PRiMEtime’s Guide to Implementing PRME: 100 Tips from Signatories (part 3 of 5)

The PRiMEtime Guide to Implementing PRME is made up of 100 tips from signatories around the world. These posts, which will be published over the next few days, are organised into the following sections: why and what, what to focus on (part 1), getting started, designing your initiative, moving forwards (part 2), putting together a team, the importance of developing relationships (part 3), focus on faculty, focus on students, the importance of partnerships (part 4), funding and final words of advice (part 5). For more information about the context surrounding the tip, click on the links to read the full blog post.

Putting together a team

  1. Do not do it alone. “Do not try to do this on your own. Take the time to cultivate relationships in the community in building a consortium of relevant stakeholders who can support one another in a variety of ways.” Mark Meaney, Leeds School of Business, US (Click here for more)
  2. Start early. “From early on we contacted senior members of academic staff as well as other contacts across the university to let them know what we were trying to do, and to request their support. This has been helpful for overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, for raising the credibility of SRN, as well as creating opportunities to publicise the network and organise joint events.” Gabriela Gutierrez, University of Nottingham, UK (Click here for more)
  3. Identify the right people. “You need to find dedicated people among your faculty and staff who would really take this to heart. Do not ‘assign’ it to someone who does not really grasp the essence of what you are doing or is reluctant to be involved. See who of those supervising the project will be in charge of the ‘PR part’ of it. Proper and effective communication with the student body, other faculty and staff, and the third parties involved is crucial. You don’t want to alienate people or confront them (even if you want to challenge some of their assumptions), you want understanding and cooperation. Find the person on the team who is a good (great would be better) motivational speaker.” Natalia Sharabarina, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia (Click here for more)
  4. Identify your champions. I recommend finding a champion who will have oversight of the whole project and given the appropriate support. No doubt the coordination of the many people involved in this type of challenge eats up a lot of work hours and require dedication.” Sussie Morrish, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (Click here for more)
  5. Choose the right people. “Is crucial to have a good support team behind your effort.  Having the right people on your team will make it easier to choose the right case topic, secure knowledgeable competition judges, and find corporate community supporters. If you are attempting to hold a case competition where the winning strategy can actually be implemented on your campus, you also need to make sure your University’s decision makers are fully on board”. Jenn Hart, Olin Business School, US (Click here for more)
  6. Get high level support. “Executive support is essential to ensuring priority is given to those involved in the process of reviewing RME throughout a business school. Having the PRME Faculty Coordinator on prominent teaching and learning committees raises awareness and ensures the areas of responsible management education remain a focus after the evaluation is completed.” Belinda Gibbons, University of Wollongong, Australia (Click here for more)
  7. Get management support. “It is important to gain support of senior management within the business school, both for resourcing and importantly, legitimating the research process. For example, our staff survey response rate was over 40%. We would not have been able to achieve this backing without the support of senior management.” Shanil Samarakoon, University of New South Wales, Australia (Click here for more)
  8. Provide space. “My advice for other schools would be to provide the teachers, students, and the communities more space to discover how to develop more self-efficacy for themselves and others. Everything else will follow.” Marcus Kreikebaum, European Business School, Germany (Click here for more)
  9. Develop the skills of your team members. “There is a broad range of useful skills, experiences and knowledge that each committee member, and also network member, brings to the network, and it is important to realise their personal and professional development motivations for involvement. It has not just been about what we already knew how to do, but what we were willing to learn and what could be beneficial to us in the future.” Gabriela Gutierrez, University of Nottingham, UK (Click here for more)
  10. Provide clear expectations “Establishing reasonably common expectations for students (in terms of both coursework and their research) is very important given the different academic cultures involved in the programme. We need to always make sure we are fair to all students, which can sometimes be a challenge given the very different backgrounds and needs they will bring to an interdisciplinary programme.” Cory Searcy, Ryerson University, Canada (Click here for more)

The Importance of Developing Relationships

  1. Relationships are the key to success. “The network’s success is due to the relationships between key academic staff in each of the business schools and is also based in their common belief in and focus on the goals of the PRME mission. Each School brings to the network their own expertise and demonstrates the national differences in Responsibility and Sustainability initiatives that are seen in academia, industry and government.” Suzanne Young and Swati Nagpal, La Trobe Business School, Australia (Click here for more)
  2. Shared commitment. “Ensure that you have a good working relationship between contributing departments with shared commitment and buy-in at senior levels. Also, it is critical to have a strong network, both locally and nationally, of practitioners whose contributions will help to keep such a programme fresh and relevant.” Roy Alexander, Chester Business School, UK (Click here for more)
  3. Identify strengths and weaknesses. “Consider the strengths of your institution and the needs of your potential partners in order to identify the most fruitful project partners. Have an open mind and willingness to work through challenging situations. Commitment to the objectives of the project by senior management is important in working through challenges. A diverse project team is useful for enabling action across the institution.” Georgina Gough, James Longhurst and Svetlana Cicmil, UWE Bristol, UK (Click here for more)
  4. Communication is important. “The effectiveness and even the feasibility of a course in this format – whereby lecturers from other subject areas actively participate in co-teaching – certainly depends on the commitment of the respective co-teachers to the course. Hence, the in-depth coordination of the ideas which each co-teacher wishes to present in their specific session is certainly conducive to the success of the course. As such, advice to other schools would be to engage in exchange with colleagues in order to build the rapport which then inevitably comes to fore in the class discussion – irrespective of whether the ideas which are themselves discussed, are in harmony or in conflict.” Andreas Suchanek and Christina Kleinau, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany (Click here for more).
  5. Cooperation takes time. “Cooperation is an investment; it takes time and patience to develop a common Masters’ Programme with other schools. The programme takes place across different schools that all have their own study structures. In order to make this work a lot of time was needed to circumvent the existing bureaucracy and lobby for special rules for interdisciplinary studies. The rewards, however, are great.” Minna Halme and Armi Temmes, Aalto University School of Business, Finland (Click here for more)
  6. Think long term. “The dissemination of knowledge about city eco-innovations as well as the SDGs related to cities appears to be the most effective, where lasting interactions take place among research entities (such as Warsaw School of Economics, businesses, municipal authorities and inhabitants themselves).” Anna Szelagowska, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland (Click here for more)
  7. Communicate regularly. “Connecting both offline (face to face discussions) and online (email, google drive) is important—finding a good balance depends on the availability and working styles of the team. It is important to appreciate the variety of work falling under the umbrella of sustainability, and take the opportunity to learn about projects other people are working on.” Gabriela Gutierrez, University of Nottingham, UK (Click here for more)
  8. Learn from each other. “Avoid associations with charity: help assimilate the different groups of people rather than contribute to further anxiety between them.“ Danil Muravskil, IBS-Moscow, Russia (Click here for more)

 

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