible leadership development in order to advance the SDGs. For more information on this event visit https://www.international-csr.org.

As part of the conference, students (or student teams) were invited to produce a two-minute video in which they present their views and ideas on “Responsible Management Education”. The videos explored what students felt their university should do, or what it is already doing, to embed responsible management education in courses, programmes and extracurricular activities. The video competition was organised by six partner organisations from the PRME Chapter DACH (Management Center Innsbruck, Cologne Business School, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Chur, FHWien der WKW and ZHAW School of Management and Law) with the aim of including authentic student voices from around the world.

 

There were 26 video submissions from 80 participants in 9 countries and 4 continents. The winning team from Brazil, Fundacao Institute de Administracao as well the runner-up teams from Deakin University in Australia, the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Management Center Innsbruck,were also invited to attend the event.

I spoke with Regina Obexer from Management Centre Innsbruck who initiated and led the project.

Why did you decide to ask students that particular question?

The conference was about responsible management education, and many of the sessions were about the “what” and the “how” of educating students for responsible management. We wanted to complement the academic and experts’ point of view with an authentic perspective from the students’ own experience. We wanted them to express why they think responsible management is important, but also how it could best be done in higher education. What we were hoping to get was a variety of (and maybe some innovative) ideas on teaching and learning strategies students think are effective for responsible management education. As our deadline was very tight (the contest closed only 3 weeks before the conference) we were not able to present a thorough analysis of the 26 videos at the conference, but we are planning a publication in 2019.

Were you surprised by the results?

We were mainly surprised by the international response we had. Having students from four continents submit videos was a real thrill, and resulted in a varied mix of submissions. The diversity of the videos both in terms of format and in terms of content was maybe not surprising but satisfying. Many videos have a very unique approach, and show both the creativity and deep understanding of the importance of this topic. Several videos emphasised the importance of collaboration in tackling the global challenges ahead. It was really difficult to decide on the winners and runners-up, and thankfully we had a great team of jurors and a set of clear evaluation criteria that helped us make this decision.

Were the videos shown during the event and what response was there to them?

We only had a short time slot during the conference, but we did show the winning team’s video and also the first runner-up who was not able to attend during the closing plenary session of the conference. The entire winning team flew in from Brazil, one representative of the second Brazilian team attended and we had a live-stream to the rest in Sao Paolo, and the Austrian runner-up team attended the event as well. We are now in the process of also doing a number of press releases via the conference channels and individual institutions so the students see that their voices (and videos) are being heard, disseminated, and are having an impact.

The greatest highlight of the conference for me personally was meeting our student winners and runners-up. They were all so excited to be at a conference, with some of them having come a very long way, and they fully joined in with conference session and workshops. We were thrilled to be able to facilitate their attendance through the conference, with their home institutions paying for travel and the conference coordinator covering accommodation.

Below is the winning video. To view the runner ups click here.

Eduardo Goldstein, Felipe Riyoji Benatti, Tatiana Lapidus & Thiago Amorim Gomes Oliveira

Fundacao Institut de Administracao

Brazil

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